For a taste of Spain, Londoners need travel no further than Canary Wharf or Marylebone to sample traditional tapas with a modern twist at the capital's two Iberica restaurants.
Their classic-contemporary combination feeds into the surroundings. "The challenge was to achieve an innovative Spanish style without falling into a themed environment," explains head designer Lázaro Rosa-Violán.
The Canary Wharf branch is the later and more industrial-looking of the two. Exposed brick walls are a backdrop for bold, unconventional decorative pieces. It's a look you can take home to give a fashionable London flat a lively latin feel — vibrant for summer with rich ochres and cool tans, and cosy for winter with crimson a key accessorising colour.
With a few essentials — and no trace of sombreros or flamenco knick-knacks — this is a stereotyping-free style that is simple to replicate.
Light in layers
Mix and match striking pendants with plainer pieces. And use LED bulbs (www.amazon.co.uk has a huge selection) to achieve a candlelight effect.
The Iberica design team took inspiration from Bloomsbury lighting firm Ben Pentreath. Its Octagonal Hanging Ceiling Light looks gorgeous when arranged in multiples (£75 each; www.benpentreath.com). Or try the Anishi 1 pendant lamp from Ocean with its white and silver finish (£68.16; www.oceanlighting.co.uk).
For fun and daring additions, seek out the Leitmotiv Lightbulb Chandelier from Mooch (£295; www.mooch.co.uk), then hang B&Q's Munich Glass Ball (£24.98; www.diy.com).
Be brave with your chair choices. Include one or two bright seats such as Ikea's Snille visitor's chair in red (£14.99; www.ikea.co.uk) or the classic Eames DSR red plastic chair (£49.99; www.chairso.co.uk). If you fancy splashing out, go for Conran's Eames DSW Maple Base in orange (£321; www.conranshop.co.uk).
Combine these with a tub shape such as Tesco's leather-look Accent chair (£99.77; www.tesco.com) or the pricier Birch leather version from Sofa Classics (right, £930; www.sofaclassics.co.uk).
Turn the dazzle down with something elegant, such as the gorgeous black studded loft armchair from Sweetpea & Willow — chunky with more than a nod to classic styling (£350; www.sweetpeaandwillow.co.uk).
Work the walls
Iberica makes the most of its assets. Do the same by exposing original architectural elements, such as brick walls or stonework. This will add character to the room — but soften the effect, perhaps by painting a panel of bricks in cool, cream shades, such as Crown Solo one-coat matt emulsion in Cream White (£25.99 for 2.5 litres; Homebase).
For detail, install decorative shutters. Santa Fe has a great selection. The Tier on Tier range is ideal for an elegant touch, creating a chic and streamlined window. Prices start from £200 a square metre, made to measure (www.santafeshutters.co.uk).
Alternatively, keep it casual with California Shutters' Black Plantation option (from £174.40 a set; www.californiashutters.co.uk). Use them on walls, as well as windows.
Framed statement posters liven up any room. Iberica has sourced Spanish signs in a range of colours. Find similar Iberian options at www.allposters.co.uk — such as the Grande Corrida en Orthez (£32.99), and Neuva Plaza de Toros, San Sebastian (£54.99).
The Dodge City Spanish print at Amazon is a bargain at £6.87 (www.amazon.co.uk). Antikbar.co.uk also has a vast range of vintage posters and graphics to suit all budgets.
For an individual piece, visit New North Press, Hoxton, where you can buy a handmade print from £75 or even sign up for a workshop to create your own (www.north-press.co.uk).
One of the most attractive features of Iberica is the flooring. Waxed and oil-treated woods are a strong contrast to cement tiles with Mediterranean motifs.
A great starting point for tiles is Milagros, a gallery and shop next to Columbia Road Flower Market. All its decorative tiles are handmade and from Mexico. The Estrella design (inset) is a good fit for the look (£63 a sq m; www.milagros.co.uk). These can be teamed with plain black tiles (£54 a sq m). Or try the Henley Cool range from Topps Tiles (£44.20 a sq m; www.toppstiles.co.uk).
Lay them next to Natura Oak Ballymore planks, with a matt lacquer finish, from Flooring Supplies (£23.95 a sq m; www.flooringsupplies.co.uk).
Iberica's oak dining tables add to the rustic look. Go for a surface that appears more rural than refined.
For example, John Lewis's Ellis light oak table (£299; www.johnlewis.com) shows the colour variation and graining of the wood. Or the solid oak Round Bistro option from Oak Furniture Land (£249.54; www.oakfurnitureland.co.uk) is suitably practical.
More top shops
To find those finishing touches, Iberica's head designer Lázaro Rosa-Violán recommends:
* Old Spitalfields Market, E1: (www.oldspitalfieldsmarket.com)
* Labour & Wait, E2: (www.labourandwait.co.uk)
* Unto this Last, E2: (www.untothislast.co.uk)
* Maison Trois Garçons, E2: (www.lestroisgarcons.com)
* Andrew Martin Furniture: (www.andrewmartin.co.uk)