Casa Cavia, a new cultural hub in Buenos Aires’s Palermo Chico neighborhood, is a one-stop shop for everything from flowers to perfumes by scent wizard Julian Bedel. Locals also linger over cortados at the all-day café. Can’t join them? Introduce a little Argentine flair into your home with tips from the designers behind the project.
Shelve it: If you opt for open shelving, “arrangements should be visually pleasing but also practical,” says Abigail Turin from the design firm KallosTurin. “You want to create a looseness of objects.” Here, the designers used a mix of new brass serving dishes and vintage ceramics from the San Telmo flea market and local antique shops.
Leaf out: If shelves are for pastries and tableware in this café, where do the books go? In addition to filling the adjacent library and bookshop run by Casa Cavia’s in-house publisher, Ampersand, they’re also dangling from above. “We hung books from the ceiling for a whimsical effect and as a way to hide access panels and AC units,” Turin says. She and cofounder Stephania Kallos scoured local stores to find the more than 300 antique books.
Respect the past: “When working with a beautiful, classic building, go with a pared-down palette,” Turin says. “In the café, we used green and brass as our pop elements. They accent rather than overwhelm the original 1920s arches and moldings.” The green also mirrors the park outside, and the brass and marble are a nod to materials used in Buenos Aires cafés and restaurants of the ’20s and ’30s.