Icon - Arrow LeftAn icon we use to indicate a rightwards action. Icon - Arrow RightAn icon we use to indicate a leftwards action. Icon - External LinkAn icon we use to indicate a button link is external. Icon - MessageThe icon we use to represent an email action. Icon - Down ChevronUsed to indicate a dropdown. Icon - CloseUsed to indicate a close action. Icon - Dropdown ArrowUsed to indicate a dropdown. Icon - Location PinUsed to showcase a location on a map. Icon - Zoom OutUsed to indicate a zoom out action on a map. Icon - Zoom InUsed to indicate a zoom in action on a map. Icon - SearchUsed to indicate a search action. Icon - EmailUsed to indicate an emai action. Icon - FacebookFacebooks brand mark for use in social sharing icons. flipboard Icon - InstagramInstagrams brand mark for use in social sharing icons. Icon - PinterestPinterests brand mark for use in social sharing icons. Icon - TwitterTwitters brand mark for use in social sharing icons. Icon - Check MarkA check mark for checkbox buttons.
You are reading

Spanish Eclectic: An Airy Stable Turned Guest House on the Mediterranean Coast

Search

Spanish Eclectic: An Airy Stable Turned Guest House on the Mediterranean Coast

April 13, 2018

Lately we’ve been admiring the work of France-born, Spain-based designer and collector Serge Castella, whose ingenious natural-fiber-mat-as-headboard we featured back in 2015 (see Design Idea to Steal: A DIY Headboard from a Natural-Fiber Rug). As it turns out, the work of Castella and partner, Vermont-born Jason Flinn, is full of such unexpected and textural design moments: Their spaces are eclectic, gallery-like, and sculptural, with wooden tables and chairs, bits of architectural salvage, and layers of texture, both vintage and custom.

This week we took a wider look at the little guest house on the Mediterranean coast that features the headboard hack we loved three years ago. Once an abandoned stable on the grounds of a young couple’s home on the Costa Brava, just north of Barcelona, the space is now a fully functioning guest house. (The couple chooses to remain anonymous, but Castella offers this sketch: “They are a young, professional, cosmopolitan couple, in love with nature and the comfort and peace that simplicity can incur.”) After Castella transformed the couple’s home some years back, they asked him back to take on the stables. “Structurally the space existed: roof and walls, but it was pretty much a shell,” Flinn says. Now, the guest house is rich with texture, unexpected finds, and built-in stone benches and shelves that feel as though they’ve been there all along, serving previously as horse troughs, perhaps. Take a look.

Photography by Manolo Yllera, courtesy of Serge Castella Interiors.

The sculptural main room of the guest house, loosely divided by built-in shelves that extend from the walls. Castella wanted to transform the “shell” of a stable into “a memorable, Mediterranean environment,” someplace that would “make you feel that you were on vacation on the sea.” Castella also took cues from his own childhood summers spent on the Costa Brava with his grandparents.
Above: The sculptural main room of the guest house, loosely divided by built-in shelves that extend from the walls. Castella wanted to transform the “shell” of a stable into “a memorable, Mediterranean environment,” someplace that would “make you feel that you were on vacation on the sea.” Castella also took cues from his own childhood summers spent on the Costa Brava with his grandparents.

To do it, Castella added a wing to serve as an extra bedroom (carefully matched to the existing structure), designed an interior layout, and “placed the windows, walls, and doors (using, in some cases, antique elements that we sourced for the project),” the duo says. The team left the “shell” whitewashed and simple, but added a cut-reed ceiling “to give the guest house a cabin effect.”

Castella and Flinn also wanted the young couple’s guests to feel “autonomous and at home on the Mediterranean sea.” A crucial element: adding a kitchen. “We designed everything,” the designers say, building out stucco shelving and a simple stretch of counter along one wall. “We brought in an antique marble sink to give that ‘forever’ effect, while using state-of-the-art appliances, like the stovetop and fridge,” they say.
Above: Castella and Flinn also wanted the young couple’s guests to feel “autonomous and at home on the Mediterranean sea.” A crucial element: adding a kitchen. “We designed everything,” the designers say, building out stucco shelving and a simple stretch of counter along one wall. “We brought in an antique marble sink to give that ‘forever’ effect, while using state-of-the-art appliances, like the stovetop and fridge,” they say.
On one end of the room, an example of Castella’s eclectic style: a built-in bench serves as both lounge space (with cushions upholstered in vintage floral fabric, found in Hawaii) and log storage for the nearby fireplace. An architectural remnant becomes sculpture on the low table.
Above: On one end of the room, an example of Castella’s eclectic style: a built-in bench serves as both lounge space (with cushions upholstered in vintage floral fabric, found in Hawaii) and log storage for the nearby fireplace. An architectural remnant becomes sculpture on the low table.
Above: The duo chose natural fibers in various forms and textures throughout the space. (For a similar sort of chair, see our post From Java, by Way of Oakland: Rattan Chairs from Wend Studio.) Note the vintage blue-green doors that lead to one of the bedrooms.
Beneath a sloped ceiling, twin beds are laid on built-in stone platforms and a shelf behind serves as both desk and headboard.
Above: Beneath a sloped ceiling, twin beds are laid on built-in stone platforms and a shelf behind serves as both desk and headboard.

The furniture and sculptural finds throughout the project are all from Castella’s own collection (on view and available at the firm’s new showroom in Emporda, Spain, where the duo has a ranch with horses and Labradors, and online). “We are constantly purchasing pieces, be that antiques, vintage, or new,” the duo says. The team also designs custom products and lighting, including a line of textiles for Spanish fabric company Gancedo.

Beds are made simply, with light blankets and tasseled pillows.
Above: Beds are made simply, with light blankets and tasseled pillows.
Back out in the main room, looking away from the twin bedroom, toward the bath.
Above: Back out in the main room, looking away from the twin bedroom, toward the bath.
The bathroom is lit by a black wall light, similar to the one over the kitchen.
Above: The bathroom is lit by a black wall light, similar to the one over the kitchen.
In another bedroom, sculptural built-in nightstands with black-painted niches flank the bed. The rattan headboard is Castella’s original design, inspired by straw rugs and handmade by craftsmen in Spain. (See our original post on it, and a few sources for getting a similar look at home, at Design Idea to Steal: A DIY Headboard from a Natural-Fiber Rug.)
Above: In another bedroom, sculptural built-in nightstands with black-painted niches flank the bed. The rattan headboard is Castella’s original design, inspired by straw rugs and handmade by craftsmen in Spain. (See our original post on it, and a few sources for getting a similar look at home, at Design Idea to Steal: A DIY Headboard from a Natural-Fiber Rug.)
An unexpected pairing.
Above: An unexpected pairing.
The lush exterior of the stables turned guest house.
Above: The lush exterior of the stables turned guest house.
Castella and Flinn.
Above: Castella and Flinn.

We’ve had our eye on Spain of late. For a few of our favorite projects, see:

Have a Question or Comment About This Post?

Join the conversation

From our network