Apê Cayowaá: From Dim Apartment to Bright Family Hub

Discover the stunning transformation of Apê Cayowaá, a São Paulo apartment redesigned by Jessica Ruy in 2022. Emphasizing light and versatility, this renovation catered to the homeowner’s need for a more welcoming space for family gatherings, overcoming architectural challenges to create a bright, multifunctional living environment.

A modern, open-concept living space with a wood dining table, built-in shelves, and a patterned accent wall.
Colorful modern apartment with vibrant blue accent wall, wooden furniture, and potted plants.
A cozy, modern kitchen and dining area with wooden furnishings, warm lighting, and patterned accents.
Contemporary kitchen with sleek wooden cabinetry, patterned tiled flooring, and stainless steel appliances.
Modern kitchen with wooden shelves, patterned wallpaper, and adjustable stools.
Spacious, modern living area with wooden furnishings, neutral color palette, and natural lighting.
Modern apartment with minimalist TV unit, sliding doors, and pops of pastel colors.
Cozy living room with pastel color accents, modern shelving, and sliding glass door.
A cozy bedroom with warm peach walls, natural wood tones, and modern built-in storage.
A spacious bedroom with clean-lined, natural wood cabinetry flanking the bed. Warm, minimalist decor.
Sleek bathroom with green subway tiles, minimalist wooden vanity, and modern fixtures.

About Apê Cayowaá

Redefining Family Spaces with Light and Flexibility

The Apê Cayowaá project represents a remarkable transformation, skillfully executed to meet a family’s evolving needs. Designed by Jessica Ruy in 2022 in São Paulo, Brazil, this apartment renovation revolves around two main objectives: enhancing natural light and adapting the space for diverse uses. From the outset, the design challenges included overcoming structural barriers and repurposing areas within the home to elevate its functionality and aesthetic appeal.

An Open Plan for Enhanced Connectivity

By deconstructing the apartment’s original compartmentalization, Jessica Ruy embarked on a mission to create a cohesive, open-plan living area. Initial plans to merge the kitchen and living spaces encountered structural pillars and essential utilities, prompting a creative pivot. These obstacles transformed into features, with a standout tiled panel becoming the project’s visual centerpiece. This open layout significantly brightened the space, moving the kitchen into the former laundry area to capitalize on the window’s natural light, and turning the old maid’s room into a functional laundry space.

Multipurpose Solutions for Modern Living

Attention to detail in the new layout ensured every area served multiple functions without compromising on style. The custom woodworking throughout the apartment ingeniously separates while unifying the spaces, providing storage and decorative display areas. This approach extended throughout the home, from the living areas to a versatile playroom/bedroom/TV room. A translucent glass sliding door further enhances flexibility, seamlessly merging private and social zones.

An innovative layout tweak allowed the expansion of the suite into part of an existing bedroom, adding a lighted dressing table without sacrificing overall space. Throughout Apê Cayowaá, strategic design choices have established a bright, versatile family environment. From well-lit workspaces to multifunctional rooms that welcome both daily life and grand family gatherings, this renovation beautifully balances the demands of modern living with timeless comfort.

Photography courtesy of Jessica Ruy
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- by Matt Watts