by pedro quintela studio

A Portuguese House Goes from Ruins to Ravishing

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Located “where the earth ends and the sea begins” in the words of writer Luís Vaz de Camões, the Vila da Azóia in the historic city of Sintra, Portugal, is an ancient structure that needed a thorough overhaul and makeover. It was originally a wreck, terribly dilapidated, and offered no scope for modern habitation. But the architects at Pedro Quintela Studio weaved fascinating design magic, using the foundation of the obsolete, derelict edifice to construct a beautiful home with oodles of cosy, luxurious touches. With ample doses of natural wood, splashes of white, modish designs and a dollop of glitz, this rustic yet glamorous home is a must see!

Before: A scene of devastation

This was a scene of sheer ruin, if ever there was one! You can barely make out the structure of the building before the renovation – it is mainly a pile of rubble!

After: Magical transformation

What a radical transformation! Built using the old building as a base, this attractive home sports a quaintly charming look now. The façade is a symphony of stone and wood, with the striking stone wall creating a homely, welcoming ambiance. The shingles on the slanting rooftops give the perfect decorative look.

Before: The wrecked façade

This section of the façade looked like a complete wreck! With a crumbling structure and moss-ridden walls, it looked nothing less than a haunted home.

After: A bewitching makeover

The architects have retained the original structure of the house while transforming it into a wondrous creation. The interesting lines and curves of the façade pique our curiosity, and we cannot wait to see what has been done within! The unique design is still in tune with the historicity of the city and the stone mosaic on the protruding section of the wall is particularly delightful!

After: The cool and classy kitchen

What a spacious and airy kitchen! The curves of the room are unique and exciting—but not a surprise given the exterior of the house. The spaciousness, the wooden beams and the smoothly flowing floating shelves of natural wood create a cheerful Mediterranean ambiance here. Gleaming kitchen appliances and the concrete finish floor add a dose of industrial chic to the cosy, rustic setting.

After: The delightful dining area

There is a sense of flowing continuity in this marvellous home. Similar to the undulating waves of the sea, the floating shelves flow in a curve through the kitchen and out into the dining area. The wooden beams on the ceiling are a constant feature, giving character to the interior. The charming dining table with its centrepiece of colourful vegetables strikes just the right note, fitting beautifully into the natural setting. This is a room out of a storybook!

After: Comfort and warmth in the bedroom

Perched on the top floor, the minimalistic, spacious and stylish bedroom blends warm wood with classic white for a romantic setting. The wooden beams accompanied by softly glowing lights create an artistic effect, just as in other rooms. We love the quaint white furniture and the adjoining terrace – what a perfect place to stretch and relax first thing in the morning!

After: Gorgeous open plan living

We are so enthralled by the décor that we really don’t know where to begin! Just look at the flowing connectivity between the living area, the dining area, and the kitchen. They are diverse areas, yet combined by the simple flowing lines of the floating shelves and the curving sofa. The gentle merging of the different elements is fascinating! And don’t you just love the green arrangement behind the sofa – what a gorgeous splash of colour! The branch on the far wall adds an exotic look to the entire space, while the log pile is just perfect for that ambiance of comfort, warmth and family feeling.

After: The golden bathroom

The bathroom is a sheer delight! We can’t take our eyes of the shimmering metallic mosaic pattern of the shower area! What a gorgeous way to complement the natural wood of the floor, door and countertop! The arched splendour of this magnificent feature blends perfectly with the look of the bathroom – it enhances without overpowering. A thumbs-up to the alluring pear-shaped mirror too, which is full of curvy appeal.

After: The sunny balcony

Looking at this balcony that opens out from the bedroom, we immediately gain a sense of calmness and comfort. The pillows on the wooden bench look so plush and inviting! The white of the walls together with the warmth of the earthy floor tiles and wooden furniture creates a relaxed setting under the beam-lined shade.

After: The terrace becomes a work of art

This stylish terrace continues the curving theme of the floor below. Notice how the wooden bench flows lazily along the terrace, the bare tree trunk standing proud in the form of a unique and exotic piece of art! The floor tiles add their own soothing warmth to the blazing glow of the sun – what joy to bask on this terrace! 

The architects have blown our minds with their spectacular transformation of a derelict old ruin into a magical Mediterranean world of beauty, warmth, space, grace and grandeur! For more ideas, here’s another before and after story – The amazing transformation of a compact home.

Which idea from here inspired you the most? Let us know in the comments!
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