anne ditmeyerinterior designInteriorssneak peeks

sneak peek: lisi and alex

by anne

As soon as Lisi and Alex knew they were expecting, the time had come for them to look for a home of their own. The only requirements were that it had a soul, a story, and a history. The minute they stepped foot in this house, which is just 15 minutes from the heart of Barcelona, they new this they’d found their home. With the old floors,  old windows and high ceilings, it was the perfect place to start a family- but it needed a little work. So they teamed up with Mis-Mas, an interior design studio based in Barcelona, to help with the refurbishment. Lisi and Adam loved the way Mis-Mas respected the old construction, while making the new design changes look contemporary and organic to the home’s original style at the same time. Thanks to Lisi and Adam and Javier Almar for his photography. (and special thanks to Cecile)! –Anne

Image above: The dining room is the heart of the house. The wooden table is the center of our universe: on top we have toys, dried flowers, food, glasses, our phones, the newspaper, our mail… and sometimes even Simón, who is now 18-months old. Everything gets put there as soon as it arrives in the house. The more activity, the better, the dirtier, the more stories it has to tell. It’s a piece of furniture that is alive.

CLICK HERE for the rest of Lisi’s home tour (and all 12 images on one page) after the jump!

Image above: I love the great big windows and the view of the neighbor’s garden, full of trees and beautiful flowers (and a very lovely cat I salute everyday). It’s nice in autumn and in spring, but in the summer it gets very hot and in winter it’s very cold – that’s the price we pay for not changing the old windows!

Image above: Simón’s room is the place where I want to be the most unorganized. I love to see things on the floor: coloring materials, papers, books, Woody from Toy Story, Mr Potato Head. I have birds and butterflies on the door, on top of his bed and on his changing table- it’s a place where these animals must fly, like his imagination. And a must is the fluffy off-white rug where he can play.

Image above: We wanted to give an old look to the kitchen, so we maintained the original structures and updated fixtures and details with a lot of tender loving care. We love the final result.

Image above: The bathroom is my private and public space. In the morning it’s “mom and dad’s territory”. At night, Simón joins in. We take a bath together every night and we play with the bubbles, floating books and all his animal sea toys. It’s one of my favorite places to be since it also has two big windows overlooking our neighbor’s beautiful garden. While I wash my hair, I stare out to the greenery and it makes me want to go out into the world happier.

Image above: The rooftop is a bit of heaven in the city. We play, take care of the plants and watch them grow and bloom. We also like to spy on the little birds that stop by and enjoy seeing an open sky above us.

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  • so beautiful! i love the description of everything that goes on the table, and the worn look of the wood. sounds like such a lovely family! i totally agree about keeping a kids room unorganized and creative. one of my favourites yet.

  • This is so beautiful! The tiles are beyond anything I have ever seen!

  • Everything about this apartment is just perfect. It could be the setting of an urban fairy tale. The balance of the modern with the original features is just right. It’s a little utilitarian and bohemian at the same time. Yet, beyond the incredible style it still has a casual feel that shows how much it’s loved and lived in. Thank you for sharing this home!

  • That rooftop Does look like a bit of heaven. My father built the spalted maple trestle table in our dining room when he and my mother first built the house, and it’s been the center of the household for 23 years, so I know what you mean!

  • love the winding staircase, the natural light in the living room, the vintage decor…babies room is too dark for my taste…

  • My god, I love this apartment so much. My favorite part is the gorgeous tile floors. The only thing I don’t understand is how Simon scattered those toys around his bedroom floor if he is only three months old.

  • This home exudes such a tranquil beauty it’s hard to imagine it’s near the heart of a big city. So many things to love, the paned doors, kitchen sink, dining table – but the rooftop patio made me say, “Wow!” out loud the minute I saw it. Gorgeous! What a happy home to live in.

  • I so knew this was Barcelona as soon as I saw the tiles! I miss my home town so much more now! Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful pictures. Teniu un pis preciós!

  • Wow. This home is absolutely stunning. Need to keep my jealousy in check…those bookshelves…the rugs…the kitchen…the stairwell. Beautiful.

