Catching Up with Brune et César - UTIL – Designer furniture

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June 2021

Catching Up with Brune et César

Brune and César met at university in Paris and have been together ever since. They stayed in Paris early in their careers: Brune putting her eye for the uncanny to good use in interior design projects for restaurants; and César had his yuppie phase as a successful designer for Condé Nast. But three kids later they had enough of Paris, and relocated to Lisbon in search of a different pace and a professional realignment. 

Their apartment in Santa Isabel is like a wonderful cadavre exquis, a miraculous mash-up of seemingly polarised influences: exotic pieces collected through their many voyages in South America and South-East Asia, come together in a family home that is both decidedly French and positively Portuguese. A masterful conversion of a top-floor on a XIX century building, centered around a bright, productive kitchen, that is as much Côte d’Azur as it is Casablanca. At its heart: a large dinner table around which Brune elaborates her culinary concoctions. Practical and uncomplicated, she cooks with flair and precision with only a handful of simple ingredients. Just like with her work: truly blessed with a gentle touch, she will take the simplest materials and supercharge them with meaning. Recently Brune and César have teamed up on a reinterpretation of a Portuguese classic: the family medal! A fitting and authentic output from a neo-portuguese family.

Pictures by Pedro Alfacinha


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