A Cultivated & Relaxed Valencia Apartment

updated Feb 20, 2019
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(Image credit: Carmen Chavarri)

Name: Javier Ferrer, Ana Lanfranco, Mina, and Fedra
Location: Valencia, Spain
Size: 1,600 square feet
Years lived in: 13 years; Owned

Javier and Ana are the entrepreneur powerhouse duo behind two of the trendiest cafés in Valencia as well as Simple, a charming downtown decoration store that specializes in vintage and artisanal products for the home. With a fourth project on the horizon and countless e-mails and phone calls to attend to, I am ever so grateful that they took the time to show me their beautiful home.

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View into the living room and office from the hallway- a wall was torn down to get this open plan living space. (Image credit: Carmen Chavarri)
(Image credit: Carmen Chavarri)

Located on the first floor of an early 20th century building, the apartment still conserves the original tiled floors, long corridors and elegant high ceilings typical of Spanish turn-of-the-century architecture. Against this stunning backdrop, Javier and Ana have created a space that is both sophisticated and welcoming, cultivated and relaxed.

The couple has gathered their décor with lots of patience and a keen eye for original finds. Inherited family pieces and thrift gems rub elbows with the occasional designer piece and upscale antique. It is also a well-traveled design, with art and trinkets arrived from just about every corner of the world.

(Image credit: Carmen Chavarri)

One of their favorite things to do when they travel is to stroll through flea markets in search for unique pieces. An amused Ana remembers the time they flew back from Germany with all their clothes in plastic bags so that they could bring home in their suitcase the beautiful steel lamp that now hangs over their office desk. She also confesses that when they first opened Dulce de Leche, a café that can seat more than 20 people, they almost didn’t need to buy any chairs, as they were able to furnish the space with their personal collection.“We tend to accumulate. Open any cabinet in the house and I assure you you will find a ceramic vase inside. They are my current obsession”. Elegant, timeless furniture and accents are not bad obsessions to have.

(Image credit: Carmen Chavarri)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: Bohemian and simple. Warm and Nordic.

Inspiration: Javier: My profession, photography. Also, art, cinema, and literature.

Favorite Element: Javier: The Kienzle wall clock by the entry door.
Ana: The original Art Deco sideboard in the living room (that we scored for the laughable amount of 45 euros) and the bathroom mirror (also a steal).

Biggest Challenge: We would like to have more space. We also want to install A/C. Valencia gets really hot in the summer!

What Friends Say: One of our friends wants to kill us and then steal our apartment. I hope he’s kidding!

Biggest Embarrassment: None.

Proudest DIY: The industrial spotlight turned into floor lamp in the living room. Javier designed the iron lamp base and a blacksmith built it.

Biggest Indulgence: Javier: The Christ sculptures in the living room. They are 18th century originals, and each has a different origin. What I like most about them is how primitive and simple they are. I have recently become very interested in sacred art.

Best Advice: Ana: Do not “decorate”. Do not plan, let your house be lived and grow with you. Javier: The pieces’ authenticity is what matters most. We like that patina of authenticity on things.

Dream Sources: Merci in Paris. Labour and Wait in London. DIM in Berlin. A Vida Portuguesa in Porto and Lisbon. La A, Última Parada, and Jaime Beriestain Concept Store in Barcelona. Doméstico in Santander. Simple in Valencia.


(Image credit: Carmen Chavarri)


  • Eames DCW chair: eBay
  • Kienzle wall clock: collectibles auction
  • Floor fan: Corte Inglés
(Image credit: Carmen Chavarri)


  • Ceiling lamp: flea market in Cologne, Germany
  • Fase desk lamp: flea market in Valencia, Spain
  • “Floating” shelf: Ikea
  • Sideboard: found on the street
  • Wooden African sculptures: collectibles auctions and bought through friends
  • White vases: Limo Ceramics
(Image credit: Carmen Chavarri)


  • Art deco sideboard: flea market in Valencia, Spain
  • Christ sculptures: collectibles auctions
  • Black figurine in urn: antiques store in Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Wall masks: bought from a collector friend who got them in Senegal
  • Abstract art poster: Museum of Abstract Art in Cuenca, Spain
  • Record player stand: flea market in Nantes, France
  • Leather sofa: Ikea
  • Modern leather sofa with metal structure: vintage Ikea
  • Side table: Ikea hacked by Ana and Javier
  • Marble base desk lamp: Lebrel
  • Eames RAR rocking chair: eBay
  • Black and white abstract paintings: Valencian artist Amparo Tormo
(Image credit: Carmen Chavarri)


  • Mirror: flea market in Valencia, Spain
(Image credit: Carmen Chavarri)


  • Bed: Ikea
  • Nightstands: designed and built by Javier
  • Dresser: Ikea
(Image credit: Carmen Chavarri)


  • Credenza: flea market in Valencia, Spain
  • Wall photography: by Javier
  • Bar cart: gifted by Javier’s mother
(Image credit: Carmen Chavarri)


  • Credenza: flea market in Valencia, Spain
  • Flower vase: Zara Home
  • Tea set: Tiger
  • Sideboard: found on the street
  • Ceramic bird: flea market in Portugal
  • Crab plate: Zara Home
  • Vases: Zara Home and flea market in Portugal
  • Dining table: Ikea
  • Chairs: 1970s originals gifted by a friend.
  • Deer head: flea market in France
  • Spotlight: Javier’s own photography equipment
  • Bar table: Ikea

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Thanks, Javier & Ana!