Posts in Category Decoration

Apartment for sale in Pedralbes- Barcelona -Spain

18 November, 2013 No Comments

It’s features make the choice of this apartment to become a good investment.

Discreet luxury of this property in Pedralbes, located in the upper area of Barcelona.

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The building is sorrounded by gardens.  Walls of windows allows to see green trees from all  rooms.


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In the sorrunding areas you can find :

*sports clubs such as : Real Club de Tenis Barcelona , Real club Polo de Barcelona, Dir, O2, Arsenal, Football Club Barcelona – Barça.

*National & International schools : St. Pul’s School, St.Peter’s school, Lycée Français de Barcelone, AVLA, Betania Patmos school,  American School of Barcelona , Deutsche Schule, Zürich Schule ,among others.


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An appartment in a quiet area of Barcelona, carefully remodeled, ready to move in now!


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This apartment is sold with two large parking spaces, located in a wide garage.


You can go easily to the nearest malls like l’illa, or El corte inglés as the area is well comunicated by public transports.

It takes only 15 min to get to the Barcelona International Airport.


As you can see through  this photo report, it reflects the high quality materials used in the remodelling.

A luxury apartment,  at discounted price,  we are pleased to  recommend to anyone looking for a nicereal estate property  in this area of Barcelona city.


(II) Vertical gardens

12 April, 2013 No Comments

“Vertical gardens” are some sort of ecologic insulation for the building, adding more value to the facades or their interior. This type of garden can increase the property’s value.

Vertical gardening projects have been Bay-south-Singapore-1developed by teams of botanists, architects, designers and engineers, with the aim of reshaping urban spaces.

Their goal is to ​​decorate a home, an office, to provide a greater amount of oxygen to an area, or embellishing a facade, but always with the use of creativity.

The driver of “Vertical gardens” for more than 30 years has been the botanist Patrick Blanc (famous for its achievements worldwide).

Let’s take a look at an interesting contribution that was made during the Singapore Garden Festival by the Gardens By the Bay Project (shown in the following images), which built 18 artificial Supertrees, 25-50 meters high, each one covered with almost 200 species of plants. The supertrees also function as exhaust vents for the conservatories and as dining spaces.

One of the greatest vertical garden in the world is located in the Italian shopping center of Fiordaliso, Milan, embracing more than 40,000 plants.

garden 3It is particularly in the buildings covered by these vertical gardens where one could appreciate the difference of what we call “active walls”; which are those that join the building’s own air circulation system. There are a number of fans that blow air through the wall which then make this air to circulate inside the building, and thus increasing the oxygen levels. This system helps heal the so-called “sick buildings”.

This is a building they built in Vancouver.

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As we have seen in the photos above, the appearance is that of a regular garden, except that it’s in a vertical position. These buildings are usually developed in places where there is little or NO space to design normal gardens.

How it’s done?

The garden is planted on a wall using different sheets of a fibrous material anchored to the wall with coconut fiber substrate for the roots to grow. There are several techniques to develop these gardens: hydroponic, modular, sphagnum, pre-planted, etc

* Hydroponic system: the compost is administered to plants through substances in the irrigation process. The roots grow in an inert environment: nonwoven felt (polyamide, polyester ..) rockwool, and technical foams.

* Vertical substrate: the roots grow in a granular medium with organic percentage. The substrate mixture of perlite, arlita is quite high in order to achieve aeration, drainage and water retention. Nutrients are administered through irrigation.

For these gardens, the life of its plants will depend upon the interaction between water and the substrate.

(I) Vertical Gardens

12 April, 2013 No Comments

We describe the “ecological urbanism” concept as the trend of eco-construction. Environmental protection and energy management are increasingly a global concern. “Vertical gardens” create green spaces within the cities, covering building’s facades, divisor walls, hotel courtyards and a wide range of possibilities.

There is a difference betgreeenwall iiween traditional green walls and vertical gardens that are self-sufficient:

On one hand, green walls are those covered with climbing plants such as ivy or bougainvillea, whose roots are spread within the ground, from which they get the water and food to grow up. These plants use the wall as a support to grow taking many years to cover it all. Climbing plants may damage the wall or create humidity problems in the building’s foundations, given the thickness of its roots.

