Chinese interior design ideas

What do you associate with a Chinese home design?

Most probably is an image of calm and harmonious outlook with colorful details.

Using them in the right way and in right places is should be thought carefully to avoid an opposite effect.

Nevertheless, our recommendation is to follow your own vision and don’t be afraid to combine different elements. Surprisingly, some Chinese home design can easily be mixed with other styles and give a personal touch to your home.

Let’s see two of the main features.


The richness of colors is one of the main features of the Chinese design, and they are used especially in combination with wood.

Usually, red is prevailing, but also gold and black are quite dominant.



Simplicity in the combination of natural elements has always been appreciated in Chinese traditional design.

In fact, in the traditional culture, the presence of nature in everyday life has good effects on people’s mind and attitude.

In today’s busy life, often we feel that link with nature is missing.

Feng shui is the art of organizing spaces to increase positive energy or Chi in our environment. Originated in China, it literally means wind and water in Chinese and has had deep spiritual contents in classic philosophy and doctrines.


Elements of animate and inanimate nature, like stones, wood and plants can have a beneficial influence in our home. Bamboo and bonsai trees suite the best in the concept of creating a spectacular effect.



What is your favorite Chinese-style decorating element?





8 curiosities about Barcelona

Famous for its cultural background and architectural wonders, Barcelona is also full of stories and anecdotes that must be taken into account to understand it better.

1. The Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí, recognized internationally as one of the greatest artists, with works such as the Sagrada Família, Casa Batlló, Casa Milà and Park Güell, among many others, was killed by a tram in the city of BarcelonaDue to his careless appearance, those who witnessed the accident thought he was just a vagabond.
2. In the square of Sant Felip Neri, you can see the marks of the from bombs dropped in 1938 during the Spanish Civil War, causing 42 deaths, most of them children from the school next to the church.
In that same square the video clip of the song “My Immortal” of the group Evanescence was filmed, and a scene of the movie “Vicky, Cristina, Barcelona” with Javier Bardem and Scarlett Johansson.
3. The Teatro del Liceu has suffered two fires and an anarchist attack. The first fire took place in 1861, and the theatre was completely destroyed. In 1893 the attack perpetrated by the anarchist Santiago Salvador caused 20 deaths. The second fire was in 1994 when the entire theater was also burned down. It is said that during the Middle Ages in that same place many executions were carried out and that since then it is a cursed place.
4. In the Sagrada Família there are two magical paintings like a sudoku, one on the door and the other on the facade. They are formed by a series of figures placed so that the sum of them in horizontal or vertical always adds 33, the age that Jesus Christ was supposed to have at the time of his death. The Sagrada Família is the most visited monument in Spain, followed by the Alhambra in Granada.
5. Park Güell was originally designed to be a garden that would house 60 residential homes for the Catalan upper class. Only two of them were sold (in one of them Gaudí lived for several years). After this real estate failure, the heirs of Count Güell decided to transfer the garden to the City of Barcelona in exchange for a sum of money.
Nowadays, Park Güell is one of the main tourist attractions of the city, and one of the best viewpoints.
6. The shape of the Torre Agbar was inspired by the architecture of Gaudí and the pinnacles of the Montserrat mountains, although it is often associated with a phallic form. The tower has been climbed by Frenchman Alain Robert twice.
7. George Lucas, creator of the Star Wars saga, visited Barcelona and is said to have been inspired by Casa Mila’s chimneys to create the helmets of Darth Vader and the Imperial soldiers.
8. There are many songs that speak of Barcelona, but undoubtedly, the most famous one was played by Freddie Mercury, leader of the British band Queen, and the Catalan soprano Montserrat Caballé. It was recorded between 1987 and 1988 and was the song chosen by the Spanish Olympic Committee as the anthem of the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games.
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Destination Spain: a cultural profile

A short guide to the most important factors to bear in mind when you decide to relocate to Spain, for a short time or for good.

First of all, remember that Spain is one of Europe’s oldest countries and it has been dominated by European politics and Catholicism for many centuries. This affects society and everyday life communications at different levels.

