Miami meets Madrid in the vibrant pastel home of a Spanish interior designer.
Who lives here: Interior designer Patricia Bustos de la Torre; her husband Nacho Garcia-Altozano, who works in private equity; and their children Maya, 7; Isabella, 4; and Nacho, 2.
Style of home: A 350 square-metre apartment in Madrid, with four bedrooms and bathrooms, plus a playroom for the children and studio for Patricia.
Shades of pale mint, blue and yellow run throughout the Madrid apartment of interior designer Patricia Bustos de la Torre and her husband Nacho, but one colour stands out: pink. “Yes, I have always loved pink,” says Patricia. “I love what it symbolises – it’s always positive and uplifting, which is why I love it in interiors.”
The pink touches are incorporated into the plush interior of her home, where elegant furniture sits alongside vintage pieces and Patricia’s own inventive designs. She designed custom furniture and lighting for the apartment, as well as creating her own paintings, murals and art. In her spare time, Patricia reconfigures vintage furniture, such as the yellow sofa in the hall. The space isn’t just home to the family of five – it’s also a showcase for Patricia’s interiors company. Having previously worked as a fashion designer for Zara in Spain (“I love Zara!” she says) before setting up her own commercial interiors business with associates, she has now launched her own business, Blossom Studio.
Patricia and Nacho found the apartment three years ago, moving from the outskirts of Madrid to the city centre. “We wasted a lot of time driving into the city every morning,” says Patricia. “We wanted to move to the centre, to be where everything is happening.” They are in the Barrio de Salamanca area of the capital, known as the Golden Mile for its high-end shopping. “But it’s good for the children, too, because there are parks and everything they need,” says Patricia. What drew her and Nacho to the apartment were its open spaces and the Parisian style of the interiors – the doors, mouldings and fireplaces – plus the light that streams though the series of interconnecting rooms.
When Patricia first saw the apartment, it was painted yellow and the floors were dark brown. That was changed immediately, but as a rented space, there’s a limit to what Patricia can do. “I couldn’t make a big performance of it,” she says, so she only knocked down one wall. Colours and designs were chosen to maximise natural light and Patricia designed all interiors and even some of the furniture herself, with input from her sister and mother, both of whom have a eye for style. There is a heavy dose of Miami style in the saturated colours and the almost kitsch line of ornaments; it’s no surprise designer Kelly Wearstler is an influence. For all that, the space has a distinctly European feel, but also some Spanish references such as the abundant greenery in the living area and the rattan furniture.
This apartment is anything but boring, but it’s sometimes easy to forget that it’s a family space and two boys live here. Does Nacho ever get a say in what Patricia does?
“I know it is a very feminine style, but Nacho understands it’s my work,”says Patricia.“ My friends ask how my husband lives with this, but he knows I love to be surrounded by inspiring things. If he lived alone he wouldn’t live like this, I don’t think!” Patricia insists they never disagree about the interiors. “Never,” she says. “He is respectful of what I like. He supports my work as I do his.” The children, similarly, not only accompany Patricia on vintage shopping expeditions without a grumble, but understand that some areas of the home – those white sofas for example – are off limits. “They have areas where they can express themselves,” including a ‘playground’ room where they can “paint the walls, draw and make as much mess as they feel like,” says Patricia.
While her kids are creative, Patricia isn’t sure if they’ll follow her into interior design. “I say to them all the time: the most important thing in life is to find your passion and then follow your dreams,” she says. Which is exactly what she has done, in full colour.