What are you up to at the moment?
I am in the state of Rio, Brazil, keeping really busy restoring a 19th century farmhouse which was originally owned by one of the richest coffee exporters in Brazil at the time. Our main goal is to restore and preserve the house’s original structure and grandeur and at the same time bring in contemporary touches with modern Brazilian design.
How did you make the leap from restaurateur to running your own interiors store?
I have always been fascinated with all forms of design, especially contemporary Brazilian furniture design as it is so unique in so many ways and so once I had the means to do it, it was an obvious choice to showcase the very best of Brazilian design in my own store.
Who are your design heroes and why?
Hugo Franca would be one of my heroes because he has a unique eye for seeing beauty in all natural forms. I also admire the sensitive way in which he deals not only with the materials, but also the larger community, as the production of his designs provide opportunities for many talented craftsmen to enter the design world, who may have otherwise been overlooked.
How would you describe your home style?
I am drawn to pieces that have a story. I like to mix traditional pieces with contemporary touches. You could find anything from Chinese antiques, classical oil paintings and iconic Sergio Rodrigues chairs in my home – I have a very eclectic taste.
What are your interior no-nos?
I think rules are made to be broken; there is a time and place for anything.
How important is eco-friendly design to you?
I have a great respect for nature and try to only work with designers who have a similar line of thinking.
What’s your favourite piece of furniture?
Right now I am favouring a lot of sculptural artwork – the works of Mario Lopomo and Leopoldo Martins.
What’s your current bestseller?
Currently we can’t keep the sculptures by Mario Lopomo on the shop walls as soon as we put one up, it sells almost immediately. I even had a client buy one off the wall in my home! Hugo Franca’s pieces are all unique pieces of art and therefore always generate a lot of interest.
What’s your philosophy?
Money has to circulate – you have to spend money to have it come back to you.
What would you save from a fire?
If I had the power, I would save the forest from humans and even from nature itself because once you have done that everyone is safe.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
Dolce di Latte ice cream.