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Name: Stefania Talento and Andreu Font
Location: Gràcia Neighborhood — Barcelona, Spain
Size: 590 square feet + 320 square feet for the terrace
Years lived in: 4 years, renting
Stefania and Andreu are the co-founders of In and Out Barcelona, a blog where they share their favorite spots to eat and drink and their favorite things to do in and out of the city. A clearly adventurous couple with a passion for good food and drinks, the small home they share in Barcelona’s Gracia neighborhood reflects their vibrant personalities.
They found their home — a compact 590-square-foot spot — after hunting for two months. Despite some uninspiring photos on the real estate listing, the home impressed them on first sight: there was a large living room, big terrace, and great location. When it came to furnishing the space, they were looking to avoid “fast furniture” and the negative impact it can have on the environment, instead of choosing secondhand items and restyling what they already have versus buying too many things online or from Big Box stores. The result isn’t just a more sustainably decorated home — it’s a one-of-kind looking space, too.
The couple are also co-founders of In and Out Studio, where they take care of social media strategy and content curation of international clients. And though the couple travels and goes out for work and play, they also love staying home to recharge, too, listening to vinyl records, gardening, and more. They also love sharing their home with friends, having people over for a meal on their beautiful, sunny, plant-filled terrace.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: The style of our apartment reflects our personalities: On one hand we love minimalistic and clean lines (Bauhaus style), but on the other hand we are colorful and vibrant people, who have a special attraction to objects with a story to tell. So we have transferred our essence into some furniture that won’t ever be old-fashioned, a lot of secondhand objects and furniture found on the street or bought during our travels. Also the tableware is mostly secondhand or bought from artisans of our hometown countries (Italy and Portugal); it is beautiful, affordable, and really good quality.
Inspiration: Mid-century, Scandinavian Style, Space Age, Bauhaus, Mediterranean colors, and materials.
Favorite Element: I (Stefania) love my Italian Moka; the terrace (especially in the morning where there are some birds passing by); the light that comes in the living room around 5pm; the Marset Lamp; the sofa (which is extremely comfortable and handmade by Andreu’s uncle); a big blue and white plate I bought in my hometown, Puglia; a wooden dresser my friend Montse renovated; and the white carpet in the living room.
For me (Andreu) it’s not easy to choose an object or furniture, but I really love my dad’s Olympic posters from Barcelona ’92 and my recent secondhand purchase of yellow director chairs for the terrace.
Biggest Challenge: The biggest challenge is to stop ourselves from buying things for a house that is not ours and that eventually won’t fit in a new apartment. On one hand we do not want to feel really attached to our apartment, but on the other side we love decorating and creating our nest.
Proudest DIY: Stefania – I am not a handy person. I love decorating. But with the vacuum cleaner or the washing machine I am a pro.
Andreu – I recently repaired an old mid-century looking dresser, which we finally decided to keep in the guest room.
Is there something unique about your home or the way you use it? Don’t tell anyone, but before installing the zipper shelves and the new table, we used to have our shoes wardrobe in the living room due to the lack of space and closets in the house.
What are your favorite products you have bought for your home and why? We are really clean people so in our home you will always find a range of products to protect the wood, clean the windows, and avoid the quickline. But the cleaning product we love the most is vinegar; it is natural and it is really effective. From the vacuum cleaner to the Kitchenaid our philosophy is to buy less, and buy good things.
Please describe any helpful, inspiring, brilliant, or just plain useful small space maximizing and/or organizing tips you have: Stefania – My suggestion is buy only if you need something, in a house full of things beauty cannot shine, it changes into chaos.
Andreu – Apart from the non-accumulation policy Stefania says, multifunction furniture is key for small apartments. Stuff like stools or folding tables are the best advice if you want to have it all set and tidy when you don’t use it and to adapt to many situations (dinner with friends, need of a ladder, etc).
Does your home reflect your home country/city in any way? Stefania – I think it is a mix of our roots: Portugal and Italy when it comes to colors, materials and dishes, but it is also Scandinavian. There are many other details that take us back to our country, specially on the wall and table: a drawing from Fernando Pessoa (Portugal), Olympic posters from Barcelona, or Italian dinnerware.
Finally, what’s your absolute best home secret or decorating advice? When you move to a new place do not buy things compulsively. First live in the place, observe it, feel it yours, and then start decorating it.
We know good design is expensive, but sometimes it is better to have a good thing than a lot of things that will last just a few years. Buying consciously or secondhand or good materials is a way to build a better world.
Thanks Stefania and Andreu!
This submission’s responses and photos were edited for length/size and clarity.