When a space is limited by architectural constraints—either from monotonous developments or overthought designs—interior design becomes a key player in editing; enhancing it with elements that might first seem to be decorative. Yet through a curation of essential objects in a collaborative manner across creative fields, the space becomes alive in order to escalate contemporary living standards.
Located in Valencia, Spain, Casa de la Higuera (The Fig Tree House) is an interior project by Estudio En Hebra. Architecturally, the spatial framework opens up to the communal courtyard that also acts as a light well for the structure’s entirety. Its inner composition simply is a clean canvas that enables the dweller to paint over and create a new personal artwork. Using natural and intimacy as driving forces for the design, Estudio En Hebra envisions a minimalist appearance that carries across this apartment.
With a soft colour palette, the house plays with a selection of brown, sandy, and beige materials with occasional touches of black from industrial furnishes and green from natural additions. Large surface areas are covered with a terra-cotta-like texture in contrast to the pristine white plastered walls. Lighting fixtures seem to be absent, replaced by hidden strips of light to illuminate a neutral tone throughout, negating glares and discomfort for the eyes. Geometric corners meet and merge, opening up the space for an expanding visuality. These moments of continuity are then introduced with a selection of bespoke furnitures and sculptures.
By engaging with artistic objects across the apartment, not only were the designers able to incorporate local studios and artists in the process of assembling, but they also help transform the space into a unique living gallery. The clever decision of combining homewares with smooth surfaces like black-painted wooden chairs, in contrast to furnitures with complex textures like a marble stand right next to a woven recliner, diversifies the visual outputs.
However, perhaps the highlight is the inclusion of greeneries within a living space. Subtly, these natural elements are placed strategically. Enlivening the entrance is a vase of olive tree with its elongated branches caressing the metal framed windows. Following is a small pot of fig plant resting subtly on a low wooden table. Right behind is a collection of branches hovering over a minimal painting. These additions might seem extraneous, but they create a directional sensibility and break the endless starkness of overtly minimal foundations.
With the intention of branching out to different creative individuals for a synergistic space, Casa de la Higuera is a fitting name for this project. By opening up the possibility for a collective input across platforms, Estudio En Hebra was able to go beyond the walls of architecture for a beautiful and serene interior space.