Name: Andrea, Fernando and their children Delfina, Juan Cruz, Bautista and Benito
Location: Villa Adelina — Buenos Aires, Argentina
Size: 950 square feet
Years lived in: 20 years, owned
When Andrea got pregnant with their first child, they moved to this house that belonged to her husband's family. It was supposed to be for the meantime, while they'd keep looking for their "forever" house.
But before their arrival the property had been rented for more than twenty years, so it needed some TLC. A little paint here, a repair there, and time went by...they fell in love with the neighborhood and without realizing it they were in it for the long run!
Three more sons were born, and as their family grew their home did, too. They expanded rooms and swapped bedrooms, changing the floor plan and flow of their home.
In their last remodel they built an addition, bringing the kitchen to the front of the house. They vacated the living room, relocating the social areas to the new kitchen, which is now a big open plan space that also houses a dining and lounge area. The old TV room became a place where the teenagers can hang out with their friends without disturbing the rest of the family.
The renovation also created a place where Fernando can foster his passion for cooking, while Andrea has fun furnishing it. She's on the constant lookout for homewares and cooking supplies — both vintage and new. A few years ago this growing collection led to friends and acquaintances being very interested in her finds, so she set up a showroom right in her house! While dealing with customers can sometimes be very daunting, this bountifully stocked kitchen opened the door for other opportunities, like renting their house for shooting cooking TV shows and product catalogs.
Andrea's eye for decoration and space planning is crucial for keeping the house comfortable for her family:
"My approach to design is instinctive. Sometimes I move furniture around just to try things for a week and see how everyone responds to it. If it's uncomfortable they'll let me know, but most of the times they don't even notice it. That way I know that the change responded to an underlying need that I picked up in some way."
The result of this life's work is a very cozy place. Not only because it provides accomodations for six people in 950 square feet, but also because it created an atmosphere that proved to be very welcoming to all of their friends and family.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
Our Style: Personal, we choose things that we like and try to arrange them in harmonic ways. Perhaps that's why we chose neutral colors for painting the rooms, as it makes a great background for the vignettes we create with what we collect.
Inspiration: We draw inspiration from books, magazines, our travels and also Instagram of course!
Favorite Element: I can't think of anything in this house that I wouldn't get rid of, given the circumstances. That said, I'm very fond of a set of orange teacups that belonged to my grandmother. She wasn't the kind of person that saved things for a special occasion; maybe that's where I learned that nothing is indispensable.
Biggest Challenge: The hardest thing to tackle has been finding comfort and space for everyone in our family to develop their activities. This is a small house (at least for six people!) but we've managed well by adapting it along the years.
What Friends Say: Everyone feels very comfortable as soon as they walk in, and it's a running joke amongst our friends to try and find what has changed since their last visit.
Biggest Embarrassment: We often call our backyard the "forgotten land." We have our pool there, but the space only gets used during summer. We like the front yard so much better, and are more invested into making it an enjoyable space. That's why we're currently thinking about expanding the house towards the back of the plot.
Proudest DIY: I'm not very good at recycling furniture or any manual labor; I'm very anxious. But Fernando is the skilled one, he enjoys working on DIY projects. He's done several things, the most cherished one is the coffee table that he made out of scrap wood that was laying around our backyard.
Biggest Indulgence: We tend to use the "extra" money that comes from renting the house as a location for buying things like the wingback armchair in our family room. It got stuck in my mind since I saw it in the store; I like thinking about it as a write-off.
Best Advice: Don't buy something just because everyone has it. I hate walking into a house that ticks every box of what is on trend, it feels so impersonal! I understand that not everyone has the time to delve into their taste or think about ways to improve their home. In my case, I thinks it's worth every minute!
Dream Sources: I love how affordable everything is in America, where you can get good design for very reasonable prices. I'm a very practical person and so I dream of having the chance to source furniture and have it shipped to my house in no-time.
PAINT & COLORS
Kölor — Trojan Grey (kitchen accent wall)
Doña Petrona cookbook — family heirloom
Dining Table — flea market find
JUAN CRUZ'S BEDROOM
Denim curtain — Arredo
Desk — flea market find