Haute Cabana


From his Portuguese retreat, interior designer Jacques Grange hides from his tony clients and trades his usual luxe for the simple life.

Photographer: Martin Morrell

Casa Nina is actually a collection of houses, a series of rough-hewn cabanas cradled in a valley of dunes in the Alentejo region, a remote stretch of the Portugese coast. The landscape design is by Louis Benech.

Photographer: Martin Morrell

Jacques Grange, 60, has created haute interiors for clients including Princess Caroline of Monaco, Yves Saint Laurent and François Pinault. His grand rooms are often furnished with great Louis XV, Napoleon III and Régence pieces.

Photographer: Martin Morrell

The living room cabana, replete with Fifties French furniture, pillows made from African fabrics and rugs from Morocco. “Not serious things,” Grange says.

Photographer: Martin Morrell

Grange’s collection of local arts and crafts include this 19th-century Portuguese ceramic figure.

Photographer: Martin Morrell

Seashells rest on an African chair.

Photographer: Martin Morrell

Portuguese ceramic lady-shaped jugs sit among ships-in-bottles.

Photographer: Martin Morrell

Grange with Vera Iachia, a member of the Espirito Santo family, which owned the land the cabanas are on. The family, one of Portugal’s wealthiest dynasties, had donated much of the land to form a nature preserve, where new construction was forbidden. But Grange managed to persuade the matriach of the family to sell him a parcel of the land.

Photographer: Martin Morrell

“It’s very funny to live in a staw house. It’s chic rustique,” Grange says, laughing. Here, a Provençal mirror hangs over a banquette.

Photographer: Martin Morrell

A large teak table from Bali dominates the living room cabana, which has a view of the dunes.

Photographer: Martin Morrell

A horse in the rice fields adjacent to the dunes.