Also, there are several Spains (Castile, Andalucia, Galicia, Catalonia, the Basques): make sure you have an idea of where people’s allegiances are.

Body language: Spanish body language is among the most open of all cultures. Eye contact, exaggerated facial expressions, extensive use of hands, arms and shoulders are quite typical here.

Spaniards tend to observe you carefully and sum you up by watching your physical characteristics, your mannerisms and your willingness to participate in the socializing.  In contrast, they read on average less than any other Europea and pay little attention to the content of presentations.


Typical habits: The globalization, the European Union and the following obligation to align their business hours to the rest of the world are causing the typical ‘siesta’ to decline, at least in multinational companies.

However, local businesses still follow this after-lunch two hours rest, although is becoming less popular in big cities such as Barcelona and Madrid.

Relationship building in Spain is nearly always blended with eating and drinking.

There is very typic Spanish word which describes this feature: “sobremesa” literally means “on the table¨and refers to all the informal chitchatting that happens after dining.


Work&time: Normally, the working day is not an unbroken period of concentrated effort, like it is in northern European or North American countries.

Coffee breaks, non-work conversations with colleagues and long meetings that stray into social affairs are all seen by the Spanish as valid parts of the working culture.

Spaniards are generally multi-active, not linear-active, again in contrast with northern Europeans and North Americans.

In short, this means that the more things they can do or handle at the same time, the happier and more fulfilled they feel.


Next Door BCN is a typical Spain-born company but with a strong international orientation. We find all these observations quite accurate, but, obviously, things are changing quite fast.

What do you think? Have you lived or worked in Spain?



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Tips to design your space when working from home

Given that freelance jobs and flexible hours are on the rise, more and more people feel the necessity of working from home. But there is a very important recommendation to keep in mind in this circumstance: don’t build a home office, especially in smallest and darkest room of the house.

According to The National, a traditional home office may have worked in the past but in today’s society this model is becoming quickly obsolete.

Hotels offer a new source of inspiration when it comes to design and furnish your work-from-home space.

First of all, an hotel’s lobby represents frequently a new hub for business travelers. It is becoming quite popular to see someone leaning back on a sofa with a laptop on the legs, a smartphone and a coffee on a side table. According to various researchers, many executives say they do their best and most creative work when they’re on the road.

At home, this can easily convert in a lobby-style working living room.

Second is the bedroom. Research shows that when business travelers are working in their room, they’re either in a comfy armchair or spread out on the bed. At home, just a few hacks can give your bedroom that same hotel feel: extra pillows, a nice lamp and a comfortable chair in the corner are enough.

The third is the cafe. Think about long, shared ­tables with dining-style chairs, typical in many co-working places around the world. This type of environment is perfect for deep, focused work such as writing, designing or ­crunching numbers. At home your dining room, kitchen table or breakfast bar can all perform this task with few minimal upgrades: for example by buying a decent chair or stool and make sure the lighting works – shade glare from south-facing windows and ensure enough man-made light for late night work sessions.

All these adjustments are complemented if you treat yourself to a few more amenities to uplift your home and create an inspiring hotel or co-working vibe. A nice coffee machine with designer mugs and teapot, a Wi-Fi speaker to play cool background music and some nice plants would do the rest.

Check also our article about interior design trends for 2018:


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5 tips to help you sell your home faster

For all of you who might be interested in selling a home fast, here is a list of 5 points that we believe are crucial in this process.

Most probably, you don’t have time to spend researching the current housing market and thinking  how it’ll affect your home sale.

Of course, we can’t guarantee a quick sale, but adopting these simple tips definitely won’t hurt your chances of securing a buyer.


It may look obvious, but it’s very important to start cleaning, especially before taking any photo. This basically means clean from top to bottom in every room of the house, wipe down cabinets and drawers, remove any scuffs from the walls, give all kitchen appliances a once-over, clean air vents and your carpets, and then sweep, vacuum, or mop every corner of the house.


