Get to Know Ray and Eilyn Jimenez — the Dueling Designers in ‘Divided by Design'

The Miami-based couple, creative directors of their own respective interior design firms, vie for the same business. Here's how their competitive spirit makes their marriage even stronger.

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

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

Photo by: Melody Timothee

Melody Timothee

You’d think business competition between partners would create tension in a relationship — not with HGTV's Divided by Design hosts, married couple Ray and Eilyn Jimenez. These two Miami-based interior designers relish in the competition — and they keep things more than civil. Case in point: Ray once beat Eilyn out of a project, turned to his new client and said, “To be honest, if you had gone with Eilyn, you’d be happy too.”

We wondered, is it always this polite?

“At the end of the day, as long as one of us wins the account, we’re happy,” says Eilyn. “So much about choosing a designer to work with is connection-based. If someone picks Ray over me or vice versa, it may have nothing to do with our design presentation but how a homeowner clicked with one of us on a personal level. In the end, we’re always cheering each other on.” We sat down with this incredibly confident couple to learn more.

They’re Proud of Their Heritage

Eilyn, 34, has Cuban roots and was raised in Miami, while Ray, 37, is Dominican. “I was born in Puerto Rico before making my way to Florida,” he says.

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

They Love Their Families

Eilyn grew up with a brother (Roly) and a sister (Lisette) and often sees her parents, Rolando and Miriam, who live nearby. Ray has a sister on his mom’s side and jokes he may have lots of siblings on his dad’s side. “I don’t know exactly, as I was never super close with my dad, who passed away when I was younger,” says Ray. “I was raised by a group of strong women including my mom, grandmother and my three aunts.”

They Majored in the Same Subject in College

Ray studied architecture for two years at Miami Dade College, then interior design for four years at the Miami International University of Art & Design. Eilyn went to the Universidad Latina de Costa Rica in Costa Rica and majored in architecture.

They Take Their Dogs Everywhere

Ray fell in love with Eilyn’s two Maltese Shih Tzus, Aria (10) and Bentley (9) soon after they started dating. “I joke that I came with a fuzzy package,” says Eilyn. “They’re my babies.” Fun fact: Ray’s mom adopted Aria and Bentley’s puppy and named her Lulu.

They had Different Career Aspirations Growing Up

“I wanted to be a firefighter,” says Ray. Eilyn wanted to be a lawyer.

They’re Super Excited About Their New House

The couple bought their home in 2020 and thought it would take two years to renovate. “We’re going on four years now,” says a slightly exasperated Ray. “We’re finally approaching the last layer of renovation the furnishings, accessories and artwork — and want to take our time curating and selecting pieces from different vendors and parts of the world. A lot of our home’s inspiration came from our honeymoon in Africa.”

They Have Different Design Styles

Ray is more of a maximalist, while Eilyn leans towards minimalism. How did their opposing styles play out in the home they’re building together? “When it comes to our house, we have an understanding of what we find beautiful and what resonates with us, and we’ve learned how to infuse our differing design styles into our new home," says Eilyn. "It’s about evolving to a certain point, that’s what a good designer does, especially as our house is a reflection of who we are. There are times when Ray wants to push the limits a little further and I want to scale back a bit, but it’s all about reaching an equal medium. It’s been a lot of fun to build this house together.”

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

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

Photo by: Melody Timothee

Melody Timothee

They Can Describe Themselves in Three Words

For Ray, it's, "driven, optimistic and energetic." For Eilyn, it's, "funny, genuine — what you see is what you get! — and loyal."

They Like to Stay Active

These days, Ray likes to spend time on the padel court. “I’ll watch him but I don’t play — I’m not good at it!” says Eilyn, who prefers skiing. “Ray and I have been skiing together since we met and take a ski trip every year. We’ll go anywhere there’s snow but most of the time it’s Colorado.”

They Love Asian Cuisine

“I always say we’re connected by food!” laughs Eilyn. “We always order tuna tartare, crispy Hamachi and as a complement, fried rice.”

They Motivate Each Other

“Eilyn is my inspiration because I see how great she makes people feel and that, to me, is like, wow!” says Ray. Adds Eilyn, “As cliché as it may sound, Ray is my inspiration because of his drive and commitment to never accepting anything other than exactly what he wants.”

“Nobody understands you, or understands what you’re going through, better than your spouse, especially if you’re in the same industry,” says Eilyn. Ray adds, “We’re always supporting one another. Eilyn understands the struggles I’m going through. And we’re constantly reminding each other we can do better.”

They Have Their Secrets

For Ray, it’s his fear of the dark. “I’ve been afraid of the dark for most of my life, even into my early 20s!” he says. For Eilyn, it’s her past as a sleepwalker. “One time I walked into my parent’s bedroom and peed in my pants because I thought I was in the bathroom!”

They Live by These Mantras

For Ray, it's, "Anything is possible!"

For Eilyn, it's, "Stay cool, calm and collected like a duck on the outside even if you’re paddling really hard on the inside."

They Have Their Favorite TV Shows

“I love reality TV — any and all of the Housewives shows!” laughs Eilyn. Ray’s favorites? Homeland and House of Cards.

They Have Three Things They Can’t Live Without

"My husband, my dogs, Cuban coffee," says Eilyn. For Ray: "My wife, creating and music."

They Will Always Call Miami Home

“We flirted with the idea of living a few months in New York City for the creative vibe and energy, and we’d love to spend a few weeks out of the year in Colorado for the adventure, but we’ll always call Miami home, especially because our family is here,” says Ray.

They're Excited About Divided by Design

“We like to think long-term, when our kids and grandkids will be able to see all we’ve built by watching us on this series,” says Ray. Agrees Eilyn, “And to do that while working with your best friend — it doesn’t get much better than this.”

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