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Decoration and renovation around the world: Portugal

Last modified: 2020-12-09 | Approximate reading time 4 mins

Christime Simard

Around the world, many people are fascinated by the beauty and history of architecture and design. From city to city, country to country, a lot of treasures stand hidden and ready to be discovered, whether it is a monument that has stood the test of time or a house that has been perfectly preserved by its inhabitants throughout the years.

But what happens to these homes when they need to be fixed up? How do contractors from other parts of the world manage to preserve the beauty of the traditional designs of these countries with a rich history?

Today, we are travelling to Portugal where we will explore the different decors and designs that make this country's beauty, exploring both modern and traditional styles.

Decoration and renovation around the world: Portugal

A bit of history about Portuguese decor and design

Combining Spanish and Mediterranean influences, Portuguese architecture perfectly reflects the warm and relaxing climate of the country. Coloured buildings, pastel or bright white, tall arches or decorated ceramic tiles; we can see these specific designs both outdoors and indoors, such as been the case for many years.

Nowadays, Portuguese interior design and architecture are flourishing and in high demand. Many of the concepts associated with the modernist movement come from the work of architect Alvaro Siza Vieira.

With one of his first projects, the Boa Nova Tea House, now turned into a restaurant, we can recognize his signature style. Today, we can almost miss its sight at first glance, as it practically merges with the cliff on which it stands. The main goal of its design was actually to hide in its natural surroundings.

With an economic crisis now behind them, the Portuguese are taking on the modernization of their country and attracting many curious visitors. With its growing tourism sector, Portugal finds itself on the radar of many architecture lovers, no longer limited to its capital, but also to cities like Porto.

Integrating the old to the new

Portuguese houses are naturally small and present a rustic charm, bringing contractors and designers alike to incorporate these details in the house they will be restoring, instead of renovating everything brand new.

Modern architecture can be seen in cities but, as mentioned before, traditional influences are incorporated into the modern look: exposed wooden beams are revamped instead of covered up, decorative ceramic tiles are added indoors as much as outdoors the home and original mouldings are preserved.

Some examples of modern Portuguese architecture

Phyd arquitectura

In the Porto de mos mountains, Phyd arquitectura stumbled upon two old ruins left abandoned. They decided to join them to create a home. In order to preserve their historical nature, the architect drew his inspiration from the ruins' surroundings.

More photos and information here

Casa Modesta

Casa Modesta sits alongside the lagoons of Ria Formosa's natural park. Originally built by the owner's great-grandfather, this ancestral home has now been turned into a boutique hotel and offers an authentic tourism experience, mixing the traditional with the modern.

More photos and information here

Casa Altinho

Imagined and created by architect Antonia Costa Lima, Casa Altinho stands out in the heart of Lisbon with its brick structure, while overlooking the city's river. Inspired by the surrounding neighbourhood, which mixes both homes and warehouses, the house has a geometric structure on the upper level and a traditional appearance on the ground level.

More photos and information here

Esquissos' residential projects

In the village of Cascais, the most recent project of the Esquissos architectural firm aims to preserve the visual and identity of local traditional design. Without contrasting with its neighbours, the exterior blends perfectly with its pastel shades, while the interior recalls modernity and minimalism.

More photos and informations here

Bringing Portugal into your home: integrating techniques and materials in your home

So what about your own home decor? If Portuguese design grabs your attention, there are many simple ways to incorporate it into your decor. One of the most popular ones is the use of the famous decorative tiles that can be seen on Portuguese houses.

Why not use this traditional art and add it to your rooms, like the kitchen? You could create an original backsplash, or even a complete ceramic accent wall in your lobby, adding dimension and colour to the entryway. Here are some articles that could help you in installing ceramic tiles:

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