First impressions are very important and need to be done right. It may feel like hiring a professional is a waste of money and simply use your smartphone camera. But a professional photographer has all the tools to capture the right lighting and make everything look brighter. Moreover, with a wide-angle lense, the entire room will fit in the photo.


The extra mile beyond cleaning is considering having your house staged, a way of decorating it so it’s more attractive to buyers. Staging typically takes from a few days to a couple of weeks, depending on the availability of rental furniture, the movers, and the installers.


Once everything is set up, get ready to be flexible and spend a lot of time away from your home so buyers and real estate agents can view the property comfortably— without you or your pets wandering around the halls.


Staging and marketing your home are important components, but at the end of the day, the amount of money you’re asking buyers to pay could be what makes the deal happen. To this regard, it is also very important to consult a professional real estate agency that  will help you decide on the right price for your home by looking at a variety of factors, such as your house’s age, any updates, square footage, and district.


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Property sales and prices in Spain are expected to keep growing in 2018

The forecast for 2018 is that property sales and prices in Spain will continue to rise, as long as there are no sudden economic surprises or changes to the mortgage market.

One of Spain’s biggest real estate providers, Anticipa, expects sales to rise 9.3% next year to 526,000 units.

Over the fourth quarter of 2017, prices for resales and new builds are expected to continue to increase by 5.8%, said the firm in its latest real estate market report, allthough this was compiled before Catalonia declared independence and the national Government took over the administration of the region.

Mark Stucklin of Spanish Property Insight, pointed out that the company’s forecast for 2018 is 85% higher than the nadir of 2013, when only 285,000 homes were sold in Spain. Nevertheless, the report shows that the market is still 42% below its peak of over 900,000 sales back in 2006, before the crisis.

Forecasts could be affected by what will happen in Catalonia with the bid for independency from Spain. The region is considered as the wealthiest in Spain and its capital Barcelona has seen some of the highest property price rises this year.

In fact, with the Madrid Government controlling now the regional government and before the elections on 21st of December there is now a state of wait and see.

Here at Next Door, we believe that the political situation in between Spain and Catalonia is not going to worsen and the property sale for 2018 is set to increase steadily, also supported by the country’s economic growth.


Also check our article:

Market’s indifference to Catalonia-Spain debate:


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Interior design trends for 2018

Whether you are giving life to your new home or you are simply looking for a makeover, designing and decorating your home can be a daunting task. Multiple options available on the market can make the process somehow confusing and paralyzing.

Our suggestion is to keep these trends in mind for your furniture shopping in 2018.

1. More color in kitchens



A warmer touch and a more personal space can be obtained by increasing the amount of color in your kitchen.

The color palette for a colorful but minimalistic kitchen is typically white, grey, wood and black, but never forget to personalize it with houseplants, copper pipes or rustic bench tops.




2. Richer colors in the whole home

Pay apexels-photo-271795ttention to colors throughout the home design makes your furniture and decorative items really burst.

New tendencies exposed in Milan this year for the Salone Del Mobile show that a lot of warm, almost retro colors will be more popular, such as terracotta, light greens, deep pinks and burgundy with splashes of bright blue and orange.


3. Pink and peach

pexels-photo-327507The last few years saw the rise of the so-called ¨millenial pink¨

Although this will remain a popular choice, peach will begin its climb as a major player in the interior design trends of 2018. This color is easy to pair with anything and is a pretty addition to the natural, simple, and cozy design new trends.

In fact, natural, earthy and wood furniture and decor makes everything shine brighter feel more natural and cozy.


4. Copper, brass and minimalistic design


Add some artistic flair and shine to your room with brass lamps, bowls and even side tables.

This added flair is perfect with all the other elements in a minimalistic design room.

Vintage lighting, like aged copper or brass pendant lights, are making a comeback.

Bedrooms especially can be more relaxing and restful spaces with a combination of light colors and copper or brass vintage-looking furniture.


5. Wallpaper and wooden walls

vinyl-record-player-retro-594388Wooden walls with designs etched into them have been popular in bathrooms and kitchens but will be seen in bedrooms more frequently.

Intricate designs can add a more personal compositional element to a wall with a touch of vintage.




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