By Clare Sartin
Since moving into this sixth-floor apartment in the centre of São Paulo, Houssein Jarouche has changed the furniture around perhaps once every three months. This chronic indecisiveness is understandable when you discover that, as founder of the city’s celebrated design store Micasa – as well as being a prolific artist and DJ – he has access to near-endless inspiration.
‘Every time I’m at an auction or a vintage store, I see something and think “Wow, I want to put this in my home,”’ he explains. ‘It makes it impossible to keep things the same.’
And it’s not just the furniture that’s changing. After moving into the three-bedroom flat with his wife Fabiana, a model and founder of upcycled fashion label FM_86, and children Aly and Nathalia in 2018, another member has been added to the family: five-month-old Amir.
Open-plan, painted a stark, gallery-like white and filled with some of the finest examples of furniture design – from mid-century Brazilian classics to pieces by Houssein’s hero Jean Prouvé and future icons by the likes of Patricia Urquiola – this home may seem like an ambitious choice for a couple with young children. And that’s before we mention the art collection. Everywhere you look you will see examples of Brazil’s radical concretism movement and original pop art – including the Campbell’s Soup Can by Andy Warhol that started this expansive collection when Houssein picked it up in New York back in 2005.
Alongside these bold, bright masterpieces, you’ll also spot items that speak to Houssein’s Lebanese heritage. His parents moved to Brazil in 1952 and his father set up a furniture shop in a village on the outskirts of the city. ‘Today, all of my brothers still work with furniture, but I am the only one interested in design,’ says Houssein, reflecting on this legacy. ‘I am a part of this change in São Paulo. Twenty years ago, customers here didn’t know about design. I think I’ve helped change perceptions’.