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Inspired by Portugal, made in California. Online shop offering premium quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil, herbal teas, artisanal honey, hand-blended salts and botanical skin care. Occasionally, specially curated handcrafted and vintage items from Portugal are also available.

Filtering by Tag: Telhados Grandes

Casa da Nuvea: part viii the neighborhood

Nuvea Santos Cobb

These are some scenes of what will be my neighborhood for the next few weeks. As you can see, Telhados Grandes is a very teeny, tiny village of a couple dozen houses at my last count, conveniently located in the middle of nowhere with absolutely nothing to do. When's the last time a travel destination offered so much freedom from restless and frenzied activity? Highlights or points of interest include a traditional cistern to catch rainfall for the farm animals to drink, as well as an olive oil press. And there is no real street to my little house, just a cow track.

But that's ok with me.













Casa da Nuvea part: v the barn

Nuvea Santos Cobb


Ah, I don't even know where to begin here...


It has so much potential...I get so inspired....and then...


I see this. And it just takes all the wind out of my sails...haha! I mean where does one even start?


With the rotted wood doors? The mold on the walls? The goat poop on the floor? The fact that there really isn't even a floor, just dirt.


It's all just a little overwhelming.




But then I see those beautiful stone walls. It could be so...charming.

One day.


And upstairs, another sleeping loft.




Because right now, it's just a dark, scary abyss.

Casa da Nuvea: part III interior

Nuvea Santos Cobb

Well, here it is. Your first glimpse at the interior of my little project. The last time I was in Portugal I had planned on staying in the house, not knowing in what condition I would find it. I was prepared to "camp" inside, sleeping bag and all, but as soon as I saw all the dust and dirt and spiderwebs, well, my aunt's house suddenly seemed like a much better idea. I can't wait until I can actually spend my first night inside the house this coming summer.

I told you it would be scary. I've been told the workers have already removed all the spiderwebs and run a power vac through the whole house, removing the dust and dirt. I hope they left the birds' nests. I liked those.


The floors are in remarkably good shape and I should be able to restore them without too much trouble. There was one small section by the window that had to be replaced because it had rotted away, but the rest is still good.


Each of the bedrooms has a charming little window with shutters. Even though the green trim is a typical color used in the homes of this period and place, I plan on stripping them down to the wood. And I'll paint the walls in the traditional whitewash.


This cute window and cupboard are in the room with the fireplace; in what used to be the 'kitchen". I use the term loosely because that's all there is, a fireplace. No sink, no stove, no refrigerator. Before farm-to-table became a foodie trend, it was simply a way of life, born out of necessity.


The fireplace has a beautiful oak beam running across the top. Too bad it was painted over. But I can fix that.

I plan on removing all of the white, "bathroom" tiles and doing...something else.


When we lifted the old linoleum covering the hearth, this is what we found - beautiful terracotta tiles with a wood border.


I love, love, love this door. I'm going to strip it to reveal the natural wood underneath. And do you see the tiny mouse door at the bottom? I might need to keep it as an interior door for another part of the house because it's just too...perfect.


This is the outside of the yellow door. If you look closely you can see the large keyhole. The original brass key was still attached! I have it hanging on my bedroom wall at home.


These stairs lead up to the attic. I'd like to turn it into a loft bedroom. But it'll need a lot of work. You see, it doesn't even have a floor...or a ceiling, for that matter, but look at how beautiful and strong those beams are!


Well, those are all the photos I have of the inside for now. I can't wait to take more this summer to show you all the progress...

Casa da Nuvea part II: the exterior

Nuvea Santos Cobb

stone cottage

OK, so before I post photos of the interior of the cottage and scare everyone off from ever wanting to stay there, I thought I'd show some more of the exterior that lets you see the place a little better.


The collapsing building on the left is the front part of the barn which is just big enough for a cozy sleeping nook. Someday. Not right now. Right now something would fall on your head.


A view of the back of the house…the little windows are for the sitting room and bathroom.


This is the side wall of what will one day be the kitchen. Right now, there's a bread oven. And the sky. I guess it's a start. I can serve bread and water if you come over.


Stepping back a little from the house is the current gate. If you look closely, you can see the state of the art security system - ahem - piece of twine, holding it together. Soon to be replaced by mounted lions and wrought iron. Just kidding.


The backside of someday kitchen...


The first photo is of view of the barn from the back, which will hopefully be turned into a separate living and sleeping area for guests. I'm thinking skylights and windows in there somewhere…and a fireplace.

Casa da Nuvea part I: first look

Nuvea Santos Cobb

stone cottage, Portugal, serra, country house, farmhouse

About five years ago I decided I was ready to go after my lifelong dream of having a little stone cottage in Portugal. Since I was (and still am) living full-time here in the U.S., I assigned my lovely Tia A. with the daunting task of finding just the right little dwelling for me. It had to be within close enough driving distance of Lisbon (should I want to go into the city for the weekend) and close enough for a day trip to the coast. It had to be in a pretty, quiet, off-the-beaten path spot, where I could keep a few sheep, goats, rabbits and a couple burros. I also wanted an olive grove, so I could press my own olive oil. It had to be dilapidated enough to be affordable, but still intact enough to be somewhat livable without too much of an initial investment. We looked all over the central part of Portugal the north being too damp and cold for me and the south too expensive) but in a perfect example of life coming full circle, she found the idyllic little spot in my family's village. The same place I had been coming to for years and had spent most of childhood. I bought it sigh unseen, from a local farmer who had known my grandfather.
Here are the first photos she sent me, my first look at Casa da Nuvea.
Over the next few weeks, I'll be posting some more photos of the house and the surrounding lands, and some of the improvements which are finally underway, after much saving of pennies.