The Baixa House in Lisbon

The Baixa House in Lisbon’s historical district has been making headlines in the design world for quite some time now. I missed it despite all the noise and only came across this jewel while browsing a magazine during my vacations. It came as a real inspiration while browsing for ideas for my current renovation project here in Madrid.

The project of this 18th century building turned into a unique accommodation concept of serviced apartments was born in 2010. Jesús Moraime, the Spanish owner and a landscape gardener, had bought the building and initially thought about refurbishing it to rent out the separate units while keeping a few for short term rentals. This idea evolved into the entire building being devoted to apartments with a homey atmosphere and individualized design. The building was carefully renovated to keep its original features and by doing so was awarded the 2011 Vasco Vilalva Award for the recovery and enhancement of Portuguese heritage by the Fundación Gulbenkian. Each of the thirteen units was then furnished with an eclectic selection of vintage furniture and accessories, with an emphasis on using local Portuguese products like the rugs produced in Monsaraz by Mizette Nielsen.

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Each flat is named after one of Lisbon’s gardens and features a large scale photography, taken by the owner, of the garden after which it is named. Outdoor furniture, botanical prints and fresh flowers are incorporated into the design to reinforce this idea. The Baixia House is not a hotel  but every day fresh products are delivered to your doorstep for breakfast, the idea being to make you feel like at a friend’s place.

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I can’t get enough of the mix of traditional and modern, the weathered furniture, the fabulous 70′s lighting, or the light that fills those beautiful apartments. We have visited Lisbon a few years ago but this makes me want to go back as soon as possible, which for once doesn’t sound too crazy while living in Madrid. Are you as enthusiastic as I am about the Baixa House or is it too spare or vintage looking for you? Have a wonderful weekend.

* Photography by Ana Paula Carvalho – Courtesy of Baixa House

Etsy Finds: Mondocubo

It was one of those evenings where I ended up browsing through Etsy’s treasures. One thing led to another and in no time I found Mondocubo‘s small porcelain collection. As much as I do love color, white is omnipresent in my home in two areas: Tableware and bed linens. I do have a couple of blue Japanese bowls in the kitchen but that sums it up. I love the pureness of white and nothing highlights better food than simple white dishes.

Mondocubo is a Berlin-based design project between the architect Rossella Flammia and the designer Paolo Picone who studied architecture at the University of Naples “Federico II” before moving to Berlin in 2009 to work for artists’ collectives and art studios. They design and realize themselves small-series products in their studio/atelier located at European Creative Center in Berlin Weißensee.

The exquisite bare shape and mat finish of their Positano carafe and cups collection reminded me of the first time, ten years ago, that I saw the collection of Hering, another Berlin based company producing wonderful tableware.

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Emerald Green Interiors Mondocubo 7Emerald Green Interiors Mondocubo 8Mondocubo ships worldwide and you can order either directly from their webshop or through their Etsy store. I wish them a lot of success.

Madrid Renovation Project – Part 1

Today marks a milestone: we are starting the renovation process of my first complete renovation/decoration project here in Madrid.

When I first got to meet Pierre-Alban, the founder and CEO of Moving2Madrid and founder of the Guiripreneurs, a group dedicated to international entrepreneurs in Madrid, I was far from expecting to stand here today telling you this not even a year after relocating to Madrid. We first met in February and if it wasn’t for his support, trust and willingness to help me get my business of the ground in Madrid, I wouldn’t have the opportunity to work on this amazing project. So, thank you very much Pierre-Alban.

So let me tell you a few words about this exciting project that keeps me up at night going through endless design possibilities in my mind. This two bedroom flat is located in the very heart of Madrid, in a side street between the Puerta del Sol and the Plaza Mayor, the two best known squares of the city. Situated under the roof on the fifth and last floor of an old building, it hasn’t been touched in a long time. Besides its prime location, the other asset of the flat is a formidable decent sized terrace overlooking the roofs of the city and without any direct vis à vis. It flaws included a quirky and unpractical layout , to say the least, and a lack of natural light surprising for a rooftop property. It certainly did present some challenges. Not being a trained architect actually allowed me to think of ways to improve the space without being hindered by their actual technical feasibility, which in turn ended up not being an obstacle.

Here is a picture of the flat’s current layout. The flat has a surface of roughly 70 m2 (700 square feet) yet is cut in pieces separated by no less than 7 interior doors! The kitchen (2) is accessible through a small set of stairs and is far away for the living area. The second bedroom (5) feels like an outside shed as it is only accessible through a veranda style set of doors on the terrace. Oh I forgot to mention that since we are under the roof all the ceilings are slanted. The velux windows in the bedroom (7) and living room (3) are very small and the tiny windows onto the terrace from the second bedroom (5) and living room (3) are not even see-through as they have frosted glass.

