Light-Filled Modern Spanish Home is an Ode to Nature

Tucked away in Girona, Spain, an airy modern home is designed as an ode to the woods and open spaces that surround it. Named Oxygen, it is the conception of architect Susanna Cots and is the perfect home for relaxing and entertaining thanks to its wide open interior plan and expansive outdoor areas. The front facade hints at the serenity of the inside and features natural stone sections alongside smooth brown walls that are topped off with a scalloped edge. The clay tile roof is practical and aesthetically fitting for the design and materials of the home.

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The natural stone acts a unifying element between the home and the earth.
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Low walls soften the progression from the road to the house and preserve the view.
Modern arbors add plantings to the view right out the windowView in gallery
Modern arbors add plantings to the view right out the window

The 600-square-meter home, located in the Empordà, has a natural flow that relaxes and encourages the family to slow down and savor the surroundings. The overall design centers around a series of cubes that make up the various rooms of the home, all unified by elements of nature. Large glass windows, and in fact entire glass walls, make the home seem to be an integral component of the landscape.

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The outdoor back view shows the different segments and the large sections of glass.

The central cube of the home encompasses the main living area. It is divided into two by a uniquely shaped wall that delineates the two areas but still allows visibility and plenty of light to enter the space. On one side, the entrance to the home features a large entryway window and slatted wall, which once again allows for light to filter through. The area also boasts a sculpture that acts as a focal point in the minimalist hallway.

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The partial wall preserves the mainly open plan area.
Wood floors throughout create a natural base for the minimalist design.View in gallery
Wood floors throughout create a natural base for the minimalist design.

From the entryway, visitors get a tantalizing glimpse of what lies beyond the wall in the form of the beautiful natural setting. The second area is a large living space, which was designed as a tech-free room to encourage family and friends to talk, laugh and enjoy each other.

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The corner view out the window draws people into the living room beyond the wall.
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Hallways are bright because of the glass walls.

Much like the landscape that surrounds it, the interior features natural, calming colors and textiles that do not compete. The modern yet comfortable furniture is perfect for lingering with friends for lots of conversation. An ample armchair offers a welcoming place for reading in the light-filled living room.

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The neutral palette throughout the home maintains a relaxing atmosphere.
A slatted wall behind the sofa brings additional light into the space.View in gallery
A slatted wall behind the sofa brings additional light into the space.

Next to the living room, the dining area features a natural wood table and comfortable chairs that are not too heavy for the feel of the room. The dark chairs tie in with the black door frame and the cantilevered lamps is a better choice for this space than a permanent ceiling fixture. In an open space like this, a chandelier could impede the view and would make it difficult to rearrange the space for entertaining larger groups.

Using a floor lamp instead of pendants or a chandelier is a modern choice.View in gallery
Using a floor lamp instead of pendants or a chandelier is a modern choice.
The artwork is also black and helps define the dining area.View in gallery
The artwork is also black and helps define the dining area.

A large glass corner that has a full and open view to the pool and backyard sits at the opposite end of the living space. Defined by a modest, round jute rug, the corner makes a magnificent conversation area from which to enjoy the view while sipping the morning coffee — or afternoon tea.

The setting is particularly relaxing for the view as well as the clean space.View in gallery
The setting is particularly relaxing for the view as well as the clean space.

Again, glass plays an important role in dividing the kitchen from the living space, yet still joins them together. Its liberal use throughout the home helps create a bright, upbeat atmosphere. As with the other spaces, the beautiful kitchen is a separate cube and in this case, it extends the casual feeling into a room that is usually associated with work. Angular lines interplay with the sloping roof that features beams made from oak pickled in white, creating a feeling of movement and a relaxed vibe.

Calming hues and a minimum of fuss create a relaxing kitchenView in gallery
Calming hues and a minimum of fuss create a relaxing kitchen

The kitchen itself has a everything a cook might want along with a lot of other highly desirable features. A natural wood slab serves as a dining extension to the counter and adds an organic feeling to the island. The large window brings in light an offers a lovely view, complementing those on the other side.

Plenty of wood keeps the modern kitchen from feeling too cold.View in gallery
Plenty of wood keeps the modern kitchen from feeling too cold.
Even with the doors closed, the kitchen feels very open.View in gallery
Even with the doors closed, the kitchen feels very open.

