Things are not always what they seem, especially when we're talking about this seemingly average-looking 280-square-meter house located in Porto, Portugal. Created by Floret Arquitectura, both its exterior and interior — intermingling the old and the new — are definitely anything but mediocre, making it truly easy to fall head-over-heels with its totality. If you want to find inspiration on how to meld past, present, and future, then read further.
Caught between a line of seemingly identical houses, this structure does not mind looking like the rest — regular door, three-window facade. Departing from its dated 19th century heritage, it now stands stylish yet composed, with its subdued color, grey door, and curlicue-grilled window.
This renovation embodies that Le Petit Prince line
What's essential is invisible to the eye. From the front, it's inconceivable that this back facade is of one and the same structure. Porous paneling in brown gives it a natural, modern look for a townhouse. Interestingly, the panels serve as windbreakers, which can be opened to let in light and air — talk about standing out in this line of houses.
The entryway is a breathtaking spot where visitors realize that this is an ingenious combination of the old and the now. It takes cues from the clean, white foreground of the interior, as well as the geometric interplay of the built-in, floor-to-ceiling shelf and ultra-chic staircase. The impeccable wood flooring against the stone side wall highlighted by the warm lighting further adds meticulous depth to its structural ingenuity.
Noticeable from the living room is this endless pursuit towards simple perfection through the neatness of the color palette, that stretches all the way to the kitchen from this smart divider with a sliding door (see photo below).
The grainy finish of this dark brown divider joins the textural play of the entire interior. From this angle, you can appreciate the clever use of space that marks the staircase, the walkway, and the kitchen.
This spick and span kitchen stands out with its polished black cupboards and drawers. Equally interesting is the addition of a white sink and a glossy tiled wall with sleek black enclosure. Projecting the qualities of a functional kitchen counter is the horizontal opening by the side, which opens to the walkway and the staircase.
Sketches and existing 19th century townhouses reveal a single area and position where the staircase runs. Replacing the traditional balustrade with one that simply connects the ceiling to the floor, this flight of stairs has definitely embraced by the contemporary world. A look into this image shows that the main floor has a lower level.
The basement staircase is an unassuming contrast to the playful checkered flooring below. It's a sturdy carrier of its own weight as it does not have the typical support underneath, giving off the '60s retro vibe. This space would be perfect for a media room where the family and guests could gather should it get rainy and damp outside.
The white ceiling and walls connected by the wooden flooring are in themselves wonderful, but this modest elegance is bolstered by the stone side wall and the wooden lining that traces the windows. Using the same neutral palette, this room is a perfect master bedroom for someone or for a couple who finds satisfaction in the essentials, without neglecting the details of the past. During the day, when the glare gets too harsh, the indoor-built covers are also a brilliant solution.
A clever combination of minimalism and utilitarianism, this children's room emphasizes what is essential with its dominant clean white color, cabinets, shelves, and drawers. It is equipped with a single bed with a pull-out storage below, dresser, and study desk, which all smoothly connect like they came about from a single compartment.
This other kid's bedroom highlights a textured flakeboard paneling and how it melds beautifully with the floor and the white ceiling and wall. Reminiscent of a nipa hut common here in the Philippines, it blends well with any color or pattern matched with it. The structure of the room's interior is also in harmony with the previous, making it a good model for those looking to create semi-identical rooms for their children.
The kitchen opens to a backyard enclosed by a stone wall. This portion was created for small get-togethers during the summer and al fresco at night. Wooden flooring here extends as a ledge holding a small garden with a few wall-mounted lights.
Want more inspiration? Check out this modern bungalow idea to inspire your next home.