A 480-Square-Foot Barcelona Apartment Full of Curious Treasures
Including a chair hanging from a wall.
Published Dec 19, 2019 12:00 AM
Furniture designer Max Enrich’s Barcelona home—which he shares with his girlfriend, creative designer Diana Martin, and their dog, Bilma—is a veritable cabinet of curiosities, all exploded out into the living space.
A Thonet bistro chair is suspended from a wall like a painting; a stone bust adorns a bathroom counter; travertine samples are laid out as decoration; miniature chairs are arranged in a recessed display space—the list goes on. And it is, after all, a list—an accumulation without seeming association, but one that possesses surprising consonance thanks to the unifying force of Enrich and Martin’s impeccable taste and the way they’ve curated their ever-evolving 480-square-foot museum. (Enrich notes that the apartment stands in as a showroom of sorts, since he doesn’t yet have one of his own.)
It’s also a brilliant study in form, light, and color. Custom, built-in furniture in muted yellow and gray divides the two parts of the main area, and a cement floor tinted in sky blue gives the illusion that the whole room is floating. Light fills the apartment from a glass-wrapped area with an unusual, angular window that leads into an expansive (perhaps more expansive than the compact apartment) terrace and garden.
The couple had to find clever ways to navigate the two-room flat, such as adding a sofa with a counter that sits between the living room and the kitchen. In the bedroom-slash-bathroom, the only marker of a space shift is the change from concrete to tile. Enrich shared a peek with Sight Unseen at what it’s like to live in two little rooms (and some insight into the most unusual treasures in their home).
On Creating Storage Where There Was None:
When we came in, there was no built-in furniture, so we had a contractor build it. Diana always wanted to have things organized, so now we have this whole yellow thing and it solves pretty much all of our home’s needs.
On Making the Most of Extra Square Footage:
There are outdoor stairs, and then you walk literally onto the rooftop. It’s like a small house in itself—it’s very nice to have it here in Barcelona with the weather that we have. You need to fill it with plants and furniture and keep it organized.
On Carving Out Space for New Decor:
We keep throwing or moving or giving stuff away every week. Diana is a creative director, so let’s say she goes to a shoot and finds a nice ashtray—she’s going to bring it home. We even pick up pieces in the trash or when the street is under construction. They might not look beautiful on their own, but they can in a new environment.
On Putting Your Hobbies Front and Center:
In terms of “collecting,” I only collect scissors. I like to understand the differences between their use because everybody has them: We used them at school, but we might not know how a doctor uses them, or a dentist or a surgeon or an electrician. Almost every profession has its own way to use the same tool, and all of them are beautiful.
On Dreaming Up Irreverent Vignettes:
I think of the work as a wink. It’s funny, but it’s real. Or not quite funny, but it has a bit of humor in it. For example, this chair that we have hanging up: It is useful because you can unhang it and use it. We have no space. We like chairs. We want to have more chairs, so the real and also humorous thing to do is to keep it hanging up there. Or the Roman bust in the bathroom. We know it’s reducing our already small surface area by one to two thirds, but we like to have it there and we make fun of it. It’s this wink.
On Using His Home as a Studio:
Almost anything that I develop, I first bring it here. I try to have it at home because I think it’s the best showroom. (Well, because I don’t have any other showroom.) When I design, I think in my space: Where would I use it, how would I use it, and what could it match with? I don’t know if it works or not, but we keep it. As with everything else.
Head to Sight Unseen to see the full tour.
See more homes we love: Zosia Mamet’s Upstate New York Home Is the Definition of Cabin Cozy Brass Cabinets and a Few Lucky Surprises Made This Century-Old Home Truly Shine We Moved Across the Globe to Build a Home From Scratch in the Desert