This Colorful Madrid Apartment is Filled With Icons of 20th-Century Design

Eres de Madrid desde que pones un pie en ella,” goes a common saying in Spain. In English, that translates to, “You are from Madrid from the moment you set foot there.” You won’t have to spend long in the city before you’ll come across someone repeating the phrase nor much longer after that before you’ll realize it’s true. Madrid adopts new residents from the moment they arrive. The owners of this city-center apartment, a young married couple (he’s from Galicia, in northwest Spain, and she’s from Mexico) know this very well. Having embraced Madrid, they wanted to turn their 1,000-square-foot apartment into a proper home, and entrusted the interior design studio Sierra and De La Higuera with the renovation.

The couple wanted their home to reflect the aesthetics of the different parts of the world where they grew up and the influences of their travels; their goal was for the apartment to reflect both of their origins and family traditions. Another unifying principle of the project was an emphasis on color. “They told us they wanted to have a comfortable and functional home, cheerful and with materials that would age very well over time. We used clay tiles in all different contexts and shades, they are very adaptable,” the studio’s designers explain.

The entrance hall, wrapped in wood and with a glazed terracotta floor, combines craftsmanship and design. The Dudet armchair is by Patricia Urquiola (Cassina), the AT16 coat rack is by Osvaldo Borsani and, next to the terrace, is a vase from Tamegroute, Morocco (Kelly Deco). 

Germán Saiz

In fact, it is precisely the studio’s use of tiles that makes the project so groundbreaking. On the one hand, white tiles have been combined with blue, red, and yellow ones, or topped with different borders to distinguish between the home’s different areas. The tiles both provide the home with a certain unity and allow different spaces to develop their own personalities. 

In a bold move, Sierra and De La Higuera merged the indoors and the outdoors, using the same yellow clay in both the terrace and living room. It provides a great sense of continuity and integrates the terrace so that it becomes simply another area of the home. The indoor-outdoor divide has not only been blurred, it has disappeared completely.