On the other hand, vertical gardens can be found inside or outside a building, consisting of a wide variety of species that receive the water and nutrients from the wall, rather than directly from the ground. To prevent moisture from reaching the walls, designers chose to place a galvanized structure as a base leaving a space of 2 to 5 cm between the wall and the centers of plants to create a ventilation channel.

These gardens can complement urban architecture by displaying walls full of color that may vary as the vegetation grows, thus altering the initial greenwallexterior and interior design.

In his contribution to the environment we see that vertical gardens:

* Are decontaminating gardens. The concentration of plants can vary from 30-45 per m2, being able to balance air pollution by giving back cleaner air. Plants store CO2 and then filter it, allowing them to treat a volume of greenhouse gases greater than that issued by the building. The irrigation system is adapted to the climate conditions in which the building is located usually resulting in less water consumption.

* Isolate the building from the outside noise by creating a vegetable wall between the street and the building.

* Improve the building’s thermal conditions by maintaining cooler temperatures in the summer.


13 January, 2013 No Comments

WHICH are the flats sold in today’s market? WHAT’S THE AVERAGE PRICE?

The flats that sold the most are the smaller ones, which are also the ones whose price has decreased the most. Its average price is around €300,000.

When we want bolster a flat’s space to make it seem larger, we must resort to neatness / organization and decorative tricks. The lounges –dining space- with the integrated kitchen are very common in today’s homes. That is why it’s important to throw some numbers and sketches to see how to incorporate the lounge dining area, sofas, shelves ….

1 – How to combine colors:

* Use the colors following a monochromatic line, decorating with different tonalities of one color range.
* Paint using soft and cool colors such as green and blue that create a feeling of wide open spaces.
* The roofs must be of a lighter color than walls. But if a room is square and we want to give the impression that it’s rectangular (to make it look more elongated), this can be achieved using optical effect in two opposite walls with a cool color and a warmer color in the other two.

* White is the traditional color most used in decoration, as it makes the space look larger and brighter.


* Furniture shouldn’t contrast with the color of the walls as the same space would feel narrower.
* It is best to choose small sized furniture, but if you are eager to put large pieces, make sure they are against the wall. It is advisable to use folding furniture in order to clear the way. You may also find very practical dual-use furniture such as bed-sofa, or a central-table with drawers.
* The shelves are very helpful as allow you to place objects without taking away usable space.
* If you have the possibility to put gliding doors, do it as they don’t take away space when opened. Wardrobes offer greater integration into the decor and at the same time are more invisible.
* It is better to use blinds rather than curtains as the latter are thicker and take up more space.
* It is useful and inexpensive to include mirrors, which besides giving more breadth to the space it also increases the home’s luminosity.

3 – LIGHTING: It is very important to know how to use lighting in order to help achieve the desired effects.

* This is usually not an easy topic and it is best if you resort to a specialist, because many variables come into play when choosing the right lighting for every stay, such as: what kind of bulb to use based on price / consumption / power (LEDs, halogen light bulbs), the type of bulb for floor lamp, ….or what if you prefer a cooler or a warmer light, or you are thinking about light regulators… whether to place it, in the ceiling, a wall…..

* In order to give an airy feel to the room, you have to focus the light to the walls or ceiling (indirect illumination).


12 January, 2013 No Comments

This is the birth of the micro-hotel concept. These small cabins can be rented by the hour and are located in airports, train stations or shopping centers among others.

The “sleep boxes” are 2×1 meters, or 4×2,30 meters.
They were born as resting oasis for passengers in transit, who have suffered delays or flight cancellations, without having to travel to hotels outside of the airports that are usually more expensive.

In the airport terminal you get the electronic key that allows you to access these cabins for the amount of time that you purchase, which can range from 15 minutes to several hours.
The architecture and design firm “Arch-Russian Group”, included a small bed with an automatic mechanism that changes sheets from user to user, a ventilation system, lighting using LEDs, alarm, tv, wi-fi, and a platform to work.

