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English-born Phil and Irish-born Fiona first met at a work conference in Prague. Ten years of marriage, two children and a dog later, they now call this spacious and charismatic apartment in the Eixample their family home.
They moved into the first-floor apartment about a year and a half ago, having lived on the top floor since arriving in Spain in 2011. Phil explains that what we see now is the result of months of restoration (still in progress) and retiling undertaken by the couple themselves.
Their home is furnished with interesting and eyecatching pieces, and Phil’s passion for secondhand markets is clear from the wealth of intriguing items throughout. The couple are quick to say that very few of the items came with a hefty price tag. Phil explains, “I’m obsessed with the Encants flea market. We’ve bought most of the things there and I’ve picked up some bargains. As a salesman myself, haggling and negotiating come with the trade.”
Some of the couple’s favourite pieces include the drinks bar and television unit (see left). “We have very similar tastes, so decorating the apartment hasn’t been that painful. We know what we like, and luckily we almost always agree over the choices,“ says Fiona.
The apartment itself is large and has many of the original features common to Eixample homes, in particular the wonderful high ceilings, some of which boast detailed craftmanship. Upon entry, the striking blue-tiled floors (laid by Phil himself) and the contrasting dark wood entice you in to explore more. The wall in the long hallway features the family’s photo collection, all mounted in different frames and set within a gigantic, gold frame.There’s generous outdoor space and, as Phil and Fiona love to entertain, the terrace to the rear of the building is perfect for welcoming guests. Filled with potted plants and colour, it’s certainly not the kind of space you expect to find in a city centre property. “Not many people have a garden shed in Barcelona,” Phil chuckles.
Phil and Fiona are still in the process of transforming this property into the place of their dreams, and it already exudes style, intrigue and warmth. We can only imagine what the finished product will look like.