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1.Hallway 2.Kitchen 3.Living Room 4.Terrace 5.Bedroom 6.Bathroom 7.Bedroom

This layout needed a massive improvement. Here is the revised projected one. I started by suggesting to invert the placement of the bathroom and the kitchen and by ripping out the wall between the current bathroom and the living room, to open-up the space visually from the entrance. The kitchen will be small and functional. As the flat will only be used for short term stays it doesn’t need the equipment to cook a five-course dinner for twelve. All the velux windows will be replaced by large panoramic ones, and a new one will be created in the second bedroom. A large window serving also as door onto the terrace will be installed in the living room allowing us to get rid of the shabby veranda style doors shaft. The second bedroom will be slightly increased in size by taking up some space onto the terrace and re-incorporated into the flat with a direct sliding door into the living room. It will also get a new window to take advantage of the view and the light. An integrated wardrobe will be created in the master bedroom as we are severely lacking storage space. The door to the new bathroom will be replaced by a sliding one to gain in fluidity.

Emerald Green Interiors Flat map projectionSome things on this layout need some revisions, like this kitchen island which I want gone, or the empty corner behind the wardrobe, but the main aspects are there. It is all about opening up the space (we are going from 7 to 3 doors), de-clutering and bringing lots of natural light in.

Here are a few pictures of the flat as it looks currently. There were taken back in March on a rainy day (yes we have a few in Madrid as well) and are less than flattering.

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So what do you think? I can’t wait to see the space empty, the walls torn down and the doors and floors ripped out. Let the demolition start! The next post will be dedicated to the design direction we have decided but don’t forget to follow me on Instagram if you want to see some insider sneak peeks in between my dedicated posts.

I wish you a great start of the week.


Congratulations, Corinne! Such an exciting project, these before shots are very “real”, I’m sure it will look so much better with 3 doors in stead of 7 and a proper Emerald Green Interiors treatment! Best of luck and yayy to tearing down walls (you’re not doing it yourself, I suppose?) and all the light coming in! xx

Dear Judith, thank for your nice words. Yes this flat looked very real and quiet scary to be honest. I can’t wait to share the progress with you. Demolition is underway and I already love it. And yes I have a contractor doing all the preliminary dirty work before starting with the pretty one.

Welcome back after a long summer break

Although technically the summer isn’t over, and certainly not in Madrid where it is still daily over 30°C, the back to school mood has kicked in, and the blog which has been silent for quite a while, has been calling for some fresh posts. I’ve spent the summer sharing my time between Collioure in the south of France and Madrid. The summer vacations in the French schooling system last two months from the end of June to the beginning of September. Those of you who are parents know that having children at home full time rather than in school dictates a completely different rhythm.

As usual I had planed quite a few things, expecting that I’d be able to work while in Collioure. Why do I keep forgetting from one summer to the next that the centuries old walls of our house and the entire village aren’t exactly wi-fi compatible when you don’t have a direct internet connexion? And that after a regular day of playing, going to the beach and taking care of a toddler and an active four year old there is little energy left once they are in bed to go to the local dig to access the world wide web? After the initial frustration I started to accept this involuntary internet detox. I read close to a dozen interiors and design magazines, two novels and enjoyed the simple things I love so much in Collioure: the daily routine of walking the streets, shopping fresh fruits or grabbing a drink in front of the sea.

We are now back in Madrid and school starts in a week from now. My school year starts this coming Monday already and I couldn’t be more excited about it. The project I mentioned to you in this post is happening and after the initial preparatory phase we are starting the renovation (we’ll start with demolishing first) this coming Monday. You’ll get full dedicated posts featuring the progress as we go along.

So before we head back to work here are a couple of my favorite instagram pictures taken while in Collioure. If you ever wondered where my love of color came from, look no further. Spending your vacations since early childhood in a place where color is omnipresent has this kind of effect on you.

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Aren’t each of those doors absolutely stunning? There are hundreds of doors more beautiful one that the other.

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Oh Summer, I think I miss you already.

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I am excited and happy to be back. I have lots to share with you over the coming weeks. Enjoy this weekend and see you Monday.


Glad to see you back: I had been wondering how you were doing! The summers are always much too short, right?
Oh those doors: to die for, as they say. The variety of color is just stunning.
Are you taking the next BYW course? I’m pretty sure I will sign up!

A bright Houston mansion by Miles Redd

Miles Redd, the American interior king of color, never ceases to amaze me: His use of color is nothing short of bold and fearless.  His latest project, a family mansion in Houston, is an ode to vibrant primary colors and the art of mixing patterns. Everything that defines Miles Redd’s style: lacquered paint, high contrasts and over-sized prints is used to create another truly unique home.

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All images and more pictures can be seen via AD.


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I love that man’s style! He is a decorating hero of mine. Thanks for sharing. I hadn’t seen this project.
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