An Opulent Barcelona Home in a Former School

updated Feb 19, 2019

An Opulent Barcelona Home in a Former School

updated Feb 19, 2019
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Name: Sara, her husband and their three children
Location: Sant Gervasi — Barcelona, Spain
Size: 7,000 square feet
Years lived in: 5 years, owned

Sara’s no fan of minimal design. Thankfully, she’s got plenty of room to get as ornate as she wants. Chandeliers from France, rugs from Russia — every object’s got a story. But the house does, too: It used to be an old school!

Having a baby was the reason Sara and her husband started searching for a new place five years ago, but it was the breakup of another couple that ended up being their unexpected luck. The last couple who bought the house divorced in the middle of the remodel and wanted to sell it as soon as possible.

Sara and her husband not only got a great deal on the house thanks to the sellers’ circumstances, but because the renovation wasn’t complete (the house came with zero doors, for example), Sara had the opportunity to really add her own personality to the space.

And for Sara, that meant incorporating dark colors, adding in sumptuous details and using light as a design element. Sara says she could describe herself as someone “from another time,” and that element shows through this home’s design. The whole house has the atmosphere of stepping back in time into a luxurious grand hotel.

And though Sara knows what she wants and has an incredible imagination, this house wouldn’t be what it is without the help of her best friend Lazaro Rosa Violan (a Catalan interior designer), whose ideas are all over the place.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: I could define myself as a lady from another time, I love the Baroque style and have so many things and ornate details because I don’t like minimal and modern design.

Inspiration: I love to travel and take pictures of everything that I like. I have a lot of folders with all this information.

Favorite Element: The kitchen.

Biggest Challenge: The living and dining rooms. Compared with the rest of the house, they are not that big and we didn’t know how to distribute the furniture.

Also we didn’t know what to do with this little spot surrounded by windows. Finally we decided to do a “chill-out zone” and we really enjoy it when friends and family come.

What Friends Say: Most of them love the house, but I don’t think they would like to live in it because of the darkness and the “ornate style.”

Biggest Embarrassment: I hate a bad table setting. We have a lot of dinner parties and the setting up of the table is really important to me.

Proudest DIY: My style!

Biggest Indulgence: The big chandelier in the dining room. We bought it in Paris and we spent two days fighting for the best price!

Best Advice: Do it in your own style! It’s your house and you have to live in it.

Dream Sources: Luzio and Azul Tierra, two decoration shops in Barcelona and the antiques shops from Empordà (an area in the “Costa Brava” of Northern Catalunya.)


Shelving — Custom made by a Russian carpenter
Mirror — Custom made
Sofa — Marché aux Puces, Paris
Side table — Empordà antique shop
Black basket — Ikea

Sofa — custom made
Base —
Table — Antique shop
Pendant — From Mexico

Table and chairs —
Chandelier — Marché aux Puces, Paris
Rug — from Russia
Side table — antique shop
Candle base —

Marble — Ikea
Curtains — Ikea
Pictures — antique shop

Table — Madrid Antique shop
Cabinets — Costume made
Big bottles — antique shop
Black candle bases —

Furniture — Empordà antique shops and Marché aux Puces, Paris
Table lamp —
Mirrors — custom made
Side table —

Wallpaper — Hermes
Bathroom furniture —
Mirror — from Venice

Linen —
Head board — Ikea
Bed — Ikea
Armchairs — Encants flea market
Table lamps —
Flag and black poster — Marché aux Puces, Paris
Chairs — Ikea
Bedside leather tables —

Little bed —
Bedside table —
Folding Screen — Custom made
Arm Chair — Ikea
Cabinet — Antique shop
Linen —

Cabinet — Empordà antique shop
Mirror — Custom made

Pendant — From Mexico
Furniture — Custom made

Ottoman —
Dresser —
Head board —
Tv cabinet —
Lamps —
Linen — trip to Hong Kong
Bedside tables — from a trip to Hong Kong

Bath tub — Roca
White desk —
Stool — El Corte Inglés
Curtains — Ikea
Mirror — Empordà antique shop
Sink Furniture —

Thanks, Sara!

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