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Casa Decor 2017

May 25, 2017

I was very excited to return to Madrid for another edition of Casa Decor – Spain’s main interior design event, showcasing current tendencies in architecture and interior design through a carefully curated selection of spaces designed by top local ‘interioristas’.

Over the years, this shop-window of Spanish interior design has been organized in some very different venues – from embassies and palaces to factories and schools. This year Casa Decor celebrates its 25th year and 52nd edition in a majestic 1900 4-floor palace on calle Antonio Maura, 8, a beautiful example of Madrid’s burgeois architecture.

Here is my report from last year’s event, and below are the 11 projects (out of about 60 in total!) I liked the most from this Casa Decor.

Suite “Wake up in Palm Springs” by Patricia Bustos de la Torre from Blossom Studio

This retro lux space was one of my favorites. Drawing inspiration in Mid-century – the Golden years of Hollywood, it has a very summery and relaxed feel to it. The designer used a lot of chic pink and tropical patterns, and the accessories are absolutely gorgeous – look at this tiger painting or the palm-tree shaped lamp!

'Palm Spring' bedroom at Casa Decor 2017

'Palm Spring' Suite at Casa Decor 2017

'Palm Spring' Suite at Casa Decor 2017

Trendy Kitchen by Beatriz Silveira (for Samsung)

Samsung knows to choose its collaborators right. Last year Guille García-Hoz blew everyone’s mind with his rustic kitchen, and this time Beatriz Silveira opted for a completely different concept, but just as beautiful in its own way. Both trendy and classical, it is a blend of traditional materials and kitchenware with edgy accessories and modern living essentials.

'Trendy Kitchen' by Beatriz Silveira Casa Decor 2017

'Trendy Kitchen' by Beatriz Silveira Casa Decor 2017 Continue Reading


My First Upholstery Project Gone Rogue

May 11, 2017

My first upholstery project

Happy me with my purchase in Celra

First thing you need to know that it’s not a typical DIY post with a tutorial, because the ‘Y’ isn’t exactly there, as I failed to do it all by myself… Anyways, this story goes back to October when I visited the flea market in Celra (Girona) and bought this beautiful telephone table with seat for only 35€. It has a pronounced ‘modernisme’ feel about it, although I’m not sure of its provenance, but it appears to have been mass production, because I’ve found lots of makeovers of this exact piece on Pinterest, most of them had it painted into white or grey, shabby chic is really trending these days.

Although the piece didn’t need a total makeover, as its original colour was already perfect for my entry way, matching my coat rack piece, I knew I would have to change the upholstery. I’ve never done it before, but how difficult/expensive could that be?! Oh, how naive I was! 😀 Continue Reading

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Best Online Shops for Secondhand Furniture

April 26, 2017

I’ve always been a hoarder and after moving to Barcelona and discovering this new passion for interior design I’ve also become a regular at the local flea markets and antique stores. Don’t these old pieces feel like they have so much character, so many stories to tell?! Anyways, a while ago I came across this article in AD España on the best Spanish online resources for shopping secondhand pieces, and thought it was worth sharing with my readers, because mixing old and new is always a good idea, don’t you think?

Eclectic room with antique furniture


An online marketplace where you can sell and buy all sorts of collector’s items – from toys, coins and kitchenware to comic books, jewelry and sports souvenirs. The choice of furniture and home decor is huge too. If you’re a true hoarder, this place is your ultimate Spanish online flea market.


As you can deduce from the name, this is about IKEA. This is a free marketplace to buy and sell secondhand IKEA products.The website is available in Spanish and English languages and also offers video tutorials on assembling furniture from IKEA.

Letgo. Wallapop. Vibbo

If you’re hunting down something specific and don’t want to pay too much for it, these three secondhand marketplace webs/apps is where you should look in the first place. Wallapop is the most famous of the three, but the others are worth a check too.


The name of this cool marketplace means “empty out your house”, and it is such a disappointment that its geography is limited to Madrid. Lots are distributed by houses in need of being emptied, and most prices are very attractive. Not to miss if you live in “la capital”.

Babia Bazar Vintage

A small store based in Navarra, specializing on mid-century vintage furniture from France, Italy, Germany, and etc. Tables, sofas and chairs are complemented with vintage accessories, wallpaper, and more.


Another online store offering a great selection of pieces from 1950s, 60s and 70s. Vintage wallpaper, tiles, rugs, fabrics, kitchenware, ceramics, glassware, and furniture.

