Name: Marta Lemos and Tadeu de França Machado and a cat
Location: Lisbon, Portugal
Years lived in: 2 years, renting
I’m a fashion designer and my boyfriend Tadeu is a photographer. We are very lucky to live in this beautiful apartment with tons of natural light, in a really great neighborhood, surrounded by amazing people—we are close friends with all the neighbors in the building! We live with our cat Spock who we adopted almost three years ago, and he’s basically the king of the house. We just happen to live with him and be his peasants.
Before we moved into this house, we lived in a tiny apartment that did not fit a lot. So when we got this huge apartment, we were overwhelmed about how we could furnish it with a really tiny budget—but it turned out to be really easy and fun! We both are very lucky to have parents that are “hoarders” (in a good way), so we gathered a lot of old stuff from them.
Also, we spent a lot of time finding affordable things we loved on secondhand websites (in Portugal the most popular is OLX). There are also a few things we found in the garbage and renovated, after Spock’s approval of course. We honestly cannot tell you what we have in our house that is brand new, apart from some IKEA basics (Lack, Kallax., etc.), small accessories, decorations and textiles.
We also have a lot of DIY projects, like: the floating clothing rack Tadeu made for me the first week we moved in; the concrete lamps in our bedroom that took us more time to make than we thought they would; or the origami paper lamp Tadeu made when he had too much time on his hands!
Describe your home’s style in 5 words or less: Colorful, secondhand finds, DIY projects, eclectic, light-filled
What is your favorite room and why? Our living room. It’s where we spend more time relaxing, taking naps, entertaining friends, playing with Spock, watching our favorite TV shows and listening to music on our (old!) sound system. We normally keep the door to the balcony open and it really becomes the heart of the house. It’s also where we have one of our favorite buys ever: The old camel leather sofa we found on a secondhand sales group on Facebook—you would not believe how cheap it was!
Any advice for creating a home you love? Surround yourself with things you really love. Don’t worry if they will fit together, or where you’ll put it, or if the colors will go well with one another.
If you find something you absolutely love, just bring it with you, and eventually it will fit in your home and everything will merge together.
Thanks, Marta and Tadeu!
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*These responses have been edited for clarity