Cover The owners’ brief was to maximise the home’s connection to nature

Inspired by the contrasting elements of concrete and black iron on its facade, this minimalist house in Spain features a beautifully layered monochromatic interior

In the charming coastal city of Alicante in Costa Blanca, Spain stands a modern house that embodies an utterly enviable sense of tranquillity. The newly built home of a young couple, this 1,130 sq ft abode enjoys close proximity to the sea and is surrounded by traditionally constructed buildings in a quiet residential area in the city.

The well-travelled owners wanted a house that would serve as a relaxing getaway whenever they are back in Spain. And as long-time clients of Azul Tierra, an Alicante-based studio and boutique founded in 1994 by Toni Espuch, it was clear to the couple whom they would entrust the design of their home to.

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“Their key words were: elegance, luminosity, warmth and exuberant greenery, and they left all the creative decisions to us,” says Espuch. The entrepreneur first established Azul Tierra in his hometown of Alicante before opening another office in Barcelona.

He currently leads a team of 20, comprising decorators, interior designers and architects, who work hand-in-hand to create beautifully tactile homes, including this monochromatic wonder. “Azul Tierra’s projects, while diverse, always have a common denominator: to enhance the natural light of each space, the creation of warm and cosy ambiences, the presence of antiques and unique objects, and custom-made furniture,” states Espuch. 

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Featuring a concrete-and-iron facade, large windows, a swimming pool and a spacious outdoor area, the airy three-storey dwelling receives plenty of natural illumination, with a central metal staircase as its nexus that connects to all areas of the home.

The firm’s task was to improve the interior architecture, dress the abode with a careful curation of furnishings, and ensure that the home is at one with nature, indoors and out. “The house has a lot of natural light due to its good orientation, high ceilings and huge windows. The concrete gives the house solidity, the high ceilings provide spaciousness. Some walls are lined in iron, creating contrasts that give the project its identity and personality,” says Espuch.

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The open-plan ground floor is the perfect embodiment of these qualities, with full-length windows that look out to the pool and garden. An iron chimney echoes the use of the material of the striking metal staircase, which is the focal point of the first storey, while also visually demarcating the kitchen from the spacious living area.

Espuch professes an admiration for antiques, natural materials and patinas, as well as artisanal pieces, which are all on show in this project.

An understated monochromatic palette amplifies the calming mood inside and out, with a studied mix of furnishings in light wood, dark leather, jet black and shades of grey echoing the linear form and hue of the black iron applied to the interior and exterior architecture of the house. Various artefacts and vintage objects give the home its soul, while softer elements such as linen curtains contribute to a lofty ambience throughout the abode.

The basement floor is as inviting as the other areas of the abode, with natural light entering into the airy space via a pair of spacious courtyards. It features a secondary living area that functions as the owner’s entertainment room and is equipped with a bar, gym and office.

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For privacy, the bedrooms are all located on the second storey—these include the garden-facing master suite, which features a walk-in wardrobe and ensuite bathroom to offer the couple a private retreat. Ambient lighting adds a gentle glow to the abode to create a soothing mood come nightfall. “The lighting is indirect, with the intention of creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere in the main rooms and the bedrooms,” adds Espuch.

The owners lack for little when they’re tucked away in this soothing sanctuary, which whisks their worries away effortlessly. “A great friend of mine defines me as a painter with objects,” Espuch shares. “Peace, love, harmony, simplicity and passion are the feelings that take over me when I’m in my spaces.” Indeed, this house conveys all of the above qualities, creating a bright and light-filled space that promotes feelings of cosiness, warmth and utter serenity.

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