At the far end of the kitchen, handle-less cabinetry maintains the sleek look and open shelves with recessed lighting provide a place for storage and display. Sleek appliances and a wine cooler add a touch of tech and make it modern.

Low back stools maintain clean visual lines.View in gallery
Low back stools maintain clean visual lines.
The view makes working in the kitchen a pleasure.View in gallery
The view makes working in the kitchen a pleasure.

The absence of hanging fixtures from the ceiling helps open up the space and capitalize on the tall ceiling height. Task lighting on the walls and around workspaces provides enough illumination for the kitchen.

Open space near the doors makes it easy to accommodate lots of guestsView in gallery
Open space near the doors makes it easy to accommodate lots of guests

While the surrounding area provides plenty of nature and views, the architect designed an interior courtyard to bring trees and plants even closer. Taking advantage of the large glass walls, the interior courtyard is the crux of the entire house and features a small ecosystem that includes olive trees and holm oaks that surround it on all four sides.

Hallways that are wider than average make a home seem more luxuriousView in gallery
Hallways that are wider than average make a home seem more luxurious
Small outdoor courtyards are placed between the cubes of the house.View in gallery
Small outdoor courtyards are placed between the cubes of the house.

The last pavilion encompasses four junior suites, all of which were designed with the same sensibilities honoring the outdoors and nature. The long corridors tie the sections of the home together and lead to the private area of the home. The master suite features a glass corner similar to the living room, offering views to the pool, backyard and woods to the side the house. The same white pickled wood ceiling and beams carry through the casual atmosphere and minimal accessories emphasize the serenity of the space.

The low bed frame adds to the clean visual lines.View in gallery
The low bed frame adds to the clean visual lines.
Day or night, the seating area is very invitingView in gallery
Day or night, the seating area is very inviting

The minimal furnishings contribute to the light and airy feeling. A round occasional table stands in for a heavier nightstand, featuring a slim wooden top and cage-like base. The rough-hewn bed frame and substantial fabric of the pillows add texture and a hint of subdued color to the room. Wall-mounted bedside lights keep clutter to a minimum.

A neutral rug virtually disappears agains the natural wood floor.View in gallery
A neutral rug virtually disappears agains the natural wood floor.
The desk and chair are also slight in design.View in gallery
The desk and chair are also slight in design.

The same sedate color and material palettes continue through the bathrooms, along with the pickled wood ceiling beams. A deep soaking tub is a luxurious option and the large, deep sink in the vanity is extra functional. An olive branch serves as the only adornment in the space.

The bathtub affords a view of the olive trees outside.View in gallery
The bathtub affords a view of the olive trees outside.
The narrow storage shelving features recessed lighting.View in gallery
The narrow storage shelving features recessed lighting.
A glass wall between the shower and toilet maintains the open plan.View in gallery
A glass wall between the shower and toilet maintains the open plan.

Another bathroom has a neutral gray color palette with an elongated honeycomb style tile and marble vanity. Lighting along the length of the large mirror at the top and underneath the bottom edge provides light without breaking up the space with ceiling or wall fixtures.

The large mirror makes the bathroom look even bigger.View in gallery
The large mirror makes the bathroom look even bigger.
A hallway ends in a large window, leading the eye to the trees outside.View in gallery
A hallway ends in a large window, leading the eye to the trees outside.

From the outside, it’s possible to see the different cubes that make up the house. The grass and pool run along the back of the house, providing a good view from many points in the home. From the backyard the ample glass walls and windows reflect the trees and greenery in an amazing way.

Even from the outside, the home has a serene feeling.View in gallery
Even from the outside, the home has a serene feeling.
Corridors between the cubes vary in size.View in gallery
Corridors between the cubes vary in size.
A stone wall provides privacy for the pool from the side and an overhang gives shade.View in gallery
A stone wall provides privacy for the pool from the side and an overhang gives shade.

At night, the home takes on an added panache in the glow of dusk and warm interiors. The lighting highlights the windows and features like the slatted wall in the living room. Low-key exterior illumination brightness the entryway.

It looks extra cozy at night.View in gallery
It looks extra cozy at night.
The placement of the partial wall inside controls the view from the front of the house.View in gallery
The placement of the partial wall inside controls the view from the front of the house.
The setting makes the pool inviting for a night swim.View in gallery
The setting makes the pool inviting for a night swim.

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