A Sweet, Small, Perfectly Pastel Barcelona Home

updated Feb 19, 2019

A Sweet, Small, Perfectly Pastel Barcelona Home

updated Feb 19, 2019
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Square feet
Sq ft

Name: Alida and Alex
Location: Gracia – Barcelona, Spain
Size: 480 square feet
Years lived in: 6 months, renting

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Having a boyfriend who works at IKEA can make it difficult not to turn your entire home into an IKEA catalog, but as Alida and Alex’s small Spanish apartment shows, infusing your home with cute details can completely transform the personality of a place.

Their apartment is best described as an adorable pastel nook, a rare style in Barcelona. They pull off the look thanks to Alida’s Norwegian roots (and design sensibilities) and an array of unique items collected from around the world.

Their home is also a small space success; with so few square feet to work with, they knew they’d have to make sure the apartment was as functional as possible — without filling it with too much furniture and stuff.

So, small apartment, small details. They added colorful paint in tiny but potent amounts. They replaced the doors of some of the cabinets to upgrade furniture. With a limited budget (and a mood board), Alida and Alex created a sweet, modern apartment where IKEA style and attention to detail combine to perfection.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: Scandinavian minimalist with a little bit of vintage

Inspiration: Pinterest and Australian Frankie magazine. Alida says she is an observer, too, and she gets inspired everywhere.

Favorite Element: The gin bar. It gives personality to the place. Alida says she is obsessed with gin and tonic. When she first arrived in Barcelona she finally understood that “gin and tonic” was not just “gin and tonic.” There was a whole gin world she could enter! She loves an old shop where she goes and buys different types of gin, spices and flowers that she can incorporate into the drink.

Biggest Challenge: Hanging the shelves on the wall. We have brick walls and it was really difficult to make the holes. In the end, we decided to buy hard wall hangers and it was so much easier.

What Friends Say: They are super sweet. They love to come and enjoy the place with us.

Biggest Embarrassment: The tiles! Some are broken in the corners. Alida, coming from the cold weather of Norway, is not used to having tiles, she prefers the warmth of wood.

Proudest DIY: The bedroom lamp. There is a French designer called Mathieu Challières who designs lamps with copper wire and little birds that I love, but they are too expensive for us. So I decided to do it myself! I bought a copper fruit bowl from Tiger, turned it over and made a hole. Then I incorporated some birds I had bought in a shop in New York and voilà!

Biggest Indulgence: Details. Basic furniture plus details make a big difference!

Best Advice: Spend time researching. Take time to find your particular style and work with a budget. Try to do DIY things! Don’t spend too much money in designer shops.

Dream Sources: Frankie, Oslo architecture, Paris, travelling, Pinterest and Ikea catalogue.


Sofa — Ikea
Cloud pillow — Tiger
Rug — Ikea
Tv Cabinet — Ikea
Coffee Tables — Sostrene Grenes
Candelabra — Sostrene Grenes
Yellow Armchair — Ikea
Blanket — Kid Interior
Stool — Inherited from last owner.
Frames — Ikea
Vintage postcard — from a trip to Paris
Shelves — Ikea
Bar Cart — Ikea
Pine apple cups — From a trip to New York
Porcupines salt and pepper shakers — Target
Plant — Local plant shop
Bonsai tree — Local plant shop

Cabinet with white doors — Ikea (the doors are from another Ikea cabinet)
Shelving — Ikea
Turntable — Urban outfitters
Vintage vinyls — Tiger
Table — Ikea
Chairs — Kenay Home
Shoe cabinet — Ikea
Map from New York — from a trip to New York
Cactuses — Ikea
Grocery store board — Target
Carpets — Ikea

Headboard — Ikea
Bedspread — Ikea
Big pillow: — Kid Interior
Dog — Chinese shop
Alarm clock — Tin tin shop
Picture frame — Ikea
Shelves — Ikea
Illustration — Alida’s. Made with tape bought at Michaels
Wall paper — Target
Make up station — Ikea
File cabinet — Ikea

Thanks, Alida and Alex!

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