Madrid Renovation Project Part 3: The dirty work

I’ve been wanting to tackle this post for a while but I put it off more than once. Where do you start when you have to report on a project that has lasted for over two complete months working full time? I have more than four hundred pictures documenting the process and my daily visits to the flat. Quite something to sort through, wouldn’t you say? For those of you, unfamiliar to this blog, first of all welcome. You can find some previous before pictures and posts about this renovation project here and here. Now grab a cup of coffee or tea because I have loads of picture to share with you.

Maybe I should start by saying that this process has been extremely fulfilling to complete. It was the first renovation I was in charge off, and I wasn’t taking any chances: This had to be a success; Disappointing the owner who had entrusted me despite my lack of experience wasn’t going to happen. The entire process was time demanding, stressful at times, utterly fascinating and a real learning process throughout. I am very grateful that I found the contractor who led the renovation as I realize that it was quite an undertaking, and that so many things could have gone wrong considering some of the technical difficulties we encountered. Reviewing those four hundred pictures I realize the extent of what was achieved. Even though I did have a very clear vision of what this flat could look like, bringing it to life and seeing it with my own eyes was truly rewarding, and I dare say that I am quite proud of the result.

Before I start showing you some pictures taken during the renovation, here is a small teaser of the editorial shoot that we had three weeks ago. Holly from Avenue Lifestyle came to Madrid, styled the place and took some beautiful shots which you will be able to discover soon on her blog.

Emerald Green Interiors Renovation process

Now let’s start with the dirty work. We started off with a good round of demolition and taking out everything there was left in there: floor tiles in the living areas, bathroom and kitchen fitting and tiles, doors and a wall. Demolition is a wonderful mess. It doesn’t take much time (relatively speaking) and you can see real changes from one day to the next. I loved it!


Once we had a clean slate (so to speak), the existing roof windows were increased in size, a new one was created in the second bedroom, the outside bedroom wall was taken down to increase the room’s size onto the terrace, and a metallic structure installed to support the roof where the wall between bathroom and kitchen had stood. The roof extension was done with reclaimed tiles my contractor found so that the extension wouldn’t be too noticeable.


Unfortunately the old wooden beams that were taken out couldn’t be reclaimed for further use as the wood showed advanced signs of decay. We moved on to creating the opening on to the terrace and finally bringing in the light into this flat that desperately needed it. The pipes for the new gas heating system were laid, the false ceilings showing signs of humidity due to a failing isolation redone, and an evacuation for the new bathroom’s toilet created through the elevator shaft during a spectacular acrobatic act.IMG_4228IMG_4260IMG_4263IMG_4425IMG_4426IMG_4431IMG_4457

Then the tiling work began: first the walls of the bathroom and kitchen in mat white metro tiles, and then the made to order cement tiles ordered in two similar shades of grey. The terrace did get a new flooring as well with large grey exterior tiles.


The carpenter and his team worked for two weekends in a row, working Saturday and Sundays to install the two centimeter thick planks of massive oak flooring and to create the wardrobe in the main bedroom.


When all this was done and once the walls prepped, the final work could finally start. The painter came to apply the first of many cosmetic treatments the flat was to receive. (this is if I take the tiles and floor out of the equation)


Now comes the point where I should be showing you at least a few pictures of the final result. Alas, this post has already reached and exceeded the length of a decent post and those not having access to a high-speed internet connexion must already been quite mad at me. So if you can bare with me, I’ll share those pictures with you tomorrow in a dedicated post. I do hope you enjoyed a little insight in the process despite my quite, often too, realistic pictures all taken with my phone.I wish you a wonderful evening and look forward to sharing more images with you tomorrow.

Wow, it’s so impressive! Both the “after” on Holly’s site, as well as your realistic “behind the scenes”. Loved seeing what was behind your gorgeous view & renovation pics on IG these past few months. I’m really impressed by the timing, only 2 months to get all this work done?! Well done Corinne! Bravo!
Judith recently posted…Paper snowflakesMy Profile


This is gorgeous! The perfect combination of simple, elegant and rustic. Would you mind sharing where the white cabinets next to the sofa are from? I’m looking for something similar.

Dear Judith, thank you so much for your kind words. It was a lot of work but the result shows how much it was worth it.

Dear Bo, thank you so much for your compliments. The white cabinets behind the sofa are simple Besta storage units from Ikea with high gloss, push open doors. Have a great day.Corinne

Room and Flower N.6

Good morning everyone. December is there and along with this new month plenty of grey, cold days lay ahead of us. Which better way to counter the gloom ahead than to show you some BRIGHT color. Here is another edition of my “Room and Flower” column. I’ve had this done for at least two months but I am glad that it only gets published now. It will get you r-energized in no time. Just have a look at this fabulous Parisian flat designed by Iranian architect Alireza Razavi and you’ll forget all your Scandinavian-inspired, minimal decorating ideas.

Room & Flower n6

I wish you a beautiful week. I have lots coming up to share with you.

* Source: RoomFlower


Current Color Crush: Plum

Hello….Saying that it’s been a while would be a complete understatement. I literally disappeared from the blog for two months. Has it been this long, really? I’ve been really busy those two months, the completely insane type of busy but it was so worthwhile and I can’t wait to share with you what I have been up to. I actually wanted to resume posting on the blog with an update about my recent activities but I wasn’t really ready to jump in after such a break and to write a monster post, not to mention that I have a few technical issues transferring about two hundred pictures from my phone to my computer hard drive.

