A Barcelona Apartment Gets a Softly Modern Renovation

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By Heather Corcoran / Published by Dwell
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A updated apartment reveals its Catalan roots.

It's hard to believe from the looks of it, but just a year ago, a bright apartment not far from Barcelona's famous Sagrada Família was dark, dingy, and—according to the designers who radically renovated the space—downright spooky. 

To make the space feel brighter, all of the walls—even bricks—are painted white, which contrasts with the raw brick ceiling and original brown tile floors. The Recast Plus sofa bed, with a pink hue that echoes the brick ceiling, is from Innovation Living. The blown-glass Gordiola pendants are a design the resident saw in a Mallorca hotel that Bloomint designed.

To make the space feel brighter, all of the walls—even bricks—are painted white, which contrasts with the raw brick ceiling and original brown tile floors. The Recast Plus sofa bed, with a pink hue that echoes the brick ceiling, is from Innovation Living. The blown-glass Gordiola pendants are a design the resident saw in a Mallorca hotel that Bloomint designed.

But when an Egyptian artist named Hana moved in to the 1,400-square-foot four-bedroom with her two children, she called upon the three designers that make up the interior design firm Bloomint—Caroline Jaussaud, Caroline Savin, and Manu Bauza—to revive the space. 

An original iron boiler the designers discovered during the renovation was kept in the kitchen as decoration. The counter is white pine, and the green tiles were sourced from Can Benito a studio in Mallorca. 

An original iron boiler the designers discovered during the renovation was kept in the kitchen as decoration. The counter is white pine, and the green tiles were sourced from Can Benito a studio in Mallorca. 

Their first step was to dig into the existing apartment, ripping away layers to uncover old wallpaper and original architectural details. Quickly, they discovered their plan was worth it, as the apartment's history began to reveal itself. 

Demolition revealed the apartment's original brick ceiling.

Demolition revealed the apartment's original brick ceiling.

Located in the city's Eixample district, the first-floor flat bares all the hallmarks of traditional Catalan architecture: a vaulted brick ceiling, wood beams, tile floor, and a long, narrow layout that let in little natural light.

To combat any feelings of claustrophobia, the design team combined the kitchen, living, and dining areas into one open space for entertaining. Further interior interventions in the six-month project include the addition of a third bathroom and a linen closet.

The open kitchen is the centerpiece of the renovated apartment. Bloomint designed the island. 

The open kitchen is the centerpiece of the renovated apartment. Bloomint designed the island. 

A mix of natural and artificial lighting further brightens the apartment. Existing glazing was replaced by more energy-efficient double-paned windows, while lamps were given LED bulbs with a warm hue chosen to give the space a cozy glow.

The original doors were salvaged and given a fresh coat of blue paint. The resident brought many of the rugs were from Egypt.

The original doors were salvaged and given a fresh coat of blue paint. The resident brought many of the rugs were from Egypt.

The furniture is a mix of custom designs by Bloomint, pieces from European brands, and flea market finds, including a pair of armchairs that were bright orange when the designers found them, but have seen been reupholstered a playful palm frond pattern. The owner's collection of rugs and accessories from Egypt rounds out the eclectic decor.

Once dark and "spooky," the narrow hallway is now illuminated with LED lights chosen for their warm color. Diffused glass helps soften the glow.

Once dark and "spooky," the narrow hallway is now illuminated with LED lights chosen for their warm color. Diffused glass helps soften the glow.

In modernizing the space, Bloomint created a bright and open environment where the family can host guests—a favorite pastime they can now make the most of on their pair of refreshed patios.

The patio features a cement floor inlaid with traditional <i>baldosa hidráulico</i> tiles by Pinar Miró. A friend of the resident painted the mural.

The patio features a cement floor inlaid with traditional baldosa hidráulico tiles by Pinar Miró. A friend of the resident painted the mural.


The floor plan of the renovated apartment.

The floor plan of the renovated apartment.