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I recently returned from an incredible trip to Spain. It’s not often I get to take a week touring another country and checking out the design and architecture.

I had a wonderful tour guide. Nuria was born and raised in Spain. We met my Junior year in high school. She was a foreign exchange student and we quickly formed a very tight bond.

https://www.youtube.com/edit?video_id=6nyKiZVLlkU&video_referrer=watch

The day I dropped Nuria off at the airport to go back to Spain I promised I would visit. It wasn’t until 22 years later that I fulfilled that promise… on her 40th birthday.

Here’s the first place we stayed. Nuria’s aunt and uncle were kind enough to let us have the place all to ourselves in Madrid. It’s called a flat and is basically a high-rise condo. These are high end and very luxurious. #heavenly

016Nuria lives in an adorable flat in Oviedo.

You can take a video tour by clicking on the video link below (I had to add the classical music because Nuria was singing along with a Janice Joplin song in the background and YouTube pinged it).

You can also see a demonstration of the bidet (just my hand folks). Click HERE to read more about the bidet.

Everything she needs is within a block from her home. The mall is directly across the street! #dangerous

I met most of the family at her father’s country home in Sanabria. It’s popular to put blinds on the outside and inside of the window.

029It was here that I realized wall-to-wall carpet is a big no-no in Spain. The entire home is a mixture of tile.

We bounced from home to home in four different cities… hitting many shops and restaurants along the way. I never saw one single carpeted room.

One aspect of design the Spanish do very well is figuring out ways to live in small spaces. We take for granted here in the U.S. the large yards with plenty of space for as much square footage as you can afford.

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The average home in the U.S., according to the BBC, is 2,300 square feet. In Spain, it’s 1,044.

Natural lighting and light walls are crucial in creating an illusion of a bigger space. Dark colors are used sparingly. I loved the dark purple on one accent wall at Nuria’s cousin’s flat. Everything else in the home, including the furniture, was white.

The rich history of the country looks current with pops of modern design. Vintage is huge, just like here in the U.S.

AUDIO: Click HERE to listen to the interview with Nuria’s friend who is in the interior design business.

Click HERE to check out Spanish designer Santa & Cole.

Click HERE to check out an unusual design company located in Madrid. Kawamura-Ganjavian received a lot of media attention after creating the ostrich pillow.

Click HERE to check out a design company known for unique items. BD Barcelona Design started in 1972 with a handful of unsatisfied architects who wanted to break new ground on design ideas.

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