As a little girl, Lidia Salazar remembers a 2,500-mile road trip she and her family took from their home in Los Angeles to Guadalajara, Mexico. Halfway through their two-day excursion, they stopped at a motel off the highway to get some rest in anticipation of another long day of driving. It was the first time Salazar recalls seeing a room with matching furniture.
“I was so amazed by the bedroom,” Salazar said. “Growing up in a first-generation Latine household, our parents had a really hard time letting go of things. I remember every corner of our house was packed. So, going into this motel room and seeing the countertops empty and the matching nightstands, I thought it was beautiful. It was probably just a cheap motel, but in my head, I thought it would be so cool to live there.”
After that experience, Salazar became “obsessed” with the idea of having her own room and decorating it the way she wanted. Years later, she would discover that she could make a career out of it.
“I didn’t even know interior decorators or designers existed,” Salazar said. “That trip is where the first spark started with interior design without me even knowing it was a real thing.”
Today, Salazar, who is based in Phoenix, Arizona, is an online content creator who focuses on producing home décor and lifestyle content on Instagram and TikTok. On her platforms, Salazar offers guidance to followers about how to make a space aesthetically pleasing and functional. In one video, she styles a nightstand with artwork, a book, and a candle. In another, she uses a vintage record player as the centerpiece for a nicely arranged media console. Currently, Salazar boasts 420,000 followers on TikTok and 141,000 followers on Instagram.
For Salazar, interior design starts with “bringing something from the outside world inside.” The “feeling of nature” is important to have in her living space. She said it doesn’t necessarily have to be a conventional houseplant either.
“It’s very relaxing for the mind,” Salazar said. “Plants are so calming and soothing. It can even be something like a piece of driftwood or seashells. Anytime we can disconnect and feel like we’re in nature, it’s great for your mental health.”
As Salazar continues to build her brand, Remezcla is stepping in with Remezcla Meets, an editorials series where emerging Latines like Salazar are given an opportunity to elevate their voices, so they can help shape the way the world sees different cultures of the Latine diaspora.
In Remezcla Meets, created with IKEA, Salazar takes center stage to talk about what led her to interior design, how her Latina background speaks to her style, and how IKEA products are versatile and accessible for individuals looking to spruce up their home space without overspending.
During college, Salazar studied sociology, but wasn’t sure what she wanted to do after she graduated. She thought landing a corporate job would afford her a steady salary and the security that most people want. Becoming an interior designer hadn’t crossed her mind at that point.
“The idea of having an office job that provided me with insurance had always been ingrained in me as the way to succeed,” Salazar said. “Oftentimes, I don’t think we as Latinas really give ourselves a chance to think about having a creative career. It’s kind of like, ‘Don’t even dare to think about doing something like that.’ It just seemed like it was out of the realm of possibilities.”
Luckily for Salazar, she found a way to make the impossible possible when she started posting home décor ideas on Instagram in 2019. She thought maybe she could connect to others who enjoyed design like she did, and build a small online community. When the pandemic hit in early 2020, Salazar found herself with more time and decided to expand her design ideas to TikTok.
“That’s when it started to take off and I thought, ‘Well, maybe I can make a career out of this,’” Salazar said. “I thought I could become an interior designer and start taking on clients or maybe work for a brand and create home décor content for them.”
In 2022, Salazar officially quit her full-time job in human resources to focus solely on creating home décor-related content online. She always felt like she had an eye for creativity, and when she started amassing more and more followers, she saw it as confirmation that she had chosen the right path forward.
“I was sharing my style, but also sharing who I am as a Latina,” she said. “To get recognition from other Latines, it made me feel seen.”
It’s especially true when she taps into her aesthetic as a Latina and designs a space with items like traditional pottery, handmade pieces by artisans, and objects that convey some of her culture and reflect who she is.
“Having those pieces adds so much to the space,” she said. “It makes me feel like I’m home. It gives me this sort of ‘señora’ feeling, like I’m all grown up. It’s a very Latina thing that’s part of my identity.”
To capture that vibe, Salazar goes to IKEA to find a lot of the products she uses to design spaces and share with her social media followers, including DYTÅG cushion covers, SOARÉ place mats, FULLTALIG candlesticks, and FÄRGKLAR plates.
“The great thing about IKEA is that they have so many different items, you can find something that goes with any style,” Salazar said. “I think the most important thing about IKEA is their incredible price points. IKEA is all about good design that is accessible to everyone despite their budget. I’ve always been passionate about that. It’s a great place to go and take in all the inspiration.”
By sharing her creativity with the world, Salazar is helping her followers on social media transform their house into a home.
“You ultimately have to pick things for your home that speak to you; things that are going to make you happy,” Salazar said. “I want to help people improve their space and make their home more cohesive. When I interact with people online, I want them to feel like they’re part of a community.”