A couple of weekends ago I was in Madrid looking at interior design opportunities. I love Madrid, we lived there for three years when the children were a lot smaller and we had a great time, learnt to speak Spanish, ate some fantastic food and met some great people. I think you have a different relationship with a place when you live there rather than just visit.
I love England and it will always be my home but I admire the Spanish for their healthy disrespect for rules, the importance of the family, their long sociable lunches and their sense of style and class. They are having a tough time economically at the moment with unemployment of the under 25s running at almost 50%. However, the hope is that the worst is now behind them and growth albeit small will return. I certainly hope so.
They have a distinct interior design style that is inspiring. They love their artwork and will cover their white walls with large bold paintings of completely different styles and eras. They generally have hard floors, wooden or tiled and they scatter them with colourful rugs often of different colours and patterns. They use a combination of all manner of shape and size of furniture and it all seems to work.
They take eclectic to a different level. We are sometimes guilty of producing over co-ordinated looks rather than letting something flow by instinct. You should avoid the temptation to copy those beautiful show homes and whilst they are very stylish, they often lack personality, after all, they are designed to appeal to everyone and not offend anyone.
The Spanish style has a danger of becoming too cluttered so just filling a space with things won’t work, but the careful introduction of something of character either because of its colour, shape or pattern can really bring a room to life… just be aware when it is time to stop!