This Buenos Aires Home Has Some of the Best Bookshelves We’ve Seen Yet

updated Dec 9, 2020
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Name: Tomás, Martina, Nina, and Florián
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Size: 1,800 square feet

Tomás is an architect and Martina is a decorator, so of course the home they share in Buenos Aires with their two children, Nina, 7, and Florián, 4, is stunning. But it didn’t always look this way: When the couple first found this apartment, it had been neglected for years and it needed a full remodel, which gave the creative couple the opportunity to make it their own. Martina describes her family’s style as “comfortable, relaxed, and elegant.” Their renovation not only updated the aesthetic of the space, but also created a home that adapts and functions for their family—and their impressive collection of books!

This lovely home served their family well for four years, but they’ve recently moved onto their next home adventure. “Without really looking for it, we found another apartment with a beautiful garden,” says Martina. “We have already begun to fix it up for moving… so we are really going to miss this house!” Read on to take a tour of their former apartment:

On custom furniture: The apartment’s sofas were made specially for Martina by her upholsterer. She even opted for a velvet sofa in the dining space instead of the usual dining chairs. “We like to invite friends and have a wonderful dinner—it’s really comfortable,” says Martina.

On the power of scent: “I love that my home has its own fragrance. I made by myself a spray with essential oils,” says Martina, who makes her own cleaning sprays too, with vinegar and lavender from the garden. “I use it for everything! As clothes softener, too,” she says.

On when she likes to DIY​: I like putting lots of effort in preparing my kids’ birthdays, and for that I make the two things I love most: cooking and decorating.

On custom bookcases: Martina says she likes custom bookshelves because you can make them “perfect for that wall, without waste!” In the dining area, they couple opted for white lacquered wood. “We made it specially for that wall and for placing all our special books and objects,” says Martina.

On their book collection: “We have too many books!” says Martina, but she says, “We love book, and we draw a lot of inspiration a lot from them.” However, she notes that their shelves are not full of novels and biographies. “All of our books are visual,” she says. Think architecture, design, colour, textiles—and many cookbooks. 

On a special piece of art: “My favorite object is in the dining room’s library: It is a frame with the Argentinean national emblem embroidered by artist Mercedes Guiraldes (@paisana.argentina) I like it because it represents the revaluation of arts and crafts, and is as well a symbol of my country.”

On their kitchen renovation: “I really love cooking and we spend lots of time in the kitchen, so it was very important for us that it was comfortable, functional, and with a big table; so we completely changed the structure of the previous kitchen and made it much bigger,” Martina told us. “We chose practical materials for the counter (Neolith) and furniture.”

On vintage finds in the kitchen: “I bought the table in an online auction; it was from a factory. I only used the tabletop and changed the legs,” says Martina. While the lamps were a travel score: “We bought them in Rome, and carried them in the plane with us!”

On an iconic kids’ chair: “I like that [the Tripp Trapp chair] adapts to the age of the child,” says Martina. Plus, she notes that it’s a really comfortable chair for the kids to sit in at all ages: They are still using theirs for both their kids.

On designing kids’ rooms: “I love kids’ “world”,” says Martina, who says she is always looking for attractive things for them to play with, like the custom tent canopy seen here. You can’t see it here, but she says, “The also have a kiosk to buy and sell groceries, lemonade, ice-cream! They enjoyed it!”

On staying tidy: Martina says the children’s toys are stored in different baskets in a bookshelf, but she confesses, the place space is a mess all day until they tidy up at 6pm. “Jaja!” she laughs.

On wallpaper: Tomás and Martina’s bedroom features a wall mural from ​Anthropologie (the Judarn Mural by York Wallcoverings, $298). It gives the small room a strong focal point that Martina complimented with pillows that pull colors from the mural.

On work-from-home spaces: Martina had the desk custom-made for the space. The office chairs are vintage finds that she had reupholstered in grey leather. An origami ship desk organizer from Gato lends the space a touch of playfulness.

Thanks Tomas and Martina!

This post originally ran on Apartment Therapy. See it there: This Buenos Aires Home Has Some of the Best Bookshelves We’ve Seen Yet