I fear I may be starting to sound like a broken record by now in telling you how much I adore heritage interiors. They are a huge love of mine – their decaying beauty captivates and inspires me, their peeling layers leave me intoxicated unlike most “new” spaces ever can. This 18th century apartment in medieval part of Barcelona belongs to Benedetta Tagliabue, a Milanese born Barcelona based architect who has done such a wonderful job in creating a very special home for herself and her family (her late architect husband and business partner, Enric Miralles, passed away in 2000).



I am in love with all the wonderful kinks and the perfectly thought out “imperfections” within this home… The way those amazing patterned floor tiles almost deliberately clash with room geometries as though they are saying “Bite Me” to all the modernist fans. Those incredible peeling walls that reveal the 18th century decorative murals which were simply left to be as they are – patchy and broken – without the need to make them perfect by restoring or covering them up.



This home is all about preserving the memories of the building, expressing the detailing and the artistry of the bygone era, creating a natural, comfortable, rich and authentic interior which appears to be a joy to occupy. Isn’t that ultimately what all designers every strive to create? Sometimes I feel like we can go about doing things the wrong way these days by being so damn preoccupied with “what’s hot”, “what goes” and rationalising the shit out of things and “making them align”.

What do you think?

[Images via Dwell. Photos by Gunnar Knechtel.]

About The Author

Dana Tomić Hughes
Founder & Editor

Dana is an award-winning interior designer living in Sydney, Australia. With an unhealthy passion for design, Dana commits to an abnormal amount of daily design research. Regular travel and attendance at premier design events, enables Dana to stay at the forefront of the design world globally. While she is super serious about design, Dana never takes herself - nor design - too seriously. Together with her life and business partner, Dana is Boss Lady at Studio Yellowtrace, specialising in Design Strategy, Creative Direction and Special Projects. The studio takes a highly conceptual and holistic approach to translating brands & ideas into places & experiences.

11 Responses

  1. Daniela

    “Sometimes I feel like we can go about doing things the wrong way these days by being so damn preoccupied with “what’s hot”, “what goes” and rationalising the shit out of things and “making them align”.

    I LOL’D in my office when after reading the last part of your post.
    You could not be more bang on about the design world, particulary in interiors and architecture.

  2. Jules

    Beautiful. I adore this place and could feel right at home there. I absolutely love that they have preserved the history and that different layers show through – how fascinating to live in a home with such character.

  3. Oliver @ Sabi Style

    What a fabulous space. Its so good to see thing that are real – lived in, loved and enjoyed.

    I love seeing the history and the age.
    And the honesty that they can bring.

    I wonder why we do feel the need to follow the latest trends or worry will something go rather than alway just following our heart.

    This post has really inspired me to throw out the rule book, let my fridge worry about making things cool and focus instead on the simple things in design.

  4. Ezabelle

    I love love the rough peeled walls and broken tiles. This apartments has so many layers, and feels so authentic. It feels loved.

    I love how you write about the clashing geometric tiles saying “bite me”. Love it! Like a rebellious teenager shunning the established “norm”.

    The Europeans give us a good lesson in “beauty”. An architect cousin of mine who lives in Brussels used to re-paint his apartment, and always leave this large visible patch of the peeled decaying
    underlay. Like you said it reminds him of “a bygone era”.

    Beautiful post.


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