TOUR A COLOURFUL LISBON APARTMENT WITH GLOBALLY-INSPIRED FLAIR ♦ Two years ago, the apartment of Filipa de Abreu’s dreams nearly slipped through her fingers. She had underbid both the asking price and an aggressive French overbidder on a century-old four-bedroom rental in Lisbon’s coveted Lapa neighborhood. Its 12-foot-high ceilings, crown mouldings, and boiserie-detailed walls had been meticulously restored; the large windows and bougainvillaea-covered terrace had an uninterrupted view of the Atlantic Ocean. Still, de Abreu informed her real estate agent, “I have a feeling the apartment is going to be mine.” She promptly headed off to India—but not before sending a letter to the apartment’s owner promising to cherish the space. Sure enough, upon her return, the apartment was hers. Secrets From Portugal is here to inspire you with the work of Filipa de Abreu, a bon vivant of the fashion world creates an unforgettable home with striking decor.
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De Abreu quickly settled in with her three children—sons Louis, 15, and Antoine, 10, and daughter, Maria, 14—and the family dog, Flynn. “I named him after Errol Flynn,” she says. A bon vivant of the fashion world, she jet-sets from Lisbon to Europe’s bigger cities and New York in her role as a design consultant and brand ambassador for Tory Burch.
When at home, she makes good on that original promise to the apartment’s owner, filling the space with the kinds of memories and decor that make a place unforgettable. She packs every nook and cranny with beautiful things she finds on her travels. And always, her home overflows with friends. De Abreu throws the type of dinner parties where dessert is served to the beat of a live three-piece band—and sometimes is accompanied by the kicks of a troupe of cancan girls. “This house is made for entertaining,” she says. “My way of thanking friends is to show them the best possible evening.”
She can seat 24 comfortably (and often does) around her dining table, which is usually set with green lettuce ware pieces designed by Dodie Thayer for Tory Burch Home. Linen napkins at each place setting are embroidered with her guests’ initials. And then there is the striking decor: Presiding over every meal is a pair of tigers and a giraffe hand-painted within a vibrant pink mural. The panels were a birthday gift from de Abreu’s good friend Marie-Anne Oudejans, the Jaipur-based interior decorator (and former designer of the Tocca fashion line). Oudejans, who famously created the interiors of Jaipur’s Bar Palladio, flew to Lisbon from India last year with three painters, including the noted artist Vikas Soni, to create the bold tableau on-site. “The artists painted freehand,” de Abreu says of the project, which took four days to complete.
Filipa de Abreu, in a Tory Burch dress, on the terrace outside her apartment in a century-old building in Lisbon, Portugal. The Ikea sofa is topped with pillows in a Carolina Irving Textiles floral, the antique table and chairs are Portuguese, the pitcher is by Bordallo Pinheiro, and the glassware is by Tory Burch.