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Embracing European Roots: Infusing Portuguese Charm into Modern Home Design




We have embraced our European roots and there’s no going back.



Carlin and I are both Portuguese. We have a mix of French, Swedish, and English in our blood as well.





Portugal is a Southern European country. It’s a stunning country with coastline towns and cities, hillside villages, gorgeous beaches, and gothic architecture. In the smaller countryside villages, you walk cobblestone streets while viewing homes with medieval architecture and rock facades. Red tiled roofs and wrought iron gates welcome you to hillside stony homes. Some are even carved into boulders highlighting the country's literal reliance and connection to its landscape. Villages are perched up on hillsides overlooking the blue ocean with hidden stoned walkways and passages to streets. It’s a romantic country rooted in history and influenced by its landscape. Homes are built with what’s available by local craftsmen and ancient ruins depict our ancestors' ingenuity with stone, wood, and tile.


It’s informed our style and I have embraced welcoming European influence in how I design.


While a medieval Castle or hillside stone cottage might not fit into the Florida lifestyle; there are aspects of European influence I love to capture in the homes we design. It’s a feeling of romance, a feeling of home, a feeling of perhaps nostalgia. It’s materials that hint of that influence and it’s interwoven into modern design.


In Sarasota; the predominant luxury design style is modern. Older homes are being torn down for the building of new ultra-modern streamlined homes. Some of the history is being lost. It makes Carlin and I quite sad. We value history and older homes. Growing up in New England you do not live in new homes. Homes are generally 30-100 plus years old. They were built to last and endure.


We love the juxtaposition of old and new while preserving any sense of history we can.


We are often asked to make newer homes look more lived-in and filled with character.


We love modernizing while also honoring the home's roots.




We are sharing our love of Portuguese architecture and some large to small ways to bring that feeling into your home.





Photo source (The Portuguese Countryside: Villages You Must Visit)








Stonework, wood doors, contrasting trim and doors, tiled rooflines, stucco textured walls, and exteriors are just a short list of architectural elements you can see in Portugal.


Intricate tile work, ornate roof lines, arched passages, wrought iron, lush landscapes, medieval columns, and this intricate pairing of Roman Catholic architecture and Mediterranean influence are abundant in Portugal.



How do you translate that into a modern home? You take elements and materials and marry them with modern living.



Arch doorways have become a recent “trend” and while I use the word trend loosely here, there is nothing trendy about them. They are historically rooted in ancient Roman architecture. They allowed for larger passageways and showcased stronger-built homes and buildings. Rock, stone, and the use of natural elements in homes isn’t anything new but its application can be applied in newer homes.





Stone walls, fireplaces, columns, and archways are all moments to bring in this beautiful detail.


Accenting your doors, wood trim work, and casing in your home is another way to bring architectural detail in a very simple way. Painting a deeper color and switching a couple of doors within your home to solid wood can be a great way to add some character. Intricate tile work around your entryway, and outdoor patio is also a stunning way to bring the Mediterranean in. Homes in Sarasota have a rich Mediterranean influence that is quite fitting for European architecture.


Lantern lighting and wrought iron scones are a very simple way to add a romantic European feel to your home. Iron tables, lighting, and copper or zinc-aged fixtures add a feeling of old. Stucco range hoods, walls, and fireplaces can be added for the feeling of the old world. Reclaimed beams, terracotta tile, and checkered marble floors pair Mediterranean and Roman European influence in a stunning way. Woven handmade baskets, lighting, and chairs are tied historically to the art of local artisans weaving and hand-making practices.



All of these elements combined create a more textured, lived-in, storied, enveloping, and cozy home atmosphere. There is a focus on appealing to your senses in a way.


While ultra-modern design searches to remove visual stimulating effects: historical European design is meant to create a highly heightened experience. It is rich in nostalgia and meant to be experienced through all your senses.


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