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Design Diaries Douro41 01 Header Cristina


The Design Diaries
- Cristina Jorge de Carvalho

Architecture, Design Diaries

  • Date 18 November 2020

The award-winning Lisbon-based interior designer and architect founded her atelier in 2000 and has since become known for her sensitive approach to mixing both vintage and contemporary objects to create interiors that hit that oh-so-satisfying sweet spot between luxury and timelessness. Reinforcing the quality of her projects, Cristina Jorge De Carvalho designs her own furniture under the label CJC Furniture with skilled Portuguese artisans that she has selected for their fine craftmanship.

Design Diaries Douro41 02 Douro41 Interior Room

Douro41 Hotel & Spa The building balances boldly on the steep landscape

Design Diaries Douro41 03 Restaurant

À Terra Bar & Canteen A neutral palette mixed with natural materials

“In a world where trends come and go and we have already seen everything, staying true to what we are and idealizing this ‘self’ in a space is a task even more difficult and satisfying than following a rule or a trend.

Half of this ideal comes from creating bespoke design for my clients who want something special and unique. This is why I design bespoke furniture for every single project I start. The other half belongs to their memories, their past, and their roots materialized in diverse textures and materials, vintage pieces, as well as timeless designer pieces.”

Cristina Jorge De Carvalho

Design Diaries Douro41 04 Algarve House Bathroom

Algarve House Italian marble bathroom

Design Diaries Douro41 05 Algarve House View

Algarve House Grand glass panes directed at the ocean

Design Diaries Douro41 06 Algarve House Staircase

Algarve House Black iron is used as contrast in the key elements such as stairs

Design style

Dreamy atmospheres, refined color palettes, and ultra-rich textures 


Best Hotel Interior for Europe and Best Hotel Interior in Portugal by the International Design Awards and European Hotel Awards, among others.

What you didn’t know

Her first design project was a prefabricated house for a private condominium, which landed Jorge De Carvalho her first cover in a design magazine.


Making of the furniture collection

Design Hotels Member

Douro41 Hotel & Spa

Design Diaries Douro41 07 Showroom Door

CJC Showroom An art and design showcase

Design Diaries Douro41 08 Showroom Detail

CJC Showroom Signature designs and high-end designers on display

Design Diaries Douro41 09 Showroom Interior

Wood or concrete?
Beach or mountain?
Modern or classic?
Morning or evening?

Who or what are your biggest influences?

I believe that everything and anything can inspire me, from a song to a work of art. So I would say that all my experiences influence me in a very subtle way and my style of design is the result of that combination. I like to play with opposites, either with textures or materials, with a very restricted and neutral color palette. My aim is to create timeless, elegant, and sober ambiances that cross trends. For me, it’s essential that a project stands the test of time and maintains its elegance throughout the years.


Have you ever changed your mind about anything aesthetics-wise?

I don´t remember. I am very strong with my aesthetics concepts. But I love challenges and probably at some point, I might have made a choice that was not 100% faithful to my aesthetics because it was the best choice for the client’s requirements or any other limitation.

Design Diaries Douro41 10 Showroom Interior 02

CJC Showroom Artworks from some of the most prestigious Portuguese artists

Describe your dream project, real or fantasy.

I don´t have a dream project. I really like to develop projects for public spaces—hotels, restaurants, spas. These types of projects are always a challenge because we have to please a much larger and diverse clientele. Since I’ve always been drawn to these spaces and have traveled the world, I try to use all this know-how when designing such a space. This know-how encompasses the definition of the concept and areas which should be privileged, the essential spaces for the clients, the services available, etc. The positioning of a public space within its market is essential and strategic for its success. Also, the fact that I have a background in management is an added value when designing these kinds of projects, because you have to consider several business and management variables during the creative process.


What’s the last thing you read that made you feel something?

12 Rules for Life by Jordan Peterson

Design Diaries Douro41 11 Spa View

City or country?
Jazz or classical?
Drama or comedy?
Dancing or hiking?

What are you currently working on?

A jewelry store, a loft in New York, several apartments, a fashion store, the new residences of a hotel.


Is there a building or product that strikes you as particularly well-designed or innovative?

From the top of my mind, the Upper House Hotel in Hong Kong, YSL Museum in Marrakech, Therme Vals in Switzerland—they are all very well-designed.

Design Diaries Douro41 12 Detail

Douro41 Hotel & Spa Natural materials connect the space with the surroundings

Design Diaries Douro41 13 Desk

Douro41 Hotel & Spa Classic yet contemporary wood and leather furniture

Design Diaries Douro41 14 Pool

Douro41 Hotel & Spa Jorge de Carvalho's elegant and timeless compositions

Design Diaries Douro41 15 Detail Vases

Douro41 Hotel & Spa Classic pieces mixed with modern

Images courtesy ALGARVE HOUSE Francisco Almeida Dias; CJC SHOWROOM Francisco Almeida Dias; DOURO41 HOTEL João Morgado

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