By Bruce X. Forey
Photography by Elizabeth Greco
Alamo Heights like Los Angeles? That’s how one 78209 neighbor thinks of these two iconic cities. West L.A. native Carlos Platero moved to Alamo Heights in 2018 to establish an interior design business. Los Angeles may not be the top of mind for quiet, but for Carlos, there are similarities.
“Los Angeles proper is actually a very quiet town; crowded but quiet,” Carlos said. “After a busy week, I prefer the tranquility of Alamo Heights, compared to the grown chaos of the surrounding suburbs in San Antonio. I could practically lay out on the street, which is a comforting thought, knowing how busy commerce was throughout the week. It’s that type of weekend sleeping city vibe that reminds me of L.A., or as I like to think about City of Angels.”
Carlos also gravitated to Alamo Heights for its central location, friendly people, and charming homes. He found a residence that reminded him of vintage Los Angeles. He remembers being interviewed by the owner before purchasing it.
“I thought this is interesting, is this the way all Texans sell their homes?” Carlos added. “But the home had so much character. She was hoping to find someone who would appreciate what it offers and not tear it down.”
Carlos assured the owner he was excited to restore the property while giving it a new look. He chose a contemporary antique approach.
After a divorce, Carlos bought a second home in Alamo Heights, but the restoration of his first residence got the attention of the former homeowner. Word spread among 78209 on his design talents, and his San Antonio business grew. In Alamo Heights, he also serves on the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission Board.
Carlos attended the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM) in Los Angeles. He was also taught Psychology of Color & Material at FIDM and is a member of the American Society of Interior Design.
At a young age, he moved to Asheville, North Carolina, where he bought a ranch-style home. He lived there for a couple of years before moving to Austin and then relocating to San Antonio. But the Blue Ridge mountains of Asheville still reside as his third home.
Clients who worked with Carlos discovered another attribute – an enthusiasm for exacting details centered on his strong desire to please the customer.
The Platero eye for style and detail was refined during his time in Austin. Early clients had already paid for design work by other firms but didn’t meet expectations. They asked Carlos to review and redo the designs. They were very pleased with his work.
“I tell my team; our clients tell us what they want. They often don’t realize it, but they are telling us what they want,” Carlos said. “You have to learn how to listen, and I’m really good at that.”
Carlos’s rich and famous clientele began asking him to maintain their properties year-round. This led to him founding Platero Service. This niche business provides professional cleaning, property management, and event supervision for owners of luxury estates, high-end rentals, and commercial properties.
Confidence in Carlos leads to interesting one-off assignments. He’s been commissioned for interior design work on commercial properties, custom furniture pieces, and even managing weddings.
Carlos’s maintenance service will continue to keep him busy in the Austin area, but Alamo Heights is home. He’s in the process of combining his interior design and maintenance business into a one-brand operation. Platero, as it’s now called, is at 5711 Broadway. He’s bringing 40 employees together under one location, ensuring office and field workers are united in the Platero culture of superior customer service.
“We found our niche, and it’s serving the clients that appreciate what we do. The attention to detail, the hold my hand and walked me through it type of service.”
With family in Los Angeles, a ranch in Asheville, and an Austin residence, Carlos could live elsewhere, but Alamo Heights has everything he needs to call home.