INSPIRED BY THE REGAL LINE OF HAUSSMANN STYLE FRENCH ARCHITECTURE. THIS APARTMENT COMBINES THE SIMPLICITY OF CLEAN, SYMMETRICAL LINES WITH AN ELEGANT MIX OF MATERIALS AND ARTWORKS.
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.
LEFT TO RIGHT Splashes of bright colours on artworks and furniture pieces imbue the space with energy and dynamism
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
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