So here is a short post to help me get back on the blogging saddle. I was doing some research for a new project and stumbled on picture after picture in the most gorgeous shades of plum. This deep color, a redder version of purple, has had my heart for a long time. I painted the dado rail of our Paris living room in Farrow & Ball’s Brinjal ten years ago. It’s very much a color associated with Fall and the end of year decline of nature, but it actually looks just as good paired with pretty pastels in the Summer.

Here is a moodboard with my favorite pictures. The key word it evokes to me are: intimate, snug, elegance, luxury, understated. I’d love to hear what this color represents for you.

Emerald Green Interiors plum inspiration

Source: 1234

Thank you so much for reading this and for sticking around during my absence. I am really happy to be back here to share my inspiration with you.


There is also such a trend toward the “dark and moody” interiors and photo images, that this is perfect. I was never really drawn to this look but am increasingly loving it! Glad you’re back!

Gorgeous moodboard and colour choice, Corinne! I’m loving this deep shade of plum lately too. Perfect for this time of year. Holly x

Hi Corinne, all shades of purple, burgundy and plum having a very slow revival. Deep purple even could make it back in 1,5-2 years ahead they say. Let’s see:-) G,x

I love how it is in front of the house!!!

Martin Bjoernson’s Tile Collection for Purpura

I hope this blog post finds you well. I am just back from a busy and inspiring weekend in Barcelona, where I attended the Meet The Blogger trend Seminar led by Gudy Herder. I finally got to meet her in person after knowing her online for over two years (she had been so kind to guest post here after my son was born). It was so nice to finally meet in person so many bloggers I am in touch with regularly over the web. We learned a lot, we laughed and it was a refreshing break from m current busy schedule in Madrid.

Now let’s get back to business on this rainy Monday morning with some color to kick off the week in beauty. I wanted to share with you the work of the Swedish designer Martin Björnson who designed a cement tile collection for Purpura. I am in love with cement tiles as a material that has been used since the process was invented in the late nineteenth century. What sets apart cement tile from other patterned tiles is the fact that the pattern’s colors are hydraulically pressed into the surface and become a part of the tiles. This process creates a hard wearing tile with a beautiful mat finish and slight imperfections.

Martin Björnson’s collection comes in five different patterns, two square and three hexagonal ones, each available in different color ways. They are graphic, modern and playful, often with a white base that gives them a sense of visual lightness. The Roundstar pattern is my favorite as I love the fact that different patterns can be created from combining the different colors together.

Emerald Green Interiors Purpura Martin Bjoernson

Emerald Green Interiors Purpura Martin Bjoernson 3Emerald Green Interiors Purpura Martin Bjoernson 4Emerald Green Interiors Purpura Martin Bjoernson 1Emerald Green Interiors Purpura Martin Bjoernson 2Emerald Green Interiors Purpura Martin Bjoernson 5

What do you think of them? I wish you a wonderful and fulfilling week.

What beautiful!!!!
My favourite is roundstar.
I love those colours!
En estado de Rachel recently posted…Un dormitorio para el catarro.My Profile

Current Color Crush: Burnt Orange

What I love about my work is that I get to work with colors. “For sure you are a color consultant” would probably be your first reaction, but I kid you not, there is something truly magical about color, its versatility and the way it reinvents itself in different settings. I am so grateful that I can work with my clients on this creative process. I love that this collaboration gets me thinking about new ideas, associations or ways to use color. I love that every project dictates a new color palette different from the last one, and that it brings me so much joy each time.

Right now, the project I am working on is getting me to use slate blue and burnt orange. Orange is not really a color I have ever been drawn too but I just can’t deny that I have a current color crush on burnt orange, its warmth and sophistication. Here are a few of my favorites of the moment.

Emerald Green Interiors current color crush burnt orange

ArmchairRugFloor LampCushion

Do you have a favorite color at the moment that you didn’t think you’d like one day? I’d love to hear about it. My posts are a little shorter at the time because I am running around Madrid like a madwoman overseeing the renovation site, sourcing furniture, or planing the new kitchen. But I’ll do my best to keep up the rhythm on the blog. Have a wonderful day. It’s Thursday already. Damn, time flies when you’re busy….

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Four years ago I fell in love with both orange and burnt orange! Totally unexpected, I can assure you. And now, well, I think I have at least a touch of each in almost every room. With gray, navy, cream or even red…it looks great! My latest love is this shower curtain:
We’re redoing part of our master bath, new radiant heat and tile floor and the walk in shower has a curtain. I don’t like glass doors at all. So this print is perfect. To be continued, I’ll post about it as the work gets underway!
I’m also, can’t believe it…sort of liking blue! I am not a blue person, but it’s growing on me. You never know, do you!
Libby Wilkie recently posted…BATH AND KAFFE FASSETT EXHIBITMy Profile

I’ve always been a kind of all colours lover so I’m really happy to discover your blog and your colours ! :)
I really got a crush on this burnt orange ! Loving it !

Dear Libby, thank you for sharing your own color crush. Can’t wait to see the result in your bathroom.
Jeanne, it was great to meet you this weekend. Welcome on the blog. I hope you’ll find plenty of inspiration.