“I grew up in a somewhat minimalist house considering it was the 70’s,” says designer Lígia Casanova. “It was a bit unusual at that time… the only thing that matched that period was a bit of color, not the furniture.”

So perhaps it’s not surprising that as a designer she has both a free spirit and a minimalist’s eye. Sparely decorated, with many of the pieces coming from her own shop, this recently completed project has a range of natural materials and neutrals but only one color. Lígia says, “We used a single color over white, a clear blue turquoise that links us to the beach and wooden appointments and in addition some natural tones (rugs and chairs) that would remind us of the Alentejo’s ‘searas’ (harvested fields) colors.” 

With a relationship built on trust from other projects, the client let Lígia take the reins. Her first move was to paint the dark, wood ceiling white and remove the crumbling (and dark!) wood floor below. She says, “Every time we walked around the house the floor crunched.”

Instead of replacing it with a lighter wood, she opted for a polished concrete floor. An unconventional choice for a seaside home, but it brings a modern edge that the designer was careful never went too far. She says, “We tried to make sure the house would have a simple and yet cozy atmosphere, that it would have only the essential, but never cold.”

See more in the slideshow!