From drab to divine: a Barcelona apartment transformed

Honor Kennedy Honor Kennedy
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Today's feature dwelling is a clear demonstration of what can be achieved from restoration and refurbishment of a property. The example before us is a fabulous illustration of how one can get the most from their residence using shrewd design techniques and simple yet luxurious finishes. Planned and undertaken by the Barcelona-based architectural team at Oak 2000, this project rediscovers the magic and charm of a home that, over time, had concealed many of its features. 

Situated in one of Barcelona's most characterful neighbourhoods, La Barceloneta, the brief was to create a dwelling that reflects the vibrant life outside the apartment, with minimalist, charismatic and serene interior living spaces. The entire area has been structurally reinforced, and the floorplan rearranged to suit a modern 21st century lifestyle. In addition, the previously dark and dank space required better illumination and a way to bring to life the different elements hidden in this home. 

If you would like to take a tour of this spectacular before and after, check out the images below and get some fabulous ideas to update your own house or apartment!

Before: lacking character and charm

As we set our eyes upon the first image of this apartment it is unappealing and dull. The colour scheme is particularly off-putting with its sickly yellow-cream palette, and looks rather unwelcoming in its appearance. Looking more like an abandoned hospital than a neat Barcelona apartment, this image makes it clear the work that the architects have ahead of them if they are going to transform this home. 

Linoleum flooring paired with dark timber door frames and wainscoting adds to the horror of this interior design, imparting an institutional aesthetic, which leaves the occupant feeling a little uneasy and uncomfortable. 

Before: dank, dark and completely unappealing

Moving into one of the main rooms we see some redeeming features such as the French doors with balcony. The iron work adds a certain charm to this home, and gives us the sense that this dwelling might have more to offer. Here the linoleum flooring is repeated contributing to the inhospitable ambience throughout the room. The textured yellow wall hue is particularly horrible, with a cloistered feeling and a cluttered atmosphere. 

Undeniably these architects have got their work cut out for them, with some serious modifications and alterations required. Let's take a look at how they have achieved their brief below…

After: light-filled and gorgeous

Wow! The new space is unbelievably fantastic with bright and airy internal spaces and a new open plan living area. Here the floorplan has been revised to include a larger interior lounge and kitchen area, making the home more family-friendly and bringing it into the 21st century. Thankfully, the yellow wall hue has been replaced with a bright white colour, adding to the overall sense of spaciousness and liveability. 

In this image we are also given a peek at the ceiling, which boasts the original timberwork in its raw form. Here it has also been painted white to further the feeling of roominess within the dwelling. The floors are of particular interest as well. The linoleum is gone and replaced with polished concrete that gives the home a feeling of modernity and chic style. Tiled sections reflect the colour and vibrancy of the neighbourhood outside, and are sporadically placed in different formations to create interest. The overall feeling of this space is one of contemporary vibes, with a sleek yet inviting aesthetic. 

Serene sleeping quarters

Moving into the bedroom we are surprised by its sense of minimalism. The ideal tranquil sleeping quarters, this space is fit for any individual who enjoys a comfortable, luxurious and sumptuous space. A full length mirror reflects one of the main items of contrast within the space, a lush green indoor plant. The plant adds to the Zen-like aesthetic and ambience within the room, evoking feelings of serenity and connection with the natural environment. 

The colour scheme in this newly updated room is predominantly white, with light contrast in the flooring and bed linen. Providing some reprieve from the hot Barcelona summers is a wall mounted air conditioner that sits discreetly in the top corner of the room, cooling the space and adding to the room's liveability. 

A wonderfully practical and light bathroom

No before and after tour would be complete without taking a quick peek into the bathroom. One's bathroom is often a highly important space in the home. It is an area of relaxation, restfulness and an essential to the overall proper functioning of the home. Moreover, bathrooms offer privacy. In dwellings of more than one person, a bathroom is a place you can lock the door and enjoy a hot shower in peace. 

Here the bathroom is modern, clean and highly usable. The walk-in shower offers practicality, and is large enough to feel comfortably luxurious within the room. The colour palette is white, with hints of earthy mushroom hues that give a little contrast and warmth to the space. 

The complete package…

For one final peek at the home before we end our tour we head back into the large living space. Here we alter our vantage point and look out towards the neighbourhood beyond. The gorgeous characterful timber French doors have been retained in their original form, and provide the main point of interest within this space. With wrought iron balustrades and warm light timber frames, these charismatic doors provide comfort and charm to the apartment. 

Additionally, we are able to see the kitchen in more detail. Fitting-free joinery is a standout feature, with high gloss white cabinetry imparting slick 21st century style. The flooring again injects playfulness and life into the room, while the white furniture is recessive yet undoubtedly cool. This incredible apartment transformation has completely revitalised the property and provided it a sense of renewed life. Statement making interior design paired with strong architectural features has resulted in a lavishly minimalist aesthetic, and a envy-worthy Spanish dwelling.

We hope you enjoyed that home transformation as much as we did! If you would like to continue reading, check out: The Exciting and Well-lit Spanish Apartment.

What do you think of the way the architects have updated this historic La Barceloneta apartment? We'd love to hear from you in the comments below!
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