Roaming: Barcelona Revisited

June 23, 2012 § 12 Comments

Ciutat Vella

Carrer de Ferran

Ibericus – a butcher shop

Cone of Meat (or at least that’s what I called it)

Authentic Paella

Plaça Réal

You know that point when you realize you’re going on a trip SOON but it’s really, actually, not soon enough? Yes… that’s me these days. Lots to do and no energy to do it because my brain has taken an early leave of absence – without permission!

In anticipation of my travels… I thought I’d look back on my trip to Barcelona earlier this year – one more time – and whet my appetite, relive some memories and help get me through the next few weeks before my vacation!

Snapshots of some of my favourite things:

  • Barcelona architecture – all around – it was beautiful!
  • Carrer de Ferran – I walked this street between La Rambla and the El Born District a ‘million times’ and loved it each time.
  • Ibericus – this boutique butcher shop was located in a shopping mall! The Spanish take their cured meats very seriously and the ‘Cone Of Meat’ was something I’ll never forget.
  • Paella – I loved the presentation of this dish as much as the dish itself!
  • Plaça Réal – one of the many squares with arched colonnades – great for sitting outdoors and people watching.

Interiors: Black, Gold and a Tub

May 28, 2012 § 6 Comments

Yes…that kitchen is a wonder! As in, I wonder how to keep those pine-slatted walls dust free?!  Me thinks my clients are starting to influence the way I see design. Ha ha…

Anyway… back to the love-in! That kitchen pendant is amazingly beautiful. So simple in shape and finish. Matte black and burnished gold. And then that crystal sparkle underneath just adds so much loveliness to the whole… I must find out who makes this fixture!

But I think what I love most about this interior are the architectural details… the sliding pocket doors and the way they retreat, revealing arched openings. Their black frames and integrated hardware so simple, so perfect. Not to be outmatched by the black framed windows, so tall and so definitive in framing the view outside.

And then there’s that bath tub. No, dear clients… it’s not comfortable but I don’t care. ;)

Picasso & His Museum

May 23, 2012 § 4 Comments

Seated Harlequin 1923 – Picasso

I have visited the Picasso Museum in Paris and more recently his museum in Barcelona. He truly was a genius and walking through these rooms filled with his artwork was something I will never forget. In both cases, however, the architecture and design of the Museum itself really struck me. It added as much to the experience as the artwork itself.

In the case of the Museu Picasso in Barcelona (pictured here), several estate homes were taken over to house his masterpieces. The stonework and the architectural elements of these homes were beautifully maintained. Large stone archways, juliette balconies, a central courtyard with palm trees… all linked together with square, steel-framed openings and large, clear glass expanses – modern elements for a modern icon.

I wonder if Picasso would have felt at home in his Museums? I know I was pretty happy even just visiting. :)

I’d love to hear your thoughts on your favourite museum…

Inspired: Patricia Urquiola

April 6, 2012 § 5 Comments

Pear Bathtub, Agape

Fat Sofa, B&B Italia

Tufty Bed, B&B Italia

Caboche Suspension Light, Foscarini

Vieques Outdoor Furniture, Kettal

Canasta Loveseat, B&B Italia

Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Barcelona - Spain

W Hotel, Vieques - Puerto Rico

For today’s post, I wanted to share with you one of my idols. Patricia Urquiola. She’s designed everything from architecture to furniture to lighting to bath fixtures and I find her pieces always delightful and interesting. Modern yet classic. She’s not afraid to use colour, texture and repetition. Above is just a small sampling of her work (and some of my favourites). You can find her work at Molteni & Co., B&B Italia, Moroso, Agape, Hansgrohe, Foscarini, and the list goes on and on.

She’s an amazing talent. Sigh….

Roaming: Barcelona (Sagrada Família)

April 1, 2012 § 9 Comments

Sagrada Familia, Barcelona

Sagrada Familia (interior ceiling)... amazing!

Interior nave and spiral staircase, Sagrada Familia

Stained glass windows, Sagrada Familia

Me... Sagrada Familia, Nativity Façade

Detail shot of one of the towers, Sagrada Familia

View of Barcelona from La Sagrada Familia

After having spent a few days in Barcelona, I decided I better start visiting some of the more ‘touristy’ things this city has to offer. Of course, at the top of my list, was La Sagrada Familia. I admit, I wasn’t a big fan of architect Antonio Gaudi’s work in my studies but let me tell you… having seen this building in person, I am a true believer!

His imagination must have been boundless. As an interior designer that relies heavily on construction drawings to deliver my vision for a space, I can’t imagine what Gaudi’s drawings must look like or how one would even translate all the detail and angles and geometry of his work onto paper, let alone the spirit and passion he must have felt. How is this even being built without him?!

(History Note: the building was started in 1882 but Gaudi took over two years later and completely changed its direction, devoting his life to expressing his religious and nationalist passions through this building until his untimely death in 1926. Apparently, drawings and plans were destroyed in the Spanish Civil War (argh!) but the work continues at a slow pace due to lack of funding and its overall complexity.)

Anyway… the interior is stunning. I was completely awe-struck. I highly recommend visiting (entrance fees are syphoned for the continued construction progress) and if you’re not afraid of heights and long, narrow, winding staircases, do pay the extra euros and head to the top of the towers. The view is amazing and you really do get up, close and personal with Gaudi and his imagination.


Roaming: Barcelona

March 27, 2012 § 2 Comments

View of La Rambla from my hotel balcony

Covered patio for a tapas restaurant

A plaça in Barcelona, one of many!

A tapas restaurant in the El Born District.

Chocolatey goodness at Xocoa!

Patates Bravas!... so delish!

My first time in Barcelona… and it won’t be my last. The city is beautiful. The tapas is yummy-licious and beyond what words can express. And the architecture…. well, I wish I had my Nikon D3100 to fully capture it all back in January!

Some of my favourite things:

  • tapas
  • La Rambla
  • Carrer de Ferran
  • El Born District
  • tapas
  • dinner outdoors even in January
  • Picasso Museum
  • tapas
  • balconies and tree-lined streets
  • Catalán language (though everyone spoke English)
  • did I mention the tapas? :)

I thought I’d be able to add everything to one post but that wouldn’t really be fair. Barcelona is so much more than just one blog post! So this will be the first in a series. Hasta luego!

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