Today, Peruvian architect Nicole Futterknecht is kindly taking us for a tour of her eclectically-charming house located in Miraflores, a district of Lima known for its shopping areas, gardens, flower-filled parks and beaches. Whilst we take a tour around the rooms, I asked Nicole a few questions about herself and the stunning remodeling and expansion project she has undergone to rescue a damaged 1940’s house and transform it into a warm and bright family home.
Two or three things about you…
I studied architecture in Lima and then traveled to Barcelona in 2003 to study a master’s degree on Ephemeral Architecture. I returned to Peru in 2004 and began working on my own, specializing in remodeling. I am married and have two kids.
I have always admired the architecture of the 40s-60s. I love antique furniture and clean structures. This is reflected in my work, where I combine different styles creating spaces which are mostly warm. I don’t like my style being catalogued as antique or old fashioned, I would define my style as eclectic instead.
Your biggest challenge to complete this project?
The house was located between two 7-floor buildings. My main challenge was to create spaces with as much natural light as possible and that at the same time these had no visual record of the surrounding buildings. We managed to do this by using skylights that fill the house with natural light.
We also tried to rescue the house’s essence (built in 1942), which was basically lost due to previous renovations carried out by former owners. We accomplished this by working on woodwork typically used at the time the house was built and by replacing the ceiling moldings and mosaic floors.
People who inspire you…
My maternal grandmother. She had good taste and a talent for spaces and a special way to give them character by using everyday objects.
A design/taste faux-pas?
Trying to copy things from magazines or following trends. That does not last over time. Try to find your own identity!
Your favorite room in the house?
My bathroom: the bespoke furniture made with Oregon pine bought at demolition sites, the skylight, a lamp bought at a flea market as well as an Inca style carpet managed to put this room together and turn this large space with gray porcelain floors into a warm cozy bathroom with a big personality.
Your most precious belonging?
In general, every single piece of furniture in the house has a special meaning. Many pieces of furniture I inherited from my grandmother (like the wardrobe I now use as a bar in the living room), others are inherited from my mother (the dining room set and my bedroom rug), the shoerack at my oldest son’s room (which I painted red myself when I was pregnant) or the baby changing table in my youngest son’s room (which was a dresser I remodeled as a changing table). Every corner of the house has some detail that reminds me of a past time or a special person in my life.
Lima’s best shopping addresses?
I love going to “La Cachina” which is like a flea market where you can find all sorts of antiques.
Your best interior design advice?
The house should always reflect the identity of the people who live in it. Do not buy everything at once, look for elements that really mean something to each space.
Thank you Nicole!
Photos © Vanessa Ferro
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