A 1930s Barcelona Apartment Is Revitalized Into an Airy Abode

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By Michele Koh Morollo
A triangular-shaped penthouse in the city center becomes a bright home that wonderfully connects with the outdoors.

When the owners wished to create more functional, fluid spaces in the 3,229-square-feet historic home known as Rambla Cataluna, there was one problem. Due to the penthouse being composed of two hexagons that meet at right angles, the unit featured a very complex floor plan.

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A look at the floor lamp by Pulpo Lighting, coffee table by Cassina, armchair by Mod: Ro, and ottoman by Fritz Hansen.

A look at the floor lamp by Pulpo Lighting, coffee table by Cassina, armchair by Mod: Ro, and ottoman by Fritz Hansen.

Fritz Hansen armchair; Ox table lamp; auxiliar tables by Meritxell Ribé -The Room Studio.

Fritz Hansen armchair; Ox table lamp; auxiliar tables by Meritxell Ribé -The Room Studio.

Yet, Barcelona firm Meritxell Ribé - The Room Studio was up for this design challenge and renovated the space using a variety of different woods, tiles, metals, and a mix of modern and antique furniture to give the apartment a warm, regal, and charming Spanish atmosphere. 

A dining table by Meritxell Ribé-The Room Studio; chairs by Cassina.

A dining table by Meritxell Ribé-The Room Studio; chairs by Cassina.

Desk chair by Cassina; armchair and suspended lamp by Meritxell Ribé-The Room Studio.

Desk chair by Cassina; armchair and suspended lamp by Meritxell Ribé-The Room Studio.

Lime tiles were used for the walls, while light, neutral colors were paired with dark purples, greens, and black for a dramatic contrast. 

A look at the remodeled kitchen.

A look at the remodeled kitchen.

Hydraulic cement tiles on the floor were used to create a visual "pathway" to the solarium.

Hydraulic cement tiles on the floor were used to create a visual "pathway" to the solarium.

Colorful, contemporary furniture was combined with older elements from the original space, such as stained glass windows, restored doors, and trimmings, to harmonize the past with the present. 

An armchair by Teodora Exteriorismo on the roof deck.

An armchair by Teodora Exteriorismo on the roof deck.

Wood vases on the roof deck by Meritxell Ribé-The Room Studio.

Wood vases on the roof deck by Meritxell Ribé-The Room Studio.

The living room, which has marble floors and gold-colored accents, flows seamlessly into the dining area with plenty of warm, dark wood.

Accessories from Antique Boutique.

Accessories from Antique Boutique.

A close-up of the antique cabinet that was found in the old apartment.

A close-up of the antique cabinet that was found in the old apartment.

The kitchen, which has patterned cement-tile floors, flows into a bright solarium encased in glass walls. This area connects to the dining room, and is separated from the living room by recovered glass cases. The solarium connects to a spacious outdoor deck. 

A look at the original interior door that was restored.

A look at the original interior door that was restored.

Patterned hydraulic tiles on the bedroom floor.

Patterned hydraulic tiles on the bedroom floor.

Black tones, gold accents, and dark woods were used in the bathroom, echoing the color scheme in the living areas. 

Bathroom fixtures from The Watermark Collection.

Bathroom fixtures from The Watermark Collection.

This antique cabinet was also used in the original property.

This antique cabinet was also used in the original property.

"Each space is equipped with the maximum functionality, where the goal was the connection and dialogue between all the spaces in the house," says Meritxell Ribé, one of the firm’s founders. 

The original stained glass was retained in the kitchen.

The original stained glass was retained in the kitchen.

Project Credits: 

Architecture: Meritxell Ribé - The Room Studio 

Interior design: Meritxell Ribé - The Room Studio 

Builder, cabinetry, and lighting design: The Room Work SL