Location: Villa Crespo — Buenos Aires, Argentina
Size: 465 square feet
Years lived in: 3 years, owned
Florencia was living in a studio apartment in Villa Crespo when she started the search for a home to buy. It was important to her to stay in the neighborhood, since many of her friends live here, too. When she saw this apartment, the small size (under 500 square feet) didn't scare her; her skills as an architect combined with the experience as a studio renter all helped her envision the way to turn this small space into her ideal home.
The apartment was originally built as a studio apartment, with the kitchen working as a divider between the living and bedroom areas. Luckily for Florencia, this configuration gave her the chance to add a door and separate both spaces to create a proper bedroom, turning a studio apartment into a small one-bedroom.
While she was saving money to buy her own place and still living in her previous studio apartment, her decor style was much more colorful and quirky. But after moving in to this new home, she felt her existing things were clashing with the architecture and finishes of the new apartment. So she started meticulously editing many of the things that she owned, choosing to rely visually on natural elements like wood and leather. And she was willing to wait awhile to find the perfect new additions.
"I lived with a DIYed pallet daybed until I was able to afford my dream sofa. I've always wanted a leather couch because they age better and are easier to clean. At my parents' house we had two sofas: one was upholstered with leather and the other with fabric, and I have very dingy memories of the latter!"
Her love of artisanal craftsmanship came from her grandfather, who was a carpenter. When she was a kid, he built a desk for her, complete with a bookcase and drawers. Florencia didn't want to leave those pieces behind, so she disassembled the whole set and it now lives on as the bookcase and set of drawers in her living room.
There's another strong presence in her home: numerous artwork and accessories that represent great designers that Florencia admires. In the last few years she's found herself very interested in industrial design. Inspired by these creators, she started playing around with materials, which turned into serious exploration when she started selling a jewelry line made mainly of wood. She also creates accessories for the home, like the articulated lamps in her bedroom.
She's always been a fan of making things herself. "It's like thinking with my hands." Even when she was a student — unlike most of her classmates — she enjoyed building models. "I used models to think; their plasticity helped me wrap my mind around the designs. There are some people who conceive their ideas and then builds model or makes drawings to be able to share them with the world. In my case, the plasticity of the models helped me think and evolve my designs as I built them."
Thanks to her attention to detail, Florencia has now become a trusted style source among her friends, who are always texting her pictures asking for her thoughts on furniture choices. "It's like my house became my cover letter; people start taking my opinions about interiors more seriously after they visit."
Apartment Therapy Survey:
Our Style: It's very simple, with natural materials like leather, iron and wood and a very small use of color. My previous home was more colorful and quirky, and I needed to tone that down.
Inspiration: I'm currently very curious about the design and thinking of designers like Bruno Munari, Enzo Mari and the Eames'. I enjoy reading their stories and discovering the way they solved things. I find that it inspires me not only for decorating my house but for my daily job.
Favorite Element: It's the Ikea clock above the bookcase. It's a simple piece, but I like the infinite possibilities it brings and the playful side of it. Now that I think about it, I'd love it even more if it was made of wood; I'll guess I'll have my try at it!
Biggest Challenge: When I bought the apartment and I moved in, the furniture I had at my previous home clashed with everything. It had a very chaotic appearance with all the mixed materials and finishes, and I've been slowly working these years to solve that.
What Friends Say: "That's a lot of wood!" I notice that they feel very comfortable and they're always asking my opinion about design.
Biggest Embarrassment: The balcony hasn't received much of my attention. I also need to solve the laundry room corner ASAP.
Proudest DIY: I'm very happy with how my table lamps turned out.
Biggest Indulgence: It has been the floors; they set the mood for the rest and I really love the result.
Best Advice: When you're out and about it's easy to get distracted by sales or shiny things, but you must always keep in mind your style and the vision you have for your house or room. Don't buy just to "solve" and cross off of a list. Pay attention to every detail, for instance don't buy bright colored towels if they clash with your style just because they were on sale.
Dream Sources: I have many pieces that I've collected over the years and are sitting in my parents' attic. I hope someday I have somewhere to display them!
Coat rack — Herman Miller
Sofa — Murillo 666
Knitted cushions — Falabella
Wooden plant holder — DIYed by Florencia
Wooden stool — MercadoLibre
Wooden drawer and bookcase units — Made by her grandfather
Wall clock — Ikea
Floor lights — from her childhood bedroom
Motorbike miniature — Gift from a friend
Stools — Ikea
Ceramic Jars — Falabella
Pepper mill — Belonged to her grandmother
Coffee maker — Volturno
Porcelain dinnerware — Family heirloom
Bookshelf — Designed by Florencia, custom built
Bunny — Esto es Pla!