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

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.)