Before & After: An Ancient Barcelona Apartment Gets a Colorful, Chic Makeover
When Barcelona–based firm Colombo and Serboli Architecture (CaSA) was approached to renovate an ancient apartment in Born—the oldest neighborhood in the city—there was no denying they had their work cut out for them. Yet, thanks to strategic planning and innovative design, this team surpassed expectations, delivering a stunning transformation.
Keep scrolling to see the mesmerizing "before" and "after" images.
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With high-beamed ceilings, strong walls, and large shuttered windows, the outdated home had good bones. However, it was extremely dark and compact due to its original layout. In addition, it lacked an adequate amount of storage, which was highly important to the client—a young Italian woman working in the fashion industry.
To accommodate her request, the team knocked down all the internal partitions—except for one thick structural wall around the bedroom— and removed a false ceiling to brighten the unit and fully enhance the great proportions of the space.
Bespoke cabinetry was also added in the home, and soon became one of the key features of the project. The deep blue—boiserie-like—floor-to-ceiling cabinets now divide the entrance from the living area, converting the hall into a disguised walk-in-wardrobe.
Thanks to two large balcony windows, the kitchen and living room now benefit from illuminating natural light, making the space feel refreshingly airy. Although the original woodwork was restored to preserve the detailed motifs and shutters, the area was painted a crisp, clean white shade to increase brightness.
The living room is carefully styled with a tight selection of chic furniture. For example, a Mags sofa by HAY is complemented by a Roll Club Chair from Kettal, and there is also a Cala side table by Doshi Levien, as well as a Vieques side table by Patricia Urquiola—both from Kettal.
Another client request was to have a guest bathroom, independent from the master bedroom. Once again, this became another major highlight of the redesign, as the architects hid the bathroom in a coral-colored volume off the kitchen.