This Madrid Apartment Is Centered Around Its Delightfully Simple Library

When an architect or designer creates their own home, there can be a tendency to get carried away and transform into a laboratory of experimentation. However, Guillermo and Ana decided that instead of a self-consciously creative home, they would design an inviting and comfortable apartment that conceals its innovative features behind an understated appearance. “Indeed, when the only client you have to satisfy is yourself and your desires, and you have the freedom to do what you want, it can be a double-edged sword,” explains Guillermo. “You have to check yourself and, in response to the freedom that you have,” Ana adds, “you have to set your own limits.”

Guillermo’s initial wish list for the apartment underwent some revisions once the demolition began. “There were several fundamental things we wanted to achieve with the plan—to generate some cross ventilation, to unify the layout of the floor plan, and for the kitchen to be open to the rest of the house,” says Ana. The plan quickly resulted in the apartment that exists now, a two-story loft-like space with a central section—between the living room and the kitchen—where the bathroom and laundry room are located. “We liked the idea of going from one large room to another through a more compressed area,” they say. The arrangement of rooms is defined by a simple palette with only a few different colors: an absolute white on the walls and ceilings, a sand color for the concrete floors, and a sage green in the kitchen.

“It’s a way of focusing attention on what matters most: Guillermo’s designs,” Ana explains. “They also echo the colors of Extremadura [a region in Spain] where Tornasol has its workshop,” Guillermo tells us later on a phone call. “The colors in the Madrid apartment are the same ones that I see when I am driving through the countryside.” While the simple palette of the apartment provides a backdrop for Guillermo’s furniture designs, it also creates a visually calming atmosphere where the architect and designer can disconnect between jobs.

In the living room, the sofa behind the Gofre table was custom designed for the apartment and is, like the bookshelf behind it, a work of art in and of itself. Rather than fill the walls with prints and paintings, Guillermo chose to leave them as bare as possible.

Photo: Rafael Trapiello

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