Interiorssneak peeks

In Madrid, Gutsy Design Wakes Up a Century-Old Pied-à-Terre

by Garrett Fleming

In Madrid, Gutsy Design Wakes Up a Century-Old Pied-à-Terre, Design*Sponge

Twenty years ago, the neighborhood of Chueca near the center of Madrid, Spain was less than savory. Crime, drugs and vandals all dominated its streets, and even though its location made it ideal for tourists and locals alike, this bad rap solidified it as a place to avoid. Spain’s gay population wasn’t having it, though. They swept in and made the barrio the gayborhood, flipping it into a cultural hub filled with bars, fashion-forward shops and wonderful restaurants. Needless to say, the transformation has since turned it into one of the most sought-after areas in Madrid.

Susana Ordovás and her husband José (whose Mexico City home we featured here) are one pair lucky enough to own a pied-à-terre in this vibrant part of Madrid. Lovingly restored by its previous owners, their apartment in Chueca is a century old and boasts many of its original features: herringbone floors, three balconies and hearty doors. While these elements made it beautiful to begin with, design-fanatic Susana couldn’t just move into the space and do nothing to it. With her designer friend Dirk-Jan Kinet at her side and her new keys in hand she made two whirlwind trips from Mexico to Madrid with the sole purpose of making the home into a cozy retreat.

Most of the home’s decorations come from the world-famous El Rastro flea market. It’s supplied the pair with all the lamps, rusty signs, mannequins and 50s-era goods they could have hoped for. Plus it’s a blast to shop there, they tell us. Add to this mix some hypnotic wallpaper and a little determination, and Dirk and Susana were able to personalize this place in under two weeks. Yep, 11 days of install to be exact. Many of their design decisions are bold, but the overall formation of each room, with its color story and configuration, is so cerebral there isn’t one design element that grabs your attention. That’s the true sign of a well-thought-out home. Click through to relish in this black-and-green barrio beauty. Enjoy! —Garrett

Photography by Silvia BujánSource: Wandermelon

In Madrid, Gutsy Design Wakes Up a Century-Old Pied-à-Terre, Design*Sponge

Image above: When the apartment was first built in 1905, the two bedrooms were here where the current living room sits. That meant they got sole access to the home’s balconies and beautiful natural light. Before the Ordováses moved in, the previous owners cleverly swapped the living and sleeping spaces to give themselves a better backdrop for entertaining. Now everyone can enjoy the pretty views and breezes coming off the three balconies.

In Madrid, Gutsy Design Wakes Up a Century-Old Pied-à-Terre, Design*Sponge

Image above: To play off of this old laboratory table’s student graffiti, Susana paired it with a portrait she’s deemed “El Profesor.” To its left sits a vintage Manises lamp. The Valencia-based manufacturer’s old works are seeing a major resurgence in modern-day Spain.

In Madrid, Gutsy Design Wakes Up a Century-Old Pied-à-Terre, Design*Sponge

Image above: Susana, her husband José and their two children Maria and Pepe live in Mexico City, but when they have free time they holiday here in Madrid, nestled into their 112-year-old apartment.

In Madrid, Gutsy Design Wakes Up a Century-Old Pied-à-Terre, Design*Sponge

Image above: Most homeowners in Spain paint their shutter doors white. Not Susana. Her green ones provide that zip she always loves incorporating into home design. Most of this room’s decorations are from Madrid’s Sunday flea market El Rastro. The sofa is from La Oca.

In Madrid, Gutsy Design Wakes Up a Century-Old Pied-à-Terre, Design*Sponge

Image above: The metal sign advertising Tabac Gosset — a tobacco brand — was found at a local consignment shop. Susana and her designer friend Dirk got quite a few strange looks as they carried it home through the crowded streets, especially when Dirk dropped it and broke his toe!

In Madrid, Gutsy Design Wakes Up a Century-Old Pied-à-Terre, Design*Sponge

Image above: Originally, Susana doubted her friend Dirk-Jan Kinet’s vision for the dining room’s floral wall, but the Sanderson wallpaper has won her over. The table is from La Europea and sits on original herringbone floors.

In Madrid, Gutsy Design Wakes Up a Century-Old Pied-à-Terre, Design*Sponge

Image above: The entryway’s bold portrait was the first thing Susana purchased for her family’s pied-à-terre, and she brought it here all the way from Mexico. Its inky-green and black tones immediately establish the home’s color palette.