Although I personally prefer larger spaces, this can be a resting alternative in airports; gives you the opportunity to read, sleep, charge an electronic device, or just working quietly in the time between flights.

This system is currently running, and very well received by the public, at airports such as Moscow, Paris, and Munich.

Homes with cellar

6 September, 2011 No Comments

For people who are wine lovers and enjoy to have it at home, here are some guidelines to follow that will help keep good wine in perfect condition.

– An environment with adequate ventilation to prevent odors.
– Very little presence of light
– Temperature should be between 10 º and 16 º C.
– Moisture MUST be over 60%
– Bottles must be placed horizontally to prevent that wine moistens the cork
– Must be located in a place with no vibrations.

Today, with glass cabinets specially designed to store wine, and in most cases acclimatized to a temperature suitable for its conservation, it becomes less necessary to have the traditional cellar in the house’s basement. This saves space and ensures better preservation of the wine because its temperature is kept constant.

There are many ways to decorate a wine cellar. From the classic cellars made of wood with customized furniture to take advantage of every single corner, or simply by stacking the modules required to store the number of bottles available.

 On the other side we have the modern ones, which include those made of metal, as designed by the Spanish architecture studio A-cero. Check out these pictures…..

TELEFONICA Foundation: OSCAR NIEMEYER’s exposition

6 September, 2011 No Comments

About to turn 104 years old, winner of the Pritzker Architecture’s Prize ’87, and with a stunning resume of architecture works internationally recognized, Oscar Niemeyer remains active.

One of the lines of his artistic thought, reflected throughout his work, is summarized in this sentence:

Is not the right angle that attracts me, nor the straight, hard, inflexible line created by men, instead what attracts me is the free and sensual curve, the curve that I find in my country’s mountains, in the course of its winding rivers, in the sea waves, or in a beautiful woman’s body. The universe is filled with curves, Einstein’s curved universe. – Oscar Niemeyer


From his words it is clear that modern architecture should move out of the usual straight lines and put emphasis on curves, making a reference in his works to the structures of nature ….. In order to accomplish it, he explored the possibilities of reinforced concrete to create curved surfaces (innovations favor new creative possibilities).

Another of his lines of thought …. Niemeyer breaks the idea that a form follows the function and proves that when a form is beautiful becomes functional, and therefore, is fundamental to architecture .- Norman Foster

Niemeyer is one of the most prolific architects of the XXth century, creating imaginative constructions, curves (more complex than the straight line), with color, that were a revolution to the architecture of the time. Besides being an architect, Niemeyer is also a sculptor, an artist, a thinker, a humanist and an innovator, whose modernity astonishes in a conceptual and technical manner…. “The new different way, that surprises, that’s architecture” – O. Niemeyer

The importance of his work in relation to contemporary architecture: Created the most important buildings in Brasilia, a capital that has been declared a Historical and Cultural City of Mankind by the Unesco. It’s a brave architecture, sculptural, with passion for color, and that cannot be compared with anything that has been done before. “When I get a project I try to make it beautiful, different and that generates surprise …” -O. Niemeyer.

Niemeyer was born in Brazil 15.12.1907, and unsatisfied with his country’s existing architecture, he decided to pursue this career shaping his own personality into the architecture that has been doing until now. He has become a universal figure that we associate with Brazilian modernism, but to the question … can Niemeyer be included within the lines of modernism or he would be considered an “outsider”? Despite the answer, he really has a creative freedom in his drawings that leads him to find his own way into modern architecture.

 Cathedral of Brasilia

To understand this architect, let me explain that not only he draws his work, but he also writes it, so that it makes more sense…. Amazing!
His work is far more extensive, but to make it short, let me include a brief summary with his career highlights:

    * In 1952, following the initial ideas of Le Corbusier, Niemeyer collaborated in the building of the United Nations, in New York.
    * In 1956, he worked on the project of building the new capital of Brasilia, where he was responsible for the design of residential, commercial and administrative buildings: Cathedral of Brasilia, Planalto Palace, or Itamaraty Palace….. Brasilia was a city designed, built, and developed in four years, the period of time that President Kubitschek’s was in charge.

