Short Story of a Tall Tale in Madrid |
Short Story of a Tall Tale in Madrid

Short Story of a Tall Tale in Madrid

Home tour through charming Chamartín house

Isobel McKenzie
Written by –
Isobel McKenzie
on June 9th 2016
Originally from London, Isobel is enthralled by the curves and lines that make up a city. It's fascinating to see how modern skyscrapers and historic landmarks muddle together. Her Instagram feed @Isobel_McKenzie is usually full of spiral staircases and tall buildings. Can also be found on Twitter.. sometimes.

A Live-In Tale In Madrid


Vicugo Foto

Madrid is a Spanish city with many stories to tell, and this house is filled with stories too!


Built in the 50s, the home is located in the northern suburb of Chamartín. The family who now own it are a couple with children, looking to update the house to make it feel like somewhere they can call home. Explicitly their visions of an ideal home is: somewhere personal, that provides a great place for their kids to be inspired. The wife is a philologist, and you can see her love of language and literature stretches through the house.

Open plan living room and dining table in this home for book lovers in Chamartín, Madrid |

Snaking your way from the garden, along the terrace and through the sliding glass doors you come to the family room. It’s a big wide open space with gorgeous high ceilings. It perfectly shows off its height with the long drop pendant lamps over the dining room table.

Open plan style home in Spanish city of Madrid, features a complex library |

Like the Library of Babel, bookcases reach to the ceiling in this room. The deep dark red mahogany colored wood shelves are solid and sturdy to hold the couple’s collection. The custom made shelves provide 30 vertical square meters of book space, relocated from the couple’s previous home. The dark colors on the walls, with mix and match patterns in the room are a great example of fun and clever casual chic.

Open plan living arrangements with plenty of bookshelf space on the walls |
Open plan living space with mid-century styling, plenty of book space |

The vintage armchairs are as old as the house. But with their pastel colors and hairpin-style feet, they are still refined and look perfect in this room.

A charming mid-century style in this open plan living room, Spain |
image source
Plenty of bookshelves in this open plan living room with mid-century modern styling |

The designers rescued this enormous dining table from a 19th century French farmhouse, paired with a selection of chairs. Meanwhile, the large cognac colored chesterfield sofa sits stoutly and assured in the center of the room. This medley of patterns and prints is made possible by sticking to a simple palette. The room uses solid refined brown colors and accents them with blue patterns and textures; it’s all a cool tone. Cool, and unquestionably refreshing.

Chamartín kitchen and dining room, with family art and warm wood tones |

Check out the art on the walls in this kitchen, and you can feel that the family home has been decorated with images and icons that inspire them.

Chamartín kitchen and dining room, with family art and warm wood tones |
Open plan Chamartín kitchen and dining room, with warm Scandinavian wood tones and clear glass cabinets |

The kitchen has white walls, paired with soft wood colors on the floor and long drawers that are all of a similar grain. Notice also the strip of brushed cement by the food preparation area. I love the big wide windows that open up, and I’m a little surprised not to see the heavy shutters often found in Spain to block out the midday sunlight!

Open plan Chamartín kitchen and dining room, with warm Scandinavian wood tones and clear glass cabinets |
Wood materials meet microcement for dark bathroom |
Microcement and wood materials in this bathroom |

The style in this room is of economic aesthetic, only using two materials; wood and microcement. An artificial cement topper that you can put over different materials to create the same look on walls and floors. The overall effect of the room is a space of practical lines and dark simplicity.

Fun bunk bed frame in children's bedroom Wood materials meet microcement for dark bathroom |

Upstairs the fun continues. In the kids’ room, the bunk bed doubles as a playhouse with a ladder and climbing rope to ascend and descend. Many bed time stories to be had in here! But I do wonder where the bookshelves are hidden away…

Black and white bathroom with cute geometric mini-tiles |

That Kohler basin is simple divine, isn’t it? I love the big faucets and large tub space, great for two little ones to wash their hands together.

Gorgeous large basic in black and white bathroom |

So elegant and turn of the century, but matched with the Hisbalit hexagon tiles it looks cute and funky. If you’re jotting down ideas for your own bathroom, and you’re not so sure about the swathes of single color tiles, think about ways you could include patterns in the design.Honeycomb tiles could be interspersed with black tiles to create flower patterns, stripes, or framing around different areas in the room.

Gorgeous bathroom basin with wide faucets |
Master suite bathroom featuring double sink and full bathtub |

The kids’ bathroom has a basin big enough for two little ones. As you might expect, the master bathroom is adult sized, designed for two with its set of double sinks and twin mirrors. The countertop stretches along far enough for you to leave your book on the ledge when it’s time to dip into the tub for a soak.

Master suite bathroom featuring double sink and full bathtub |

The mirrors are super cute, I like how they use different but similar shapes.

Shower and bathtub in the master suite bathroom |

Look at the unusual shape of the room – the ceiling beam shows that it’s not your typical square outline. It can be hard sometimes for smaller rooms to get a bed that doesn’t dwarf the rest of the space. But it is important if you want to be able to move around. Nevertheless, that simple chic feel we have seen in other parts of the house are recreated here, with the cool blue and brown tones.

Simple decor in the bedroom gives focus to the window |

Much like the room, the windows are definitely not square. It gives the house that unique flair, that makes it interesting!

Steel metal folded into steps look delicate and artsy |

Twisting its way upstairs, this staircase is made from reinforced steel. It has been blocked off on the side to prevent any accidents, but it is thin enough to allow light through the slats.

Library and steel metal folded into steps reach up to bedroom loft space |

So many levels to choose from. Roosting at the top of the house is another space under the sloped roof, that doubles as a guest bedroom.

Hammock makes reading time fun |

The book case is so tall up here that it has a sliding ladder to help you get to the highest bits! The ladder also goes up to a net area where you can, quite literally, “hang” with the fam. A fun place to relax, you’ll notice there’s no TV up here! A space to read, relax and play some piano. I only wish I had a room like this at the top of my house.


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