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.
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.”
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.
We’ve had our eye on Spain of late. For a few of our favorite projects, see:
- Before & After: A Bright 17th-Century House Overlooking the Sea on Mallorca, for Two Young Architects
- The All-Vintage Renovation by Quintana Partners in Menorca, Spain
- Casa Telmo in Menorca, with Rooms Inspired by a World Traveler