Most of us can’t move into a new home without some sort of drama. After chatting with Lucia and Helena Cuesta, the fashionable twins behind Them Bones Jewelry, we learned that sometimes moving can be a breeze. The ease of the move was a combination of luck and location: “We were born here and never felt the need to live in another place.” Easy to say when your hometown is Madrid. Now settled in the bustling district of La Latina, Lucia and Helena lived out every house hunter’s fantasy by happening upon their dream light-filled loft. The restored sunshine-yellow prewar building housed the perfect unit for the sisters. Even the decorating process was simple. In fact, it took them only two weeks to fill out their new space—due in no small part to their love for travel and flea markets. It’s easy living for the Cuesta sisters, and their Madrid loft reflects their laid-back vibe.
The nonworking fireplace was initially a turnoff for Lucia and Helena, but the rest of the space was too good to pass up. So they said goodbye to the thought of sitting around a fire and created a mini makeshift library in its place. But before they knew it, the fireless fireplace became the center of their home. Equipping the mantel with enough Diptyque candles to create a fireplace-like glow, Lucia and Helena also decked it out with endless trinkets from their travels. The sisters use this focal point of their living space to tell stories from their tours around the world—like the portrait of a nameless woman in the 1800s. “It’s my fave,” Lucia says. They found the mysterious portrait during a trip to the Fairfax Flea Market in Los Angeles. “It’s funny because the woman who was selling it asked me, ‘Why do you want to buy this? It’s from Europe. It’s easy to find in your country don’t you think?’ ” Lucia continues: “But for us, it’s more the memories that you will have when you look at it—it’s a little souvenir.”
“It’s like an eclectic cabin in the center of Madrid,” the twins agree. “We wanted to have a place where once you get in, you rarely want to leave.” Mission accomplished. Cabin vibes are especially apparent in the upstairs loft. According to Lucia and Helena, this area proves to be the ideal setting for a midday siesta—a prerequisite for living in Spain. A skylight built into the tilted ceiling conveniently hits to the right of their makeshift bed, never disrupting their allocated rest time.
El Rastro—one of Madrid’s most popular open-air flea markets—is not far from the apartment. Almost every Sunday, the sisters venture out to scour the grounds for secondhand finds. For them, decorating is all about a sense of discovery. Happy accidents run rampant throughout the space, like the floor cushions in the lofted area that they stumbled upon in Marrakech or the little red mushroom pouf thrifted from El Rastro that’s placed neatly across the downstairs sofa.
“It was so easy for us to create the living room,” says Helena. “We immediately got inspired because the space was so open and clean,” she says. “It makes me feel so at peace, relaxed, and safe,” says Lucia of her shared sanctuary space with her sister. As for their design inspo, the girls looked no further than their decor idol and AD regular, Amanda Brooks. Like Brooks, who is known for her masterful layering, Lucia and Helena leaned into the a maximalist aesthetic. “We like the idea of having a lot of things,” the sisters say simply, “and that’s why everything we like, we keep.”
It’s all so idyllic, you might be wondering, Don’t these sisters disagree about anything? But collaboration comes easily to the pair: “It’s always better to have more options to choose from, more ideas,” says Helena. Their individual styles have had varying effects on the space. Lucia sways more toward an “eclectic, cozy, and vintage” look, while Helena claims to be the risk-taker of the two. Weathered and worn vintage decor lives harmoniously with clean and modern pieces. Case in point: how the Maison du Monde dining table and bench are complemented by a set of thrifted woven chairs.
But, it’s not always fun and games. “Sometimes living together is hard because we are very different, but Lucia is also my best friend…so never mind.” Looks like communication is key in this household and it shows in the cohesion of the space. “I love to be home,” Helena gushes. “The best part is getting to live with your best friend.” Talk about a perfect setup.
Rapid-Fire Clever Q+A with Lucia and Helena
Clever: Fave Instagrams to follow?
Clever: Best part about your neighborhood?
LC+HC: “We have everything we need nearby, the little food shops, the market, the park...everything.”
Clever: What’s on your home-decor wish list?
HC: “A vintage Japanese biombo with flowers and birds to use as a headboard. I’m obsessed.”
LC: “An armchair with a geometric pattern from one of my favorite design shops in Madrid, ikb 191.”
Clever: Favorite thing to do in your apartment?
LC+HC: “Dinners around our coffee table or on the floor with cushions, playing video games.”
Clever: Tips to hosting a great party at home?
LC+HC: “Good music, good food, candles and wine!”
Originally Appeared on Architectural Digest