A Year of A Wonderful Nest
September 2017 – Opening Doors
It’s been more than a year since we welcomed our first guests at A Wonderful Nest. On the 1st of September 2017, we met our first couple, celebrating their wedding anniversary. It was magical. Seeing their eyes sparkling as they crossed the front door, marveling at every detail we poured our hearts into, made us feel really accomplished. They had the most romantic 3-day stay. Their smile was even more bright when they left than when they came in, saying they had just had the most perfect romantic getaway. It was when we saw the happiness in their faces that we realized we were on the right path and felt that we really loved what we were doing.
The Project for A Wonderful Nest – From 2015 to April 2017
The renovation works started in 12th April 2017, even though the first draft dates from 2015. By Summer 2016, already with the idea for the project, I spent days rummaging about a name for the house that could be catchy, not too obvious and with a touch of whimsy. “A Wonderful Nest” came up and has been with us ever since.
The Architectural Concept
Designed especially for couples, a Wonderful Nest is perfect for a romantic getaway. We started with two limestone family houses, over 100 years old, combined together to provide a spacious accommodation that includes a cozy enclosed patio. The facade was kept intact, only restored. However, the interior was fully renovated, joining the two original houses into a spacious and luminous open space that ends with an inviting patio, where the plunge pool is located. The use of contemporary materials, that contrast with the old ones, intends to create comfortable spaces, while maintaining an historic and romantic ambience.
The Renovation of A Wonderful Nest – From April to September 2017
When restoring the facade, we replaced the existing aluminum windows and doors by wooden ones, recreating the original facade. The new wooden shutters were installed on the inside, allowing an easier way to use.
By tearing down the wall that divides the living room to the kitchen, as well as the wall that separates both houses, an open space is created, light and airy. The new kitchen allows the guests to enjoy a romantic meal while relaxing with the soothing view of the enclosed patio. If one wants to enjoy a nice wind breeze, it’s possible to fully open the exotic wooden glazed doors. At the center of the kitchen pavement we reused some of the tiles of the original floor, organizing them in a way that resembles a “tapestry”, beneath the kitchen table. This “carpet” connects to the microcement floor, applied in the whole interior, including the bathroom.
The exotic wooden window, located in front of the sink, allows light to enter while cooking. On the opposite wall, a square cutout was drawn on the plaster, exposing the original structure of the wall: limestone and clay. As these materials disintegrate with ease, a varnish was applied that creates a protective film, thus avoiding the drop of inerts.
Located in the central area of the house, the living room welcomes the guests, providing a cozy transition between the kitchen and the bedroom. The partition between the living room and the bedroom was intended to be as subtle as possible, using an embroidered quilt that divides the spaces and simultaneously allows the light to flow in a harmonious way.
Along the wall of both the living room and the bedroom, close to the ceiling, a strip is drawn that cuts the plaster and exposes the original stone, called “caliço”. This area is illuminated by a led strip that conveys indirect illumination to the whole room. The two windows that face the main façade allow medium light to fill the room. However, it is possible to close its shutters, conveying privacy from the street and enjoying the light that comes from the patio.
The “crochet veil”, that divides the room from the bedroom, allows guests to glimpse the patio, contributing to the romantic ambience that we wanted to create. The bedroom area allows the placement of a spacious 1.60 m wide bed.
The bathroom is accessed through a sliding pine wooden door. The furniture on which the lavatory rests, over 50 years old, has been totally restored and adapted to the necessary plumbing. The taps, shower tray and accessories are finished in old brass, contributing to the historical and romantic ambiance of the entire space.
The patio configuration provides total privacy in relation to the surroundings. The plunge pool, with about 2m x 3m, has water treatment, with the pump located behind the mobile wooden steps. Perpendicular to the wall of the tank, a bench is drawn that extends to a flowerbed and culminates in an outside shower. To break the height of the walls, the plaster has been executed irregularly and its whiteness contrasts with the lush green of the plants and vegetation.
A Year in Review – From September 2017 until Today
Since September 1st 2017 we welcomed around 90 couples, from 20 different nationalities. Some guests come to explore the Algarve, enjoy the local beaches and eat Portuguese mediterranean food, while others come to do all that and also celebrate their Honey Moon, Baby Moon and Wedding Anniversaries. It’s been such an amazing and rewarding opportunity to be able to have met with such endearing, respectful and interesting people! We couldn’t be happier for having so many guests enjoying our cozy nest. We are looking forward to another year full of new travellers, filling our house with good vibes and love! We wish you a New Year of 2019 full of happiness, new experiences and love. See you Soon!