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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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