Before & after: embassy office to family home

Caitlin Hughes Caitlin Hughes
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Today we're taking a tour of an apartment on the tenth floor of a building overlooking the football stadium Santiago Bernabeu in Madrid. Previously the embassy of a Latin American country, this apartment is now a chic and modern family home. The goal of Diseño y Arquitectura Interior, the professionals responsible for the renovation, was to create a practical and functional space to accommodate a large family. The main problem was the excessive compartmentalisation of rooms, which was perfect when the floor was used for offices, but not suitable for a couple with children. In just three months, with a budget of 400 euros per square metre, the old office was transformed into a bright, elegant and warm home. Without further delay, let's explore step by step the metamorphosis of the old embassy:

Before: Compartmentalised living

  by DISEÑO Y ARQUITECTURA INTERIOR
DISEÑO Y ARQUITECTURA INTERIOR

Salón previo a la obra de reforma

DISEÑO Y ARQUITECTURA INTERIOR

The previous state of the property reveals a layout typical to a professional office.  As we mentioned, the small, closed- off rooms aren't so practical in a family home, but at least there is a communication between the spaces thanks to the sliding doors that can be opened up to create a greater sense of space and openness.  The confused shelving unit you can see here will be removed for a much sleeker look, which is also more suitable for a domestic space. This old office will eventually become the living area.

After: A light & bright sitting room

The compartmentalised rooms have given way to a living area that is large and full of light. The hallway leads directly to the open-plan room, though there is still some division within the space:  it has well-defined seating areas, a cloakroom area, and discreet storage space. In the background we can observe the placement of the couch, which is facing the TV, and in the foreground, a relaxation area with another sofa facing a classic wooden coffee table.

Leading on from this room is a dining area, which we will see in detail in the following image. Undoubtedly, one of the crowning features of this room are the large windows which illuminate the space with natural light. The walls, mainly a soft shade of cream, but decorated with artfully designed wall-hangings, manage to create such an elegant and welcoming atmosphere.

The dining room

Here we can see the dining room in its best light. Classic design elements have been introduced, including French style chairs positioned around a stunning glass table, and a shabby chic inspired light shade above. The paintings, with tropical motifs, also bring colour and freshness to the room. On the other hand, we can also see indicators of the history of the building, as some original features have been retained. Previously, the ceiling was uneven; higher in some places and lower in others. This was due to the original concrete structure of the building, but was reformed with the implementation of false ceilings to create a balanced and smooth aesthetic.  

Before: a long corridor without style

A long corridor connects the rooms on the south side with the rest of the house. It was a passage area, which was in need of some care and attention: an example of pure functionality without a hint of style.

Then: a hallway with class

After the reform, the hallway contributes to the warm and cosy atmosphere, and the space looks much more stylish. The wallpaper, with its cream tones and subtle floral motifs in green, perfectly complements the wooden doors, which have been painted in the same shade. The flooring, as in the rest of the house, is a light timber. 

Before: old fashioned kitchen

The kitchen was in a state of disrepair, with old fashioned fixtures and fittings: seventies furniture, patterned tiles and worn looking flooring. Also the distribution is very functional. The 3 different access points to this kitchen are an unusual feature, reminding us of the its earlier use. 

After: a designer kitchen

The access points have been reduced, improving the distribution of the kitchen—the family now have a table to eat at! The interiors have also been modernised with minimalist furniture, and smart-looking white and silver appliances. The kitchen has two windows that provide natural light to the room, but also a system of halogen lights and a lamp which also give the design an industrial edge. 

Before: a narrow, dark bathroom

All the bathrooms in the property were completely outdated: drab and dirty wall tiles, poorly insulated windows, and bad ventilation. 

After: stylish bathroom

The master bathroom is a mixture of modern and vintage chic. The modern, minimalist shower with a transparent glass panel, and a large mirror, both work to amplify the space. In contrast to these contemporary features, the two sinks with detailed gold taps add a dash of vintage glamour to the bathroom. 

Classic bedroom

The south wing became an open room with a large living room and 4 bedrooms. The one shown here is the master bedroom and follows the same lines we saw in the rest of the house: neutral shades, classic style, and some antique furniture with worn finishes. After the renovation, this embassy has become the perfect family home.

If you want to discover more amazing renovation projects, take a look at the following ideabooks:

- Before & after: Renovation of a traditional brick house

Before & after: Renovation of an old mill

What do you think of the transformation of this building? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below
Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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