Interiorssneak peeks

A Family Friendly Home in Spain with Mediterranean Light

by anne

Design Sponge/ The wood plant holder is a family heirloom from my grandmother (from the 50s).
Laia Arriols and Jaume Gibert live in Reus, Spain, a town about 100km south from Barcelona. They moved in seven years ago when Laia was pregnant with their second child and the house has evolved and changed a lot since then, each year they add new furniture and textiles.  Laia jokes that the old couch is like a fifth member of the family – well loved, and one of the few pieces that has remained over the years. They wanted to create a home that is comfortable and useful and a place to live freely, not a museum where you can’t touch anything. They also wanted it to feel personal, so Laia’s own illustration work decorates the walls. After the birth of her daughters Joana (8) and Martina (7), Laia felt reconnected with her own childhood and creative expression. Last year she quit her job to to dedicate her time exclusively to Apanona, a name inspired by how her older daughter said “butterfly” when she was two. These days she has collaborations with  l’Affiche ModerneCamaloonDecopeques, in addition to her own shop and blog. Thanks, Laia! –Anne

Image above: The wood plant holder is a family heirloom from my grandmother (from the 50s).

Design Sponge/ The kitchen has an industrial/metallic a white look; a cold style, but very useful!
Image above: The kitchen has an industrial/metallic white look; a cold style, but very useful!



Click for more inside this Spanish home after the jump!


Design Sponge/ All the living room furniture was made with wood from Thailand and has a colonial style. We love the robust and classical look.
Image above: All the living room furniture was made with wood from Thailand and has a colonial style. We love the robust and classical look.

Design Sponge/ Another family piece that was my grandparents in the 50s.
Image above: Another family piece that belonged to my grandparents in the 50s. 

Design Sponge/ An old poster for a photography contest I designed 4 years ago. I love the amazing natural light of the Mediterranean.
Image above: An old poster for a photography contest I designed 4 years ago. I love the amazing natural light of the Mediterranean.

Design Sponge/ The bedroom furniture is Ikea (Malm series). The tree pictures of the room are own work again, this time from the series Paper I did it in 2012.
Image above: The bedroom furniture is Ikea (Malm series). The tree pictures of the room are my own work again, this time from the series Paper I did it in 2012. 

Design Sponge/ Ikea drawer (Malm series), vintage Stratford on Avon pottery, and HeyStudio "Winter" poster.
Image above: Ikea drawer (Malm series), vintage Stratford on Avon pottery, and HeyStudio “Winter” poster. 


Design Sponge/ Two of Apanona posters: Ballerina (available at l'Affiche Moderne) and Explore (girl version, available at Apanona.com).
Image above: Two of Apanona posters: Ballerina (available at l’Affiche Moderne) and Explore (girl version, available at Apanona.com).

Design Sponge/ Flags by Nobodinoz and birdhouse by Coté Sud.
Image above: Flags by Nobodinoz and birdhouse by Coté Sud.

Design Sponge/ Rabbit lamps by Coté Sud and Playmobil dollhouse.
Image above: Rabbit lamps by Coté Sud and Playmobil dollhouse.

Design Sponge/ I use my grandparent's shelf to store some of my work (including my little red ridinghood poster), and some books and magazines on graphic design, photography and illustration. It also has my little collection of notebooks and diaries (I love all Pony Brown products!), and special bookmarks: the “Fernandos” a paper circus show made by illustrator, Marc Sardà.
Image above: I use my grandparents’ shelf to store some of my work (including my little red ridinghood poster), and some books and magazines on graphic design, photography and illustration. It also has my little collection of notebooks and diaries (I love all Pony Brown products!), and special bookmarks: the “Fernandos” a paper circus show made by illustrator, Marc Sardà.

Image above: Landscape wall sticker by Apanona for Camaloon.


Design Sponge/ I choose this impactful red for the walls of the hall to remember an amazing afternoon we spent beside a little red lighthouse located in Cambrils, a village in the Mediterranean sea coast. The pictures of my children on the wall are from that day.
Image above: I chose this impactful red for the walls of the hall to remember an amazing afternoon we spent beside a little red lighthouse located in Cambrils, a village in the Mediterranean sea coast. The pictures of my children on the wall are from that day.




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  • It kills me that I can’t see the whole living room. I like how the corner of the sofa is styled. I wish I could see the entire thing, how it is in the room, what else is in the room. Even the rest of the pillow.

    One thing I really love about design sponge is how artistic some of the photos are in the sneak peaks. I enjoy abstraction quite a bit. BUT…

    When you find me complaining that this is just a series of vignettes — you know it’s gone pretty far. This is the third time I’ve mentioned this, and there are many times I haven’t said anything. It’s really frustrating to want to see more but everything is cropped so tightly I can’t. (A perfect example is the wall mural of the mountains. I could see as much detail on the site that sells them. How about a wider shot so I can see where and how they are placed? Also, TWO photos of monitors? C’mon.)

    • Stacy

      Thanks for your feedback, I completely understand your frustration. It’s tough sometimes to fit wider shots into a standard blog format because the photos get so short (in terms of height), but we’ll work harder to make sure we get better photos that better represent the full room whenever possible.

      The second monitor shot was the answer to the home owner’s “favorite thing about my home” question, which is typically hand written. I’ll keep an eye out for similar photos like that so they don’t feel like overkill.


  • Grace. thank you so much for responding. I really can’t tell you how much I love Design Sponge — the blog and the community you’ve built. It wasn’t easy for me to complain, but it was done out of love. This is the only blog I read daily! Thanks again, and keep up the fantastic work. You truly are an inspiration to me.

    • Thanks, Stacy. No worries at all, I think every day is a chance for us to learn something and do something differently, so I’m always happy to get feedback on how we could improve :)


  • that photo of the red wall with hooks and coat and camera makes me want to run out now (I would but all the shops are shut) and buy some paint and paint…..

    thank you :)

  • Stacy, I’ll also add that many of these homes are smaller than you may think and hence getting the angles to show everything is quite tricky. Also, I’m sure everyone has corners they wish were left unseen. You could always reach out directly to the home owners, as I’m sure they’d love to hear about your interest in their home.

  • Thanks to Stacey for flagging this up. Due to the tightly cropped shots I feel that of late the Sneak Peaks have become more like “featured corners” (maybe that should be “nooks” for the US) and a focus on style features and pops of wall colour, rather than a peep into someone’s home. Sneak Peaks are one of my favourite elements on D*S and I feel the move towards this kind of editorial presentation has left the site with a slightly less personal feel so I’m glad Grace is going to address it – I love D*S too!

  • Dear Laia,
    So happy to see your Home Pictures in this Project, the pictures are great and your Home is so charming and luminous as you are…
    The light of the Mediterranean enters and flows and colors still with more power everything what you have in her.

  • I actually quite enjoy vignettes. Details make a world of difference in a home, so it’s interesting to see how each homeowner accessorizes their space. (Not that I don’t also enjoy seeing the bigger picture.)

  • Hello!

    Thanks for all your lovely words about my home! If someone is interested in more pictures, can contact me via e-mail. No problem!

    The bunk beds: We bought them two years ago in a local furniture shop in Spain, here their website:


    Really lovely shop!

    Thanks again!

  • Laia,
    I love how you mentioned about how you wanted a home to express comfortable and not a museum. Also I love the natural light in your home!

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