The Useful & The Well-Made
Texted by Uracha Chaiyapinunt
In the last almost-decade or so since Spain’s economic downturn, Madrid has rebounded with a new influx of hip, trendy restaurants, boutique shops and hotels, restoring the city to its former glory days. There is much to love about Madrid these days, and even more to explore. A city of contrasts, Madrid has imperial baroque architecture and post-industrial cityscapes, neighborhood mercados next to gourmet emporiums and century-old traditional artisans working across from new purveyors. A casual stroll along the cobbled streets alone reveals no shortage of small businesses, selling everything from espadrilles to handmade ceramics. Among the many hundreds of must-visit shops is Casa González & González.
A concept store in the uber-chic Salesas district, the tiny two-room storefront of Casa González & González houses a thoughtful selection of “the useful” and “the well-made.” The shop is owned by two childhood friends who happen to share the same last name — Maria Rosa Amor González and Javier Carrasco González — hence the name on the sign above the door.
After spending their young adult years living all over Europe (Portugal, Italy and the United Kingdom), the two reconnected over coffee in Madrid. The coffee date led to a realization of common values and dreams, and that eventually led to the conception of Casa González & González.
“Our philosophy is to inspire and to bring to our customers simple and functional objects to have at home,” Maria told Chanintr Living Journal. When Casa González & González opened in 2017, Maria was still working as an art historian, while Javier was juggling his full-time career as a well-established interior designer — a job he still does happily to this day. The pair sought to transform daily routines into a more pleasant ritual: “We look for timeless and genuine products that accomplish a function and have a story behind it.”
In today’s fast-moving world that is heavily influenced by tempo- rary trends, the duo endeavor to look back on the past, rescuing slow-making objects that are built to last. Customers can expect
to find everything from traditional enamelware and cookware to home accessories and tried-and-true cleaning products at Casa González & González. All products are meticulously sourced from all over the globe: Europe, the United States, Japan and Korea, to name but a few countries of origin. But as eager as Maria was to share their product list with us, she was also quick to point out what customers won’t find inside the shop. She and Javier make a point of not stocking anything too pricey or overly sophisticated. Beyond that simple rule, they both also value function over aesthetics: “Nothing that only serves an aesthetically pleasing purpose.”
Over the years, Casa González & González has become a go-to shopping destination for locals and those visiting Madrid. For the two friends, the shop has allowed them to share their passion with like-minded folks also seeking a sustainable and slower way of life.