Home Tour: A Cosy Apartment In Barcelona That Combines Pastel Accents With Light Wood
Colour can influence the way we feel and shape the way we use a space—an astute understanding of this helps to set the right mood in each room. The effect of colour on our psychology is well-studied and used to canny effect by Barcelona interior design firm The Room Studio for every project; this apartment is no exception.
Located on Diagonal Street in Barcelona’s Sarrià neighbourhood, the property, which was built in the 1970s, had historic Catalan features such as marble fireplaces, large sliding doors and high ceilings; features that the client wanted to retain. However, because the outdated layout was inefficient for modern living, they changed the floor plan, opening it up to better suit the lifestyle of its present owners. The studio was thus tasked to transform a 3,229sqft apartment into a snug and sophisticated home for a family of six.
The owners wanted a home that is spacious and bright, with well-connected living spaces that flow seamlessly from one functional zone to the next. To meet their requests, The Room Studio’s founders Meritxell Ribé and Josep Puigdomènech, created three different sections within the apartment. On one side is the communal zone where the living room, music and reading room, and an indoor and outdoor dining area are located.
On the opposite side of this communal zone are the three bedrooms: the master bedroom for the parents, a shared bedroom for their two sons, and another twin room for their two daughters. The service areas—which include an entrance foyer, the kitchen, a powder room, and three bathrooms attached to the bedrooms—are located in the middle section, separating the social spaces from the private sleeping areas.
Ribé, the interior designer, and Puigdomènech, the technical architect, married Scandinavian-style purity with carefully curated artwork, statement furniture and interesting lamps to create an elegant yet nurturing home for their clients. “We sought to give the house the nobility and sobriety for which it is characterised, combining it with timelessness in different environments and creating well-lit scenes in each corner,” explain the designers.
Warm wood was paired with soft cream shades and muted pink and green pastel tones to imbue the main living spaces and the bedrooms with a cheerful and welcoming personality. Natural stone, brass details and earthy textiles were integrated into the overall design to create a stylish and peaceful sanctuary.
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The apartment’s front door opens to the entrance foyer, which has a more sober and formal aesthetic compared to the rest of the home. Decked in dark wood and furnished with a ribbed Horm cupboard, a gold-coloured Gubi table, geometric print BSB Alfombras rug and a mother of pearl CTO Lighting chandelier, this foyer conjures a sense of intrigue, providing dramatic contrast to the lighter and more expansive feel of the communal areas. “This foyer is the nucleus of division between the night and day zones, so we used darker colours to differentiate it as the axis of the house,” says Puigdomènech.
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Through this foyer, one enters the music and reading lounge, which is flanked by the main living lounge to the right, and the indoor dining to the left. These three communal areas coexist in a single, open-plan space and follow a similar colour scheme to create a cohesive design narrative.
To minimise clutter, Ribé and Puigdomènech arranged the living lounge around the building’s original fireplace, and included a retractable projector screen rather than a TV for entertainment. Wood was used both for the floor and for the wall surrounding the chimney to add warmth to the space, and for furniture, they chose soft, neutral shades. “We arranged the Novamobili sofas in a layout that would allow for comfortable viewing of the projector screen, but also enable the living lounge to work well for parties and conversations with friends,” says Ribé.
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“The owners love to read and play the piano, so we created a section of the living area as a smaller, cosy lounge corner with two comfortable armchairs and an auxiliary table to break from the formality of the main living lounge,” says Puigdomènech. Here, plush Gubi chairs, a Gervasoni side table, a round BSB Alfombras rug, and a framed photo and sculpture from Barcelona art gallery Victor Lope Arte Contemporaneo come together to create an intimate and relaxing mood.
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A breakfast island bar and an informal dining nook make up the kitchen space. “Because there are six members in the family, we added an island with stools so it can double as a dining bar. We also included a bench and table in one corner for extra kitchen dining space.” Fitted with a sliding glass partition, the kitchen can be opened fully to connect with the formal indoor dining area, which, like the foyer, also follows a darker colour scheme and exudes a more sophisticated ambience. Glass doors connect the indoor dining space to an outdoor dining terrace.
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The colours of the living room are echoed in the master bedroom, which opens out to a small terrace that draws in plenty of natural light. “We used the same soft, light hues as the living area in the master bedroom to create an elegant and quiet oasis. In the master bathroom, we used wood and stone to create a calming brown and grey colour scheme,” says Ribé.
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Both the children’s rooms were designed with two study areas, a play area and a dressing room. “The children’s favourite colours were used, distinguishing their personalities and expressing their characters,” share the designers. Blue is the dominant colour in the boys’ room, and pink is used in the girls’ room.
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Every detail of this apartment has been carefully selected to create a cosy haven for the family. “The well-considered lighting pieces, which include handmade and blown-glass Italian lamps, as well as lamps from Danish brands like Northern, Gubi and Normann Copenhagen, were used to create specific scenes and atmospheres in the different areas,” share the designers. “We also specially selected upholstery fabrics to make the large open spaces cosier and more intimate.”
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- Photography Maurice Fuertes