At Home Office Life, we take great pride in partnering with brands with rich histories and a portfolio of truly exceptional pieces. In celebration, we are introducing The Brand Spotlight – a series of interviews where we dive into these wonderful brands and learn more about what makes them unique, their process behind their creations and everything else in between.
Our first interview is with the CEO of Essential Home, Cláudio Vasconcelos. In a category of decor obsessed with blending in, being bold with your office furniture is something relatively unheard of. But boldness is written in the Portuguese furniture brand’s very DNA. With their penchant for time travel, they gracefully combine form and function into timeless creations that redefine and rejuvenate their settings.
But enough talk from us, let’s learn about Essential Home from Claudio himself:
HOL: So, what’s the story behind Essential Home? How did it start?
CV: What started in 2015 as Essentials, a furniture collection by DelightFULL, quickly grew to be one of the most elegant representations of the mid-century modern design, thus creating a new brand called Essential Home. Our goal is to create the ultimate time-travelling experience inside a single space through design excellence. Walking side by side since the beginning, DelightFULL and Essential Home have been revolutionizing the mid-century design world with their inspiring products and incredible design ideas. These two brands based in Portugal have an international impact with the establishment of exclusive partnerships with some of the best professionals in the world.
HOL: We’d certainly describe Essential Home furniture as inspiring and the designs we’ve seen are exactly what led us to you! What does Essential Home represent and what makes the brand unique?
CV: Essential Home is an innovative mid-century modern furniture brand that takes important historical and cinematographic references from the 1960s and 1990s and turns them into unique furnishing pieces. Essential Home transmits history, feelings, vibrations that make any interior space richer through the finishes and shape design of the pieces.
HOL: These elements the brand brings to the present must create some kind of experience. What is the feeling people get when they buy Essential Home?
CV: Thanks to the time-travelling experience provided by our products, our clients feel nostalgic and in love with an era where the design world had no limits and where everything could be combined. Since every one of our furniture pieces is handmade by our excellent team of craftsmen, we provide them the opportunity to reinvent the pieces to their liking and give them a unique personality by customizing the piece with different patterns, textures, and numerous colour options.
HOL: Who are your favourite furniture designers?
CV: We are inspired by the great names of the design in the mid-century era like Gio Ponti, Charles Eames, among others.
HOL: You mentioned before that you partner with some of the best professionals in the world. Who have Essential Home collaborated with, and are there any collaborations in the pipeline?
CV: This capsule collection with renowned designers started in 2019 when one of our Italian ambassadors visited two of the biggest names in Milan, Studiopepe and Carlo Donati. We launched the collection last year, and we can say it has been a true success. By associating ourselves with the best names in the market, constantly researched, we will capitalize on this “ride” as much as we can. Depending on the importance of the name, the more recognized it is, the greater capitalization will exist. We can say that in a way we also gain some prestigious market ambassadors, since these designers will be a part of the entire process from the development of product design to the post-conception stage, such as the communication of the collection. This year we have some exciting collections coming up with names from all over the world, such as MASQUESPACIO, Karim Rashid, Nika Zupanc and Draga & Aurel.
HOL: We can’t wait to see what new pieces these collaborations will lead to. Now, when creating/designing furniture, what inspires you?
CV: As I said before, Essential Home takes important historical and cinematographic references from the 1960s and 1990s, so we usually search for inspiration in films and documentaries of that era, books, art deco, iconic monuments, among other references. Everything that is that marked that specific time is the inspiration behind the shapes and colours of our unique pieces.
HOL: Can you describe the process behind your creations, from designing to crafting them?
CV: We work with an in-house design team that travels the world looking for inspirations and new shapes and concepts to keep the modern twist that we stand for. We want the inspirations to come from the concepts of the time and be transformed into current trends.
After researching and modelling several pieces, we gather, evaluate, sometimes even ask our customers/friends if they would consider having the piece in their projects to make sure we are taking the right path. Since the connection between designer and craftsman is essential, the designer, after modelling, will accompany the birth of the piece in production and accompany the artisan throughout the entire process.
In the end, there is a final evaluation to see if the product is according to our expectations. If not, our team will improve the shapes, stability, measures, finishes, to get to the perfect model to launch the product.
HOL: What item(s) from Essential Home’s office collection would you recommend and why?
CV: Well, I think there are two top pieces that can really give a twist to any office space. First, we have the iconic Virginia armchair by Studiopepe (one of the pieces that were launched last year). This is a statement piece, softly padded and upholstered, with the best high-quality velvet fabric, and features a gently laid-back structure on a moulded shell, to provide style and comfort.
The second one might be our new Edith desk, one of the products that we presented in our luxurious million dollar apartment design, which is the first project of our virtual houses. Just like Edith's sideboard, this desk is a wonderful addition to any home office. Its standard design features beautiful velvet on the desk’s body, as well as a walnut wood countertop for a high-end and unique look. Its curvilinear body is both trendy and elegant, making Edith's desk a piece like any other. The office design of our New York City Apartment design shows these two pieces in a unique and different mid-century office space that makes us fall in love with them at the first look.
HOL: Of course, we had to add those pieces to our collection on Home Office Life so our customers can experience the luxury. But what is next for Essential Home? Anything people should look out for?
CV: New projects will always exist, even more, being in an industry as creative as the furniture design industry, new projects are already inherent to us. Besides being focused on reinforcing our online presence through several initiatives, such as new online stores/service improvements with customer areas appropriate to each client, we are also dedicated to establishing different design partnerships, not only with worldwide designers with our unique capsule collections, but searching for the top complementary decor partners, and young designers or rising stars that want to grow with Essential Home. The series of virtual projects that I mentioned before is also one of the top priorities. These unique projects allow us to play with these different partnerships and create a unique experience in one single house design that is going to remain timeless in the virtual world.
Make sure you check out our Essential Home range on Home Office Life!