    * In 1966, during the military regime in Brazil, he was forced to exile to Paris where he worked on projects for Portugal, Morocco, and Malaysia.
    * In the 80’s Niemeyer went back to Brazil, where he built several corporate headquarters in Brasilia, such as the Memorial JK, The patriotic Pantheon, the Sambadrome of the cities of Rio and Sao Paulo, the Latin America Memorial …
    * From 1991-1996 designed the Contemporary Art Museum in Niteroi (MAC), considered by many his best work.

    * In 2002 the Oscar Niemeyer Museum opened in Curitiba, southern Brazil.

    * In 2007 is invited to design a football stadium due to the football world cup of 2014. 2007 also held the inauguration of The Oscar Niemeyer Popular Theatre in Niteroi, Rio which is a work dedicated to Brazil with green, yellow, blue and white colors.
    * In 2009 The project for Spain: In return for the 1989 Prince of Asturias Award for the Arts, Niemeyer, has given this institution the project for the International Museum of the Prince of Asturias Awards, that will be located in Oviedo, Asturias. It will be known as the Oscar Niemeyer International cultural center.

    * Alive and about to turn 104 years old, is still active and able to perform, makes arrangements of his old works which are considered national or international heritage that can only be modified by him.
Niemeyer integrates his buildings within their natural environment, including vegetation and water, as lakes, part of his work.

This exhibition promoted by Telefónica Foundation in collaboration with the Hispano-Brazilian Cultural Foundation followed by the week of architecture, organized by the Municipality of Madrid, Coam, and Coam architecture foundation, presented a complete overview of the centenary of the Nemeyer’s work.

OLEDs, the new generation of LEDS

1 September, 2011 No Comments

Designing lighting for architecture and decoration.

Nowadays illumination is very important to complement the design and decoration of homes, businesses, industries, streets or roads. A wide variety of electric lamps exist in the current market, but the trend is to minimize energy consumption. Semiconductor diodes or LEDs make the difference (see previous posts).

Different types of lighting

This image shows the evolution: four generations in illumination technology: incandescent light, fluorescents, compact fluorescents, and OLEDs in different colors, considered the near future in lighting.

OLED is the organic version of LEDs. The differences among them are considerable:

* Instead of producing a bright spot, as LEDs do, they produce uniform illumination over a large area.
* OLEDs, are supported in a thinner, more flexible and luminous material than crystal layers of LEDs since the substrate used can be plastic.


*Economically more affordable: Although its production is currently quite expensive, its cost will be reduced considerably when they reach the mass-production stage. When that occurs, its cost could be the same as the cost of the material in which the OLED is printed. Thus being more competitive in comparison to current LEDs.

OLED support

* The result is a better contrast and brightness, since the pixels or dots emit the light directly.
* Allow new architectural applications, ie; paper with light, its integration into furniture, worn on clothing, or other forms of implementation yet to be discovered. Somehow, lamps for homes will disappear. It is expected to reach its commercialization phase in 5 years, both for decoration and functional lighting. However in order to be fully commercialized and added into our daily lives, we should expect 10 years.

* In addition to emitting light, researchers are working so that the new version of OLEDs can absorb also solar energy to produce electricity.
* The problem is that its organic components, molecules and polymers, are difficult to recycle. They also suffer high levels of degradation when they are exposed to water.

* Currently its use it’s expanding to TV screens, computers, mobile phones, MP3, billboards, and as light sources, to illuminate general spaces.

The importance of lighting in architecture increases every day, since the facades of new buildings, hotels, museums, gardens, plazas, streets, monuments, and many more, as well their interior, are enhanced with specific forms of illumination…… (remember that it is quite hard to make good lighting projects, both indoor and outdoor.

Carratraca thermas – Villa Padierna (II) in Malaga

25 July, 2011 No Comments

Villa Padierna – Carratraca Thermas, located in Malaga, is a luxury hotel owned by Spanish businessman Ricardo Arranz, like Villa Padierna Hotel Marbella (where Michelle Obama stayed for a few days), but managed by the Capella Hotels & Resorts chain. Its activity is targeted to health tourism, mainly to the sulphurous waters emanating from this region for centuries that attract all kinds of people looking for its therapeutic and healing properties.