In Madrid, Gutsy Design Wakes Up a Century-Old Pied-à-Terre, Design*Sponge

Image above: Cole & Son wallpaper and bedside lamps from the 1950s decorate Susana and José’s bedroom.

In Madrid, Gutsy Design Wakes Up a Century-Old Pied-à-Terre, Design*Sponge

Image above: While this wallpaper is more contemporary than the rest of the home, green pillows and ceramics help ensure the bedroom as a whole fits into the home’s overall vibe.

In Madrid, Gutsy Design Wakes Up a Century-Old Pied-à-Terre, Design*Sponge

Image above: This green lamp had been gathering dust in one of Madrid’s vintage shops for a decade when Susana and her designer Dirk stumbled upon it. “I love how modern it looks in contrast [to] some of the antiques and vintage finds that are scattered throughout the rest of the house,” Susana gushes.

In Madrid, Gutsy Design Wakes Up a Century-Old Pied-à-Terre, Design*Sponge

Image above: The family’s kitchen. Photography by Lupe Clemente.

In Madrid, Gutsy Design Wakes Up a Century-Old Pied-à-Terre, Design*Sponge

Image above: Susana opted for mismatched dining sets. This is her family’s holiday home after all, so a bit of whimsy and fun were a must. The portrait is of a “gitano,” which is Spanish for “gyspy.”

In Madrid, Gutsy Design Wakes Up a Century-Old Pied-à-Terre, Design*Sponge

Image above: Red was Susana’s favorite color growing up, so she was thrilled to give her two children Maria and Pepe a scarlet bedroom.

In Madrid, Gutsy Design Wakes Up a Century-Old Pied-à-Terre, Design*Sponge

Image above: A 19th-century painting of a military gentleman in the children’s room.

In Madrid, Gutsy Design Wakes Up a Century-Old Pied-à-Terre, Design*Sponge

Image above: A closeup of the room’s Toile de Jouy wallpaper. It’s from French fabric house Manuel Canovas.

In Madrid, Gutsy Design Wakes Up a Century-Old Pied-à-Terre, Design*Sponge

Image above: “What I love most about our home is that it’s the perfect place to spend our holidays!” — Susana Ordovás In Madrid, Gutsy Design Wakes Up a Century-Old Pied-à-Terre, Design*Sponge Image above: The 1,400-square-foot home was built in 1905 in traditional Spanish style. It features two bedrooms, two bathrooms and is located in the Chueca neighborhood of Madrid.

Suggested For You

Comments

    • Kathy

      We did, we’re doing a soft launch this week while we tweak the way the home page works/looks and fix some bugs :)

      I’ll do a post explaining it all as soon as we’re done, but we want to see how a few aspects of the new home page work in real life for a few days.

      Grace

  • This space is amazing, every space holds another stunning gem. Whether it be artwork, wallpaper, or simply the architecture everything is thoughtfully constructed and unique. Would love to take hide away here.

  • As someone who lives in the centre of Madrid I can definitely say that the neighbourhood of Chueca has ceased to be one of the most sought-after areas in Madrid for at least 5 years!!!

  • There is something about Spanish homes that speaks to me and this one is no exception. I have never seen one I didn’t like. Love, love, love this one – the art, the colours, the wallpapers. I love everything.

  • I love that there is the contrast between objects and its backgrounds in every room! It adds a bit of liveliness. So many people are opting for all white, and I’m getting a bit bored with that!

Leave a Reply

Design*Sponge reserves the right to restrict comments that do not contribute constructively to the conversation at hand, contain profanity, personal attacks, hate speech or seek to promote a personal or unrelated business. Our goal is to create a safe space where everyone (commenters, subjects of posts and moderators) feels comfortable to speak. Please treat others the way you would like to be treated and be willing to take responsibility for the impact your words may have on others. Disagreement, differences of opinion and heated discussion are welcome, but comments that do not seek to have a mature and constructive dialogue will not be published. We moderate all comments with great care and do not delete any lightly. Please note that our team (writers, moderators and guests) deserve the same right to speak and respond as you do, and your comments may be responded to or disagreed with. These guidelines help us maintain a safe space and work toward our goal of connecting with and learning from each other.