Àliga Ski at el Tarter is nothing less than a modern home, set inside a mountain cabin, says Olga Mercadal, interior designer at ENDOR HOMES

Olga Mercadal graduated from the Escola d’Art Superior de Disseny in Barcelona, then continued her postgraduate studies in Window Dressing and Visual Merchandising at the Artidi Escola Superior (Barcelona). In 2022, she obtained a master’s degree in Interior Design at Escuela Madrileña de Decoración (Madrid). Currently, she is working as an interior designer for ENDOR HOMES, SL, promoting, among other things, the new residential complex, Àliga Ski at el Tarter, scheduled for finalisation at 2026. This building is characterised by modern design flats that use wood in the interiors; also, each flat has a fireplace. We talk to Olga about modern design trends and ask her opinion on how to create the flat of your dreams.

Interview: Irina Rybalchenko

Could you tell us about your professional background and what you currently do at ENDOR HOMES?

In Barcelona, I had a workshop where I restored furniture and made customised pieces and decorations for all kinds of events. When I came to Andorra, I worked with different architects, doing more architectural interior design than decoration work.

At ENDOR HOMES, I am responsible for making sure that all of the flat plans made by the architects take into account all the needs that we, as interior designers, consider important: for example, a hallway with built-in wardrobes, a convenient utility room and a large dressing room, so that all rooms are rationally used, comfortable and attractive. I also make sketches in case a client wants to change the layout or join two floors into one, etc.

We are considering the possibility of creating a special interior design department to be able to accompany our clients until they settle in. This is a service we requested to provide, especially by clients who come here from outside Andorra.

According to your experience, which clients are more common: those who need the services of professional interior designers or those who prefer to decorate their flats themselves? Why is it important to work with professionals when creating an interior?

A new flat is like a blank canvas, and it is difficult for clients to visualise the final result. Working with professionals saves time, allows you to avoid mistakes – such as buying furniture of the wrong size – avoid dubious combinations and do everything that you like from the first time.

There is an opinion that the services of an interior designer are something elitist; however, this is wrong.

Do you agree that a designer, above all, should be empathic?

Yes, a designer is like a psychologist in that way. We should communicate with the client, offer solutions to meet their needs depending on their daily habits and turn their dreams into reality, so that, in the end, the result suits their preferences and not yours. We can’t impose our tastes, but we have to be able to imagine what the client wants and what he might feel like in such a space: i.e., whether he will be comfortable in the atmosphere we created.

I don’t have any particular reference point; I just try to keep up to date with the latest trends in all areas of design. Fashion is my source of inspiration. I am also inspired by jewellery, sculpture and so on. It’s all very interconnected.

What advice would you give to future owners of flats in Àliga Ski at el Tarter, given its mountain style?

We wish to create an interior that goes beyond the rustic: with modern lines, but still inside a mountain cabin. This is the feeling we want to convey with the materials used: wood ceilings and floors, fireplaces integrated into avant-garde furniture. That’s what creates the contrast! I would recommend sticking to this concept, combining it with the rest of the elements to create a calm and cosy environment.

Decorating a flat from zero is like getting dressed while standing in front of a mirror. First the base (furniture) is used and then design elements or accessories, which are the easiest and simplest to change (fabrics, paintings, lamps), are added. And when we change accessories, we give a space a completely different look.

It is important to consider the purpose: is it a weekend or seasonal flat, for the whole family or just for a couple?

Either way, the idea is to enjoy the mountain views and feel comfortable when you come home.

What would you say about how customers’ tastes are changing? Is the mountain style of the Àliga Ski at el Tarter building and minimalism in the interior a good combination?

After the pandemic, terraces and large façade openings are much more appreciated, so that you can enjoy the views. Rooms for everyday use should be comfortable and easy to clean.

Our society is becoming more minimalist; we more easily get rid of elements that don’t contribute much and, on the other hand, update accessories more often. We no longer have furniture to store Sunday dishes or grandma’s china. We’ve become more practical.

Another trend is open kitchens. The kitchen has become the centre of the home and a place to gather with family and friends.

Renowned designer Ron Arad once said: “Art begins when the problems of survival have been solved and the time for excess has arrived. The more design goes beyond real needs, the closer it becomes to art. I very rarely design what is really necessary.” What is design for you: art or necessity?

I think it’s a mixture of both – it really depends on each person’s needs. For example, in a bedroom, you need a bed to sleep in, but you end up buying a headboard, bedside tables, maybe a carpet, which you don’t really need that much.

The taste of coffee changes depending on whether you drink it from a glass, plastic or cup. This example can be applied to everything. Everyone has a different idea of values based on his/her life experiences.

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