Name: Björn Holmenäs
Location: El Poble-sec — Barcelona, Spain
Size: 506 square feet (plus a 430 square foot terrace)
Years lived in: 6 years, owned
Björn's apartment is located in the Barcelona neighborhood of El Poble-sec, a neighborhood with a history that can be traced back to ancient Rome. The streets in the neighborhood are small and narrow, yet filled with creativity and inspiration. So when Björn came across this apartment with a terrace overlooking the neighborhood and nearby mountains, he knew it was a once in a lifetime opportunity and snatched it up without even viewing it in person.
Once he became the owner, his first order of business was to gut the inside, which was a series of small, closed-off rooms. During his search for a contractor, Bjorn met Pablo of 251 Arquitectura, a Barcelona-based architect and designer with a knack for taking small, dark spaces and turning them into bright, functional homes. Their project was a huge success, and in the end, it incorporated the refreshing Swedish decor style Bjorn wanted. Pablo custom designed the staircase, bathroom, and opened up the living, dining, and kitchen areas. Pablo also completely remodeled the terrace to include an outdoor shower — a fun addition to the Scandinavian-inspired apartment.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: Scandinavian with a twist. I want to feel like as if I am in Sweden when I enter my apartment.
Inspiration: Functional design and the light.
Favorite Element: The roof terrace.
Biggest Challenge: The house is old and a bit crooked, so sometimes it's hard to mount things without something else falling apart.
What Friends Say: "I can tell you're Swedish."
Biggest Embarrassment: All the holes in the wall that I drilled in the wrong place.
Proudest DIY: The bed on the terrace.
Biggest Indulgence: Probably the big shower with endless hot water.
Best Advice: Don't be afraid of taking on crazy projects, everything is doable!
Modular sofa — Habitat
Plastic chairs — Vintage
TV table — Found on a street corner
Pillow — From my friend's village in Gambia
Stringer shelf — From my parent's wall
Table — Found on a street corner
Chairs — School chairs from the 1970s
Lamp — From vintage store near my house
Fixtures and cabinets — All IKEA with parts from flea markets in Sweden
Bed — DIY
Bedside table — Made from an old telephone shelf from flea market in Sweden
Sink — DIY made from parts found on the street, flea markets and IKEA
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