Housing Reform in Eixample is the rehabilitation of a flat by architecture firms LOOX and DS Architects, in a heritage listed building in 1908 by Domènech and Estapà at the heart of Barcelona’s “Golden Square” in the Eixample quarter. The approach to the project has been to intervene as little as possible in its original layout, preserving the materials and finishes and repairing the ornaments and woodwork.
This way, the focus is on the existing elements that coexist with a contemporary style. The program developed consists of three bedrooms, a study, living room (lounge), kitchen, dining room and two bathrooms.
Domenech and Estapà´s original project corresponds to a household income between dividing walls of the ground floor and five floors height. The configuration of the lot, deeper below the household´s depth building area, almost disables the interior façade which doesn´t reach the courtyard. Resources providing lighting and ventilation to interior rooms are the remnants of the building´s volume practiced plan fund and dividing walls to the right with an open courtyard format; the central courtyard linked to the neighbor´s scale and another patio adjoining the dividing wall to the left, shared with the neighboring building.
Despite the main facade and common areas retain the original language, as it is common in this era´s buildings in the Eixample, each housing has been remodeled and / or split one or more times, and nowadays their condition and configuration are very heterogeneous.
The rehabilitated property which had been long time unoccupied still included the distribution and original finishes. The intervention suggests an update in terms of functionality, performance and comfort, but the main criteria precisely was intervening the least over distribution, keeping as far as possible all materials and finishes that have been preserved, and repair decorative elements and original woodwork.
The project has also addressed the repair operations and consolidation of the structure, crack´s stitching, protection of metallic elements, establishing criteria and procedures that should serve as a guideline for the structural consolidation of the building as a whole.
The false ceilings have been preserved and restored with their moldings and ornaments, interior and exterior woodwork, engraved glass and in much of the property, the original Nolla flooring mosaic. The kitchen, however, that had been already manipulated and didn’t preserve the original settings, has been resolved with current criteria and materials.
All three bedrooms and study as well as the living room (lounge), dining room and main bathroom are resolved in the current premises without altering them in any way. As in the original housing, departments facing Valencia´s Street facade which have better ventilation and lighting conditions are preferred, thus locating the master bedroom, living room (lounge) and study in it, whilst the whole kitchen-dining room occupy the interior premises.
Therefore, the adjustments´ distribution proposed by the project are just the extension of the kitchen, which will remain occupying its present position but incorporating the adjoining room facing the back facade, and the transformation of three very small pieces which accommodate two adjacent toilets and a pantry in a sole dependency which will become the house´s second bathroom.
Neither, the current hall distribution around the stairwell is altered in any way, which with the proposed reform program will become a continuous ring.
Photos: Adrià Goula
House in Rocafort is a modern property with unique geometry, which has been designed by Ramon Esteve Studio and located in Valencia, Spain. The beginning condition for this house is born from the trapezoidal shape of the plot, located in a residential area. The vegetation is a dense element of edge. That is the reason why the house is proposed like a volume where focusing views becomes specially important. The composition of the different spaces depends only on geometry and light.
Geometry, because there are produced addition and subtraction processes to the volume until get the right proportion of the built space. Light, due to the develop high quality atmosphere and of its expressive possibilities. The consistency of the project depends mostly on using properly the light. The right combination of both is the key of this project.
We try to provide each room with a different character. The inside-outside transition is really important to get it. We try to expand the space by extending the skin of the house to the outside. Besides, the empty spaces receive the light that shines through the holes. That works quite different depending on the time and the privacy degree. That is to say, the light shines bright and strong through the holes of the porch, veiled and controlled in the private spaces, getting to create dense atmospheres.
Photos: Courtesy of Ramon Esteve Studio
Balcony House is a futuristic multi-tiered house envisioned by the architecture studio of A-cero, with a prime location in a natural environment, only 9 miles from the city center of Madrid, Spain. The house is comprised of 10,250 square feet (952 square meters) of living space, spread out over three levels and nestled on an independent plot of 21,530 square feet (2000 square meters).
This design is a reflection of its exterior architecture. It harnesses the breadth of open spaces and the double heights with wooden structures that wrap the stays. This spaciousness is enhanced by the large amount of natural light that comes from the large windows existing at all levels, both in common and private areas.
The furniture of the living room, like the kitchen, has been designed and built personalized for the customer, with high quality finishes. LED lighting is the protagonist in the interior, marking the architecture and creating lines that frame the spaces.
