A Stylist’s Lush, Tropical Gem in Rio de Janeiro
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Name: Simone Raitzik and Ruben Zonenschein, and their sons Paulo and Tom
Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Size: 2,368 square feet
Years lived in: 21 years, owned
After a four-year stay in Europe, Simone and her husband Ruben returned to Brazil and began their search for a spacious house with natural light, hardwood floors, and potential to remodel. When they found their current home in Rio de Janeiro, it was love at first sight, but it was in terrible shape. Before moving in, they got to work and began their remodel.
Today, Simone’s home reveals a lot about her family’s lifestyle: It’s simple, close to nature, and full of light and personality. The house itself was built in the ’50s, and is surrounded by a gorgeous tropical garden complete with big open windows, a spacious living room, and an office space in the basement. They transformed the downstairs garage into an inviting and comfortable living room that also functions as a home theater. The house is a reflection of the family’s work and soul, and guests are always welcome.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
Our Style: Basic with personality. We love details.
Inspiration: The Scandinavian way of living, architect Shigeru Ban, and Chilean architects that work so well with wood.
Favorite Element: Stones and pieces of driftwood that I bring back from my travels.
Biggest Challenge: Keeping the house tidy with two boys and lots of guests.
What Friends Say: “It is a comfortable place, full of light and personality.” It’s good for us to have people around. It is a very comfortable house, we love living here.
Biggest Embarrassment: My closet. It’s in such a confusing state.
Proudest DIY: The huge photos of my children and the artwork between the doors downstairs.
Biggest Indulgence: The living room downstairs. We love the sofa and the linen cushions. We really enjoy buying things for the house.
Best Advice: Don’t follow trends. Follow your taste and your personal story.
Dream Sources: My own work, magazines, the Internet
Custom made sofa — Made by Brazilian craft makers
Custom made coffee table — Made by Simone
White sofa — Gift from Ruben’s parents
Chairs with leather pillow — Belonged to Simone’s mother
Hemp rug — Rug Hold
Pillows — Lutece Linhos
Built-in shelves — Designed by Cristiane Passos and Tatiana Felner
Artwork — Sky & Sea by Anik Polo
Big photos of the children — Leo Costa
Art between French doors — Made by Simone with a friend
Metal coffee table — Ethnix
Wooden bench — Made by Galo Vermelho
Basket — Le Lis Blanc
Pottery on shelf — From trips around the world
Wooden birdhouse — Area Objetos
Brazilian dried leaves and seeds — From walks through forest
Built-in desk and shelves — DIY
Chairs — The white chair was purchased in the United States
Steel wood chair — Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec (France)
Built-in cabinet — Made by wood maker
Metal art on wall — Galo Vermelho, came from an old train
Wooden toys — MoMA in New York
Thanks Simone, Ruben, Paulo & Tom !!
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