Every now and then, an A-list celebrity will take to the red carpet to debut a new look so radical that it’s often nearly impossible to believe that he or she is the same person as before. In such cases, the rumour mill tends to start turning without any delay, led by online commentators. Has the celebrity in question had an eyebrow lift? A chin tuck? Or could their drastic makeover be down to something as non-invasive as a chemical peel and a new dietician? Are we even sure it’s really them?
The image-obsessed blogosphere would certainly have plenty to gossip about in regards to the drastic changes that have taken place to this family home in Porto, Portugal. Based on what it looks like now, its “before” shots seem to belong not only to a distant time, but to another building entirely.
And yet nothing really major has been done here in terms of modernization. This is a traditional house, and Eva Architecture have been faithful to that, restoring rather than renovating; keeping things simple, sweet and pleasingly old-fashioned even while giving the entire building a new lease on life.
Before: sad and lonely
This crumbling building clearly had tons of potential, but bringing it our was going to be a mammoth task. Having been neglected for so long, there were more than just superficial issues to address – this job was going to take more than just a lick of paint. The challenge lay in restoring the original appearance, rather than changing it too significantly.
And let’s take a look at the house as it is now. As fresh and well-maintained as it appears, there’s nothing to suggest that it hasn’t always been this way. The original features of the building have been so well preserved that it’s easy to imagine that it has never undergone any major work at all. Even the colour chosen for the paint is a pleasantly old-fashioned one that is just right for the style of the building. If this home were a celebrity, people would be queuing up to get the number of its surgeon.
Even the crumbling external staircase has received plenty of attention from the architects, and is now much less dangerous thanks to the addition of a railing.
The entire interior of the house was more or less unliveable before the updates took place. Peeling paint and mouldy surfaces ornamented a space with facilities that might generously be referred to as “rustic”. But at the same time, it would be hard o look at this home and see anything but potential. The space itself is an incredible one; the house is large, the ceilings high, and the original features are in place. It was a home just begging for a little design love.
A modern – but not self-consciously modern – kitchen is a much-needed addition to a family home where cooking is likely to be an important part of day-to-day life. The aesthetic, although contemporary, is not so contemporary as to jar with the conventional exterior of the house, and its fairly neutral colour scheme ensures that it won’t need another update for a while.