A Designer Remodeled Her Childhood House into a Warm, Modern Home

A Designer Remodeled Her Childhood House into a Warm, Modern Home

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Name: Estefania (me) and my husband along with our three young boys, and our two four-legged friends
Location: Barranco — Lima, Peru
Size: 2500 square feet
Type of Home: One story house
Years lived in: My family has owned the property since 1993. I moved in with my husband and my first two children about five years ago now.

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My family used to own the house next door in the ’50s. After moving to another neighborhood, they returned to Barranco in the early ’90s, and found the “house next door” for sale. We moved into it in 1994, after about a year of work; I was 9 years old.

I lived in the house until the year 2000, when I moved with my mother to Argentina. After a few years of living abroad, I returned back to Peru in the year 2013, with my husband and firstborn child. The house was for the most part un-lived in and needed some serious work, so we decided to remodel while renting a small apartment nearby. The work lasted approximately two years and we moved into the house about five years ago now.

The house is located in the historical part of the bohemian neighborhood of Barranco in Lima, Peru. The district is riddled with art galleries and designer stores, bars, and cafes and overlooks the Pacific Ocean. The thing I love the most about the house is the fact that, even though it’s changed a bit cosmetically, my childhood home has now become home to my own children. We spend a lot of time in the kitchen baking cakes and master-chef’ing with the children.  I also enjoy taking a breather bathed in the warm rays of sunlight in our small patio terrace.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Though minimalist in spirit — the reality of the matter is that my style is mostly eclectic with a penchant for industrial-y things. Our home is a true potpourri of furniture and different objects from around the world.

Inspiration: I would love to say that the inspiration behind it all originated from such or such source but in truth, we just tried to make it work between our very different styles and all the inherited furniture and objects we had each brought to the mix.

Favorite Element: My favorite element I think would have to be my living room bookshelf, which we repurposed from a kitchenware cabinet my grandmother used to have. We sanded it and removed the glass panels giving it a more open feel and allowing us to “grab and go.” It is jam-packed with all kinds of books ranging from my husband’s comics and coloring books for the children to very old dictionaries, contemporary fiction, and family heirloom recipe books. 

Biggest Challenge: The house being smack in the middle of Barranco’s historic zone made any amendments and changes to the structure hard to accomplish, legally. However, through careful planning, lots of negotiating, and some amounts of compromise we managed to get it all done — and it only took a few months of extra time. Being an old colonial Barranquino house with thick adobe walls also brought its own set of challenges.

Proudest DIY: We set up a indoor swing for me and the kids to enjoy, in the corridor between our private quarters in the back of the house.

Biggest Indulgence: A large white enamel kitchen sink by Kohler. Although hard to maintain, it was worth every penny. I love it and think it looks gorgeous. Also — we shipped our enamel bathtub to Peru, all the way from Europe.

Is there something unique about your home or the way you use it? Half-adobe and half-concrete in structure. And the house is alive and keeps growing and evolving with the family. We are currently in the process of converting a large portion of the rooftop into a nice street view terrace and adding a rooftop garden to grow herbs and veggies. 

What are your favorite products you have bought for your home and why? The house is filled with plants and I am always on the lookout for more. And my husband (who works in the film industry) brought the children a few sets of wooden apple-boxes with which they play and build all kinds of structures. Keeps them busy for hours.

Please describe any helpful, inspiring, brilliant, or just plain useful small space maximizing and/or organizing tips you have: Sliding doors are a great way to save useful space. Also having furniture/objects that can double as something else is always useful — for example the film industry apple boxes my children play with when turned around become useful storage solutions — and they’re stackable! I also cannot recommend enough the importance of a well-thought out kitchen and choice of kitchen hardware (drawers, closets, etc.)

Finally, what’s your absolute best home secret or decorating advice? Overall I guess working with different textures — exposed concrete, bricks, adobe, mosaics, wood, and laminates; and accentuating it all with different carpets. It has helped give each and every room a strong identity.



  • Throughout the house I mostly used “Cotton White” by American Colors.


  • 100-year-old, 3-seater leather Chesterfield inherited from my husband’s grandfather
  • Wooden kitchenware cabinet turned bookshelf; inherited from my grandmother
  • Upwright Playel piano from 1825
  • Cushions by H&M HOME
  • Carpet inherited from my grandmother
  • A plethora of objects and pieces of art collected from around the world


  • Industrial metal shelves from the ’60s inherited from my husband’s family
  • A re-paneled old door turned dining room table set on thin steel legs from the ’50s
  • Old wire-mesh garden furniture
  • Vintage ceramic lights from the ’60s inherited from my husband’s grandmother
  • Framed comic book strips


  • Mystic oven by KLIMATIK
  • Large White enamel kitchen sink by KOHLER
  • Kitchen hardware by BLUM
  • Barstools from a local home-depot type store, SODIMAC (which we repainted and modified)
  • Vintage posters


  • Low set king-sized bed by LATOFLEX
  • 18th century wooden chest of drawers
  • Large COBRA-movement oil painting


  • Enamel bathtub from 1995

Thanks Estefania!

This house tour’s responses were edited for length and clarity.