Cul­tured clash

The colour pal­ette in this Span­ish home acts as the per­fect foil to its own­ers’ art

ELLE Decoration (UK) - - Contents - Words AMY BRAD­FORD Pho­tog­ra­phy MONTSE GARRIGA GRAU/PHOTOFOYER

This house’s bold colour pal­ette is a foil for its owner’s ex­ten­sive col­lec­tions of art and an­tiques, which help to trans­form rooms that could feel cav­ernous into in­ti­mate zones

One day just over ten years ago, while wan­der­ing through the me­dieval Cata­lan vil­lage of Card­edeu, Damián Sánchez spot­ted a beau­ti­ful old house in a state of near ruin, sur­rounded by an­cient mag­no­lia trees. It was love at first sight. Un­de­terred by its con­di­tion, he bought the six-bed­room prop­erty and set about restor­ing its pala­tial 1,000-square-me­tre in­te­rior. ‘It was built in 1910, and when I first saw it, it hadn’t been lived in for 30 years,’ Damián ex­plains. ‘I have tried to re­spect its orig­i­nal fea­tures as well as its spirit.’ The most spec­tac­u­lar fea­ture, and the one that shaped much of the new in­te­rior, is a Re­nais­sances­tyle carved and painted ceil­ing. Its flo­ral de­sign was painstak­ingly re­paired, as were the orig­i­nal floor tiles.

Clearly, this charis­matic house de­manded a strong colour pal­ette, and in Damián it found its ideal owner. A for­mer creative di­rec­tor of fashion label Mango, he founded his Barcelona-based in­te­rior de­sign stu­dio and home store A Casa Bianca in 2013, and also co-owns Al­fons & Damián, a gallery sell­ing vin­tage and mod­ern de­sign, with fel­low decorator Al­fons Tost. At Mango, Damián was in charge of store lay­outs and win­dow dress­ing, and he drew on his flair for dra­matic set de­sign in his new home.

From the start, Damián had a clear idea of the colours he wanted to use on the walls. ‘They re­flect my ex­pe­ri­ences, my trav­els and my vi­sion of the coun­try­side,’ he says. All of the paints in the house were cus­tom-made, in­clud­ing the aubergine hue that links the mar­ble-floored hall­way and gen­tle­man’s club-style games room (dom­i­nated by a huge an­tique snooker ta­ble). The azure blue in the din­ing room and the earthy khaki in the liv­ing space are in­spired by the lo­cal land­scape – just 40 kilo­me­tres north of Barcelona, Card­edeu is nes­tled be­tween the moun­tains and the sea.

The colour pal­ette is also a foil for Damián’s ex­ten­sive col­lec­tions of art and an­tiques, which trans­form rooms that could feel cav­ernous into in­ti­mate zones. Con­trast is Damián’s style: he will team a set of 18th-cen­tury Swedish chairs with a mod­ern ta­ble by Ital­ian label Porro, or place a set of Eames alu­minium chairs and a ‘Seg­mented’ ta­ble – more com­monly spot­ted in slick con­fer­ence rooms – di­rectly be­neath the din­ing room’s oh-so-ro­man­tic ceil­ing. ‘I love to see how well an­tiques work with mod­ern de­sign ob­jects,’ he says.

As you move to the pri­vate spa­ces up­stairs, a dif­fer­ent mood evolves. The main bed­room and ad­join­ing bath­room are as serene as the din­ing room is ex­u­ber­ant. A peachy-toned ivory shade on the bed­room walls adds warmth to the oth­er­wise mono­chrome fur­ni­ture; in the bath­room, black is used to clever ef­fect, cov­er­ing just half of the space. ‘This house is my refuge,’ says Damián. ‘It in­spires me to cre­ate.’ acasabi­; al­fons­

En­trance A ta­ble from Span­ish de­sign store En Linea (Porro’s ‘Frac­tal’ is sim­i­lar) dis­plays a col­lec­tion of cof­fee-ta­ble books and a ‘Rock’ vase by French ce­ram­i­cist Gilles Caffier. The chairs are 18th-cen­tury Louis XVI pieces and the pen­dant light is...

Liv­ing room The walls are a be­spoke shade of khaki (Fired Earth’s ‘Am­ber Gris’ is sim­i­lar). Ch­ester­field so­fas, a pair of ‘LC2’ chairs by Le Cor­bus­ier, Char­lotte Per­riand and Pierre Jean­neret for Cassina, and a vin­tage sofa cov­ered in an acid-yel­low...

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