AD Small Spaces: This 430-square-foot flat in Barcelona is fluent in timeless design
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AD Small Spaces: This 430-square-foot flat in Barcelona is fluent in timeless design

What was a workshop doing up in the attic of a 1960s apartment building? No one is exactly sure of the space’s story, but its new incarnation is as a uniquely charming home. A young couple found the 430-square-foot flat in Barcelona, in the town of Argentona. The space had been subdivided too many times and it was filled with junk, but it also had two beautiful terraces and incredible views of the Mediterranean coast. The couple decided to create their first home together there. “Maybe at the time the building was constructed it was common to have a commercial space in the attic, but I had never seen anything like it before,” says Alex March, the interior designer in charge of the renovation.

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The flat’s kitchen opens onto the living/dining room, forming an L-shaped area. Ceramic tiles in a muted lime green contrast with the black and white colour scheme of the furniture and walls. The natural rattan Balón lamp is by Trenat.

Flavia Ribeiro

From the beginning it was clear that the main challenge of the renovation would be a matter of scale: to “choose the right size for each space and carefully plan the location of different elements.” Despite the reduced dimensions, the owners were clear that they needed a dressing room and a home office, adding to the obstacles involved in creating a functional layout.

“We opened up the space as much as we could,” says March, “we had to make the most of a small area so that all of the rooms would be sufficiently large and we didn’t lose the natural cross-lighting. We’re responsible for the client feeling comfortable and we don’t want to sacrifice space in the bedroom just to create a cooler living room.”

Also read: AD Small Spaces: Tour a vintage 753-square-foot apartment in Rome from the 1960s

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For the dining room, March chose a white matt lacquered Swedish table from the ’60s and chairs from the ‘70s by Jordi Vilanova that had been painted black. “Thanks to that colour choice, we took the Mediterranean style in a different direction,” he explains.

Flavia Ribeiro

Speaking The Local Language

Argentona is located in the interior of the Maresme, a region of Catalonia in Spain that is known for its Mediterranean beaches, extensive pine forests, and famous crafts traditions, especially pottery. The owners wanted their home to embrace the spirit of the area. “The Mediterranean is there, it’s unavoidable—the building is where it is. The structure of diagonal beams in the roof is one very local element and we wanted to preserve it,” March adds.