Architect, interior designer, and furniture designer Juliana Lima Vasconcellos always starts a project with the idea of mixing colors and textures. "I believe my love for colors came as a result of living in this sunny country," says Juliana. "But I always try to bring a cosmopolitan language to my work as well." Born in Belo Horizonte, a big metropolitan city in Brazil that is nevertheless surrounded by beautiful mountains and waterfalls, she always finds a way to bring nature into her designs through the choice of materials.
She also likes making a statement with forms. "I like the simplicity of forms, not so much adornment," says Juliana. "I like to create an atmosphere that has a concept. That’s why I started designing furniture—so that my projects could be more coherent. I love natural materials like wood and stones, preferably opaque, and love searching for special pieces like midcentury furniture and contemporary art and design. I try to keep a sense of elegance in all my projects."
And elegant this project is. Set in a charming wooded area in the Jardim Paulistano neighborhood of São Paulo, which Juliana calls "one of the best," this 1,400-square-foot apartment needed a refresh. She calls the former look of the place "careless," but notes that there were some original characteristics from the time of construction (1956) that were essential to maintain, like the windows and the bathroom.
One of our favorite parts? The giant striped walls, which make a statement even as they peek out from the adjoining room. "I wanted the stripes big enough almost to be a little strange, and brought some gray into the space for all the colors to match together." Another gem of a photo by Martin Parr hangs above the gleaming console table.
"I wanted to bring personality to the project in a simple way, and color was the best option," says Juliana. She also wanted to work with some of the big pieces the homeowner—a journalist, interior design curator, and contributor to Condé Nast Brazil—had and incorporate a lot of new items (or at least items that were new to him), many of which are vintage.
"I love vintage shops and midcentury furniture galleries, and I like to design pieces for my projects," says Juliana. "I look for special pieces from 1stDibs, where I also sell my furniture, and I love contemporary galleries with limited-edition pieces." She's also inspired by the world of Latinx designers, too: "Niemeyer was my favorite. Love Joaquim Tenreiro, Lina Bo Bardi, and Luis Barragán. As far as contemporaries, I'm inspired by the Campana Brothers, my friends Rodrigo Almeida and Zanini de Zanine, and I've seen some nice designers from Chile recently."
Originally Appeared on Architectural Digest