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Drawing from their extensive experience in various prestigious agencies such as Shigeru Ban and Pierre Yovanovitch New York, Olivier and Clio merged their expertise to establish Garcé & Dimofski—a unique gallery and multi-disciplinary design brand crafting lifestyle objects and interior design. The Gallery Home, exclusively listed with Fantastic Frank, serves as their dynamic home, studio and shop space, within a historic Pombaline building dating back to the 19th century. Every year, Garcé & Dimofski gallery curates a vibrant calendar of open events, collaborative gatherings, and captivating art and design installations, ensuring an ever-evolving creative atmosphere.

Interview by Catarina de Almeida Brito.


The Gallery Home, exclusively listed with Fantastic Frank Lisbon, photos by Luis Nobre Guedes

Where are you both from?

We are both French, but Olivier's mother is Portuguese. He used to come to Portugal every summer, so he knows it very well.

What brought you to Lisbon then?

It was a combination of many things. First of all, we wanted to establish our own office, job, company, or studio—however you want to name it—and we wanted to work closely with craftsmen. Olivier had already worked here and met really nice craftsmen, so we wanted to come back to a country where we could be close to them and work with them.

We were living in New York before, so that's why we decided not to return to France, but to Portugal. We have a daughter, so we thought it might be a good country to raise a child, and Lisbon is really attractive; the weather is really nice, and the city is nice.

The Gallery Home seems to me like a perfect blend of architecture with art and interior design, it's very unique. What was your idea when designing the space?

First of all, we selected this space because of the historical space; we wanted something traditional Portuguese and Lisbon. Our goal was to preserve the traditional and beautiful details that the house possessed. Sadly, many of these details were damaged, but we restored everything, including the ceilings, mouldings, doors, and windows. However, we wanted to improve it by incorporating contemporary elements. For example, we worked with a lot of ceramics in a more contemporary way.

We kept some traditional detail design but we added, for example, these big ceramic baseboards. While it's not traditional to have such large ceramic baseboards, the use of ceramic is entirely traditional. Therefore, our idea was to blend tradition with contemporary elements.


Can you tell me a little bit more about your baseboards or wainscoting.

We are working closely with a ceramist in Porto. We do everything with her including furniture in ceramic and tiles.

Coming to Portugal, the main thing that you are aware of is ceramics and tiles. It's part of the Portuguese lifestyle, let's say. So that's why we wanted to think about how to use it and incorporate it into the spaces. They are all custom, handmade, and hand-painted for this project, including the red ones in the bathroom. We also had the bathtub made with ceramics.

Can you talk about the fireplace?

The fireplace was a reference to Andrea Branzi, the designer. We wanted to create something unexpected and we added ceramic to it. This also created a more sophisticated element that complements the ceramic wainscoting already in place in the space.

FF ANjos LNG-3 (5)

Is there another feature of the apartment that you are particularly fond of?

For example, we have used the existing ceramic tiles inside the oldest kitchen, and we expanded them on the floor outside. It was an interesting idea to reuse what we could have left from the site construction.It's why we also tried to keep all the screens for the windows and everything that could be preserved was preserved and restored for this apartment.

You have this room with wooden panels. What is this wood?

The wood is chestnut—castanheiro in Portuguese. It is sawn, which makes this rough...


The apartment is located in Anjos. Was that intentional?

It wasn't intentional; we were looking for an apartment exactly as it was, with lighting, mouldings... That was the main focus for us. In Lisbon, there are so few apartments like that, even two or three years ago.

What are your favourite spots in Anjos?

A Vida Portuguesa and you have many great restaurants or bars, cafes that are opening or already open. You have OPif and many small shops or creatives coming here and creating new businesses.

What are the influences for all the pieces of furniture you have in your apartment?

We don't decide exactly what could be custom-made, vintage, or contemporary. It's a mix of everything in each room. Sometimes we need something more functional, so we create the piece to fit seamlessly with the other furniture. Because we are also a gallery, we buy and sell openly. So it's a process that is always in motion.


Is there a favourite piece of furniture you have in the house right now?

I would say the master bed; it is a masterpiece, I think. It's a masterpiece in the way that it's so big, taking up the space in the room, because it's quite a big room. But we still wanted to keep the moldings and everything visible. So it's large but low.


It's beautiful with the two pieces of art that fit perfectly.

They were done specific for the room, from an artist that is actually located in Lisbon called Alexander Mignot.

What were your biggest challenges with this apartment?

It's very complicated to manage a project in Lisbon where you are trying to preserve the existing part of the apartment itself. So, the challenge is that renovations in Lisbon are really tricky and complicated in terms of timeline and general contractor.

The Gallery House is a gallery, showroom, studio and your apartment. What was your intention to make a new format?

We knew this concept from before, we knew it wasn't already in place in Lisbon. Because we wanted to provide another experience to clients, the idea was to leave the space as it was something precious, but also something casual.


How has the experience of selling the pieces been from this apartment?

I think it helps because we took pictures of the pieces in our location. But it doesn't matter that it's specifically in Lisbon. People are happy to see the pieces on-site and how they can be included in their interior. But it doesn't change whether it's here, in Porto, or in Paris.

My final question is, what's next for you?

We will be looking for the next best opportunity or a location that we could love as we love this one. Maybe working on an architectural project instead of doing an apartment.


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