By Georgia Grimond, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The 25th edition of Casa Cor, a home decorating event, is underway in Glória, Rio de Janeiro. Visitors get to walk through 42 different rooms and spaces, each designed to showcase the work of the 63 architects and designers involved in the event. There are also gardens, patios and terraces on display, as well as a restaurant, a café and a bar.
Founded in 1991 and first held in a house in Urca, the event has grown and expanded all over the country, as well as into Bolivia, Ecuador and Peru to become South America’s leading and largest home decoration show. While exhibitors showcase their wares, guests are able to talk directly to the them and buy pieces at the show. On offer is art and ceramics, as well as furniture from top designers.
With a contemporary Carioca style throughout, this year’s event includes bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchens, lounges, studies and gardens. Each designer has created his own theme or identity. For example, one studio, by Carlos Carvalho and Rodrigo Beze, brings a feel of New York to Rio. A chic bachelor-pad, it includes a well-stocked bar, an American kitchen, trendy bicycle and all the mod-cons tastefully, put together in greys and neutral tones.
Another house features a floor consisting of glass boxes filled with shards of mirror to reflect the walls, furniture and artwork. Hanging in the room are some pieces by famous Rio-based photographer and artist Vik Muniz. In a garden inspired by Frida Kalho, the designer Paula Bergamin has used outdoor furniture by well-respected German brand Dala.
Many of the designers were inspired by this year’s location. Vila Aymoré is a newly-renovated set of adjoining townhouses in Glória. Built around 1910, the street was said to have been the home of Baroness de Sorocaba, a lover of the first emperor of Brazil, Dom Pedro I. The story goes that the emperor would leave his home at the nearby Hill of Glória to visit his mistress down the road and so wore a path to her door.
Founder Patricia Quental explained to O Globo that this year’s focus was on the feel of a house. “People are always searching for roots, for memories,” she said. “In this Casa Cor, principally people feel friendship, they feel soul.”
In 25 years of the expo in Rio, over 1,000 spaces have been designed by 545 architects, decorators and landscapers. “During this period, we have occupied the most diverse styles of buildings: palaces, often rediscovered to house Casa Cor Rio, town houses, real-estate developments and even a hotel. We’ve used neoclassical mansions, modern, eclectic, a real tour through the history of Rio and its rich architecture,” says Quental.
This Saturday, from 2PM, saxophonist João Batista will be creating the soundtrack for artist Fabio Nery as he paints live. The exhibition restaurant, Gloria 25, offers a high-end buffet for lunch (R$72) and is a la carte in the evening. SudDog, chef Roberta Sudbrack’s food truck, serves hotdogs throughout the day and Armazém do Café offers coffee, snacks and cakes too. There is also a bar designed by Bruno Carvalho and Camila Avelar serving classic cocktails.
Casa Cor Rio, at Ladeira da Glória 26, is open until October 4th, Tuesdays to Sundays, 12PM to 9PM. Entrance is R$44-R$50.