The bright and breezy spirit of the Mediterranean inspired the renovation of this apartment in Barcelona’s Ensanche district.
Barcelona interior design practice The Room Studio renovated this single-level apartment in Barcelona’s Ensanche district, transforming it into a home that celebrates the relaxed Mediterranean lifestyle. Located In the historical residential and college neighbourhood of l'Antiga Esquerra de l'Eixample within the district of Ensanche, the apartment is located within a building designed by 19th century Spanish urban planner Ildefons Cerdà. The Room Studio and their clients wanted to respect the building’s historical architecture in a way that would bring in the Mediterranean spirit of Barcelona into the space. Various factors influenced the design decisions.
“The house had existing elements that could not be changed, such as shared ducts, which had to be integrated into the design,” says Josep Puigdomènech, one of The Room Studio’s co-founders. “By working around the constraints and highlighting the building’s distinctive features such as its large windows, the designers created a cosy and charming residence with a Mediterranean character and a distinctive feel of Barcelona's Eixample. “We accomplished this by playing on the advantage of the large living room window, which is very typical of apartments in this area. The natural materials and the emphasis on natural light are also key elements in the success of this project,” he adds.
The clients are a foreign couple with a young child who were looking for a second residence in Barcelona. Their needs were primarily to create a Mediterranean-style home with open, cosy, and elegant spaces. The couple are also avid readers, so it was important that there were comfortable and serene reading spaces throughout the home. It was also important to them that the interiors had good circulation, and plenty of open spaces and natural light.
To meet their brief, The Room Studio came up with a new layout for the apartment that was organised around a large and elegant central hall that divides the space into two very distinct areas. The two areas are an open, “daytime” common zone encompassing the kitchen, living room, and dining room, and a private “nighttime” zone, where the master suite, the son's bedroom, and a third room for guests are located. Along the central hallway that connects the social and private zones, are two bathrooms and a small, fully-equipped laundry room.
“The daytime area consists of an integrated kitchen, living and dining room that’s configured as a large, bright, and open space. The kitchen, for example, has a light and structural central island that rises from the floor, exposing the beautiful coloured ceramic tiles that cover the kitchen floor,” says Meritxell Ribé, the studio’s other co-founder.
In the living space are a sofa by Cappellini, a coffee table by &Tradition, wall lamp by Nemo Lighting, rug by Amini, armchairs by Expormim, a Vibia floor lamp, a bar cabinet by Verpan, and vases by Serax. In the dining area are a table by Nikari, chairs by Verpan, sideboards by Novamobili, glassware by Ferm Living and Serax, hanging lamps by Le Klint, vases by &Tradition, and a floor lamp by SKLO. The kitchen is furnished with wall lamps by Artemide. Furniture used in the bedrooms include hanging lamps by Nordic Tales, glassware by Ferm Living, a rug by Gan Rugs, fabrics by Lo de Manuela, armchairs by &Tradition, a side table by Menu, and a floor lamp by Ferm Living.
The lighting scheme was carefully designed to create different moods in different parts of the home. The size and position of the windows allow an abundance of natural light to fill the interiors. “In addition, the artificial lighting has been meticulously thought out to create unique and versatile lighting environments that adapt to the different needs and activities of the clients. Indirect lights have been incorporated to enhance the architecture and details of the house, decorative lamps that provide warmth and personality and recessed spotlights were also included to offer functional and adaptable lighting,” says Puigdomènech.
In the living room and bedrooms, elegant herringbone parquet bring an air of classical sophistication. Modern, pastel-coloured, durable, stain resistant ceramic and porcelain tiles were chosen for the kitchen and bathrooms.
“The wooded furniture, which was made to measure, is one of the most remarkable aspects of this project, as each piece was designed to make the most of every corner and available space. This allows for optimal storage and functionality, while maintaining the stylistic consistency and warmth of natural wood,” says Ribé.
Decisions about the colour scheme were made based on the couple’s different personalities. The wife is a cheerful and outgoing person who loves vibrant shades and rich textures, while the husband prefers relaxed and serene environments. To achieve the perfect balance, a neutral base colour was chosen and splashes of bold, accent colours were used as décor.
“This renovation project has successfully transformed an old and compartmentalised apartment into a modern and luminous home that reflects the Mediterranean essence of Barcelona and the balance between the owners' personalities. The residence has become an authentic oasis of tranquility in the vibrant heart of Barcelona and is a perfect example of how a well-considered renovation can breathe new life into a space,” says Ribé.
Photos by Meritxell Arjalaguer