Close your eyes and imagine your grandparents’ house, or even your parents’ house. Big tables made of strong and prominent wood that lasts forever and fits big families. Tables where they played poker all night long (and there was no place like home to play it because it was forbidden everywhere else), tables to spend long “sobremesas” (typical, long Spanish chats after the meals) at.
In conclusion, people used to spend more time at home and they spend a lot more time making their house look gorgeous and as classy as they thought it could be. Because your home was the image you projected towards society.
Bringing the past back to life
Trying to define how our interiors change, adapting to the shift we experience in our generations and our way of living, we payed a visit to one of our favourite venues in the neighbourhood of Las Letras.
Hereda2 (Heredados means “inherited”) brings together a selection of original and unique pieces that have been unchanged from times long past, or that have been restored to acquire a new life. It was in 2012 that Paloma and Juan Carlos, who have been married for a long time, decided to bring the idea to life of creating a business together.
"Excellence comes from the mix of old and new."
The old establishment they bought was once a greengrocer’s and its skeleton proofs it: three stores with narrow stairs, an old kitchen serving now as another area for storing antiques, and a workshop cave where, thanks to Juan Carlos that recovers some pieces or creates new ones directly, magic happens.
It all started when they decided to give purpose to the two storage rooms they had inherited years before. They were stacked full of furniture, old paintings and treasures ready to be shared. But they didn't want to call their treasures “old”; instead they proudly say that they are “from another decade”. As well as the origin of the articles, they want to preserve their magic a bit; some of them are theirs, some of them are found, some of them transformed and the rest stays in the shop’s deposit waiting to be bought.
While many other shops have closed, they managed to remain in the street where they began, taking part in the annual fair and all the spontaneous ones that often take place in the neighbourhood (which also gave them visibility over the years).
But what has been the secret of their success? They say it’s hard to explain, because the target they aim for is very diverse, and that it’s hard to remain successful over the years, as bad patches come and go. There are always people who avoid having second hand furniture; they want their place to be brand new, but they are sure that excellence comes from the mix of old and new.
Our home, our essence
I find it fascinating, not only the fact that our personality itself is embedded in a home, but that we can also see also the specific footprint of societies themselves.
Here in Spain we are defined by the strong connections with our family. So strong that some of us still live at our parents’ house; but we try to find our own essence more and more when we finally manage to become independent. With IKEA and its style dominating the ultimate and actual interior design, and our generation being defined by urgency and fast living, we tend to be more practical and the big commitment of a mortgage doesn’t suit us anymore.
That includes the decoration of our interior. But thinking of another trend of our generation that also suits us perfectly - individualism - I am a firm believer that the affirmation of excellence can be found in the perfect balance of new pieces and treasures from another decade.
Words by city captain Marta
Photography by Antonio López