Sá Aranha & Vasconcelos, who stand by the motto “Nothing Less” and focus on top-quality interior design and architecture, are setting up their first showroom in Almancil
Designing and decorating luxurious homes is a fun and thrilling business. It is also a very demanding activity that comes with great responsibility. Driven by a passion for design and the constant pursuit of excellence, architects and interior designers Sá Aranha & Vasconcelos (SAV) have been doing it for 37 years. Almost four decades over which they have built a solid reputation for their signature style and faultless service, which they are now bringing to the Algarve.
Based in a vast warehouse by the Lisbon docks, founding partners Carmo Aranha and Rosário Tello, together with their younger partners Ana Camões and Francisca Perestrelo, have decided to expand their business. “We feel it is the right time to be present in a new location,” says Carmo Aranha.
Although they have not set themselves up in the region yet, SAV has worked on projects in the Algarve for many years. Carmo explains that not having a base in the region has not prevented them from working on luxurious villas, sumptuous apartments, or even an art gallery. “At the moment, we do everything there, as if we were there. But we don’t have a door, we don’t have a shop window, we don’t have an address.” But this is all about to change.
To be closer to their growing Algarvean clientele, they are setting up a showroom in the region. Almancil is the chosen location for what will be a showroom where they will host their clients and present what they do. “It will be a window into the SAV world, where clients can have more direct contact with their team; a step towards a more long-term presence in the region,” says interior designer Rosário Tello, for whom the Golden Triangle was an obvious choice. “After all, we already have several clients there. It will simplify things for them and for us.”
So why have they chosen this moment to settle in the Algarve?
“Because we are at a point in life where companies have to be open to the necessary changes. We have to realise that, in this day and age, clients must have the easiest access to their needs and wants. If we want the client to come to us, we have to be as close to them as possible.”
Known for their bold approach to design, always executed with their feet firmly on the ground, SAV create homes of outstanding beauty. From cosmopolitan city apartments with high ceilings and dramatic art pieces, to country cottages with cosy sofas strewn with cushions and rustic decorative details on the walls, they take on the most daring projects, all the way from Lisbon to Boston and even remote cities like Chengdu in China. Minutely designed extravagant yachts are also part of their sumptuous portfolio, as well as high-end establishments such as the In the Pink – Fine Photo Art gallery they recently designed in Loulé. This versatility and audacious creativity enable them to tailor each project to their client and environment, with their unique service.
Sá Aranha & Vasconcelos focuses on their commitment to excellence, with their brand statement “Nothing less”
“Customers want exceptional service when planning their dream home, and that service, our commitment to excellence, ensuring everything is perfect, that is what we do well,” assures Carmo. It is what differentiates this creative studio from others and makes clients choose them. They have summed this up very simply in their brand statement: Nothing less. It is the promise they keep to their clients and themselves. Nothing less than excellence, than high-quality service, than their unmistakable signature.
Years of experience have led SAV to develop strong work ethics. They have even created their own ten commandments; pillars that support every project’s creativity. These are a source of inspiration that guarantee every essential element – layout, theme, colour, light, proportion, comfort, repetition, mixture, detail and art – is combined in their designs to achieve the perfect ambience every time. Nothing less.
Their commitment to their projects and clients has earned them the loyalty of many clients around the globe. Both through work and personal travels, the team’s leading ladies have acquired a sensibility and understanding of other cultures. A trait that has attracted many foreign clients to execute projects with SAV, thanks to their ability to interpret the traditions and values of other countries.
They also have a talent for understanding clients who do not know what they want. Or at least, how to express it. From the colour scheme to the style and layout, there is a lot to decide. Knowing how to guide someone, to help them find themselves and visualise their dream home is a great skill, which has also helped them create special relationships with their customers. Some of whom, after such an intimate exchange, have become friends. “You have to know each customer’s personality. Everything from what they like and how they live to what sport each family member plays. They have to share a little bit of their life, of their way of living with us, so that we can get as much information as possible.”
This is why the client’s initial briefing is so important; it is the essence of what the client wants. “The comfort the client needs, how the client wants to live. That’s where the exchange of information is essential, the customer’s needs, our know-how and our enormous desire to serve them. With this, we can give them and serve them the best we can so that the final result corresponds to their desires. And this can only be achieved with detailed work, total delivery and maximum service.”
Many of the private clients they work with often return, hiring them to design their second home, or refer them to family and friends. “We often design the townhouse and later the customer’s country home. Then their children’s place, or the friend’s house. A personal relationship inevitably remains.”
SAV’s ultimate goal is complete customer satisfaction. “Once a project is drafted and approved, the rest is pure service. It’s doing what we said we would do; making their life easier. And giving the client their dream home in the shortest possible time.”
Attention to detail, part of SAV’s ten commandments, takes them all around the world in search for the right piece – and sometimes, they even design it themselves
The ambitious team, now made up of 25 highly skilled professionals, offers every necessary service in-house, from A to Z, including a product design department, an excellent assembly structure and a vast warehouse full of exquisite pieces of furniture, accessories, fabrics and much more. And young professionals are joining the team to bring in new ideas, perspectives, and skills to keep the business fresh and contemporary.
And because attention to detail is part of their ten commandments, they are known to move mountains to find the right piece to complete a home, whether they have to travel the world to find it – which they are more than happy to do – or design it themselves. For the latter, they work with well-known Portuguese designers and suppliers. Their latest design is a black pepper, fig and cedar scented signature candle, a grounding mix of ingredients that appeal to the senses. “It’s a small detail we like to include in our projects, but more of a gift for our clients,” Carmo concludes. The final touch for a striking design. Nothing Less.