The World of Alberto Pinto

It’s one thing to study a designer’s work, but I’m interested in how designers live.

ALBERTO PINTO is known for designing for the world’s creme de la creme, but I found his Rio de Janeiro apartment extremely livable. I realize most of us can’t afford to live as lavishly, but we can borrow ideas from Mr. Pinto to bring elements of lavish style into our own homes.

Starting in his living room Alberto used a bold painting by Marc Quinn as a focal point, but the showstoppers were the classic animal print pillows recycled from coats which he mixed with cream sofas and dark woods.

On the other end of the living room Alberto used Nancy Graves artwork as a focal point and used pops of orange and red from the painting on the pillows and coffee table to pull the room together. Notice the two sets of chairs Alberto added to create conversational areas for his guests.

I’m not a fan of the term “tablescape”, but it’s appropriate here to describe the collected pieces of found objects and antiques from Alberto’s travels to show how we can “display” our favorite things.

Do you see a consistent theme developing throughout the apartment with the use of oversized artwork? Here a Marcos Coelho Benjamin piece over a small bar topped with antique porcelain figures, glassware and silverware.

In the TV room, orange pillows made from Indian fabrics are paired with a Romulus mirror and continues the color theme from the living room where the Nancy Graves artwork was a focal point.

Alberto used screens to conceal his china storage, but with a dramatic twist. Can you guess? The screens are covered with butterfly wings! He also painted the dining table white and carried the animal print from the living room with cheetah print fabric on his antique Robsjohn-Gibbings chairs.

The bedroom is a rather understated black and white but Alberto added a bit of drama with a gorgeous antique coverlet and striped headboard.

Alberto’s closet reveals bleached-mahogany cabinets and an Italian chair covered in faux leather. If you can’t afford real leather, it’s perfectly fine to seek out a great quality faux because even the world’s best designers use it.

A desk in Alberto’s closet is most unusual but suggests we should do the unexpected and utilize space where we can.

Add a bit of art in the bathroom like this piece from Marc Quinn (seen through the mirror) or less conventional sconces like these from Herve van der Straeten.

Alberto “framed” this bedroom entrance with ebonized bookcases and oversized deer candleholders.

An antique red lacquered secretary makes a dramatic statement along with a Suzani coverlet and a yellow and white headboard in the guest bedroom.

Photos: Ngoc Minh Ngo

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