Magical transformations form the foundation for many of the best-loved fairytales: the frog who’s really a price; the ugly duckling who grows up to be the most beautiful swan of all; the skivvy and maidservant who fits the glass slipper and goes to live in the palace. These are stories for children, and we don’t expect anything like that to happen in real life. But every now and then, a transformation so complete and unbelievable it seems magical does take place in the world outside of fiction. And who is responsible for casting the spell? More often than not, architects and designers. When the Spanish building seen in the ideabook below underwent renovation by Intra Arquitectos, the change was so pronounced that it’s easy to believe that this place is the star of its own fairytale.
Looking at the wonderfully bright and modern open-plan dining area the home boasts today, it’s hard to imagine just how different things were before. A light, mostly white colour palette and liberal use of glass keep the mood extremely contemporary, while the wooden flooring is so rich and dark it seems like a well-preserved original feature of a period property.
Round the corner in the living area, white furnishings continue the theme, keeping things consistent.
Seeing what this exact space looked like not so long ago, however, really brings home exactly how difficult this journey must have been.
The kitchen is also now completely unrecognisable. This is what it looked like in a previous life: dark, dingy and more than just a little bit dated. But fast forward and things are suddenly a lot more positive…
The glass door and interior window allow light to filter through into the kitchen from the living/dining area, making the room seem extra fresh and modern. Again, cohesiveness is important; the prominence of white continues, and the transparent chair references the glass seen elsewhere in the home.
It’s fair to say that, prior to their makeover, the bathroom facilities in this building were not going to be winning any prizes for design, or indeed for hygiene.
Things were to change completely. This gorgeous two-tone bathroomcontrasts dark, highly polished tiles with the bright white that runs throughout the property. The simplicity of the colour scheme is mirrored by the simply minimalism of the toilet, sinks and bidet.
The bathtub, too, is utterly simple yet utterly luxurious in that simplicity.
The hallways used to be gloomy and depressing, not to mention rather claustrophobic.
But the new design of the house features no such closed-in spaces; everything is open and welcoming, with careful consideration given to lighting design in particular.
In the bedroom once again we see the level of planning and thought that has gone into getting the lighting throughout the house absolutely perfect. The unusual angular ceiling lights shed the perfect amount of muted light to set the ideal bedroom mood, while the gentle glow from the twin bedside lamps adds an extra dose of illumination when required. Note that although the bedroom is unusually small – that is actually the sliding door to the room that can be seen on the left-hand side of the picture – it doesn’t feel too stifling. This is partly due to the clever design of the door, which opens all the way onto the landing, and partly due to the soft, pure colour scheme.
That pop of purple visible from inside the bedroom is in fact the edge of the sofa seen here, which offers another living space in which to watch TV. Every space in this building has been capitalised on; no opportunity has gone to waste.