Portuguese Renovation Includes New Portico Framing the View

Lovingly looked after for generations, it was time for the “Quinta da Boavista” home to receive its latest renovation. It’s situated on the banks of the Douro River which wiggles its way through Portugal and the Iberian Peninsula. The soil is bountiful, and it’s no surprise that over the centuries the land here has provided plenty of agriculture, this 18th century estate included.

As well as producing wine, this large house has served as a family home, and been used as a tourist guest house. Originally it stood as two buildings; the main house and the servants’ quarters. Over time, extensions have united the buildings and seen them soar in height. The latest project saw the house formed from an L to a U shape, creating a courtyard and new addition with a gorgeous open portico framing the river view.

Old characteristics of the building, such as the stucco, wooden floors, glazed tiles and wooden trellis were embraced in the renovation, as well as the pervading deep blue accent color found on carpentry around the property. So pretty, and matches the blue of the sky!

The traditional stone walls are also like this Italian farmhouse; a material that at once feels rustic and fortified.

Access from the exterior to the interior was amended with the addition of a new portico area and courtyard. Steps and multiple entrances unite the exterior and interior.

A large family live here, having owned the property for generations. Not wishing to modify things too much, the renovation involved reconciling memories of the traditional look and character of the home while also balancing the new refurbishment including air conditioning, modern fittings and solar panels.

One striking element of the building is this round turret! Given the wine making heritage of the site you could be forgiven for thinking this is a wine silo, but it’s actually a new addition helping to link parts of the building together.

A spiral staircase set in cement creates a dynamic flow, bringing the quadrilateral buildings together in a unique way.

Colored tiles were integrated into the pattern of the striking new kitchen floor, and some of the bathrooms. A challenge for the designers was to create a new space to prepare and cook while still not trying to make it feel like a completely different home.

Delightfully organized open shelves look picture perfect paired with the marble countertops and an abundance of blue!

Designer Mário Ferreira explains:

We decided to use a tile divided diagonally into a certain color and white, and to use it in different variations and combinations. We spent a lot of time experimenting with different patterns and originally we decided to use a different color for each floor: light blue on the bottom floor, green in the main floor, and yellow on the top floor. We actually proposed more patterns in different rooms but in the built version only two patterns remained, the yellow one and the green one (with a larger area) on the main floor.

Rich wood was used instead of tiles for many of the traditional carpentry areas.

As well as balancing the requirements for clients, contractors and getting everything together on time, the architects weren’t actually able to be on site all that often.

It takes a lot of patience, good will from all parts, phone calls and time, considering the house was about 500 kilometers away from our office, which by Portuguese standards is a lot. We always learn in each project, and luckily we still have in Portugal the traditional know-how to build in traditional ways, avoiding conventional industrial solutions.

The new portico room area really is a gorgeous use of space.

Windows and shutters can be pulled back, framing the riverside for spectacular views. The room benefits from natural sunlight and works well for all kinds of entertainment arrangements.


What do you think of the Quinta da Boavista? With its sky blue details and gorgeous views, it’s got us wanting to book our next trip to Portugal!

If you too are looking for some stunning holiday home inspiration check out these fabulous Airbnb locations. Make sure to leave a comment below to let us know what you think of this home.

Project: Quinta da Boavista

Design: SAMF Arquitectos

Photos: José Campos