Brazilian architects renovate Brigadeiro Apartment for themselves

Architect couple Leandro Garcia and Amanda Dalla-Bona have renovated a 1970s apartment in Curitiba, Brazil, for themselves, reconfiguring the layout and choosing eclectic furniture.

All of the electrics and plumbing needed to be replaced, and the floor plan was rethought to create “a place to pause and retreat”.

Living room with caramel-coloured armchair and ottoman
The couple remodelled the apartment to suit their needs

Three bedrooms were replaced with two to make room for a larger living and dining area, which could be integrated with the existing kitchen.

Original features including the window frames and the imbuia parquet floor were retained and restored, while a variety of new materials were introduced.

Living room with blue sofa and vintage furniture pieces
The living space with brightened by white walls, large rugs and translucent curtains

The Brigadeiro Apartment has been in Dalla-Bona’s family since the 1980s – it was her parents’ home as newlyweds and where her older sister was born.

After moving out when they planned their second child, the parents rented out the 108-square-metre space for 30 years.

Exposed concrete column with chairs in the background
A concrete column was exposed while reconfiguring the floor plan

Due to its central location, Dalla-Bona always discouraged them from selling it, as she had intentions to move in herself one day.

When that time came recently, she and her partner Garcia decided to remodel the interiors to better align with their needs.

Wooden dining table with an assortment of caned chairs
The architects custom-designed a 4.5-metre-long dining table for themselves

“From the apartment the view is expansive, a rare characteristic in the city centre, and we were both captivated by the natural light, the sun and wind streaming in through the windows,” said the couple.

“Walking a few blocks, we arrive at our favorite cafes and restaurants and in our studio, where we work together,” they added.

Wooden dining table and chairs atop parquet floor
Removing a bedroom allowed the living space to be opened up to the kitchen

Terrazzo countertops and a backsplash of hydraulic tiles were added in the kitchen, while a concrete column in the living room was exposed.

The remainder of the lounge area is brightened by white walls, textured rugs and translucent curtains.

White kitchen with terrazzo countertops and hydraulic tiles
Terrazzo countertops and hydraulic tiles were introduced in the kitchen

An assortment of vintage modernist and newer furniture pieces – mostly by Brazilian designers – add colour and character to the interiors.

Mid-century seating by Percival Lafer, Flavio de Carvalho and Geraldo de Barros are among the couple’s choices, along with a collection of lamps, stools and tables.

“In the living room, the furniture – not only the armchairs, but also the carpets, must be soft to sit on the ground – was chosen, thrifted and positioned for conversations and readings,” they said.

Garcia and Dalla-Bona also custom-designed a 4.5-metre-long wood dining table to accommodate their various daily activities, and host their friends and family for meals.

Small wooden desk in front of translucent curtain
A variety of vintage furniture pieces were sourced for the interiors

Besides the cabinetry in the kitchen and bathroom, all of the storage and furniture is moveable.

In the bathroom, the floor and walls are covered in small white mosaic tiles, affixed with matching grout for a clean, minimalist appearance.

Bathroom lined with white mosaic tiles
White mosaic tiles and grout create a minimalistic look in the bathroom

Curitiba, in the southern Brazilian state of Paraná, is the site of several projects completed by Garcia, Dalla-Bona and their team, including the renovation of a compact apartment renovated for a journalist.

The studio has also overhauled a family’s holiday home near the beach in Matinhos, and filled it with vintage Brazilian furniture.

The photography is by Fran Parente.

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