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A Trio of Archways Is the Defining Feature of a Colorful Brazilian Home | Architectural Digest


Stephanie Wenk (right) and João Paulo Siqueira Lopes.

When Stephanie Wenk and João Paulo Siqueira Lopes first saw the town house where they’d raise their son, Felix, it was beautiful but bland. “The previous owner was an architect, and his taste was quite different from ours,” Stephanie remembers. “It was basically all white, with plenty of Scandinavian and Brazilian furniture.”

As the creative director of Sauer, a renowned Brazilian jewelry company known for its bold gemstones and sustainably sourced materials, Stephanie is drawn to details. She sees how the shape, finish, or even placement of something—like the shade of a round pearl or the cut of a shimmering amethyst—can make all the difference in creating a lasting effect. João, who is an art advisor, is no different. So, when they looked upon this blank box, they were able to discern the feature that made it seem valuable. “I was particularly fascinated by the three arches that can be seen from both the front and the back of the house,” Stephanie says.

Set in the São Paulo neighborhood of Jardim Paulistano and built in the 1940s, the town house was in a calm residential area of the city, but still close enough to the action at its center. There was a front patio with room for a fireplace and a lush garden in the back, sandwiching a pair of bedrooms and bathrooms that provided just enough space to stretch out together. “It was in great condition,” Stephanie says. “There were really no major issues.” The family moved in, and only made a few minor changes to the layout with help from architect Felipe Hess—most notably, they turned the third bedroom into a closet. What concerned Stephanie and João most was how to bring those three arches to ​​their fullest potential. “We wanted to use colors that were joyful, but also nothing too tiring,” Stephanie says.

“The art we choose to have is mostly by Latin American artists,” Stephanie says. “We go to artists’ studios, exhibitions, and galleries all the time, so we try to build a coherent collection that’s also personal. In terms of decorative objects, the style roams free. We love scouting for new pieces!”


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