‘Designing Miami’ Stars Ray and Eilyn Jimenez Talk Work and Marriage
The married couple and interior designers Ray and Eilyn Jimenez are expanding their business with the launch of their Netflix reality series, ‘Designing Miami’ – and they’re bringing his Dominican parents and Cuban family for what they say is “one hell of a ride.”
The newlyweds, who will celebrate their third wedding anniversary in October, navigate Miami’s luxury design scene on their show. Each episode of the series gives viewers a glimpse into their lives as two Latino entrepreneurs trying to make it in a crowded field.
In the first episode of the Netflix series, Ray and Eilyn Jimenez introduce themselves, their aesthetics and their two distinct interior design companies. Ray Jimenez, a self-proclaimed maximalist, is the founder and creative director of Raymond Nicolas Design House while Eilyn Jimenez, a minimalist, leads Sire Design as founder and creative director.
“Designing Miami” doesn’t just focus on their businesses. Throughout eight episodes, the duo welcome viewers into their world as they share their stories, families and dreams with the audience.
Eilyn and Ray Jimenez told TODAY they both fell in love with art, architecture and design as children. It’s this shared adoration that led to a cute dating moment worthy of any rom-com scene.
“We met through a co-worker and a friend from high school,” Ray Jimenez said.
The mutual friend, who is a wallpaper salesman, invited them both to an art event – and their connection was instantaneous.
“I walked in and the first person I saw was him and he looked at me and it was pretty much a story,” Eilyn Jimenez said.
Ray Jimenez accepted. “It was a wrap,” he said.
The couple’s sweet interactions and playful banter anchor their reality show. Although the episodes focus on Eilyn and Ray Jimenez working with different clients and employees, they also include scenes of the couple building their dream home together.
Their Cuban and Dominican families also make a few appearances. Eilyn Jimenez revealed that she was slightly nervous about inviting cameras into their home and personal life.
The owner of Sire Design said: “It’s annoying but, to a point, I think it’s also really important because it’s (relatable). There are so many people like us who are going to be able to see what a Latin family (looks like) – his crazy Dominican family (and) my family. And how it all intersects with our lives and careers.
Ray Jimenez shared the same point of view. He said their debate about starring in a reality show ended after a few days when they realized they couldn’t pass up the opportunity.
Cameras followed them outside the office, meaning they captured difficult conversations with family members, particularly about Eilyn Jimenez’s decision to focus on her career before having any children.
She told TODAY it was necessary for her to talk about waiting to become a mom on camera because ‘it’s still a taboo subject’.
Eilyn Jimenez explained: “It’s 2022 and it still feels like a woman isn’t complete until she has kids and I don’t think that’s the case. I think you can choose to have your career or you can choose to have a different focus and do things differently than to get married and have kids.
Once couples get married, their conversations usually center around building a family, she said. Eilyn Jimenez hopes the dialogue will change.
“I think it’s time to open up (the conversation) to say that it’s okay to temporarily choose your career. It’s okay to put off that decision until you feel it’s right,” he said. she continued.
Her message of encouraging women to pursue their careers is reflected in her group of employees. She runs Sire Design alongside a team of Latina employees. They all sit together in a group and exchange banter and jokes while discussing design ideas.
“I love it because I think it’s super empowering and we work really, really hard. And I think one of the things that Latinas have a lot is this willingness to feel like they have to prove themselves, because that we do,” she said of her collaborative work environment.
She added, “As women we are a minority in general and then you add the Latina aspect to it. So to be able to have this dialogue and really work with people from all the different (regions) of the country, but still under the same vision, it’s amazing.
Eilyn Jimenez said she has an equally nurturing and motivating relationship with her husband, especially as they design their home together.
Ray Jimenez shared, “The fact that we’re able to effortlessly fuse (our) two styles together is pretty special.”
He described the whole experience as “one hell of a ride”.
There are a few bumps in the ride, as disagreements with co-workers and family members materialize throughout the season. Viewers can watch Eilyn and Ray Jimenez juggle their work and personal lives when “Designing Miami” hits Netflix on September 21.