Photos: Courtesy of A-cero
This stunning apartment is owned by a couple who discovered their home on the outskirts of Santander, Cantabria, on the north coast of Spain. It’s a bottom level home with a garden and, although it is has had some recent construction, the owners decided to reform it with the help of the company Consultants of Projects and Design (Consultores de Proyectos y Diseño), to achieve a more creative environment. The owners, two young cosmopolitans, love to travel and have a weakness for good food, that is why they wanted a space that would reflect their passions and where they could enjoy comfortable entertaining. Distributed on one floor, the cozy apartment features an open plan area to enjoy daily activities and a more private area with a bedroom, dressing room and bathroom.
The living room and the kitchen are open to each other, although they are separated by an island located in the center of the room, which serves as a dining table while providing an extra work surface. Discrete touches of modern industrial style, inspired by New York lofts, fit into a coherent atmosphere, full of nuances. The elongated, original windows of the house, were perfect to create charming spaces connected with the garden.
The decoration is predominately neutral. The decorative accessories, acquired by the owners in their extensive travels, define the lines of a cosmopolitan style, a very experienced but welcoming style. A space without complications, a comfortable distribution with tailor-made solutions.
The bedroom en-suite, is decorated in hues of gray and white. There are two elements: the gas fireplace recessed in the wall — a double-sided model that has been installed between the living room and the bedroom — and the mini desk in the corner.
Through the dressing room, with two areas that are open and organized, gives access to the bathroom, a space that flirts with the rustic tendencies. In short, this apartment boasts of an exquisite look, built through small delicious details.
Photos: Mi Casa
Vuelta a Empezar is an en-suite bedroom design by architecture firm Egue y Seta for Futurcret, part of the Casa Decor 2010 which was held in Barcelona, Spain. The 516 square feet (48 square meters) suite is based on the idea of the Garden of Eden, where biting the apple will open the gates of paradise. A furnished garden where temptation is shown through glass transparencies, between lattices of natural wood and palm fronds, proposing a return to a hedonistic paradise where, every day, is a sin not to start again!
The ethnic hand-crafted wooden bedside stands sit beside a contemporary metal floor lamp and a smart black shelving unit holding a selection of bright red apples, reminding us of the symbol of original sin. The entire space is assembled with a sense of the dramatic, transporting us to an exotic location where time stands still.
Primitive luxury abounds at every turn, mysterious dark mottled walls form a backdrop for a jungle scene of plants and vines at the head of the bed, a prominent object which is understandably covered in the sensuous fabrics of velvet and fur.
Fixtures of reclaimed wood and floors of stone contrast with the transparency of the enclosed waterfall shower, a unique space adorned with semi-tropical plants and ferns.
Photos: Aires Photography
This cozy cottage is nestled in an idyllic spot among olive trees, with stunning views to the Sierra de Gredos mountains, Cáceres, Spain. The successful transformation of the home has been carried out by architect Alfonso Monteagudo, where the original structure was maintained and recovered materials resulted in a warm country home with discreet traditional details. The owners have opened their doors to turning this home into a vacation refuge called ‘Vaquería CantaElGallo.’
The home feature a discrete range of neutral paints, stucco walls, concrete ceilings with exposed wood and concrete floors that extends environments. This skillful handling of infallible tools such as color, light and coatings, transmits tranquility and order. The furniture, masonry and wood mostly define the country style but with a dose of tradition, and even notes through stately pieces brought from different parts of the world and rescued from antique shops.
The main entrance to the house is surrounded by nature, which seeps into the interior through the glass door and fixed window. That feeling of openness and blending with the environment is found in the continuity in the decoration through the materials.
Another special feature of this home is its distribution: a large central room where shared-use is the living room, dining room and kitchen — are attached two rooms designed as small apartments with living area and integrated en-suite bathroom. Each room worships comfort with simple and functional furniture, with complements of antique mirrors, earthenware containers or glass jars) that blend compositions full of charm. The luxury: space and simplicity.
Photos: Mi Casa
This beautiful modern apartment is situated in the coastal town of San Sebastián in northern Spain, owned and designed by Mikel Irastorza Interiors. The area is extremely close to the French border, so many of the houses in this part of the country have a profound French, turn-of-the-century influence. When the designer spotted the space he wanted, he gutted it. The most important thing for the renovation was to stay true to the early 20th century structure of the surrounding area, while still incorporating his signature style and furnishings. There are only two people living in the small apartment, so the designer decided to indulge in high-end modern goods, while still creating a livable and functional space. The pieces he selected are warm and welcoming, “I don’t think I have a particular style, to be honest,” says Irastorza. “I always try to adapt my work to the places, houses, and clients I work with. This house was my own, so it’s a bit of everything. I just knew that I wanted it to be clean and open, but also very warm.” The finished result is a home that feels harmonious and balanced — a fusion of a structure inspired by the past, and design that lives in the present.