Ultima parada

Founded by photographers Bèla Adler and Salvador Fresneda, this shop offers mid-century vintage furniture and objects, along with their own industrial style designs from recycled noble wood made at their workshop in Corçà (Girona).

PS: If this post caught your interest because you need to furnish a place on a very tight budget, you may want to check out my post on where to shop cheap furniture in Spain.

Image source.

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Exploring Design and Antique Shops in Gracia

April 20, 2017

In today’s post I want to tell you about a few interesting furniture and home decor shops in Gracia. Gracia is  a bustling Barcelona neighborhood, which on the one hand is bohemian, trendy, popular with younger expats and has a very youthful spirit to it, but on the other, it is a very traditional Catalan barrio, which for centuries used to be an independent municipality. Gracia is self-sufficient, the variety of eating options, beauty, clothes and other small shops can make you dizzy. I spent a few afternoons there seeking out interesting shops to bring to your attention, and here comes my list (and a map, for your convenience).

And make sure you check out my first post from this category dedicated to the shops on and around La Diagonal, which is actually not far from the area we will take a closer look at today.

Map of the shops

  1. The Old Kitchen, Carrer de la Providència, 16
  2. Verde Jade, Carrer de Ramón y Cajal, 11
  3. Casa Atlántica, Carrer Llibertat, 7 and Carrer Verdi, 33
  4. The Design Hub, Carrer de Diluvi, 4
  5. Cabinet, Travessera de Gràcia, 133
  6. AIXŌ, Carrer de la Virtut, 14
  7. Antique Boutique, Carrer de Sèneca, 16
  8. Sala de Subhastes, Carrer de Mateu, 18
  9. Rollito Así, Travessera de Gràcia, 141
  10. Gallina de Piel and Fulanitu i menganita, Carrer Verdi, 29 and Carrer Verdi, 25
  11. Studio Alis, Carrer de Sant Cristòfol, 13

The Old Kitchen

You may have seen a shop with the same name in Mercantic, but the main shop / workshop of Cecilia Manzi and her family, enthusiasts of kitchenware and furniture, is in Gracia. New items are mixed in with restored/vintage stuff. Also, this is your place if you’re into chalk paint. Follow The Old Kitchen on the social media to find out when they will offer the next workshop on furniture restoration and chalk paint.

The Old Kitchen in Gracia

Verde Jade

Founded and run by interior designer Eugenia Molina, this small shop is packed with edgy and quirky decor from illustrations and textiles to ceramics and small furniture. A mix of local designers and artists and foreign brands, the place really channels its owner’s passion for all things pretty.

Verde Jade shop in Gracia

Casa Atlântica

The “Atlantic” vibe in this place has a pronounced Portuguese accent, as this is where one of the founders is from. You will find artisanal ceramics – kitchenware, vases, pots, traditional decorative sardines, along with round wooden mirrors, braided lamps and accessories. Also, personally, I was very excited to find here the “swallows” (or golondrinas, in Spanish) – these ceramic birdies wall decor, which was popular in Spain and Portugal in 1950s and is coming in again! Traditionally made in black colour, in Casa Atlantica you also have them in blue and yellow (my choice!). And another thing you need to know is that these guys actually have two shops in Gracia – the first and main one on C/Llibertat 7, and a very small and very pretty place on one of Gracia’s main streets – Verdi 33.

Casa Atlantica shop Gracia

The Design Hub

The new edition to the Barcelona design scene specialising in sustainable design, ranging from accessories to furniture and interior projects. The space is part shop, part design studio, which also offers made-to-order furniture. Many of the products selling in the the space are made by local makers in the Design Hub’s workshop. The shop is run by a small collective, including acclaimed furniture designer Ryan Frank and interior designer Monica Potvin.

Design Hub Gracia Barcelona


 This shop on Travessera de Gracia, one of the main arteries of the neighborhood, offers trendy furniture and decor with a certain classy vibe to it, so I wasn’t surprised to find out that the founder used to work for Louis Vuitton. The shop is small, but packed with all kinds of stuff from candles and kitchenware to cushions and rugs. Their online shop offers an even more complete range of furniture and accessories.
Cabinet shop Gracia

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Maisons du Monde Brings It Again

March 7, 2017

Maisons du Monde has presented its Spring-Summer 2017 collection, and the promo shots look fantastic and inspiring as ever, it’s a like a mini-journey across the globe – from the Californian desert music festival and art-deco luxury of New York penthouses to the Mediterranean beach houses and exotic tropics!

