The first-time home owners who snapped up this Catalan apartment were excited to make their space their own. While planning to renovate and modernize their first apartment, the criteria was for plenty of greenery and excellent storage space while also maintaining a zen-inspired atmosphere with Scandinavian and industrial touches.
Another core element of the design brief was to make sure the home was suitable for both of them and their golden retriever Piruleta. One of the biggest challenges with open plan loft apartments is the difficulty of keeping noise down or being out of one another’s hair. So instead of pulling walls down, this loft apartment saw walls go up! Enlisting the help of design studio Egue y Seta, the pair are thrilled with their new home, which hits all the right marks.
Here in the entrance hallway you can see particular care has been given to providing plenty of light for greenery, thanks to the steel-framed windows. It’s a bit like having your own greenhouse!
Before the project started, its main problem was the lack of partitions. Being an open plan style studio made it hard to share the space with someone else. As Sarah Salas from Egue y Seta explains, the old loft apartment “required a single tenant, or absolute synchronicity of habits and schedules of those sharing the space. If one was to get up early in the morning, the other would have to put up with, from the bed, the light from the kitchen and the noise. All in all, quite spacious but not very practical, to be honest.”
Now separating the sleeping area from the living area, and carefully demarcating each zone, the couple are better able to use the space. They are happy with its visual permeability, spaciousness and versatility.
While many modern homes try to open themselves up as much as possible, in this renovation the couple really wanted to have a separate hallway. The indoor greenery and windows beyond have a certain charm in being able to frame the window. This both lets in more light to the other rooms, and creates a bold aesthetic statement.
The monochromatic kitchen is a great feature. Just look at that gorgeous finish and focus between the black and white areas. The countertops and faucets are finished in black giving the room a chic look. Another absolute must for the couple were to incorporate cement tiles, a quintessential Catalonian look, that fit perfectly in this industrial-esque kitchen.
Featuring plenty of storage in the kitchen, the items left on show soften the look. While sleek black and white minimalism dominates the cabinetry and ceiling moldings, the pops of pastel and color will surely come even more alive with the sights, smells and tastes during food preparation.
With black increasingly becoming more of a norm at home, this kitchen faucet seems chic and zen-like.
A home with everything to hand, the living space is demarcated easily for each zone. The sofa commands the centre of the room, for relaxation. The dining area blurs the boundary for entertaining while staying close to the kitchen, with the home office set up away from distraction from the TV.
A sweet spot of the home is this interstitial space between the living room, bedroom, and the home office. It was conceived as a space for relaxation and reading, furnished with a colorful turquoise armchair and lively rug. Looking out over the balcony, it’s an enticing spot to relax in, particularly when Piruleta is there to be patted.
If you’re curious about the home office, although the couple do not work from home, it was important to have a space to read and work. It works well as both a home office space, and boundary wall to the hallway.
What is noticeable about the apartment is the ceiling beams used to help create the different zones. The black beams with white spaces are softened with the warm wood flooring and cabinetry, and the exposed brick wall.
You’ll also notice that the black and white theme is continued in the bedroom, inverted with the black ceiling.
Whereas the completely open plan loft apartment was inconvenient for more than one person sharing the space, this bedroom hits the sweet spot between isolated yet spacious. There is plenty of wardrobe space incorporated into the suite, and a convenient toilet, sink and shower space is at the back of the room behind the headboard.
The new partition wall provides privacy, but also plenty of gorgeous views over the balcony.
I really like the detailing here with the white-to-wood cabinets. Paired with the sandy walls, white wardrobe behind, and the dark ceiling, it’s a great balance of materials, colors and calm.
Egue y Seta relayed their biggest tip for readers looking to redesign an open plan space that has lots of privacy. Remember to first “lay out the routines” for everybody who will be living in the space. You want to work out where the incompatible use of space is. “This will tell you what ‘walls’ or at least the degree of opaqueness and connection you should allow between areas.”
With a suitable balance between private and public spaces, delicate blending of materials and a clear use for each space, it’s clear that the home owners have been through this process of laying the routines. I think my favorite spot would have to be the reading corner!
If you’re curious to see more projects by Egue y Seta, be sure to check out the ‘Temple to Earthly Families’ home tour that overlooks Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia.