Yellow

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Photos of the artist Ivo Hitchens’ house, with its yellow-painted critter windows. When I came across a similar idea on a Cup of Jo house tour (apparently the couple used it as a remedy against the often grey Seattle days), I was also delighted. Such an easy way to make a house colourful.

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Photos by @simonmartin_art

Villas

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I’d gone to Barcelona expecting to see but not particularly admire Gaudí (all the mosaics! why the bulging lines?), but of course I was blown away.

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I’m still not sure I can keep up with the reverential tone of the audio guides at La Predrera and Casa Battlo and their sheer excitement about spines of mystic creatures, but I do like the imagination mixed with practicality in these spaces.

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A tiled courtyard where the colour of the tiles graduated from cream to dark blue to respond to the sunlight and window sizes change floor by floor to filter out the fierce summer light.

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A ventilation system copied from the gills of fish, or deliberations of different zones by using different flooring.

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Even the roofs and terraces were calming rather than creepy when you’re in them, and the facade of Casa Battlo is really mesmerising – even if not every visitor is that interested in them!

All photos November 2018.

Rita Konig

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I’m at that stage of a house project where doing the pretty bits actually seems within grasp again, and I’m devouring Rita Konig’s articles on her website (find the section “Rita Says”)

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Unlike a certain modern Mrs Miniver, there is a lack of smugness in these pieces that allows you enjoy them greatly and wonder just how you’d make that tiny box room interesting, where you could get some over-the-bed mirrors from

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and whether you’d have the balls to do that level of colour combination / bold wallpaper yourself…

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images by tat.london, patrickmele, salvesengraham, msputneystripes and ritakonig, all on Instagram