Homo Faber

PRESS EN Languages Account Follow us Newsletter
Subscribe to our newsletter
Presented by logo Homo Faber by Michelangelo Foundation
Explore Artisans Museums & Galleries Experience Itineraries About

Joana Diogo

  • Habitat Improver
  • Furniture decorator
  • Lisbon, Portugal
  • Master Artisan
Joana Diogo Furniture decorator
Portuguese, English, Spanish
By appointment only
+351 918545055

The architect of decorative restyling

  • • Joana brings new life to existing furniture through decoration
  • • She creatively uses applied arts techniques and a variety of materials
  • • She makes these one-of-a-kind pieces from her garden studio

Joana Diogo holds an architecture degree but chose to restyle furniture instead. “It sounds surprising but there are actually similarities with building rehabilitation, as both have a before and after.” This shift in her professional ambitions occurred after winning a Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation scholarship to study wood restoration, marquetry and gilding at the Istituto per l’Arte e il Restauro in Florence. Back in Portugal, Joana opened her workshop, in a small garden office in her family’s weekend house, to manually restyle furniture using applied arts techniques. Each piece is highly detailed. “Sometimes I use a dentistry tool to perfect a finishing.” Whether in a public space or a private house, Joana’s pieces initiate intergenerational conversations. She works today with private clients and designers.

Read the full interview


  • ©habitatimprover
  • ©habitatimprover
  • ©habitatimprover
  • ©habitatimprover
  • ©habitatimprover
Photo: ©habitatimprover
Tribal Folie

This vintage 1970s IKEA Bettüberbau 2-drawer, 2-door cupboard was restyled by hand with the découpage of a printed, beige and black, textured fabric on the exterior. The interior was lined with a printed yellow and grey elephant motif fabric. The back was restyled with distressed gold leaf while the knobs, sides and borders were painted in matte black.

Photo: ©habitatimprover
Safari Trip

This small three-drawer beech wood unit was restyled by hand with embossed vinyl wallpaper imitating leather, in off-white and beige with a tribal striped motif. The borders and wood knobs were personalised with aged silver leaf along with new metal casters.

Photo: ©habitatimprover
Cactus Gardener and Botanica Cycle

Cactus Gardener: this chest of drawers was restyled by hand with premium wallpaper découpage. Green and orange flower motifs on the exterior and textured orange in the interior were used. New bespoke leather knobs were added as well as black paint on the borders. All the exterior has a matte lacquer finish. Botanica Cycle: this chest of drawers was restyled by hand with découpage of a printed fabric with botanic motifs. Perforated leather tape was added on the top border along with new bespoke knobs.

Photo: ©habitatimprover
Mixed Folklore

This antique wood table was restyled by hand with decorative painting of black marble on the top, matte black paint on the rest of the structure, découpage of a typical Portuguese folklore pattern on drawers and light distressed gold leaf on the piping. The piece was finished with protective lacquer.

Photo: ©habitatimprover
Underwater Dream

The restyling of this small chest of drawers was carried out with découpage of a printed fabric in soft colours with underwater fauna and flora motifs. The pattern was personalised with painting of some drawings on the fabric. The piece is enhanced with cream-coloured painted interiors and new leather exterior knobs. It is finished in matte lacquer.

You may also like

Download the app

Find all the Homo Faber Guide content at hand, save, like and much more!