An "Industrial Modern" Renovation of a Barcelona Apartment

An "Industrial Modern" Renovation of a Barcelona Apartment

Lula Poggi
Feb 8, 2017

Name: Eli and Luis
Location: El Borne — Barcelona, Spain
Size: 1,200 square feet
Years lived in: Owned 2 years

Though Eli and Luis consider themselves modern nomads, they decided to settle down in one spot two years ago. That's when they found this apartment in Barcelona's El Borne neighborhood. Luis wasn't initially sure it had any potential; the apartment wasn't in great shape. But Eli fell for it from the moment she saw it and convinced Luis to give it a chance.

After an arduous search for style inspiration and the right materials to use, the couple realized the apartment had an opinion, too. During the renovation, they removed layers of paint and plasterboard to reveal beautiful materials like brick, concrete and steel. That's how this home's modern, industrial style evolved. And that's also why the couple created and incorporated furniture made of steel throughout.

As with most renovations, there were stumbling blocks. But they came up with creative solutions that ended up becoming favorite "masterpieces." The Murano crystal wall that divides the dining room and the bathroom was a solution for getting light into a dark space. They painted colored lines in the shower to cover flaws. And the sculpture in the corridor was born from another unfinished home project! These little stories are what make this apartment so special.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: We have an industrial style full of vintage elements with an influence of the sixties and seventies.

Inspiration: Definitely the neighborhood, El Borne, with its many cafes with steel and brick everywhere. We loved incorporating these kinds of materials in to our apartment.

Favorite Element: We have two: One is the shelving in the living room. This was a piece of furniture designed to divide the space but still allow visibility. But the interesting part of it is that the wood we used comes from a World War II hangar in Canada.

The second one is the sculpture made of steel that is hanging in the corridor. We bought the steel to make a headboard for our bedroom, but that didn't go well, so we decided to make an ART corner! And it turned out to be our second favorite element in the apartment.

Biggest Challenge: Arranging the furniture in the living room. We could not decide how to do it! The biggest challenge was to figure out what table we should put in the dining room. Eventually, it evolved naturally and now we have four well-defined zones: The TV area, "the office" with the desk, the "chill-out zone" with the sofas and the dining room with our rectangular table!

What Friends Say: Everybody loves the apartment! And the stories behind it.

Biggest Embarrassment: The shower! Every time we take a shower humidity appears and we cannot detect where it is coming from.

Proudest DIY: Everything! But if we have to choose one, it would be the steel furniture. We designed it very carefully and burnt it with acid to give the appearance of oxide.

Biggest Indulgence: The crystal wall. The crystals are from Murano, Italy and they cost a fortune! But they were worth it because it became "the" great piece in the apartment.

Best Advice: Listen to what your house wants to be! It begs to be a participant in the project.

Dream Sources: "The Borne Market" (our best view from the apartment). It informed our selection of materials.

Explore this style:

Further resources:


Pictures of bugs — Hagedornhagen


Wave Art by Katsushika Hokusai —
Mountain Art by Katsushika Hokusai —
Ribba Frames — IKEA


Mirror — IKEA


Picture Frames — IKEA


Leather Chairs — Francisco Segarra
Picture frames — IKEA
Umbrella Art by Jack Vettriano —
Beach Art by Jack Vettriano —


Cart — IKEA
Mirror — Maisons du Monde
Coffee Art —
"Salty Tolerance" Art — IKEA
Picture Frames — IKEA

Thanks, Eli and Luis!

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