The Lisbon-based architecture studio AVA is behind the interior design and renovation of this eye-catching apartment in Portugal’s capital city. Situated on the first floor of a 1893 building, the so called ‘Três Marias Loft’ is owned by a married couple of engineers with two small children. The designers chose to intervene upon the existing space as little as possible, preserving much of the apartment’s old wooden floor and the existing layout of the rooms, with the only exception being the installation of two bathrooms in what used to be the pantry. Harmoniously combining contemporary elements with the property’s history, the designers have created an airy and calm living space that also exudes a sense of playfulness and humour.
Perhaps the most dramatic feature in the apartment, the impressive stucco decorations on the ceilings add to its historic character and air of vintage elegance. The predominantly white spaces have been peppered with intensely bright design elements, such as the crimson red carpet in the entry hall and the striking pendant light designed by AVA architect Carlos Veloso; made of polyurethane foam suspended on a metal structure, the light looks like a floating cloud of molten lava. More stucco decorations are to be found in the library-cum-playroom area, where the shelves have been unorthodoxly placed right in the middle of the room, so as not to obstruct the beautiful decorations and the natural light coming in through the tall windows — while blackboards in the kitchen and hallway await to be drawn upon, by children and adults alike.