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Interiorssneak peeks

Bold Hues & Beautiful Floors Fill a Couple’s Brazilian Home

by Garrett Fleming

Recently, I have become enamored with mismatched flooring and Mediterranean tiles, and I am on the hunt for tips on how to achieve the look in a rental. Some sites say to use tile stickers; others recommend asking for forgiveness later and simply doing it under your landlord’s nose. “Who knows? They may even thank you once they see the results!” some suggest. Neither option seems quite ideal, so until I own a home and can oversee a total bathroom and kitchen renovation, I’ll be living vicariously through our stylish readers.

One pair lucky enough to lay their hands on envy-inducing tile work is Architectural Design Professor Renata Ramos and her husband, Henrique. Their one-bedroom home in Porto Alegre, the capital city of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, is full of it. The apartment’s outstanding design, which they outlined themselves, is the result of two likeminded partners working closely together. From the beginning, these two architecture buffs agreed their home must be both warm and modern. That’s a tricky balance to achieve, but sure enough, these visionaries have cracked the code. Personal mementos, family photos, brazen wall colors and pretty tiles are just a few of the clever design tricks this couple has employed to warm up their home’s streamlined architecture.

The renovated space has such an ease about it, you’d think it simply came together overnight — but years of planning and five months of construction went into making Renata and Henrique’s dream home a reality. “We love our house the way it is now,” Renata shares. “We dreamed [about] it for a long time, so during the renovation we tried to do everything we wanted.”

Renata had such a specific vision for the kitchen, in particular, she even went in after the installation, tore up some wrongly-placed tiles herself and then had them re-laid so the pattern was 100% perfect. Now that’s dedication. I can’t blame her, though. I’d be very particular, too, if I’d waited years and years for my vision of home to be realized. Click through to see exactly how the family gave their 1970s-era space a modern facelift, and pay close attention to the wood floors and, of course, that gorgeous kitchen. Enjoy! —Garrett

Photography by Marcelo Donadussi

Bold Hues & Beautiful Floors Fill a Couple's Brazilian Home, Design*Sponge
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Renata and Henrique's 18-foot-long shelving unit stores everything from kitchen utensils to books. While functional, it was also designed to meet one of the couple's aesthetic demands – finding a way to visually tie the kitchen and living areas together. This streamlined design they landed on seamlessly fits in with the decor in both areas. Mission accomplished!
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Renata teaches architectural design at the local university, and Henrique is an IT specialist. These two have been together since they were teenagers and still live in the neighborhood where they met 15 years ago.
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The white cabinetry and lighter, wooden accents weren't an accident. Their neutral tones strategically let the bold kitchen tiles steal the show.
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The hypnotic floor's tiles are each handmade and one-of-a-kind. You can snag some for yourself from Ladrilhos Petrópolis. "One day, during the renovation, I came in the apartment, and the contractor had [installed the tiles incorrectly], forming a random drawing. I, myself, removed the wrong tiles that night!" Renata recalls.
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Technology can be an eyesore. Take a tip from Renata and Henrique, and paint the wall behind your TV set a darker tone. It'll help the honking piece of equipment blend into any home. The kitchen, dining and living rooms are all connected. By using color and different styles of flooring to separate them, the couple has successfully divided up - but not broken up - the open-concept floor plan. There's a peek at the house's original flooring to the left of the sofa.
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Renata painted the cake topper that decorates the living room. It depicts the happy couple on their happiest day.
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There is a lot of contrast at play inside this family home. A black accent wall is one of the boldest statements a homeowner can make, but Renata and Henrique fearlessly painted it without hesitation.
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"My father died one month after seeing the apartment. He dined with us around [this Mezas] table... I am very grateful to have this moment recorded in my memory and as part of the history of our apartment," Renata says. Behind the sturdy piece hangs artwork by Artist Felipe Caldas, and a pendant from Bella Iluminação illuminates the sturdy, concrete table.
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The home's existing, 40-year-old wood floors were uncovered and later refinished. The results are beautiful. Family photos light the way to Renata and Henrique's bedroom.
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The color scheme of the couple's bedroom creates a cozy – yet modern – retreat for the busy pair.
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The couple are huge fans of geometric patterns, as is evident here and in the rest of their home's flooring. This wooden wall design is by Gilson Golembieski. The perfectly placed pattern even camouflages an electrical outlet. In front of the mesmerizing wall sits a side table from Mezas, and a copper lamp by Alberth Diego.
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Renata and Henrique work from home on occasion, so it's imperative that they have a quiet and clean workspace in their house. The pair kept the office's design simple for a reason. By doing so, the space can easily transform into a guest bedroom, and eventually a nursery, when the time comes.
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The couple adores how their home "... is full of plants, music and love." These three things bring such an air of happiness into the space. Pops of color, like this funky chair and pot, do their part as well.
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The cheerfulness of this antique chair, refurbished by Renata and Henrique, is only trumped by the home office's chalkboard wall. It's a favorite amongst the couple's guests, and they often find little notes from friends scribbled onto it.
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The home's a bit over 750 square feet and is located in what was, up until recently, a very industrial part of Brazil. It was the completion of a nearby sports arena that led to the drastic spike in the area's desirability.

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