  • The home combines design and function perfectly. It makes you want to spend a night having dinner with them! I absolutely love love love

  • Beautiful. I love the house. But even it’s messiness is a little too perfect and the pretentiousness of the commentary was too much to bear. I have a new son and I can tell you that no 3 month old is playing with blocks on the coffee table or riding a toy bicycle around his bedroom. I understand the desire to push forward to the stage of coloring books and rocking horses, but forgawshsakes there is no need to have some imaginary toddler wreaking imaginary havoc. You can just imagine the scene: “The photographer’s coming! Quick! Throw those toys on the floor! Build a tower out of those blocks!”

    To me, the fine line of living amongst beautiful surroundings is not just doing it to create some phantasmic existence for other people to envy, but to live a mildly examined life where form, function, detail and beauty are appreciated and cultivated.

    Ok that last line was pretty pretentious too. But you catch my drift.

    • scott

      i understand your point, but i don’t think you’ve ready some of the wrath coming from commenters who attack people for NOT cleaning up for styling their homes. parents tend to be damned if they do, damned if they don’t when it comes to toys, etc. parents yell at them for seeming too perfect and people without children tend to complain if there are toys left in the image. i just hope everyone, parents and non-parents, can have a bit more understanding for each other- and leave the pretentiousness out of it.


  • @grace

    I would clean up my house too, if someone were coming to take pictures of it. My comment was not about their cleaning up or lack thereof, it was a statement of fact that no child who is 3 months old, as the article stated, is physically capable of playing with blocks, coloring books, or rocking horses. Thus my deduction that the parents placed these objects artfully around the house for some purpose unclear to me but obviously involving the artifice of some perfect existence, rather than just living their actual life.

    It just bothers me that in many ways the logical extent of a life lived for beauty is also a life lived quite shallowly. These people may or may not be shallow in their daily lives and it is not for me to judge something I know nothing of, but it makes me think twice about surrounding myself with nice things because I am worried it will make it easier for my family, my life, my son, to become some set-piece – a projection of some picture I saw in a magazine once that made me feel like it was possible to have it all together – or, in this case, to have it perfectly un-together.

  • So beautiful. It looks just lovely. Just the right combination of natural and luxurious and sparing but comfortable. I would kill for those floors, and Barcelona, one of the loveliest cities… what a life!

  • i love seeing each new sneak peek when it’s published, but this one is the best to date. i love everything about it from the beautiful tiles to the simplistic kitchen to the lovely flowing curtains. this is such a humble and beautiful home, thank you for sharing it.

  • i was going to say how refreshing it is to see a home being used. nothing wrong with a bit of stage setting. we’d all do it. kick our undies under the bed and bring in the fresh flowers. i love the LOVE i feel in these pictures. a desire to create a family space for real people, kids included, who wanna do whatever. Its not too spartan but it has great design elements. nothings been compromised. i personally love it. thanks.

  • Hello! Thank u all for ur wonderful comments, it makes me very happy. 2 corrections: my husband is called Alex (not Adam) and my son is 18 months! And really messy! Thanks again!

  • @scott

    their son is 18 months old … and i think you can rest assured that he’s able to ride his toy bike & will happily stack some bricks…

    anyway, this house is incredibly beautiful AND homely – one to bookmark and come back to for some daydreaming!!

    • Pauline

      Just a quick note- the post originally said 3 months but we were informed this morning that he’s 18 months. We were working from info provided by an intermediary and there were a few corrections sent in by the home owner this morning.


  • I knew for the very firts picture that the apartment is placed in Barcelona… It’s so catalan

  • Love the dining table. Really like the contrast of the wood with the black hanging lamps.
    Can you tell me where the black lamps over the dining table are from?

  • I love all of it. I don’t think I’d change on single thing. Particularly like the table with the seating and shelving above it. The kitchen, the staircase, the outdoor area – OMG the list goes on!

  • Wow. Looks like I sort of have egg on my face. I guess it doesn’t pay to read too much into tiny details.

    Thanks for the correction!

  • This is lovely! I, for one, love the “theater” of a good picture. How wonderful that we, any of us, can add a “prop” if need be to add a little story to our picture. All the photos were wonderful and they told a beautiful story!