Let us stash away darker and gloomier shades and warmer textures we saw in the Autumn-Winter’16 range, and welcome the fresh and playful shades of yellow, mint and pink, dusty pastels and hip crochets, art-deco prints, and loads more. The plant-themed decor is definitely gaining momentum, and so is the flamingo and cactus obsession.

As usual, the French retailer organized its home decor selection into 6 tendencies. Which one do you like the most?

Urban Garden

This tendency is all about pottery, flamingos, cacti, tropical prints and macrame. Plants are artificial, but you can always replace them with real ones, if you’re good at gardening (I’m not, but everyday I hate this fact more and more, so eventually I feel like I will take it up!)

Urban Garden tendency Maisons du Monde new spring collection Continue Reading

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La case de Cousin Paul says Adeu to BCN with 40% sale

January 26, 2017

La case de cousin Paul Barcelona

La case de Cousin Paul is closing its shop in Barcelona’s barrio Gótico, and selling off everything with a 40% discount. Even if you haven’t heard about this brand before, you’ve definitely seen their signature string light garlands. The colorful cotton balls can create a playful and fairytale feel in any room, from nursery to the kitchen, and they also go well with the ever-reigning Scandinavian style.

I discovered this shop two years ago year as I was wandering the narrow streets of el Gótico and was instantly captivated by the riot of colour you could see inside. The colour palette was overwhelming, I needed a lamp shade for my bedroom in my Barcelona place I was still furnishing at a time, but there were so many cool shades that it made you dizzy. Finally I chose an emerald green lamp, you remember how I love emerald greens, right? It fit perfectly into my room.La case de cousin Paul

How La case de Cousin Paul was born

The brand was born out of a romance. 15 years ago a young couple fell in love and decided to travel together. From one of their trips they brought back colourful cotton balls. They though it was a great idea for business. Meanwhile, they had a baby boy, named Paul. So they put the shop the name La case de Cousin Paul – “Cousin Paul’s hut”.  At first they only made string lights, but then their portfolio came to include globe and cupola lamp shades. And a small shop in Montmartre has grown into an international business, which includes a shop in Barcelona (Carrer d’Avinyo 22).

Sadly, it appears that the shop wasn’t doing too well, so by the end of February it’s going to close. Good news is that if you live in Barcelona you have a chance to grab a nice lamp or string lights with a 40% discount. And that’s an absolute bargain, the company never offers any season sales, nor have I ever seen a special offer for Black Friday.

The shades normally cost between 25 and 45€, and the garlands have similar prices.

Shop online

If you don’t live in Barcelona, you can shop La case de Cousin Paul‘s online store.

La case de cousin Paul garlands in the interiors

La case de Cousin Paul

Barcelona Carrer d’Avinyo 22

Hurry up, with such a discount they will be running out of stock soon! Grab those lamps and garlands before they’re gone. I’ve bought myself two more cupola shades in purple and beige colours. Wanted a yellow one, but they no longer had the hue I wanted in the bigger size shade.

Photo credits:


Palo Alto Market in Barcelona

January 5, 2017

This week-end is the first week-end of the month (and of the year, hope your holidays have been fun!), which means that there will be Palo Alto Market in Barcelona – a two-day, mostly open-air event where you can try street food from all around the world, enjoy live music, and get to know new local brands, designers and artists!

If you live in Barcelona, chances are you’ve at least heard of it, it’s a really popular event, and I thought it deserves a post, because being a designer market, it also features home furnishings and decor, so today I’ll show you the pictures I made in mid-December (they had a special pre-Christmas event, normally it’s only held on the first week-end of the month!), the ambience was cool and laid-back as ever, the food I tried was great, and there was a bunch of interesting designer items on display. Let’s take a tour!

Palo Alto Market Barcelona

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Singulares Inventory Room in Barcelona

January 3, 2017

Happy New Year, dearies!! This is my first post in 2017, and today I’ll tell you about some very cool shops and brands from Barcelona I saw in December at a local event entitled Singulares Inventory Room, organized by lifestyle and interior design magazine Singulares. It was the 5th edition of the pop-up event, created to showcase interesting new artists, designers, and charming vintage shops.  Singulares Inventory Room migrates between Spain’s two biggest cities, so the winter market in Barcelona will probably be followed by another event in Madrid in May. This was my first Singulares Inventory Room, and to be honest I was blown by the diversity and creativity gathered there. And it was a great place to shop Christmas presents too!

