With its boho-meets-Med spirit, this Barcelona new build makes a serious design splash
PHOTOGRAPHY Frenchie Cristogatin WORDS Keith Flanagan
you might say interior designer Carlos Pujol had a blank slate with this Barcelona new build, but he also had stiff competition. With startling views over the city, sea and the famed Sagrada Familia church, the airy abode has the type of outlook that could easily overshadow any interior. Creating a home that lives up to such surroundings is no easy feat.
Surprisingly, the starry location wasn’t even the first choice. The clients – a family of six comprising three young boys, one girl, plus a dog – originally hoped to reimagine an existing historic structure, but the city’s rigid urban planning gummed up the process. Landing instead on this scenic plot in the green-flecked Horta Guinardó suburb, they were committed to creating a space rooted in the Mediterranean spirit. ‘They are cool, open to the world,’ says Carlos, noting the family’s interest in what he calls ‘bohemian chic’ interiors.
Mixing organic and eclectic designs, Carlos turned the family’s vision into colourful reality over the course of two years, forging their bold intentions with stripped-back, industrial materials such as concrete, wood and metal. Flooded with light, thanks to the building’s southern exposure, a bright mood permeates the home, adding to the uninhibited spirit that vibes with the brilliant landscape.
For Carlos, who prides himself on custom designs, emphasis was placed on handmade details. ‘For every project that we carry out, we design tailor-made furniture so that each one is ergonomic, individual and unique,’ he says. From room to room, the interiors are warmed up with tactile details such as the colourful zellige tiles, porcelain doorknobs and wooden beaded curtains. ‘All the cupboard doors, for example, were made from salvaged and treated wagon floors,’saysCarlos,whoupcycledthematerialanduseditthroughoutthehouse.Everywhereyou look, traces of nature weave through the finishes (the coffee tables in the living room were hewn from fossilised tree trunks), while the few synthetic materials are those given new life (an array of light fixtures feature shades crafted from upcycled plastic bottles that were otherwise destined for the ocean).
When it was time to tackle the outdoor space – with that unparalleled view – Carlos didn’t hold back. Embracing the scenery, the one-of-a-kind swimming pool features a city-themed artwork drawn up by Carlos himself. ‘It is a fresco in the image of Barcelona, which picks up its cobblestones, its vegetation and its worldwide symbol, the Sagrada Familia,’ he says. The art stretches from one end of the terrace to the other and continues underwater, where the image of the famously unfinished church transforms into an octopus, its tentacles reaching across the basin. Back inside, Carlos’s playful spirit and knack for storytelling is also hard to miss. Across from the kitchen, the open dining area is backdropped by a custom mural, a colourful map of Barcelona, offering a roadmap for adventures, while an array of light fixtures appear to spill from a wooden canoe suspended from the concrete ceiling. All said and done, this is an exuberant design that truly reflects the creative spirit of its home city.
THE DESIGNER: Spanish-born interior designer Carlos Pujol – who works out of Barcelona, Paris and Reims – created this home for a family of six, plus their pet dog.
THE PROPERTY: A roomy seven-bed new build spread across six floors, perched in Barcelona’s hilly Horta Guinardó suburb. A lift connects every level, while each bedroom features its own en suite. On the ground floor, there’s the entrance, plus a one-car garage, two bedrooms and a small patio. The first floor has two bedrooms and the second level adds a further two bedrooms to the mix. The third floor makes the most of the large open-plan space, with a dining/living/kitchen area, plus an outdoor terrace. The fourth floor includes another bedroom, alongside a separate studio, and the rooftop features a dazzling swimming pool.
TERRACE: The custom table matches the indoor one. ‘The mosaics of the two tables, which are on wheels, form a fresco when joined,’ says Carlos. ‘The idea is to move them at convenience, sometimes outside, sometimes inside, for a lunch with more than 16 people for example.’Bok chairs, Ethnicraft. Custom table, Carlos Pujol
DINING AREA: The third floor of the house is one big open-plan space with a double-height ceiling. ‘It’s the real hub of the house,’ says Carlos. ‘It’s where the family work, cook and enjoy the adjoining terrace and the panorama of Barcelona.’ Upholstered banquette, L’Atelier du Siège. Pendant light fixtures, ACdO and PET Lamp. Table and mural, both Carlos Pujol
KITCHEN: Upcycled cabinetry brings an organic feel to the kitchen. ‘I fell in love with a batch of dirty wagon boards that were on pallets – in the rain – in France,’ says Carlos. ‘I stored them for more than three years, telling myself that one day I would bring them back to life, and that’s what I did! Technically it’s more complicated to implement than new panels, financially it’s more expensive to treat and recycle... but aesthetically, it’s wonderful, isn’t it?’ Zellige tiles, Maison Zellige. Custom wagon wood cabinets and shelves and beaded curtain, all Carlos Pujol
LIVING ROOM: ‘The clients wanted this house to be “bohemian chic”,’ says Carlos. The eclectic mix of the crafted and the luxe delivers this aesthetic. Leather sofa, Roche Bobois. Similar patterned cushions, Amara. Coffee tables, Déco du Jardin (Reims). Coffee cups, HKliving. Candl Stacks candle, Stan Editions. Jute rug, Ikea. Similar vintage world map, Stanfords. Pendant lights, ACdO and PET Lamp
BATHROOM: Channelling a sunny Mediterranean spirit in the bedrooms and bathrooms, Carlos used various colourful wallpapers, such as this vibrant village scene design. Bathtub and tap, Axor. Portovenere wallpaper, Osborne & Little. Pendant lights, Sarah Morin Design. Similar hammam towel, Bohemia Design
BEDROOM: ‘Colour is life,’ says Carlos, who used distinct colours to create unique themes from room to room. The mix of materials also elevates his schemes – here it is wood, tiling and wallpaper. Custom bed frame and custom wallpaper, Carlos Pujol. Bedside table, Kave Home. Similar white bedding, Beaumont & Brown. Macramé blanket, Maison Leonie. Similar cushions, Etsy. Rug, Ikea