There I was thinking that central portugal was a design desert and then my favourite magazine Attitude came to my rescue.
Attitude is a Portuguese interior design mag with just the perfect balance of international going-on and Portuguese pride. I love how they also love all the “design classic” Portuguese grocery products with original packaging. In general, the Portuguese don’t have much appreciation of their own 20th century pop culture. “Saudades” and nostalgia clearly aren’t the same thing.
And apparently, Portugal didn’t have much of a “mid-century modern” interior design boom, like the rest of Europe had. As far as I can see, there were no Portuguese Eames, no Panton, no Saarinen, or Jacobsen. Which is surprising (if it turns out to be true) given the great architecture that Portugal produced over the last century.
Anyway, back to the shop – it’s called Moveis Tralhão and it’s in Soure which is about an hour away from here. I feel like making it my regular Saturday outing, but I worried I’ve already made myself known by lurking around the place like a furniture pervert.
The curious thing about this ‘shop’ is that it’s also a design studio, ie, an architect’s office, and there are no definite divisions between the showroom and the workspace. Stray off course and you could be admiring someone’s in-tray.
It’s a big showroom, over several confusing levels, so they’ve got tonnes of stuff to drool over that I hardly know where to start. Much of the stock comes from Amsterdam, from Moooi (check out the red sofa below) and Droog. Arper, Kartell (plastic tables above right) and Edra (beautiful chair above left) from Italy are also there, and I saw the Eames Chair & Ottoman (can you have a design store without one?) from Vitra in Switzerland. There are yummy decorations and lights by Artecnica and Flos.
Plus, there’s all the in-house designs, by ipotz. I saw a handsome set of Lloyd Wright/Mackintosh-like dining chairs designed by Ricardo Tralhão. Really nice.
Oh I almost forgot – I saw this table which I really really like. It’s designed by an English guy called Tom Dixon who I’ve never heard of before. I’m picturing it next to a grey Moooi lounge in front of the fireplace…