Although the floor plan of his home is fairly open, Irastorza was able to divide the living space into multiple seating areas that serve different functions. This lengthy living area is divided into a TV viewing space at one end with a couch, and a reading space at the other end with two chaises. The couch was made in Irastorza’s workshop, while the coffee and side tables are from FLEXFORM. Both consoles are mid-century Danish pieces.
A variety of mid-century German pottery sits on top of the Danish console, accented by a vintage lamp. The primary light fixtures are Pipe, by Tom Dixon. The chaise lounges are from FLEXFORM.
“White, white, and white! I really only added pale colors — a very light mint and peach — in the bedrooms to add to the fabrics,” said Irastorza. The white pottery still manages to stand out against the home’s molded white walls, as do the vintage white wall lights from Holland. The hanging pendant is another vintage find of Irastorza’s.
The furniture and accessories Irastorza opted to use in his home are a unique mix of products that he loves, and products that he has bought all over the world. “I look mostly for things with a past —things that tell a story — and also for items from my favorite designers.”
The living room, dining room, and kitchen all remain relatively open to each other — the iron bookcase is really the only thing dividing this common living space. A clean and open space was particularly important to Irastorza, who wanted to incorporate this contemporary update into the structure of this turn-of-the-century apartment.
The combination of the bold artwork and classic furniture made the dining room Irastorza’s favorite room in his home. He found an antique French country table, which melds beautifully with the home’s golden wood floors. Chinese wooden side chairs accent the table, along with six classic Bertoia white chairs.
The amazing artwork on the wall was was a light fixture Irastorza had reworked into a sculpture to hang on the wall. The piece, found in a villa in Berlin, is covered in gold leaf. The hanging fixtures above the table are from FLOS.
A great example of Irastorza’s design style, the kitchen is extremely functional. All of the appliances are very high-end, but the space is nothing extravagant — just what is needed. All of the kitchen tiles are from the Italian tile experts at Bisazza.
Irastorza chose sink fixtures from Grohe for the kitchen, and a durable countertop material from Silestone for his sleek, white counters. The unique photograph is called “1592-4,” and is by the Korean artist Kyungwoo Chun. (How fantastic is the staging in these shots by the way? It looks like the leftovers from a late night binge.)
The open hallway lends to the light, airy, and clean feeling of the entire home. Light from a beautifully made stained-glass window fills the space. A vintage leather German chair from the ’50s and a quirky floor lamp from Spanish company Santa & Cole adds warmth.
Irastorza had a iron bookshelf installed to work as a innovative and multi-functional room divider. The different sized nooks and crannies are perfect for his wide collection of knick-knacks.
The architectural details in the main bedroom are great examples of Irastorza’s attempts to maintain 20th-century elements in the home’s structure. A understated and delicate molding at the ceiling accents the über light peach walls. Although the color is subtle, it significantly warms up what might otherwise feel like a stark room. A luxurious fur throw adds to this feel, and a chic Mies van de Rohe Barcelona chair in the corner pulls the look and color scheme together.
An authentic Moroccan rug contributes to the sense of texture in this neutrally-toned room. The chic side table is a vintage French design from the ’50s, and is highlighted by Basque, German, and Peruvian pottery. The pendant lamps — which are great alternatives to more traditional bedside lamps — are vintage German.
Irastorza chose a pale mint to highlight the walls and molding in the second bedroom of the home. A custom blue headboard complements the Ralph Lauren Home bedspread. Vintage jade-colored pendant lights, which hang daintily over a set of Danish side tables. The mirror on the wall, which is from Maxalto, is a clever way to give the illusion of a larger space.
A vintage Danish brown leather chair sits next to a French side table and old Phillips floor lamp to create a cozy window-side reading corner. The teak desk — another Danish design from the ’60s — sits away from the Moroccan rug, creating a tidy little desk area. The mint walls coincide with the green marble fireplace, adding to the room’s faint yet distinct green hue — a far cry from the stark white walls of the home’s common space.
Photos: Courtesy of Mikel Irastorza
The stately and quiet elegance of this Christmas decorated home with a beautiful restored structure in Barcelona, Spain, supports the warmly festive halo that surrounds it. The home features fun and cheerful Christmas details of natural finishes that will blends in with the decor.
Subtle Christmas Decorations: Simplicity lovers choose outside colors mixed with traditional festive decor. Natural wood and neutral tones decorate the living room.
A Versatile Lounge: This beautiful living space seems to be in constant movement and above all functional. With several auxiliary elements, with tables that can also be used as seats.
There are a mixture of coordinated styles of diversity and eclecticism, combining parts of different origin. Here a classical rug and an Alpine stool form a single corner.
Fir branches are used as a substitute for the traditional Christmas tree. Placed on a base, or even in a glass vase, decorate on their own. Aged gold and silver ornaments work great.
