Absolutely super-duper fabric stores might be thought perhaps a British or French speciality. But in Gaston y Daniela, Spain has one of the grandest of them all. Founded in Bilbao in 1876 by Gaston Poirier and Daniela Bolivar, G&D not only remains in the same family but continues to cater to the same top-notch clientele. Famous as much for its contemporary designs as for its unique collections of heritage fabrics, the company specialises in high-profile restorations and includes recent re-upholsterings at the Palacio Real in Madrid and the Palacio del Marqués de Dos Aguas in Valencia.
Gaston y Daniela has several shops across Spain and around the world but the Madrid showroom is the brand’s HQ and spiritual home. I stumbled on it a few weeks ago when I needed a few metres of heavy chenille for a curtain and happened to be in the area. The showroom, housed in a former mansion in the select Calle Hermosilla, at the western edge of the Salamanca district, breathes an air of luxe, calme et volupté not easy to find in the noisy and boisterous city of Madrid. (Check out the “patio” at the back, a magical private garden accessed from the sitting room.)
One of the most refined pleasures I know is to relax on the big red sofa in front of the fireplace – think of it as the fabrics equivalent of a top couture showroom, part shop, part lounge – while staff bring you coffee or a glass of sherry (depending on the hour) and swatches of the world’s most gorgeous fabrics for your delectation and examination.
A good number of Gaston & Daniela’s 40,000 fabrics can be found in here, drawing both on the firm’s own collections (this year inspired by the 1950s and the African savannah) to the crème de la crème of the world’s finest textile houses, from Colefax & Fowler and Jane Churchill to Zoffany, Rubelli, Ulf Moritz, Brunschwig and Lori Weitzner. Especially worth admiring are their rich damasks, organzas and silk velvets. G&D also sell their own designs in wallpaper, blinds, carpets and furniture, making the showroom a pleasurable one-stop shop for all your interior-design needs.