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The Present Tense


Portugal and De La Espada

June 12, 2017
By: Aaron Peasley

Portugal’s combination of centuries-old craftsmanship and new world innovation has made it one of the world’s most in demand design destinations. Architecturally, new buildings and daring residences by a new generation of cutting-edge talents stand alongside pharaonic monuments by Pritzker prize winners Álvaro Siza and Eduardo Souto de Moura.


Photography by Yuki Sugiura courtesy of De La Espada.

When it comes to fine furniture, Portugal has always excelled. Thoughts naturally turn to De La Espada's, the manufacturer, designer and brand studio founded by husband and wife duo Fatima De La Espada and Luis De Oliveira. Over the years, the company have produced standout collections of remarkable quality joining forces with some of our favorite contemporary names including Luca Nichetto, Matthew Hilton, Studioilse and Neri&Hu.


Photography by Yuki Sugiura courtesy of De La Espada.

Given its rising status as a trendsetter, we made Portugal an essential pit-stop on a recent European tour. It was a chance to observe the company’s legendary craftsmanship up close during a visit to the factory and workshop, located on the enchanting Silver Coast in Northern Portugal.


Photography by Yuki Sugiura courtesy of De La Espada.

Also on the itinerary was Porto - the country’s second largest city - which has enjoyed a sweeping renaissance. In the last two decades, this city has become a heavy hitter with excellent design schools, adventurous studios and revived family-run artisans.


Photography by Carlos Teixeira courtesy of De La Espada.

In Porto, accommodation was a no-brainer: we stayed at De La Espada’s new guest house. The first apartment, a loft-like aerie, was designed entirely with De La Espada’s Neri&Hu collection. The collection perfectly complements the space, which includes a mezzanine and top-floor guest room that features views stretching out to the ocean. Just an hour away from the company’s headquarters, De La Espada have created a space that truly reflects the country’s breathtaking blend of style, hospitality and innovation.


Photography by Carlos Teixeira courtesy of De La Espada.