Rare vintage rugs from Morocco

Two sisters with a passion for artisanal craftwork bring hand-woven vintage Berber rugs from Morocco for their Hands and Lands shop. A 5-minute talk to either of them will make you fall in love with these pieces, their artistry and the history they hold.

Vintage rugs from Hands and Lands at Singulares Inventory Room

Instagram pics illuminated!

Light boxes from TransLamp inspired in traditional wood wine box is a new and original way to exhibit your photos.

Translamp at Singulares Inventory Room

The Old Kitchen

A lovely vintage shop, which has two spaces – Carrer Providencia 16 in Barcelona’s Gracia, and at Mercantic in Sant Cugat. Apart from home furnishings, The Old Kitchen also sell chalk paint and offer furniture restoration workshops.

The Old Kitchen at Singulares Inventory Room

Hermano Gato

Love the quirky name and the logo  – “Brother Cat” of this project, which is mostly about plant-themed prints. So cool! Check out their online shop.

Hermano Gato at Singulares Inventory Room

Cactus in an old kettle and repurposed sawing machine

Studio Alis specializes in vintage furniture restoration, and there is so much creativity and sophistication to their approach,  just check out the old sawing machine turned into wash basin. Carrer de Sant Cristofol, 13, Barcelona or shop online.

AlisBarcelona vintage store at Singulares Inventory Room Continue Reading

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Let your sofa make a statement

December 16, 2016

Today’s post is a confession of my love for colourful statement sofas. And at the end you will also find my roundup of 10 cool sofas now available in the Spanish stores, which are anything but black, grey or beige.

One thing I realized is that you can use pretty much any furniture or decor piece to introduce a brighter colour in your space, you just need to be bold enough. I’d avoid painting an entire wall red or another violent colour, because it’s very unlikely NOT to drive you crazy quite soon. Other than that, louder hues can absolutely work even on big furniture, such as a sofa. A sofa is a focal point of living room, which often is the heart of your home, and a colourful or wacky patterned sofa can make a huge design statement.

In my Barcelona place I  opted for accent colour walls, and kept most of the furniture safe colourwise. My sofa is grey and comes from IKEA. But to be honest, I already can’t wait for the moment to replace it with something cooler, and in a more vibrant colour, like navy blue.

I came up with the idea for this post as I was browsing Pinterest and caught myself pinning living rooms with these colourful statement sofas, because they make such a difference, don’t they?! You can stick to neutrals in the accessories and other furniture, but a bold sofa always takes the space to a new level, just take a look at the images below.

Blue is the only accent colour in this room, and this blue sofa is allowed to really shine against the neutral background, nothing takes the spotlight from it. Photo credit.

Blue statement sofa against neutrals

And another blue sofa: similar approach, but applied to a classic interior. Photo credit.

Blue statement sofa classical interior

Going on to pinks. Such a delicate and feminine space on the first photo vs the bold eclectic space dominated by the neon pink sofa paired up with black and white geometry cushions on the second. (Photo credits: 12)

Blush pink statement sofa

Bold neon pink statement sofa Continue Reading

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Home Design in Madrid Chueca: Mestizo and Guille García-Hoz

December 1, 2016

A few weeks ago I made a trip to Madrid and spent one morning checking out cool local non-chain shops selling furniture and home decor. Today I’d like to tell you about two shops located in Chueca, a bustling and hip neighborhood in the center of the Spanish capital – Mestizo and Guille García-Hoz.


Mestizo Contemporary Store (calle Piamonte 4) was founded by several interior design professionals with a passion for antiquities, but the 300 sq. meter space with 5-meter ceilings is packed with new items alongside antiques, creating a very natural feeling fusion. By the way, the name of the shop also reflects this original blend of styles and even cultures, “mestizo” means a person of mixed ethnic ancestry.

Mestizo promotes very natural feeling interiors with lots of plants, wood and other traditional materials creating tranquil and relaxing ambiance, with a touch of prominent contemporary designs and patterns for a more mainstream and eclectic feel. Prices are not exactly low-budget friendly, but the items are really high quality and not something you will find in chain stores.

They are currently preparing to launch an online shop, I just hope they will come up with a way to somehow recreate the outstanding offline shopping experience offered in their store, the space is really impressive, well-thought, clean and fresh feeling, and so inspiring.

Mestizo contemporary Store Madrid Continue Reading