Organic Lines

Interior designer and creative director Juliana Cavalcanti on finding the perfect backdrop to life and work in the Portuguese capital of Lisbon.

It’s hard to describe one’s self, we are a mix of so many things… I know I am! Amongst it all, I am a passionate person that loves everything that is beautiful in the most simple and genuine way. I also love people and the energy they can bring me, the capacity to make you feel full-hearted and the desire to give the same in return. Kind and generous people are my kind of people. So maybe my brand was created naturally trying to gather both things: beauty and people. Working on creating spaces and visual references that will touch people’s lives, even if just for a moment or for a lifetime, really fulfils me. And in my area we get to know new people and their stories all the time – another point that makes it so interesting as you must in a way be a ‘reader’ of their personalities. I like the challenge (and trust me, sometimes it is a big challenge). 

I believe my inspirations are everywhere. Nowadays we have so many visual references, so many references being thrown at you that you end up creating your identity as a mix of everything you love, everything that resonates with you. But of course I have the deepest admiration for some incredible artists and designers (from the past and contemporary), such as Joaquim Tenreiro, Zanine Caldas [Brazilian-based artists from the mid century], and [architects] Jean Prouvé, Pierre Jeanneret, and Afra and Tobia Scarpa.

Within my creative process I try always to understand the purpose of the project. If it’s a residence, I focus on the client and lifestyle, their personality and soul. You must design something that will not only be beautiful for their eyes but also comfortable for their day-to-day life. A home must have the feeling of a home, must resonate with whoever inhabits the space. If it’s a commercial project, the approach is built around the brand’s identity and how the public should use the space. We try to combine a design that will stand out with a good flow for the public and staff. It must be aligned with the operations – so it’s an approach that starts with a visual ideal but is shaped by the business needs. Bottom line: for me, the aesthetics and the way you will make people feel inside the space are still my number-one priorities. 

Proportions, textures, colours, statement design elements and some void to allow breathing are the key elements for me. Colour is an essential part of any project. Colour is proven to directly affect people’s feelings. The entire goal in designing a space is to evoke specific feelings and reactions according to the project’s brief. Therefore the choice of colours will play an important role to help achieve the desired mood. I like to play with different colours for different spaces as if to create chambers of mood in the same house or space. 

I tend to use natural materials most of the time simply because I love it – from the furniture to fabrics or even the paint on the walls. Also nature features in the shape of many pieces as I love organic lines – nothing is as beautifully balanced as nature. 

“I tend to use natural materials most of the time – from the furniture to fabrics or even the paint. Also nature features in the shape of many pieces – nothing is as beautifully balanced as nature. ”

Lisbon has been home for 16 years and for a very important period of my life. This is also where I had my daughter – so more and more I feel this is home. I will always have Brazil as this is where my family is and where my roots are. But I believe that home is a feeling and this I always had for Portugal. 

The light and its special soul of softness, of kindness. Since I arrived I felt there was something special in this place, something that you can’t really define, you can only feel. It’s a feeling of belonging, of joy. Maybe because it’s such a bright city with its beautiful colours and kind people. It’s a humble culture that balances out the craziness of the world we live in now. 

Summer here is bright and long. It’s above all joyful. You have so much to do, so many places to go, so many interesting people to share beautiful moments with. And this is so important to me. 

"Colour is an essential part of any project. Colour is proven to directly affect people’s feelings."

I would describe my personal interior style as quiet sophistication. I like beauty in simple lines where details and subtle elements play the main role. I like textures above all, I love playing with them. I used to think of myself as a minimalist but I feel I’m moving towards a richer style – simple but comfortable and homey. 

Nature is so present in me. I grew up in Brazil surrounded by nature – my mother always made sure we had a close contact to the natural world so our house was surrounded by green and most of our travel experiences were adventures in the wild or at the beach. I feel very blessed that I had this chance and, although I live in a city, I chose one that makes you feel connected to nature, having the ocean just around the corner. It allows you to breathe, to get energised by its power.

I am obsessed with Italy. Perhaps because of my partial Italian blood, I try every year to visit a beautiful Italian destination. It inspires me, fills my heart with beauty and a feeling I can’t describe. Maybe the same things I search for in my design you find in Italy: a simple, genuine, unpretentious sophistication combined with a homey feeling. 

Lilies and begonias are my favourite flowers. Simply because they’re so extremely beautiful in their forms and colours – you can’t deny the power and intelligence of nature when you see that it’s capable of making these creatures! I get stunned by it every day – I am never indifferent to the beauty nature is so perfectly able to manifest. 

My ideal summer gathering would be on a long table set in nature at the end of the day where the magic light is beginning to make everything even more beautiful. The tableware is perfectly chosen for the occasion with incredible ceramics and glass design composing a simple yet quietly sophisticated style. The perfect bossa nova music is playing in the background and we are surrounded by amazing energy from good friends, all exhaling the joy of summer. Good wine and incredible food made with the best local products are served. We are at the table for hours with great conversation, laughter and, later on, some soft dancing takes place. This is for sure would be my perfect summer gathering. 

I am excited by what’s coming up on so many fronts. I feel more mature with my design and it excites me – I am looking forward to having the opportunity to create more of it. As for trips, I can’t wait to travel again!

See more of Juliana’s work at

Discover Midsummer at The Floristry with our collection of flower bouquets and flowers jars each made to order by our florist team and available for flower delivery in Hong Kong.