Plant-Lovers Live in This Cozy and Playful Lisbon Apartment

published Nov 27, 2023

Plant-Lovers Live in This Cozy and Playful Lisbon Apartment

published Nov 27, 2023
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When Khadija, an architect and PhD specializing in sustainable design, and her husband, Bruno, a musician, producer and composer, were looking to buy their first home in 2020, she says that in their eight-month-long hunt, they saw “all kinds of non-functional overpriced apartments pretty much everywhere in Lisbon … until we stumbled upon this one.”

Our doggo Oscar is 5 years old. He’s been with us since he was 2 months old. Our daughter Leila is 3 months old.

“We instantly fell in love with its vibe. We found it online. We had set notifications for two-bedrooms for sale in a few neighborhoods,” Khadija writes. “In pandemic times, real estate agents got creative, posting appealing videos that allowed potential buyers to visit the properties virtually even during the lockdowns.”

“As soon as we watched the virtual tour, we called to schedule a visit … and we were the first visitors. The apartment still had the furniture and decoration of its previous owner, but I could definitely see its potential. For the first time since we had started looking at apartments, we could picture ourselves living in this one,” she continues.

Khadija explains that their apartment is located on the two top floors of a four-story building built in 1937 and was renovated in 2014. “I’ve always loved the charm of Lisbon’s old buildings,” she begins. “In this apartment, I particularly love the high ceilings and large windows, the light (extremely important to us!), and the fact that it’s a duplex with no wasted space in its layout — no corridors! I’m not a fan of corridors; I think they’re a waste of space. And the (unexpected) cherry on the cake was the amazing panoramic view of the Tagus river, which definitely sold us on the apartment. I literally cried at the end of the visit when we got to the terrace and saw the view.”

Born and raised in Morocco, Khadija explains that she has lived and worked in four countries, and “I fell in love with Lisbon and Portugal (and my Portuguese husband!),” she begins. “I’m a plant-lover. I have an Instagram account about my plants @_soilmates_, and a podcast — Soilmates. My husband, Bruno, is a musician, producer, and composer. He currently has a solo project named Beato, and he composes soundtracks for movies, TV series, and theater plays.”

But while the couple has put a lot of work into the space, there’s still a bit more left to do (there’s a second bathroom on their top level they’d like to renovate). But, Khadija explains, there’s no master plan.

“We’re taking our time. We progressively tackle each space as soon as we have an idea for it and the budget to make it happen. I feel like our home is a constant work-in-progress —there are many things that we still want to change or improve. And I must say that I really enjoy the process! I love seeing the space evolve and improve,” she writes. “My advice would be to enjoy the journey of making your home yours, by adding your personal touch rather than following trends. Decorate it with items you love. It might take some time, but it will be so rewarding when it eventually comes together and reflects your unique story and personality!”

Resources

PAINT & COLORS

ENTRY

LIVING ROOM

  • Sofa — IKEA
  • Beni Ourain rug — Morocco 
  • Sideboard — custom-made by Baimabenda
  • Klippan Yllefabrik wool blanket — ARKET
  • Mon Oncle illustration — Catarina Sobral

DINING ROOM

KITCHEN

  • Lamps — ​Vintage IKEA
  • Philippe Starck citrus squeezer — Alessi

BEDROOM

NURSERY

BATHROOM

Thanks, Khadija and Bruno!

This tour’s responses and photos were edited for length/size and clarity.