The hotel is located within the so-called Prince’s Palace, built by order of Fernanado VII, and opened in 1855. These waters were used in roman times and later on by the Arabs .

The hotel is directly connected to the spring of sulphurous water, whose antioxidant effect strengthens the human body’s immune system, providing a better internal and external aspect.

Its architecture, originally from a neoclassical style, was built from andstone and marble. The hotel has maintained the architecture and the tradition of the water and its healing power, by incorporating a revolutionary beauty center with cutting-edge treatments, along with a 5 star restaurant specialized in diet cuisine. In addition, as well as in Villa Padierna Marbella, the 43 rooms are deluxe and the hotel has  over 200 works of art.

The thermal baths, with pools of the nineteenth century, also include all kinds of bathtubs, showers, changing rooms, yoga centers….. as well as other complementary therapies for relaxation and care of the body and mind.

Taking this trip could be a good self-present for all of us whose birthday is around this time of the year (I take this opportunity to congratulate you!!!), since August is the perfect month to relax body and mind, and thus be able to come back in September full of energy!

Villa Padierna, Michelle Obama’s first choice!

22 July, 2011 No Comments

It is uncertain how or why, Mrs Obama chose Marbella, Spain for a private visit. To place Spain in the media’s spotlight,  to talk and show images of the country at times of great media attention worldwide and specifically in the U.S. market, was a huge support for us because it promoted Spain as a great tourist destination, of cultural and historical heritage.

The hotel they chose was Villa Padierna, a 5 ***** deluxe hotel managed by the Ritz-Carlton emporium (the group also manages the Hotel Arts in Barcelona), owned by Spanish businessman and promoter Ricardo Arranz.

The hotel opened its doors in 2003, and besides being among the most exclusive hotels, it has also been nominated as the best Golf & Resort in Spain for the year 2010. I suppose it could be referred to as a UNIQUE SOUTHERN HOTEL FILLED WITH ART, because besides the pleasure of doing the trip, we add the experience of being in a hotel decorated with a private collection of authentic works of Italian and Spanish art (XVIII-XIX century).


The resort’s design, based on a Tuscan mansion style, was made by the popular English architect Edward Gilbert, who has developed projects also in England, the US, and Spain. Gilbert’s construction techniques resemble to those used in ancient Rome, handmade architectural designs, and by choosing the marble for his works. It also has Spanish influence.

Golf Resort:

Los Flamingos Golf has three 18 hole golf courses: 1- The North course, which is a Par 71, although it’s characteristic by the old statues and marble columns placed around the course….. Make sure you stay on the fairway!!! 2- Alferini Golf which is a par 73 and 3- Tramores Golf, which is a par 65.

The hotel, as you can see in the pictures is of Tuscan and Renaissance style.

The resort counts with a Chapel, Roman Baths and an Amphitheatre, built with white marble and floors of travertine stone. It is considered unique in the world to have a Roman Amphitheater in a hotel, with a capacity of 400 people.

It is comprised of three buildings: Villa Padierna, Linares and the Amphitheatre, and counts with 129 rooms and 11 villas (which is where the first lady and her daughters resided).


There are more than 800 works of art from ancient Rome and Spain in the hotel’s interior and exterior, ranging from the eighteenth century to the present day. We are talking about classic sculptures, tapestries and antiques that belong to the owner’s private collection. The decoration of the rooms and villas combines luxury and elegance, and some of them have a private Jacuzzi. The villas inclued private pools and the services of a butler 24 hours a day.

Among the communal areas there are three restaurants and meeting rooms, one of them, Venus, which has the table where the Spanish Constitution of 1812 was signed (named LA PEPA, as they signed it on St. Joseph’s day).

After glancing over the pictures of the villas and suites, even though I perceive an international decorative context, it is also a classic luxury, yet expresses comfort. The hotel also gives a sense of privacy and relaxation with its wide open spaces and its views to nature, in the form of large gardens with cypress trees, golf courses and its views to the Mediterranean Sea.