The internationally acclaimed designer Jaime Hayon takes us on a personal tour of his newly renovated home in Valencia, Spain, offering decorating tips along the way.
For Nienke and me, living and working in Valencia are almost the same thing. We are always in one or the other apartment. I am always sketching. I produce 2 percent of all my ideas. Many mornings I work from home and then scan my sketches in the studio and send them to my offices in Barcelona or Italy. Or, I sketch something and email it from the beach, the bar, or the airport. Our home, studio, and the city are totally related.
Only a short walk away is our other fourth-floor apartment in a late-19th-century building near the train station, the wonderful art nouveau central market, and the bull ring. It is small but it is really special because we have made it our home. Originally, I bought it as a place in which my parents could retire. It was in terrible shape and was broken into lots of tiny rooms with not much light. We basically redid the entire interior. We tore out walls, changed the electrical systems, and added new oak floors, new ceilings, and even new windows for more light. We added a new front door, a white bathroom, and an open kitchen. We specially designed furniture for it that was made to measure at a friend’s woodshop in Barcelona. We took the time to make the flat cozy and filled it with the things we love.
A home needs to be warm, comfortable, and full of light and have an overall peaceful environment. A large bathroom with a tub is essential. We installed a combination sink and lamp I designed for Bisazza Bagno that was inspired by an old mid-century book about bathrooms. They did not just do square and clinical bathrooms back then. Bathroom furniture can also be about pleasure and enjoyment.
There is a big difference between what I have at home and how I like to design and what inspires me. My design work is about questions and discovering new colorful forms and techniques. To start a piece, I always look for challenges in materials and in themes that I find curious or motivating. My house and the office need to be peaceful white spaces for me to concentrate. The funny thing is that in Valencia, even though I have a home and this large office, I often end up working in a bar where I like to listen to football commentary while I design new items. Strange, isn’t it?
For more images of the residence, please view our slideshow.