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