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Let the Light In: A Barcelona Flat, Uncramped and Rejuvenated for a Young Couple

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Let the Light In: A Barcelona Flat, Uncramped and Rejuvenated for a Young Couple

January 26, 2024

We’ve written about projects by Conti, Cert quite a few times since we first discovered the Spanish design firm a couple years ago. Their speciality is breathing fresh life into old apartments while honoring their architectural history. Their touch is light, their taste, timeless.

The latest Conti, Cert redesign to catch our eye is a narrow, smallish apartment (115 square meters, or 1,238 square feet), in Barcelona’s Eixample neighborhood, that started out dark, cramped, and charmless and—in the hands of founders Andrea Conti and Isabel Cert—has transformed into an airy, smartly laid-out home that marries modern minimalism with classic Spanish design.

Here’s how they did it.

Photography by Salva López, courtesy of Conti, Cert.

a signature conti, cert move: exposing and restoring the volta, the curvy  12
Above: A signature Conti, Cert move: exposing and restoring the volta, the curvy vault-like ceiling common to traditional homes in the Catalonia region. Both the wood ceiling beams and the French doors that lead to the terrace are original to the home—”we even kept the glass!” says Andrea. The ceiling fan is by Spanish brand Inthai.
another signature design move: using santa & cole lights. the designers als 13
Above: Another signature design move: using Santa & Cole lights. The designers also chose a few Noguchi lights (at left) to pepper throughout the home.
minimalist built in wall shelves in the living area feel both modern and timele 14
Above: Minimalist built-in wall shelves in the living area feel both modern and timeless here. (For a similar, cordless version of that table lamp, see High/Low: Chic Portable Lighting, Indoor/Outdoor Edition.)
the former apartment had six bedrooms; it now has three bedrooms. &#8\2\20; 15
Above: The former apartment had six bedrooms; it now has three bedrooms. “Where now we find the kitchen, dining room, and living room, [there were originally] four rooms and a corridor,” says Andrea. “We had to make a considerable structural adjustment to open it up and let the light coming from the original windows [into the the kitchen].”
the dining set and pendant light are vintage. the homeowners are a young couple 16
Above: The dining set and pendant light are vintage. The homeowners are a young couple, he a bakery owner, she a furniture dealer.
a single window in the kitchen looks out onto an interior courtyard. 17
Above: A single window in the kitchen looks out onto an interior courtyard.
the cabinetry is made from beech wood. the countertop is white macael marble wi 18
Above: The cabinetry is made from beech wood. The countertop is white Macael marble with a matte finish.
open wall shelves keep things light and airy. the sconces are from artemide. 19
Above: Open wall shelves keep things light and airy. The sconces are from Artemide.
the study features a beautiful tiled floor. andrea says the cement tiles were o 20
Above: The study features a beautiful tiled floor. Andrea says the cement tiles were original to the home but in a different room. They were removed, restored, and re-homed.
Above: The guest bathroom, a master class in simplicity.
the cement tiles were also reused for the main bedroom floor. the walls are all 23
Above: The cement tiles were also reused for the main bedroom floor. The walls are all finished with lime paint.
off the bedroom is a dressing room, and beyond that, the ensuite bathroom. & 24
Above: Off the bedroom is a dressing room, and beyond that, the ensuite bathroom. “We had to use sisal carpeting in the dressing area because the floor was too damaged to recover it,” says Andrea.
the bathroom vanity, like the kitchen counter, is a matte white macael marble.  25
Above: The bathroom vanity, like the kitchen counter, is a matte white Macael marble. The faucet is from Rovira.

For more Conti, Cert projects, see:

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Frequently asked questions

What is the address of the Barcelona apartment renovation project?

The Barcelona apartment renovation project is located at the address Consell de Cent.

What is the significance of the Conti-Cert apartments?

The Conti-Cert apartments hold historical significance as they were originally built in the 19th century and are a reflection of Barcelona's architectural heritage.

Who was the architect of the Barcelona apartment renovation?

The architect behind the Barcelona apartment renovation is Guillermo Santomà.

Were there any particular challenges faced during the renovation process?

Yes, one of the main challenges faced during the renovation process was to preserve the original features of the Conti-Cert apartments while incorporating modern elements.

What is the overall design style of the renovated Barcelona apartments?

The renovated Barcelona apartments showcase a unique and eclectic design style, combining traditional elements with contemporary aesthetics.

Are there any notable features or design elements in the renovated apartments?

Yes, the renovated apartments feature a stunning mirrored ceiling in the living area, as well as bold use of colors and textures throughout the space.

Can the Barcelona apartments be rented or are they for sale?

The availability and rental/sale status of the Barcelona apartments can be checked by contacting the respective real estate agency or the project developers.

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