Adverse to interior minimalism, Gabriela Palhano and Lucas Diogo’s home in Portugal’s Lisbon is where maximalism reigns supreme. The couple have lived here for over a year after moving from Rio de Janeiro, where their home was nicknamed Cashina da Porta Azul, meaning house with a blue door. Despite the change in exteriors – where they traded their blue door in Brazil for a pink door in Portugal – they fondly carried the name with them.
Gabi and Lucas’ home is an ode to vibrancy and their style is self-proclaimed to be one of “affection, colour, plants and creativity”. As spring is slowly bursting into life in the sleepy, still corners of the Northern hemisphere, Gabriela and Lucas’ home retains a year-long grasp on all things light and bountiful.
“Our home is created to feel comfortable and it’s the best place in the world for us,” explains Gabriela. “It’s cosy and cheerful with many plants and memories from our families and friends who live around the world.”
With Gabi’s career in visual merchandising, her flair for liberating the corners of a room into an exhibition of abundance is second nature. Brightly coloured splashes flash across an all-white backdrop – a decision that accentuates the smaller details.
“My biggest fashion influence at home is colour,” she says. “I worked for 11 years at FARM Rio, which is famous for its vibrant colours and tropical prints.” Taking a verdant leaf from the influences of her fashion background, the surfaces of their home feel alive – because they are. Walls and floors alike are topped with plants and lengthy vines are suspended across each room, creating an outside-inside jungle that’s never wild, but never tame.
Settled into their new life in Portugal, the couple moved so Luca could study a Master’s degree in Sports Management and their interior style plays on their transition to a life away from the bustling metropolis of Rio de Janeiro. Living in the quiet suburbs of Lisbon, on the banks of the Tagus river close to the beaches of Cascais, their focus is on the nuances of nature and their experiences of other cultures.
“We love to travel the world, visit new places and bring some of it all into our home,” explains Gabi. “Our favourite items are our butterfly chair, the living room bookcase, our plants and the small objects that we brought from trips to other countries we visited.”
Mementos from the couple’s travels, along with gifts from family and friends, are positioned pride of place. “They are all scattered around the house,” beams Gabi. “There’s a crib that we brought from Assisi, Italy, a medal from Paris, a frame given as a gift by my sister-in-law with an embroidery written about homesickness and we have postcards we collected from the museums we visited on trips.”
Even the most subtle of design choices contribute to their home’s texturally explosive canvas. Recently, Gabi took their never-dry paintbrush to the legs of their dining table, turning them from black to white so it pops against the spherical block of terracotta-orange painted on the slip of wall behind it.
Their fondness for all things botanical spreads into their garden. “We’ve planted pears, lemons, peppers, corn, tomatoes, eight types of Portuguese grapes, beets and flowers,” she says of their desire for a luscious garden they can spend the balmy European summers in.
“We strongly believe that colours and plants are what bring life and personality to our home,” says Gabi. “And they also bring us many memories of Brazil.”
Follow Gabi and Lucas at @casinhadaportazul