We’re kicking off our international design month with a beautiful townhouse in Porto, Portugal. A renovated building from the late 1940s, this townhouse is split into five apartments that can be rented for short or long stays. We’ve always wanted a European pied-à-terre with so much style, but it is this building’s ingenious use of space that has us completely smitten.

Most of us struggle with space issues, and few of us are able to solve them without the help of a pull out couch, a futon, floating shelves and portable storage. However, when you have an architect like Jose Carlos Cruz at your disposal, finding small space solutions becomes an unbound creative process. We love the ingenious idea of a pull out bed from a living room wall, or separate levels in an apartment to create visual depth- it gives new meaning to assigning spaces for different functions.

Not all of us have a talented architect at our disposal but if you want to create a similar feel of this Porto townhouse in your home, the key is to find furniture with architectural principals: clean lines that divide space into new shapes. Bookshelves are the easiest way to do that. If you are lucky to have a long and large living room, use open bookshelves to divide up the space. If they have an interesting shape, even better. The key is that they should be a natural tone, preferably white, and without a back, so that the two spaces flow from one to the other. The next step is to mix colors. The Porto townhouse has a whole mix of muted colors, preventing them from clashing. As long as you have a clean foundation of white and light woods, these tones will give a needed punch of vibrance to your space. The result will be uplifting yet sophisticated.

Lastly, for us, this townhouse is a dream come true, located just a couple of blocks from the Ourigo beach. Who wouldn’t love sea views from their bedroom window!? And a glass of Port of course!

Shop Rue: 1. Lamp // 2. Pillow // 3. Bookshelf // 4. Painting // 5. Bedside Table // 6. Blanket