Revitalizing an Artist’s Apartment in Sao Paulo

 In Interior Design

Today’s design inspiration comes from the interior renovation and modernization of an apartment in the upscale residential neighborhood of Pacaembu in Sao Paulo, Brazil.  The residence has been revitalized and given a fresh, contemporary design by one of Brazil’s most prominent interior architecture and design talents- Diego Revollo.  The designer clarified the space and rendered it a functional gallery for the displaying of a growing collection of art works, many of which were created by the owner himself, who is an artist.

The project called for the editing and refinement of the formal public spaces.  The residence was beginning to feel a little dated for the owner and possessed some aspects rendering it a bit heavy, such as excess plaster details, moldings, and columns.  The renovation included the removal of much of these superficial applications and opening the spaces for a cleaner shell.  Some of the apartments original features were preserved, such as the wide trim and high baseboards which maintain the apartment’s air of magnificence.  The effortless combining of classic design and modern design for results that are timeless and livable is signature for the designer, and is well demonstrated here.

The living room is the home’s main showplace where most of the art is concentrated.  The mahogany floors are original to the apartment and were able to be preserved beautifully with a finish highlighting the natural grain.  The walls have been finished with white lacquer except for the back feature wall which was done in black to create visual contrast.  The furnishings are gathered on a Tibetan carpet and the windows are draped with silk from Emporium Beraldin.



On either side of the fireplace, wooden shelves were created and filled with interesting books and decorative objects displaying personaility.  The art above the fireplace is by the artist Amilcar de Castro.  The black chair was a piece from the owner’s original collection which was ebonized and reupholstered with a damask fabric.


The work above the sofa is a signed piece by artist Luiz Paulo Baravelli.  On the left, framed geometric images adorn the wall. *design inspiration for those on a budget!


The white sofa on the right is a Sofa Flexform- Montenapoleone, with the cream sofa on the left by Le Corbusier.


The glass table in the center of the room was designed by the designer Diego Revollo himself and executed by Glass Art, and holds multiple art books and collectibles which make the space more personal and inviting, while also allowing one to express their interest.  The sculpture is an Ascanio Maria Martins Monteiro.


The white swivel chair is by Casa Firma.



All of the principal public rooms in the apartment are arranged around a central open social space which has been left mostly unfurnished and unadorned, providing a clear path into the wide entrances of the rooms leading off of it.  Here, the mahogany floors are also original to the apartment and were able to be simply restored with the walls being finished with white lacquer.  An antique wooden dresser from the owner’s original contents has been repurposed into a bar.  The piece was refinished with black lacquer and a black marble top was added.  A vignette of assorted art, personal items, and barware has been created on the surface.  The sculpture to the right of the bar is one of the pieces created by the home’s owner.



A lounge has been created from a portion of the space that was formerly the homes spacious outdoor terrace.  The floors were replaced with white marble and the walls finished in white lacquer.  Simple white solar shades have been used on the windows.  The space is a great provider of natural light into the home and the designer was careful not to interrupt that.  The furnishings consist of four custom created settee with aged silver finish and linen upholstery by Christies, which have been gathered around a grouping of stainless steel tables by REIA.  The cushions were made with Missoni fabrics.




The original marble floors of the homes formal dining room were able to be retained after a little polishing up.  This is my favorite room actually.  I love the formality of the entrance, which was widened in the renovation.  It has large pocket doors which can close the space as well.  The glass top dining table was created from a repurposed antique desk from the owner’s original collection, which is just brilliant.  The surrounding Jansen dining chairs are also antiques from the owner’s original collection that were refinished and reupholstered with flax to match the walls.  In front of the windows, the designer created a marble sideboard of minimalist design, on which the candelabra are placed.  A collection of Fornasetti plates adorn one wall.  The room’s ultimate accessory is the antique Empire-style Baccarat chandelier, which the designer had restored with minor modifications.



A home-office/television room was created with this final room.  A corridor wall was removed to open and enlarge the space.  Here too, the floors are marble with the walls finished with white lacquer.  A custom sofa of bespoke design created by Micasa is placed on an angle in the room, along with a black arm chair by Casa Firma creating the seating area on the Tibetan carpet.  A desk has been placed in the angular space behind the sofa, making the room multi-purpose.

That concludes todays post on the interior renovation by Diego Revollo of the Pacaembu apartment.  I hope you have enjoyed todays design inspiration.

Have a great day my friends!  Let me hear from you all in the comments!

For more design inspiration from Diego Revollo, check out my post Stylist Apartment by Diego Revollo.

All photos shown are courtesy of, and with special thanks to Diego Revollo Arquitetura

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Showing 2 comments
  • Staci

    This apartment is beautiful. But this is in the heart of Brazil. I would have liked to see more color, not so much white. This is in the heart of Brazil. When I think of Brazil, I think of Rio de Janeiro and how “over the top” colorful it is there. Obviously this is a residence so maybe a “dialed back” version of Rio de Janeiro but definitely more color.

    • Johnny Knight

      Thank you for your feedback Staci! I am glad you liked the home. So far I have only covered Brazilian residences in Sao Paulo, but definitely plan and look forward to including Rio de Janeiro in the future. Im told the differences between the two cities is the equivalent of East Coast and West Coast here in the US..or more the style differences between New York and Los Angeles, so that is exciting. Portuguese is less than I would like and that tends to greatly slow down these projects…but definitely stay tuned..we will definitely put a priority on it!

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