'Divided by Design' Hosts Talk About Their Love Story and the Secret to Their Successful Marriage

Though they own competing design businesses, these two only build each other up. Ahead, Ray and Eilyn Jimenez sit down with HGTV to share more about their relationship.

Hosts Eilyn and Ray Jimenez, as seen on Divided by Design, Season 1.

Hosts Eilyn and Ray Jimenez, as seen on Divided by Design, Season 1.

Photo by: Melody Timothee

Melody Timothee

Ask Ray and Eilyn Jimenez, hosts of HGTV’s new show Divided by Design, what they love most about each other and it may take a few minutes for them to respond. Not because they can’t answer the question, but because they’re busy gazing into each other’s smiling eyes. There’s undeniable physical chemistry between the pair, but in this case, there’s something more: the mutual respect and love they have for each other.

It's what makes their unique relationship work. These two own competing design firms in Miami, and it doesn't tear them apart. In fact, it makes them stronger as a couple. Ahead, Ray and Eilyn share more about their courtship and why they’re so devoted to each other.

On How They Met

HGTV: How and where did you meet?

Ray: Eight years ago, a high school best friend who supplies wallpaper to both our companies, set us up. He introduced us at an Art Basel event, joking he thought we should know our competition.

Eilyn: Ray later shared he googled me the morning of the event.

HGTV: What were your first impressions?

Eilyn: Ray was the first person I saw walking into the event, and I immediately gravitated towards him. I mean, how could you not? Look at that smile! Our matchmaker friend was always telling us stories about each other and finally got us together.

Ray: Wow! I thought she’s so sexy and exotic looking. I wondered which languages she spoke!

HGTV: What was your first date?

Eilyn: It was really the night we met. We decided to travel with each other to different Art Basel events. At midnight, I was ready to go home but Ray convinced me to go out for one more drink and we stayed up until 3 a.m. talking. He asked me for a kiss at the end of the night and I said, ‘What have you done to deserve a kiss?’ He responded, ‘Fair enough. Can I take you out for coffee tomorrow?’ He picked me up the next morning and we spent the day together.

HGTV: Who said “I Love You” first?

Eilyn: Early on in our relationship, we would look at each other and say, 'you too' which was our way of saying I love you before we actually did. Then a few months into dating, Ray got up the courage and officially spoke the words.

On Their Marriage

HGTV: Where did you get engaged?

Ray: [Two years into dating], during a vacation to Santorini, Greece, for Eilyn’s birthday trip, I was carrying the ring around in my backpack. I was so nervous — I wouldn’t let the bag out of my sight! I booked a catamaran for the day, had a photographer at the ready and planned to propose against an amazing backdrop called the Black Sand Beach, an island known for its black-lava sand beach.

HGTV: How did it go?

Ray: Great — but the night before, I told Eilyn I would need to ask her father for his blessing if I were ever to propose. Meanwhile, I had already done so two weeks earlier.

Eilyn: At that point, I’m thinking, ‘I am not getting engaged on this trip!’ Ray presented me with a birthday cake and balloons the next day, and I was thinking, ‘Why are we celebrating when I don’t have a ring on my finger?’ He had me fooled. Eventually, everything turned out great and the proposal was beyond memorable.

HGTV: Where did you get married?

(In October 2019, 77 friends and family celebrated Ray and Eilyn at their destination wedding off the coast of Barcelona.)

Eilyn: Combining our close-knit Cuban and Dominican families was priceless. We booked this beautiful villa, had chefs prepare our meals and stayed up late into the evening listening to music. We all had a great time.

HGTV: Where did you go on your honeymoon?

(Right after their wedding, the couple went on a mini-moon to Majorca, Spain, where they stayed in an old castle that was once a fortress. Not long afterwards, they headed to Africa for three weeks.)

Eilyn: The safari was life-changing. We were able to see lion and elephant cubs, it was all just so incredible.

Ray: One night at dusk, we opened up the back of the Jeep and had wine and cheese while looking at the giraffes and zebras — it was almost indescribable.

On Their Love Now

HGTV: What does a date night look like?

Eilyn: A lunch or dinner date at a local restaurant, sitting back, talking about what’s on our minds and enjoying our favorites foods. It’s here where we’ll also talk about our future.

HGTV: Who’s the romantic?

Ray: Eilyn is a Virgo so likes to plan out everything — it’s very hard to surprise her! But she does leave me cute little notes, and I do buy her flowers.

HGTV: What’s your favorite love song?

Eilyn: Sunset Lover by Petit Biscuit. We played this song on repeat when we were dating and sitting in our living room talking about our lives.

Ray: The thing about music is that it takes you back to certain moments in your life. I don’t have a particular love song, but the one artist that makes me think about my wife is Leon Bridges. The way that man so beautifully communicates love is the way I think about Eilyn.

HGTV: What’s your secret to a happy marriage?

Ray: Our energy and vibe is so connected. When Eilyn is on a low frequency, I try to bring her back up, and when I’m feeling down, her silliness gets me into a better space. We’re the perfect embodiment of each other.

Eilyn: Ray pulls the most emotional and vulnerable parts out of me. That only happens with two things in my life — my husband and my work.

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