Cos­mopoli­tan Al­lure


Singapore Tatler Homes - - CONTENTS -

This Barcelona apart­ment com­bines the sim­plic­ity of sym­met­ri­cal lines with a lux­u­ri­ous mix of colour and ma­te­ri­als

Merg­ing con­tem­po­rary el­e­ments with Art Deco and Haussmann-in­spired Parisian de­tails, this el­e­gant third-floor apart­ment in Sant Ger­vasi, Barcelona presents an in­ter­est­ing med­ley of shapes and tex­tures. The home of a fam­ily of three—a cou­ple who works in the fash­ion in­dus­try and their young daugh­ter—was de­signed by Chilean­born, Barcelona-based in­te­rior de­signer Jaime Beri­es­tain. It has three fa­cades, in a con­fig­u­ra­tion that’s quite un­com­mon for Barcelona apart­ments. This cre­ates a very open in­te­rior that in­cor­po­rates mas­sive out­ward-fac­ing win­dows.


The start­ing point for Beri­es­tain’s con­cept was in­spired by the ar­chi­tec­tural style of Ge­orges-eu­gène Haussmann, who helmed the ren­o­va­tions of Paris from 1853 to 1870. The Haussmann aes­thetic favours dra­co­nian spec­i­fi­ca­tions, a sym­met­ri­cal axis and a dis­tinctly no­ble aes­thetic with clearly dif­fer­en­ti­ated zones. To lay down the foun­da­tions for this style, Beri­es­tain added 20cm-high sock­ets and mould­ings on the walls and ceil­ings, as well as cap­i­tals on the door frames and dou­ble doors. He re­con­fig­ured the dis­tri­bu­tion of space, cre­at­ing axes and elim­i­nat­ing rooms. “This re­sults in a bright, warm and so­phis­ti­cated apart­ment that one can imag­ine in Paris or Lon­don,” ex­plains the de­signer. Sculp­tural ap­pliqués, which con­vey the sym­met­ri­cal char­ac­ter­is­tics of the Haussmann era, were used in the en­trance hall.


The liv­ing area, which is mostly fur­nished in vary­ing tones of grey, is di­vided into two lounge sec­tions: a com­mu­nal read­ing area with a large L-shaped sofa and Pierre Jean­neret arm­chairs; and a re­cep­tion cor­ner with a silk up­hol­stered Flex­form sofa, a cus­tom-made Beri­es­tain coffee ta­ble and arm­chairs, and splashes of vel­vet. A long car­pet con­nects the two sec­tions. There is also a mini-lounge area in front of a fire­place with a 1940s-style lin­tel made of Mar­quina mar­ble, also de­signed by Beri­es­tain. Por­to­bello gran­ite, hand­crafted white tiles, Cana­dian pine cabi­netry, wooden pan­els and a rein­ter­pre­ta­tion of tra­di­tional French cabo­chon floor­ing can be seen in the kitchen, which also in­cludes an over­sized is­land counter that serves as a gath­er­ing place for quick meals. In the din­ing room is a Beri­es­tain-de­signed ta­ble with a ribbed traver­tine base, a veiny wal­nut wood top and pores sealed in gold leaf. “The pro­por­tion of the ta­ble was spe­cially cor­rected to adapt it to the pe­cu­liar height of the Knoll chairs by War­ren Plat­ner,” says the de­signer. “The sput­nik-like chan­de­lier dou­bles as a sculp­ture that fills the vol­ume of the din­ing room.” Con­nected to the din­ing area is an out­door ter­race with Ket­tal fur­ni­ture and tall pot­ted plants, where fam­ily and friends can gather dur­ing spring and sum­mer.


For the master bed­room, Beri­es­tain com­bined shades of green, white and grey, and chose Loretta Caponi bed­ding to evoke a sense of calm and warmth. Cream and touches of blush pink were the colours for the lit­tle girl’s room, which the de­signer says was in­spired by “the sweet­ness of a box of mac­arons”. He used white Ve­nato mar­ble and Dorn­bracht fit­tings for the bath­rooms, and mould­ings that repli­cate those used through­out the apart­ment. The main bath­room is equipped with an 18K gold Fan­tini faucet and a sink carved out of a sin­gle piece of mar­ble. All the bronze-cast door han­dles were tai­lor-made to Beri­es­tain’s de­signs, while the glossy satin paint used on the ceil­ings gives the il­lu­sion of in­creased height. All the air-con­di­tion­ing units were also hid­den in the base­boards, so the apart­ment is de­void of any unattrac­tive clut­ter. “I chose ev­ery sin­gle piece of mar­ble from lux­ury Span­ish brand Taller d’en Pich to en­sure I got the best streaks and colours,” says Beri­es­tain. Dif­fer­ent fin­ish­ings are used on each side of the bath­room’s slid­ing door. “The out­side of the doors re­com­poses the gen­eral fin­ish­ing of the main pub­lic ar­eas of the apart­ment, while the in­te­rior of the door has the same fin­ish­ing as the bath­room,” he ex­plains. “When the doors are closed, what one sees is an il­lu­sion of an in­fi­nite line of mir­rors.” The de­signer also in­cluded mar­ble mixed with Bisazza gold mo­saic in the scheme.


The works of artists such as Andy Warhol, Peter Hal­ley, Yago Hor­tal and Ola Kolehmainen add depth and colour to the var­i­ous rooms. “In the kitchen, the Keith Har­ing chalk poster adds fresh­ness and spon­tane­ity,” says Beri­es­tain. “This par­tic­u­lar piece was orig­i­nally a poster that Har­ing drew on the walls of the Metro in New York City.” Numer­ous fin­ish­ings, as well as the crafts­man­ship re­quired for the car­pen­try and mould­ings, made this an in­cred­i­bly com­pli­cated and chal­leng­ing project. “There is no cor­ner in this house that has not been de­signed—ev­ery pave­ment, han­dle, mould­ing and cladding was care­fully thought-out,” says Beri­es­tain, who feels that all the ef­fort cer­tainly paid off.

THIS PAGE Mar­ble mould­ings in the bath­room repli­cate the sculp­tural de­tails used through­out the apart­ment

OP­PO­SITE PAGE A chalk poster by Keith Har­ing adds a touch of whimsy to the monochro­matic din­ing area

LEFT TO RIGHT Splashes of bright colours on art­works and fur­ni­ture pieces im­bue the space with en­ergy and dy­namism

THIS PAGE Touches of blush pink add a sweet touch to the daugh­ter’s bed­room; the out­door ter­race is a favoured spot for fam­ily gather­ings dur­ing spring and sum­mer

OP­PO­SITE PAGE A serene mix of green, cream and grey turns the bed­room into a calm­ing space

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