Last Wednesday I arrived in Lisbon, Portugal for a week-long vacation that has visually inspired me with every turn I take. I was confronted with a multitude of colours and patterns that paint the famous tiles plastered across the homes throughout the city of Lisbon. These famous tiles are known as azulejos, which stems from the Arabic word azulejo, meaning small polished stone. This Arabic influence comes from the invasion of Moors from North Africa as early as the 8th century. Over time the simple geometric shapes dominated by blue and white have been replaced with complex patterns and scenic paintings that depicted the history of Portugal and its people. Today, you can see these famous tiles are used to decorate the homes throughout the country and could be used to decorate your home. The tiles you choose reflect your style and personality, whether you go for the more traditional blue and white tiles or the more modern and ornate style. Be bold in your use of these decor pieces and plaster them half way up your wall in a main room to give the impression of a Portuguese facade.
Incorporating Portuguese tiles couldn’t be more easy, and what’s more, you can be creative with where you decide to embed them in your home. If not in a bathroom to provide a colourful floor or backsplash solution, you can source a variety of different patterns to add extra sparkle to your staircase or create a vivid focal point in your kitchen.
‘Guilty’ is a piece to feel the history and the soul of Porto, Portugal. With hand painted wood, it represents the Portuguese tiles, which constitute a major aspect of Portuguese architecture as they are applied on walls, doors and even ceilings. They tell the history of the city. ‘Guilty’ is a side table with its structure and drawer in rosewood and hand painted wood, all designed with elegance and sophistication.
After venturing through Lisbon, I woke up early Saturday morning to catch a train to a southern peninsula with a small beach town known a Troia. The small town is dominated by resorts and local beach houses where locals and tourists alike come to relax in sun and take in the beautiful blue waters of the south. The beach houses here have tiled floors, bright colours and wooden accents. The inspiration for a coastal design is in every turn I take, from the sun washed wood found on the beaches to the azulejo tiles that are still present on this small peninsula. The blue of the historic tiles and the tropical water are a main accent seen in many of the houses I pass. Natural colours and materials are always a must in coastal design because it is inspired by nature itself and should be given homage to. The wood accents and the beige tiles of many beach homes here in Troia exude the feeling that you are still in nature!
What a more perfect way to transition our style guide spotlight from Bohemian Allure to Coastal Charm. Portugal is a mix-match of cultures from its various conquerors that have ruled it throughout history. Portugal have taken aspects of its multiple cultures to create a unique identity that is filled with character and an appreciation of beauty. Sitting on the coast of the Atlantic, Portugal has embraced a life of coastal living with its tiles, beach houses and relaxed environment.
Written by Sondra Kinney