Mix contemporary furnishings with rustic and industrial elements—and don't forget vibrant pops of color.
Take a stroll along one of Buenos Aires’ many sleepy, cobbled streets lined with colonial buildings and it will immediately become clear to you why the Argentine capital has been dubbed the “Paris of South America.” The European heritage that so many South American cities have by way of their history is probably nowhere as obvious as it is in Buenos Aires. The neo-classical architecture oozes an undeniable Old World charm and the café culture—elevated here to cult status—is indeed reminiscent of the City of Light.
But Buenos Aires is also a city of passion, which is a distinct Latin trait. The impromptu tango lessons on the streets will seduce anyone, and the bustling markets and fairs offer an incredible wealth of local foods and artisanal products. So if you are looking to add to your home a bit of the rich and complex character of Buenos Aires, you have to be ready to mix up classic pieces with vibrant pops of color.
“Buenos Aires’ interior design aesthetic balances urban sophistication with rural elements originating from the farm and polo lifestyle outside the city,” says Cecilia Reboursin, architect and founder of Larebour, a design firm based in New York City. The Buenos Aires native says it is exactly this chaotic and colorful environment that has led to the emergence of so many local designers, each contributing with his or her distinct style to the city’s design stage.
And when it comes to home décor, Reboursin prefers mixing contemporary furnishings with rustic and industrial elements.
“My favorite Argentine textiles are knitted vicuña throws, Aguayo fabrics for a touch of color and of course leathers for the sofas and chairs,” Reboursin suggests.
She explains that the Aguayo fabrics were originally used in South America by Andean women to carry their children and take products to the market. “It is soft, thin, and easy to cut, but sturdy. The fabric is reversible, woven with patterns on both sides.”
Of course, we can’t talk about Argentine home décor without mentioning the Butterfly chair, or the BFK chair, designed in Buenos Aires in 1938 by the architects Antonio Bonet, Juan Kurchan, and Jorge Ferrari Hardoy. It consists of a folding frame upholstered in leather.
And speaking of materials, there are plenty of local wood options to choose from, such as lenga, guatambú, paraíso, lapacho, and incienso. Reboursin’s favorite is petiribí, a tree native to North Argentina, that she loves for its distinctive color.
Now peruse some of our favorite home décor items inspired by Buenos Aires.