Over the past few weeks, we have been talking a lot about Casa das Avenidas on our social media, a rehabilitation and decoration project entirely developed by RIMA. This project is very special to us, not only because it is a 176 m2 apartment that required a complete renovation, but also because of its original architecture, which ended up being the main inspiration for this project.
Those who follow us closely know that we love spaces with history, especially when it comes to homes. When we first visited this apartment, we were captivated by its interiors, so typical of Lisbon houses built in the areas of Príncipe Real, Chiado, Baixa, Campo de Ourique, and Avenidas Novas. The latter neighborhood, which gave its name to our Casa das Avenidas, emerged at the turn of the 20th century, inspired by the progressive urbanism of the Boulevards of Paris, with wide streets, tree-lined sidewalks, and large gardens, as well as the interiors of French mansions with their high ceilings, elaborate plaster moldings, and Art Nouveau influences. It unquestionably marked Lisbon’s assertion as a modern capital and, for us, is one of the most beautiful and emblematic areas of the city.
If you also love Parisian architecture and want to know more about this rehabilitation, keep reading!
The Traditional Lisbon architecture
Located in a century-old building and having received few interventions over time, this apartment required a deep renovation. However, to preserve its history, one of our main concerns throughout the process was to respect and restore the original style of the house. All fundamental architectural elements, such as the high, ornate ceilings, wooden floors, plaster moldings on the walls, and even the original doors and doorframes, were preserved and integrated into the project to maintain the essence of this beautiful Lisbon apartment, enhancing its charm and traditional character.
A new layout
Despite being a spacious house with many rooms, the original layout had several flaws in its organization, making the space less usable. So, our team began by redesigning the layout to make the apartment more fluid, simple, and functional. Each room was rethought and, whenever necessary, repositioned in the space to ensure more logic and flow.
Originally, the apartment had only one bathroom (yes, you read that right!). It was an excessively long space, which made it impractical. To address this challenge, the RIMA team started by transforming this space into two bathrooms: a guest bathroom, accessible from the hallway, and a new bathroom in the master bedroom (the former living room), which would become a master suite. In addition to adding a wall to separate the two bathrooms, it was also necessary to create a passage from the bedroom to the bathroom, once again respecting the original architecture. In the images below, you can see how we designed the door to fit perfectly into the wall, making this intervention almost imperceptible!
We used organic and natural materials, such as handmade tiles, to add a subtle touch of color and reinforce the traditional lines of the apartment. The golden faucets and handles complete the warm palette of both bathrooms while adding a touch of sophistication and emphasising the timeless design. Custom-made cabinets in oak bring some warmth to these colder spaces and consolidate a strong connection to nature, which was so important in this project.
The kitchen was originally at the end of a long hallway, along with the living room, making the social areas far from the entrance. We chose to reposition it near the entrance and designed it from scratch, always paying attention to traditional architecture to maintain the authenticity of the house. One of the highlights in this space is undoubtedly the chimney. Completely designed by us, it was covered with a texture reminiscent of Venetian stucco and complemented by two natural marble bases, giving it a more classic look. The cabinets also follow this design, with neutral-toned frames and lacquering. The countertops are covered with natural marble, and the walls have traditional tiles with wooden shelves, carefully integrated to fill empty spaces and offer more storage in this kitchen.
The Living and Dining rooms
Following the logic of placing all social areas closer to the entrance, we designed the dining and living rooms next to the kitchen, followed by the office. These three areas were designed to make the most of the green landscape outside, a characteristic feature of this neighborhood, preserving the large windows that bring more light and natural beauty inside the house. The decoration was carefully chosen, with simple furniture in natural woods and neutral and warm tones, complemented by black accents, which provide timeless and contemporary elegance to these spaces.
Naturally, the bedrooms were also repositioned when we rethought the organization of this apartment, making them more secluded and away from the entrance. The master suite, originally the living room of the house, was quite spacious. Therefore, we decided to make the most of this space and designed a large custom-made wardrobe to create a dressing area and a passage to the bathroom, making the sleeping area more private.
In the former kitchen, we created a guest room, but we kept the original chimney in natural stone, a typical feature of old houses that enhances the traditional character of this apartment. Like the master suite, this guest room has access to a beautiful balcony, where we chose to apply a black and white checkered floor, reinforcing the Parisian influences.
All the rooms follow a decoration based on natural woods, earth tones, and golden accents, for a cozy, classic, and timeless look. Despite the numerous details that mark each space, we cannot help but highlight the wallpaper applied in one of the rooms, with subtly highlighted vegetal motifs by a metallic reflection. It is undoubtedly one of our favorite details and added dynamism and depth to the space!
In summary, even in an old apartment, the possibilities of rehabilitation are endless! However, to ensure the success of a renovation, it is essential to ensure a functional layout, first and foremost, and even more important to consider the environment in which the house is located and its history, for a more lasting renovation.
In Casa das Avenidas, the simple decoration and the organic yet luxurious details of the renovation contributed to the classic design we were looking for, respecting and reinforcing the history of this beautiful apartment. The result is a functional, welcoming, and timeless space that, despite being modernised, retains its essence and traditional charm.
If you enjoyed this article, be sure to view (or review) all the photos of Casa das Avenidas, an apartment with Parisian influences, right in the center of Lisbon!