Design Safari Madrid – The Wonderful

One of the most delicious parts of travel is being exposed to novel expressions in art, aesthetics, and human culture. I love observing design in its natural habitat! Right before Christmas I stayed for a week in Madrid to study Spanish. As soon as I stepped off the shuttle at Atocha Station, I could tell that Madrid was going to offer a lot in the way of stimulating and unexpected design. Follow me through the weird and wonderful of the city on this episode of Design Safari Madrid!

 

Design Safari Madrid - the Wonderful

Design Safari Madrid – The Wonderful

Cozy Cafe Design Madrid
First up, a comfortably beautiful bistro. This cozy cafe has a fun way of celebrating Scandinavian-style patterns and colors in such a lovely way that you don’t even notice the stark minimalism of the space. And that feature light wall on the left?
Unique Plate Light Design Madrid
Lights mounted on patterned plates! The repetitiveness and symmetry of the mounted plates are echoed further in the complementary geometric designs on the plates’ surface. The clean lines of the bulbs and detailed plate designs combine to create a really unique feeling of cottage glamor.
Clipboard Gallery Wall
I couldn’t walk past this stationery and home goods boutique without stepping inside for a picture (and a light drool). This clipboard gallery wall is perfect – perfectly disheveled, perfectly incomplete, perfectly update-able. A perfect way to incorporate posters for local shows right into the decor.
My photo doesn’t do justice to the cheerful, homey Christmas shelf at Matilda’s Cantina. Vintage aluminum kitchenware items sprinkled with Christmas balls and blinking lights lend a festive look to this fabulously shabby chic bar.
Unique Rabbit Shade Box Lamp
I’m kicking myself now for not buying this rabbit box lamp from that vintage decor boutique… but BoyfriendMan says I collect rabbits and I couldn’t prove him right! That, and I couldn’t really transport it without breaking it. Sigh. Someday, rabbit lamp.
An unexpected large-scale bouquet of vegetables is a floral treat for the eyes, in beautifully contrasting purples and greens. A clever use of decorative plants that will probably last much longer than traditional flowers.
La Gatoteca, a “cat cafe” in downtown Madrid designed especially to accommodate up to two dozen cats and the humans who come to visit them. The beauty of this place is that it’s not just a relaxing place to enjoy caffeine and cuddles – it’s an adoption center! Its goal is more successful adoptions. Allowing people to spend time getting to know the cats before taking them home? Genius.

Design Safari Madrid – Wonderful Graphic Design

Classic example of clever logo design, with the “b” at the beginning of the business name incorporated into a simplified graphic of a set of scissors. What type of business is this? A barbershop, of course!
Unique Mirror-Image Business Sign
It’s not until second glance that you notice the artificiality of this bar’s symmetry – the signs surrounding the door are mirror images of each other! While it might seem superfluous to have one redundant, backwards sign, this added detail really sets the business apart from its competitors.
Faborit Fresh Bar Unique Scribble Logo
Last but not least, another wonderful unexpected logo design. Who would think that a simple scribble could convey such a casual coolness? I stopped at this cafe on multiple occasions for their multitude of healthy, affordable food options: smoothies, soups, salads, wraps, crying to myself now because I miss it. Mmmm.

 

There’s so much great design in Madrid! This is just a tiny slice of what the city has to offer. Next up we’ll look at some of the… stranger design choices that I noticed in Design Safari Madrid – the Weird.

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