With Spain’s nationwide lockdown confining citizens to their houses, the country’s interior designers see this as a time to reassess our relationship with the home space and consider what decorative approaches work best at times like this – be it clearing out, toning down or brightening up.
A cosy corner to get lost in a book is essential for Pablo López and Iñigo Aragón of Casa Josephine, an outlet in Madrid’s El Rastro district and a homely bed & breakfast in La Rioja. ‘Long reading sessions lie ahead,’ says López, ‘so it’s ideal to have a specific space in the house for reading – and to make it as pleasant as possible.’ His nook of choice at home is on the sofa surrounded by handcrafted ornaments from La Rioja and France and Kurt Von Ballmoos paintings hanging on the walls.
For illumination specialists Marta Alonso and Imanol Calderón of Mayice Estudio, the key to a happy home is warm, thoughtful lighting. Their sculptural lamp Filamento hangs overhead in their own studio-home. They believe that lighting inside the home should resemble natural light outdoors. ‘It should be like the sun,’ says Alonso – ‘shining on you but not blinding you.’ They encourage people to use this time to experiment with DIY lighting tricks – like home-made diffusers made of paper, or a variety of LED bulbs ordered online.
Clean and clear
Minimalism is a way of life for Lorna de Santos. Her project for Casa Decor in Madrid this year featured her signature clear spaces, natural colours and earthy materials. ‘We can live with fewer things than we think,’ says de Santos. She goes for utility over ornamentation and believes that few, well-placed and useful pieces are better than overloading a space with decoration – particularly now when a clutter-free mind helps us better appreciate the things we really need.
Valencia-based studio Masqueespacio is all about bright, lively interiors, so for co-founder Christophe Penasse, now is the time to add some life to the indoor space, through bursts of colour or other natural touches. ‘Mix lively colours with other more neutral ones to create a relaxing yet inspiring ambience,’ he says. ‘Add some plants to connect with nature – they are a way of letting the space breathe, making them more human, homely and warm.’
Lucas y Hernández-Gil believes that spaces should be versatile and multipurpose, with clever splits that allow separation at the same time as openness. ‘Now that many people are having to work from home, in improvised offices that are also playrooms for their children and exercise spaces, flexibility is always an advantage,’ they say. The studio’s recent project, Casa P82, featured a sliding door, allowing the apartment to shapeshift between bedroom, lounge and study.