A personal interpretation of elegance in a "masterpiece" home that perfectly balances contemporary style with design.
THE ELEGANCE OF FAMILY WOMEN
That house on Waverly Avenue in Brooklyn Delia knew well. It had been in her family for many generations, and in the 1970s, her aunt, a charming and sophisticated woman, had renovated it, keeping the original details intact.
Delia would have never thought that this building, a wonderful typical Brooklyn brownstone, would become her family's home. A vast space for her, her husband Júlio Leitão, and their two daughters to live, work, and welcome friends.
A MEMORY OF EMERALD GREEN SILK
Delia's aunt was not the only style icon in the family. Her grandmother, a professional seamstress, was the main influence on Delia's transition from studying law to interior design. An irreplaceable source of inspiration, she loved to surround herself with beauty. One day, she decided to reupholster an old sofa with beautiful emerald green raw silk. It was an epiphany for Delia.
MY GRANDMOTHER WAS ELEGANT
IN EVERYTHING SHE DID,
IN EVERY SPACE SHE INHABITED.
In a space that offers a modern reinterpretation of the past, fire cannot be missing.
A PERSONAL IDEA OF STYLE
After having renovated or redesigned about a dozen homes by now, Delia felt ready to capitalize on her experience, create a comfortable space for her family, and materialize her personal idea of style. The basic idea was to preserve the tradition of the house, keeping the original finishes, but brightening everything up with a massive use of white, matte white in particular.
Do you like this fireplace built inside an old hearth? Technically, it's called an insert: efficient and clean, it's very easy to install.
In her home, as in every project she has worked on, Delia tries to incorporate a fire element, whenever possible. "I think fire has the ability to bring warmth into a space," Delia explains. "Just sitting and watching it is fascinating, enjoying it."
NOTHING LIKE FIRE
IS ABLE TO CONVEY A SENSE
OF WARMTH AND LOVE.
Many of the masks are props used by Júlio in his performances.
THE ART OF DISPLAYING ART
Clean lines, natural materials, a neutral color palette create a perfect backdrop for the rich art collection that Júlio and Delia have gathered throughout their lives. Many pieces are by young African artists, hailing from all corners of the Diaspora Continent and particularly originating, like Júlio, from Angola. A significant portion of the displayed works is the result of Júlio's eclectic and creative mind, a sculptor, founder, and creative director of a dance school (Batoto Yetu) that caters to young New Yorkers.
Two entire walls feature murals by Ugandan artist Gerald Nyamwihura Mushumbusi, known as MOOSH.
In the bedroom, a photo from one of Júlio's performances, where children dance in traditional costumes.
In the living room, a portrait of Nzinga Mbandi, the indomitable Angolan Queen who stopped the Portuguese slave traders in the 16th century.
The finishes of this home, a sophisticated blend of old and new, were inspired by a trip to Europe, particularly the visit to the Louvre. For example, the oak herringbone floors, hand-laid directly by Júlio, speak the same language as the Parisian museum. But the décor choices that truly make this home unique represent a fascinating melting pot of influences and stimuli from all over the globe, and especially from the African continent, the homeland of both Júlio and Delia.
I DRAW INSPIRATION
FROM A TRIP, A BALLET,
A MUSEUM VISIT.