Inspiration

Neutral Decor Lets Period Features Shine

home design

Walking through Malaga, Spain, the owner of this apartment discovered Aldea, an interior design, decoration and furniture store owned by Marina Benavides and her family. “When we first visited Aldea, we had just bought the house and were looking for storage solutions — such as shelves, bedside tables, desks and dressers — for our living room and bedrooms,” says homeowner Sally Brainbridge. Her company, Malaga Design & Living, helps clients find homes in the city.

Bainbridge and her husband are British and only intended to stay in Malaga for one season. However, they were captivated by the town’s climate and bustle, and the energy of its inhabitants. Now they spend most of the year here.

“In perfect condition and newly renovated, Sally and her husband’s home is a jewel of late 19th-century architecture. It’s in a beautiful building with a wonderful Andalusian-style interior sunroom, beautiful balconies, high ceilings and gorgeous views over the Malaga cathedral,” Benavides says.

1 home design 2022“Sally came into the store with a clear idea: She needed to furnish the bedrooms, except for the beds that she already had, and also wanted some specific decorative features and lighting.” Benavides says. She notes that the owner was looking for simplicity, comfort and a spacious feel to allow the original architecture to stand out in a more contemporary style.

What started out as shopping for just a few pieces of furniture for the bedroom soon turned into redecorating the entire living room, all three bedrooms and the terrace. “We think that the house is elegant and serene. No wonder the owners don’t want to move again!” Benavides says.

2 home design 2022The cement tile in the bathrooms, the entrances of the building and the apartment are some of the home’s most striking original elements and served as the leitmotif of this interior design project. Moreover, the large windows are enhanced by original 19th-century stained-glass. They open the living room up to a beautiful sunroom and balcony featuring a fountain and sculptures.

3 home design 2022“One of the biggest challenges was to get the palette of the living room furniture to fit with the general ambiance and the color of the cement tile in the hallway,” Benavides says. She points out the shoe rack in the hallway, from Punt Mobles, and the TV cabinet, from the Italian brand San Giacomo, in particular.

4 home design 2022The colors of the floors and the original windows are the common thread tying the decorating project together. The clock on the back wall is also from Aldea.

“All of the decorative elements and furniture work well together,” Bainbridge says. She also highlights the fact that it was difficult to find the right pieces for the size, brightness and style of the home.

5 home design 2022“We like how the walnut sideboard in the living room looks in front of the stained-glass windows,” Benavides says.

6 home design 2022This project succeeded thanks to the teamwork between the owners and the professionals.

“The apartment is now a really easy space to live in, with a clear contrast between the rooms on the ground floor and those in the attic,” Bainbridge says. “Moreover, the living room was difficult to furnish because the kitchen is very open, and we still had to create a comfortable feel. But I’m happy with how it turned out.”

7 home design 2022”We went for simple, contemporary elements to avoid a dated or overly ornate look,” Benavides says. She points out the hallway bookcase — the couple is very fond of reading.

8 home design 2022As an exception to the natural and neutral tones used in the rest of the home, Benavides incorporated splashes of orange in the bedroom.

“Another of our favorite pieces is the desk in the guest room,” the professional says.

On the terrace, details bring joy and life to a space with privileged views of the cathedral.

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