This family home set in the countryside is everything that Portuguese culture is about: it's rustic; it's romantic. It's idyllic, relaxed and completely charming. A project by Interior Designers SA&V (Saaranha & Vasconcelos), it is a modern take on country living while paying homage to the old traditions and techniques of the sea loving nation.
Founded in Lisbon in 1985, SA&V have been exploring ways of combining their cultural heritage with modern needs within the home for over 30 years. Working with local materials like the infamous Portuguese tiles, and keeping the colour palette traditional (mostly blues and white), the design team successfully combines the old with the new.
Starting from the outside and working our way in, let's take a look at just how they restored this home to the treat it is today.
From the outside, this home looks simple enough. But don't confuse understated with basic. Staying true to the local architecture and the look of traditional homes in the region, SA&V left the exterior somewhat alone and chose to focus on the details on the inside.
The forest green colour on the main door welcomes guests into the home, setting the mood right from the start. It is clear this is a place for relaxation, peace and serenity. The white exterior walls of the house are dotted with colour from the native plants in the garden. The hot, dry climate of the region plays a big part in the design choices, as we can see in the next area…
Around the back of the house we have a picturesque pool and patio that fits perfectly with the natural surroundings. The landscaping is organic, with the large expansive garden seeming almost wild. At the very least it requires minimal maintenance, which leaves more time to enjoy the pool.
Colours are neutral, the furniture—made from natural wood and the patterns on the cushions are subdued. Overall this backyard leaves the impression you could be enjoying your time lost in the middle of nature.
Here in the living room is where we can really see the elegance and grace that is part of this old European culture. With glass doors running along one wall, edged with heavy, lavish curtains, the living room feels like it could be part of an old Portuguese palace.
Featuring furniture that is at once classic and modern, this room spells out comfort and elegance. Touches of soft plum, rose pink, powder blue and rich gold are seen around the room to keep things lively, but not garish. The ceiling is painted white to make sure the room stays light and airy. Extra detail: landscape oil paintings are spread throughout the house, and are poetic reminders of the romance and adventurousness of the Portuguese.
Portuguese culture cannot be understood without talking about food, and so this room is where we can really begin to get the feel for the country and the home. With tons of cupboards, draws, large oven and central workspace, this kitchen is made to be used and enjoyed as the heart of the home. The pale blues, white tiling and reclaimed timber of the stools keeps this room playful, modern and delightful.
Family life is usually centred around the kitchen, and in this home, that couldn't be truer.
The master bedroom is an extension of the romance that fills the house. It features a decadent bed with a unique canopy and headboard, and lavish textiles. This is just the place to sink into a deep slumber. The navy feature wall at the head of the bed anchors the room, and is balanced out by the mahogany dresser and bedside tables, lavish gold carpet, and extravagant curtains in pale blue and white.
This bedroom is a flawless mix of traditional and contemporary, and takes us on a journey through the decades, and centuries of Portuguese style and design.
The smallest room in the house is probably the most charming. Still with a light colour palette, this country bathroom is rustic and feels like time has stood still. Using traditional Portuguese tiling as a feature, this room is a quiet celebration of the country's history and craftsmanship. The rose pink granite bench top fits the colour scheme perfectly and is topped off with a cute bunch of lavender flowers. A real delight!
If you liked this cottage restoration, then make sure you look around this rustic home in Venezuela as well.