  • I love it all, and best thing is that I can totally see me and my 4 year old living there. So, when can we move in??? haha

  • Hi Lisi and Alex, what a fine line between cosy and modern, Moor and European you found. I love Barcelona for its relaxed vibe and sharp edges at night. You created that same exotic and yet relaxed vibe in your house, my compliments. I have one question, can you share where you found the small black lamps on your kitchen wall? I’ve been looking for something similar for a long time without succes. Thanx!

  • Beautiful space! Love it all, the floors, the sinks, the chandelier! I’m wondering if anyone can give me some suggestions on where to buy a rustic (but clean) table like that in (northern) California

  • Grace-I’ve raised 5 kids, and I can honestly say, I never had to “hurry-up” and throw toys on the floor before any guests arrived…..it is the way life is. I thought this home was spectacular….I bet teaching a toddler to walk up & down those curvy steps (Safely) was a bit of challenge. All of us should consider having our large dining table be the focus of any home….place to dump stuff, clean up & eat/talk about one’s day; to work on great projects for the adults & children. Over 32 years married, and we have NEVER used a dining room…we always have served our meals on the largest of table(s) we need for our family & extended gatherings during holidays. Makes me want to go to Spain one day with my husband. So far, we’ve used your city tours: Paris, Vancouver, Portland, Seattle and never have been disappointed with any of your suggestions! Give everyone on the staff a HIGH FIVE!

  • oh my this is so beautiful… such personality… really a house with real life stories in each corner! ;) i have tweeted!!!

  • I adore that dining room.

    I do question the ergonomics of the 2 cute stools. Do you really have people sit on those for a meal? I could imagine dinner guests fighting over the spots on the comfy bench.

    I also love the kitchen – it looks perfect.
    I love the open-ness of the island and the wall shelf, but I’m aware it’s always a trade-off with storage.
    Do you miss having upper cabinets from a cooking perspective?

    PS. props for not giving in and filling your house full of kids’ stuff — I live with a toddler and baby and it always baffles me how much crap a tiny person “needs”.

  • I too am in love with the bookshelves in the photo above. The combination of wood and metal is gorgeous!

    Can someone tell me where I can find something similar? Much appreciated!

  • hello, I’m Cecile from MisMAS Interior Design Studio, in Barcelona !
    thank’s a lot for all your nice comments !
    I see there is a lot of questions about the lights, the bookshelves and other staff. I will be please to answer on my mail, cecile@mis-mas.com
    PS : the bookshelves are a special MisMAS’s design, we make in diferent material depending on the kind of style we want to transmit.

  • Hello again! I am really flipping out with all your generous commentaries, you are so nice! I will answer a few questions you asked. The bookshelves were designed by Mis-Mas (www.mis-mas.com) they can make them painted in white, black, different kind of wood… The kitchen lamps were very hard to find preciselly cause they are so simple. I bought them in Biosca Botey (www.bioscabotey.com) maybe they can sirve them abroad… The dinning table I use as the center of my house and meals honestly cause it has a comfi bench full of pillows to lean on. The stools are very uncomfortable… but are easy to drag around and fit well underneath the table when are not in use. When guests come, Alex and I sit on them, but are backs suffer a lot! I recommend them better for informal & quick meals. About the upper cabinets in my kitchen, I dont miss them at all, never had them before actually, so not used to them. The wall colour in Simón’s room is pretty dark, but during the day time its really cozy and beautiful. The Pantone would be 4985, but it changes a lot among the changes of light of the day… Thanks again!

  • I love you house Lisi!!! My favourite place is the rooftop garden!! Looks amazing in this article… When are we having dinner again??? Hee hee. I know, when we come back from Madrid (a party??) xxx

  • Lovely! I admire the feel of your home but it was difficult to peel my eyes off the floors–absolutely gorgeous. I would like to take my cup of tea to your rooftop garden right now…

  • It’s absolutely stunning! I always admire an eclectic home – it looks very inviting! Wish I could start all over and not be so matchy, matchy.

  • Hi Lisi, Love your home! Can you please share where you purchase your rugs from? Thank you!!

  • This house is my absolute favourite on this site! It is so tasteful without pretention, and warm and cosy at the same time. I love those beautiful tiles too.

  • Does anyone know where the ledges on the wall behind the dining table are from? The white ones with all the pictures on them?