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Category Archives: ART & DESIGN

HOUSE WITH FRENCH ACCENT

This small townhouse in Aravaca (Madrid) perfectly reflects the personality of its owner. It breathes tranquility, simplicity and luminosity. Feminine but subtle. Minimal but warm. Balanced.

The owner of this house had it for many years but had never lived there since she had worked in different countries for the French Embassy since she was young. Although Spanish has always been linked to that country, “to the point of having an accent”, according to the architect Helena Martín, responsible for the transformation of the home. When she retired, she wanted to live in Spain again and have a home in which to feel recognized. That was the big challenge.

“The original house was quite dark (all the living room and kitchen faces north), very compartmentalized, had a closed staircase lined with wood … and what the owner was looking for was an open, comfortable space that reminded her a little to the spacious and clear houses in which she had always lived, “explains Helena Martín, who, in order to do so, left the ground floor almost completely open and the whole stairway was demolished to make a new, open and light. In addition, in the upstairs plant a bedroom was suppressed to give more amplitude to the others and to be able to create a dressing room in the main one.

In the decoration is where Helena wanted to capture with more closeness the personality of the owner. “I tried to create a neutral base and give soft touches using colors in complements,” explains the interior designer and architect. Salon, chose a large sofa in linen color, vintage Persian rug, a pair of aged mirrors to support the search for light, a wooden table and demolition reddish pink lacquered desktop that provides color.

The house has a small garden and modified the porch to give half to the kitchen and make an office with large windows overlooking the garden, which serves as dining room. For that part, Helena designed a table made of iron lacquered in green, with an envelope in marble, and with a fabric of Ikea made some seats in black and white that soon accompanied with many cushions in the same tones. To give a little warmth, he put on chairs and a lamp with a slightly more country-like appearance. The perfect space to enjoy a good wine with a table of French cheeses.

FARM LIFE

Antiquaries Juan Castro and Juan Sorzo bought a three-storey farm and restored it with elements of the period. There, without a refrigerator or heating, time seems to have stopped.

Here the rustic is not a mere decorative choice, it is a way of life. Some rooms lack electricity, and where there are, it is limited to one or two plugs. The only heating is provided by the chimneys, and the pots are also brought in so that the stews go slowly, because there are no stoves in either of the two kitchens. Instead of a fridge there is a fridge, and the bathroom door is locked with a stick.

Juan Castro and Juan Sorzo, on their holidays, practice a total immersion in their beloved past and live as Amish Castilians in their shelter in Linares de Sotocuevas, a hamlet north of Burgos with four houses, a town hall and a medieval church . They had searched La Vera, Teruel, Soria and even Alicante, and when they did not expect it, they found this ad on the Internet: “The house is sold in Las Merindades.”

“We did not like it very much, but the place was a paradise. It was a boy from Madrid who had bought it but did not dare to put a hand on it, “recalls Castro. The construction, which was born as a free farm 300 years ago, was imposing: enormous limestone blocks, thick examples of oak and walnut, such as beams, handmade bricks and Roman tiles. At the beginning of the XX was divided between two sisters and then the second floor, the salon was built. They were offered half of the old house with the covered patio and the bunk, 600 m2 in a state of neglect. “I am used to working with wood and saw that the vigueria was impeccable, that the walls, a meter and a half wide, were well and settled firmly in the rock,” continues the antiquarian.

They bought it on Reyes Day a few years ago, and recently they just restored the roof, because to face such a mastodon work they only wanted the help of a local rigger, plumbers and electricians; the rest did so with their own hands. They chopped the plaster from the walls to remove the stone, then stuck the ones from the current kitchen, where the animals were kept, disinfected, closed the hollow of the patio covered with poplar planks, restored the floor of oak tables ten centimeters thick … “We’ve always been a very tight family,” laughs Castro. My mother comes and goes to meet us or once a year, along with the rest of the town, we wash among all the carpets in the fountain and we lay them in the communal meadow. ”

The Juanes’ intention was to preserve everything as faithfully as possible, using elements of the time, such as crystals, patiently looking for old replacements, ecological materials and traditional techniques. “When we did not know, we asked the people of the village. They have always maintained their homes without help, and they have taught us the best way to treat the wood and how to drive away the bats, “they explain. They have not moved partitions or opened new gaps, and their respect is such that some rooms lack electricity because they do not rub. They have only changed the use of the stove, now a dining room of 100 m2 suitable for the Castro colonies that are organized summers, during which the nine bedrooms (and two living rooms, two bathrooms and two dining rooms) are filled with grandparents, nephews , brothers with spouses and friends.

Some furniture is the result of these coexistences. Like the dining table in the kitchen, three meters long, they improvised with the centennial oak planks of the floor one day of special attendance. Or the countertop in the upstairs living room, which they also pooped at the protests of the guests that there was no sofa in the house. Being antiquarians they had advantage to fill so many meters. The rustic and popular antiques they sold in Tado were perfect.

“We also raided the lofts of the family, the people of the village gave us chairs, stools, trunks, and when we bought for the stores in France and Denmark, we had left for Burgos what we could not sell of ramshackle,” says Castro. It tells that his great-grandmother Nana was antiquary and that already of small his grandmothers took to him to auctions and the Rastro; both collecting pottery, carpets, fabrics … Veneration for the old comes in the DNA and here is lived to its ultimate consequences.

WOULD YOU BET IT IS PARIS?

When an interior designer decorates her own home in Paris, the result is always as peculiar as personal. The most fashionable decorator in France, Emilie Bonaventure, showed us in her Parisian flat.


Emilie Bonaventure – founder of the be-attitude agency in 2005 – is all that and her projects prove it to perfection. She is an interior architect, designer, decorator and contemporary art expert, passionate about fashion and gastronomy.

Located in the 9th arrondissement, on the famous street des Martyrs in the district of Montmartre, Emilie Bonaventure’s apartment is his personal refuge but until recently it was also his office. Here, she used to work with her team, particularly in the dining room where the Rose Bakery Team Room concept was born, for example, in the Le Bon Marché store. Today Emilie has an office outside her house, just a few meters from her bright and typically Parisian apartment that has a wooden floor, moldings and fireplaces.

Emilie studied art history at the school of the Louvre and the decor of her home reflects her taste for discipline and especially for objects. “An object is a part of itself, a piece of its own puzzle,” he says. Each element of his apartment tells a story and many were found in the flea market of Saint-Ouen (on the outskirts of Paris). Furniture from the 40s, 50s and 60s coexist with contemporary works of art.

In general, Emilie designs colorful creations with many contrasts. On the contrary, it privileged in its home the neutral tones like the Wimborne White of Farrow & Ball that is combined with some brown and black touches. In the room, he chose pieces from different periods – such as Geoffrey Harcourt’s chair and the neon work of the artist Eric Michel – but with the same types of colors. In the dining room where the table is by Angelo Mangiarotti, the chairs are from the 50’s and the brass lamp dates from the 70’s, the David Hicks wallpaper for Au Fil des Couleurs stands out.

Totally black and gray, the kitchen adorned with works by Pierre Soulages is one of the key spaces. Emilie loves to cook, a passion that was born from her childhood, because her parents own restaurants. “When I was eight, I was fortunate enough to eat with chef Marc Veyrat. I never forgot this experience. The mixture of curiosity, imagination, creativity and professionalism that characterizes it has become a true example for me, a way of thinking. ”

The chromatic palette of the bedroom refers to the living room and provides a peaceful feeling. Interested in people in their everyday universe and their relationship with objects in their environment, Emilie Bonaventure always seeks to generate new ideas to give life to spaces with style.