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Brazilian Painter Lise Grendene’s London Town House Celebrates All-Female Artists

Brazilian Painter Lise Grendene’s London Town House Celebrates All-Female Artists

Behind a traditional white Victorian façade in London’s leafy, hushed Holland Park lies a bombshell of color, texture, and bold original artwork created entirely by women, including Judy Chicago, Cecilia Vicuña, Francesca Woodman, Lisa Brice, and Kiki Smith. “I’m Brazilian. I try to bring a bit of Brazil to the U.K.,” says painter Lise Grendene, who delivers a serious dose of light and vibrance to the more subdued country she’s called home for the past seven years. “I decided I wanted strong colors to give the house more character and borogodó, which is Brazilian slang for ‘charm.’”

Grendene previously lived in “hectic” Belgravia, but the five-story town house she now owns called out to her with its peaceful, verdant location. “Everywhere you look out of the window you see nature, you see green. And that is very important for me.” But what clinched the deal was the home’s naturally lit, window-filled room that would become her studio. “It’s my happy place,” she declares.

“I really liked the location because everywhere you look out of the window you see nature, you see green. And that is very important for me,” says Grendene of her Holland Park home. She planted up her garden with dense foliage, painted arched panels and added a table and chairs by Lazy Susan to create her cat’s favorite hangout.

Inside, statements aren’t made only by her female-celebrating art collection. “I always knew I wanted to have a lot of vintage pieces, but when I saw my dining table I was absolutely infatuated,” Grendene says of the marble Christian Liaigre stunner. Grendene further edified her furniture array with three whirlwind days in Paris cherry-picking vintage items from city flea markets. “It was quite intense. I would spend the whole day in the market then go straight to bed.” Next she visited contemporary design stores in London—see Roche Bobois and Jonathan Adler—for more modern pieces to form juxtaposing aesthetics.

Finally, Grendene says, “after all that I started playing with colors—I changed fabrics, I painted the walls to create a kind of color-block concept in each room.” The dining room was again where she started, after the “stunning” blue sky and green trees out her window inspired the combination of robin’s egg and evergreen hues. She followed this up with a life-giving Benjamin Moore Sun Kissed Yellow hallway, pale peach living room, and midnight blue library.

“I saw it and I was absolutely infatuated,” says Grendene of her vintage marble Christian Liaigre table, encircled by Gio Ponti chairs. The piece over the fireplace is by Kiki Smith, whose work Grendene calls “so delicate and so beautiful. She’s not a feminist artist but I think she represents women in a way that is beautiful and strong.” Also in the room are works by Grendene, Suzan Frecon, Niobe Xando, and Cecilia Vicuña, whose terra-cotta-hued canvas of nude women has a title meaning “People Eater.”

A series of four images by the late American photographer Francesca Woodman hangs above a vignette comprising a Roche Bobois bar, vintage Luciano Frigerio chairs, and a marble sculpture by an unknown artist.

Grendene says she trusted her intuition when devising the master plan for decorating the four-bedroom, four-and-a-half-bath house. Part of this process included showcasing her own art, which hardly lacks for color. Hanging here and there are pieces including a self-portrait and portrait of her boyfriend, which bookend a Kiki Smith work hanging over her dining room. “I like very strong art,” she says of her collections, “and I like a lot of colors. So I try to harmonize everything.”

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