A Small Barcelona Loft Feels Much Larger Thanks to Tall Ceilings, Lots of Light, and Industrial Vibes
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Name: Nella Kasurinen
Location: Mongat — Barcelona. Spain
Size: 645 Square Feet
Years lived in: 6 months
Originally from Finland but a resident of Spain for 10 years, Nella Kasurinen has lived in this Barcelona loft, which is located in a restored former factory building near the sea, for about six months. She’s an interior architect and designer specializing in renovation projects, and restoring pieces of history mixed with modern, innovative design solutions are the signature concepts for her projects. A great part of the inspiration for her designs comes from the people and clients she works with: Helping to discover their favorite styles, habits, and needs and incorporating their personality into the project is key to creating such unique projects, including her own home. Bright and airy, white walls bounce around light, emphasizing the loft’s open floor plan, while industrial architectural elements are highlighted and complemented by her decor style. Its location near beaches and the water while still being close to the hustle of the city is a bonus that allows the whole space to feel free and relaxed, yet energetic, too.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: Secondhand finds, Art Deco, contemporary, mid-century
Inspiration: Secondhand finds, weird objects, and unique pieces. The older and weirder, the better.
Favorite Element: My grandfather’s old painting easel, which I carried from Finland to here. Now it works as a stand for one big black and white turtle painting that my dear friend made for me.
Biggest Challenge: Originally when moving from 30m2 [323-square-foot] size apartment into a twice the size, you don’t have “enough furniture” to make the home look ready. Nor is it easy budget-wise to furnish a whole apartment at once. If you are not in a hurry, I recommend taking time for the process and really searching piece by piece to complete the look of your home. Enjoy the journey! Take the time to really think and observe what kind of style and objects you like and what you don’t. Secondhand finds are a great way to add personality, soul, and meaning into your home decor and your bank account is pleased as well. During my career I have made almost 70 renovation projects with the interior design process included for my clients, so I understand well the pressure and need to make things really fast fast fast. If possible, and especially when planning long lasting solutions, my tip is to take it slow and use the time to really think about what pleases your eye!
Proudest DIY: One monochrome, abstract painting that I started to do spontaneously during the quarantine. I had a lot of other ideas about how to finish it but still until today, haven’t painted more to it. That’s the beauty of modern, abstract, really minimalistic art: You can choose when it’s done. If one day I feel inspired again to continue it, I will do so.
Is there something unique about your home or the way you use it? I think I’m one of the few people who gives more importance for the aesthetics and how I FEEL in the space, rather than its practicality. Cold materials, such as glass and mirror and stone and metal please my eye with their edginess and clean lines. As I don’t have kids at the moment I can have fully mirrored sofa table and glass dining table — they are just gorgeous. Of course the salty ocean breeze coming inside from the windows can be seen on the surfaces after one minute of having the window open, not to mention the normal dust and stains that every house has, but it’s worth it.
What are your favorite products you have bought for your home and why? Brought, not bought: One landscape painting my grandfather made for my mom. It’s this lovely and calm view of a lake, which reminds me of Finland and of course, my grandfather. Another art piece is a marker drawing of Grace Jones from ’84 that my mom’s theater friend drew for her after one of their lasts shows together. It’s so simple but edgy. I bought an old thick golden frame for it from one second-hand store in Barcelona. The third element would be a piece of rock that I carried from Menorca island when I visited there. It reminds me of the turquoise waters there and the calmness of island life.
Please describe any helpful, inspiring, brilliant, or just plain useful small space maximizing and/or organizing tips you have: Organizing tip: Disorganized homes where stuff is laying around and everything is in your sight keeps the mind distracted. You don’t feel peaceful in your own home and it’s hard to create an environment where you can rest. For practical reasons, some might want to keep things where you can see them so you can grab them fast when needed. The truth, though, is that you don’t need all the stuff, all the time. To minimize the “visual noise,” you can prioritize which things are actually important — used many times a day — less than once a day, once a week, etc. Less important stuff can be put in storage. When minimizing the “visual noise,” you give space for the eye to wander and actually observe the interior design of the space completely differently. This way you feel more connected to the space itself and the environment allows your mind and body to calm.
Finally, what’s your absolute best home secret or decorating advice? Don’t do decor shopping/impulse buying without knowing where to actually put the piece you are about to shop. Does it fit to the concept of your decor or is it just something that you saw nice at that very moment? This way you are thinking more sustainably and buying actually things you will need/like and use at the end. If you can’t figure out an important spot for the piece you are about to buy, you don’t actually need it and/or when arriving at home, you won’t like it. Second-guessing on decoration is not only good for maintaining the concept but also for your wallet.
- Black Dresser — Wallapop
- White head Base — Elim Home
- Dining Table and chairs — Wallapop
- Squared mirror — Wallop
- Mirrored coffee table — Wallop
- Sofa — IKEA
- ArmChairs — Sklum
- Small Black Round Side Table — Servei Estacio
- Black Side Table — IKEA
- Beverage Table — Wallapop
- Old frames — Columpiu
- Black Chandelier — Columpiu
- Gold night table and lamp — Wallapop
- Black Night table — Found on the street
This tour’s responses and photos were edited for length/size and clarity.
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