A Dining Room for a Special Event: For dress up party tables there are tablecloths of natural fabrics, fall to the ground. Combined with ornaments of fiber or wood and chairs that offer a very successful soft aesthetic.
Pure Simplicity in the Dining Room: Decoration based on clean and lightweight elements enrich the table. Here, a few cups of glass are used as candle holders as dim lighting for a party table. Placed on heart-shaped coasters, the result is perfect.
The kitchen highlights the successful combination of materials: wood, steel and marble.
The dining room and kitchen are open to each other for convenience when entertaining.
The bedroom, a private retreat: The master bedroom was installed in one of the most beautiful rooms of the house. Independent by an impressive wooden and glass door, it boasts beautiful wood, a wonderful mosaic floor and unique moldings.
A desk in the gazebo: As well as showing off a surprising structure, this room has a warm annex by way of a vantage point, ideal to locate the work area.
Advent wreath: A heart as an advent wreath decorates the bedroom door.
Bathroom with pieces of the past: The old spirit of the house is reflected with intensity in the bathroom where, without forgetting modern conveniences, opted for a retro deco look with vintage, painting the walls with cobalt blue and using an old style curtain rod.
Photos: Mi Casa
This unique home was once an old commercial property, a toy store, then went on to become an ultra-modern house with an amazing layout in Barcelona, Spain. Architecture studio Egue y Seta was commissioned for the reform of the project as well as the interior design. They left the essential walls, renovated facilities and combined warm materials such as iroko and oak woods , with other loft aesthetics, such as concrete, brick and galvanized sheet metal.
Glass is the key material in the reform, which directly influences the organization of space. It is mostly used in the facade, so that natural light takes the leading role. Behind the facade of glass, two fronts of vertical oak slats provide privacy on both sides of the entrance door, flanked by two walls that give life to the house. These shrubs, alongside a real indoor garden, featuring local species and bed of pine bark, forming a green triangle that provides a natural setting environment, something made possible by the special layout of the house.
To the right of the entrance are the common areas, an open plan living room, dining room and kitchen. A sunken living room was a solution for achieving spaciousness, as the difference in level creates the illusion of distance with the dining room when, in fact, they are close.
The walls are enhanced by contrasting brick wall and gray paint. The original wrought ceiling with beams was left exposed and galvanized steel ducts for air conditioning and heating was added.
The bedroom, is separated from two totally glazed volumes: the bathroom and indoor garden located in front of the entrance. Privacy is redefined as well in this house inhabited by a childless couple. In return, the owner’s can enjoy the central garden, as without a wall between the sleeping area and the bathroom, the bedroom is designed as a suite.
Photos: Mi Casa
Beautiful remnants of stone houses, courtyards full of flowers and the smell of fire between winding cobblestone streets, describes the location of this stone cottage near Sepúlveda, a village in the province of Segovia, Spain. Upon entrance to this welcoming home you are greeted with perfect simplicity centered around decorative details, memories and warm fabrics, designed by Lola Rodríguez and Eugenia Mateos.
The home has been renovated in a rustic style, retaining the traditional flavor of natural materials as protagonists, but not forgetting the accessories with color, bold prints and certain isolated pieces of retro air. A mixture — which alone works beautifully — harmonized under the cloak of white as the predominant color. The warm notes are necessary in combating the cold winters of the area, were achieved thanks to solid wood furniture , numerous area rugs covering the floor, cushions, and chunky knit blankets and faux fur throws.
Rustic living room in red and white. The white works as a lighting resource in public areas; dominates fabrics, accessories and even the paint on the roof beams to achieve a fair balance with original stone walls.
The restoration of the house are two very different trends; downstairs there are almost no partitions in the quest to open common spaces, the first floor was bricked up in order to achieve complete privacy resulting in spacious bedrooms, each one with the integrated bathroom. In any case, the common thread on both floors is a calm, bright decor and, above all, very comfortable with indigenous materials as the center of attention.
Every corner is careful and well thought out; public areas have integrated workspace and places to store things.
The feeling of surrounding fire is warm, comfortable and inviting in winter.
The home features stone walls, terracotta floors, windows and solid wood shutters. Next to the windows, the dining room has plenty of natural light.
Everything fits into the decor of the dining room, the table set country respects the same predominant line, with accessories made from natural materials such as linen, iron or wood.
The kitchen combines the traditional feel of the area with the technological advances of the twenty-first century. Thus, we find furniture and wooden cabinets work great co-existing with state of the art appliances.
The original sloping ceilings, hardwood and exposed beams, adds a strong personality to bedrooms. Seating areas are placed under the new skylights to create small private observatories in each bedroom. Overlapping rugs and striking mix of prints and colors in textiles complete that casual air.
Photos: Mi Casa