CASA JOSEPHINE

Be in­spired by this Madrid­based in­te­rior de­sign firm’s per­sonal and colour­ful take on Mediter­ranean flair

ELLE Decoration (UK) - - Decorating -

Who are they? Iñigo Aragón (far left) and Pablo López Navarro met as stu­dents in the north­west Span­ish city of Val­ladolid, where both were do­ing de­grees in art his­tory. They have been part­ners in work and life ever since. ‘Our first project was a fash­ion brand, but it didn’t work out,’ re­mem­bers López Navarro. ‘Af­ter that, we bought an old house in the Rioja wine re­gion, re­stored and dec­o­rated it, then turned it into a B&B, Casa Josephine (a trib­ute to the lady who lived in it be­fore us). A few peo­ple who stayed with us asked us to dec­o­rate their homes and shops. We had no mas­ter plan – we just tried to rise to the oc­ca­sion.’ What’s their style? The duo’s stu­dio, named af­ter the B&B that started ev­ery­thing, opened in Madrid in 2012. To­day, the team re­mains small – just the two de­sign­ers and an inhouse ar­chi­tect – and they take an ap­peal­ingly low-key ap­proach to projects. ‘ We are less tech­nol­ogy-ori­ented than other dec­o­ra­tors,’ muses López Navarro. ‘If there is an es­sen­tial tool in our of­fice, it’s a block of Post-it notes.’ This at­ti­tude is re­flected in their look, which they de­scribe as ‘cul­tured Mediter­ranean’. ‘ We love ver­nac­u­lar ar­chi­tec­ture and the homes of artists and writ­ers.’ You can see th­ese in­flu­ences at work in their own home ( bot­tom right).

In the apart­ment the duo trans­formed into a show­room for their fur­ni­ture and art­works (right), blocks of bold, flat colour are used in un­ex­pected ways to high­light high ceil­ings and ar­chi­tec­tural fea­tures. And, when asked to con­vert the base­ment of Madrid restau­rant La China Man­da­rina into a pri­vate din­ing room ( below), they were char­ac­ter­is­ti­cally un­de­terred by the lack of nat­u­ral light, us­ing dark shades on the walls and ceil­ing ‘to blur the perime­ter of the room’. In fact, Casa Josephine’s brave and clever use of colour is its hall­mark, and its fu­ture looks bright. casajosephine.com

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