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Casa Josephine: A Design Couple’s Country House and B&B in Rioja, Spain

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Casa Josephine: A Design Couple’s Country House and B&B in Rioja, Spain

April 8, 2022

Iñigo Aragón and Pablo López Navarro may be Spain’s fastest-rising design stars. Together the pair are Madrid-based Casa Josephine Studio, which they started in 2012 after graduating from university with degrees between them in photography, art history, and fashion design. And they’ve been on a rapidly ascending track since then.

Today Pablo and Iñigo are taking us on a tour of their country house in the tiny town of Sorzano in northern Spain’s Rioja wine region. “We bought the house 13 years ago, remodeled it completely, and did a renovation, rethinking, and re-organization of the decoration two years ago,” Pablo wrote to us via email. It’s airy, cheerful, and impeccably designed, with color-blocked rooms and frescoes by architect and muralist Elvira Solana. “Rather than focusing on a selection of design pieces, we wanted the decoration to create a feel-good atmosphere,” Pablo adds. “Colors, furniture, and textiles are chosen following that idea.”

Best of all? To everyone’s luck, the couple operates the house as a bed and breakfast, with five guest bedrooms available for stays.

Join us for a look around.

Photography by Ricard Labougle courtesy of Casa Josephine Studio, except where noted.

the entry to casa josephine. &#8\2\20;it is a country house, and we wanted  9
Above: The entry to Casa Josephine. “It is a country house, and we wanted to be very respectful to the pre-existing architecture and to the context where the house is,” Pablo says.
stepping inside. &#8\2\20;it was a family house built mainly in the \19\20s 10
Above: Stepping inside. “It was a family house built mainly in the 1920s,” says Pablo, “and we wanted to keep the spirit of a low-key, non-pretentious, casual summer house, where a mix of pieces from different periods, styles, and even qualities is possible.” Photograph by Iñigo Aragon.
the house is about 300 square meters in total (or 3300 square feet), with built 11
Above: The house is about 300 square meters in total (or 3300 square feet), with built-in niches throughout, as here, in the dining room. Photograph by Iñigo Aragon.
the first floor has terra cotta tiled floors, arched openings, and original whi 12
Above: The first floor has terra cotta tiled floors, arched openings, and original white-washed ceilings. The sofa is Iñigo and Pablo’s own design.
the living area, one of two, has a built in desk and bookshelves. the house can 13
Above: The living area, one of two, has a built-in desk and bookshelves. The house can sleep up to twelve people.
guests have full access to the kitchen, with a tiled sink and floor. &#8\2\ 14
Above: Guests have full access to the kitchen, with a tiled sink and floor. “In the village there is a bakery, bar, restaurant, and pharmacy as well as artisanal cured meat and sausage makers and extra virgin olive oil producers,” according to the bed and breakfast website.
the duo commissioned muralist and architect elvira solana to paint frescoes of  15
Above: The duo commissioned muralist and architect Elvira Solana to paint frescoes of windows and small tableaux on the walls. “In order to respect the motto of the guest house, murals cannot show an outside world different from the existing one,” the artists writes on her site. “The actual location must be seen through the windows. To carry out this project, I was voluntarily locked up in the house for over three months. During this time I worked on the murals while exploring the house, the village, and the objects.” Read more about her process here.
the original stairway. 16
Above: The original stairway.
a sunny swath of yellow in a lounge (included in architectural digest&#8\2\ 17
Above: A sunny swath of yellow in a lounge (included in Architectural Digest’s book, The Most Beautiful Rooms in the World.)
many of the five guest rooms have colorful painted ceilings. 18
Above: Many of the five guest rooms have colorful painted ceilings.
the house is filled with a mix of vintage fittings and finds—so it&# 19
Above: The house is filled with a mix of vintage fittings and finds—so it’s perhaps no surprise that the duo also operates a shop, both online and in Madrid (at Calle Santa Ana 15), stocked with “French, Italian, and Spanish designs from all eras, textiles, and craftwork with character,” according to their site. Find more about their shop here. Photograph by Iñigo Aragon.
a vignette in a guest room window. photograph by iñigo aragon. 20
Above: A vignette in a guest room window. Photograph by Iñigo Aragon.
in another room, a stripy guest bed pairs with a vintage tapestry. 21
Above: In another room, a stripy guest bed pairs with a vintage tapestry.
a color blocked bath, one of four in the house. 22
Above: A color-blocked bath, one of four in the house.
an open sitting area, under the original beams. photograph by iñigo aragon. 23
Above: An open sitting area, under the original beams. Photograph by Iñigo Aragon.
another guest room in shades of blue. photograph by iñigo aragon. 24
Above: Another guest room in shades of blue. Photograph by Iñigo Aragon.
Above: Iñigo and Pablo. Photographs by Iñigo Aragon.

For more on the bed and breakfast or to book, head to Casa Josephine.

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