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Interview with the Enigmatic Joao Botelho

Interview with the Enigmatic Joao Botelho

During the course of an ongoing collaboration with Casa Botelho, the team at Art Hide has enjoyed getting to know the talented interior & furniture designer, Joao Botelho. A recent catch up over a martini (using one of his fabulous martini tables, of course) was the perfect opportunity to squeeze in a quick interview with this effervescent gentleman and learn much more about him! Read on to find out what Mr. Botelho is all about, his design mantra and how he does what he does..
  • Where did your journey start?

My journey began in fashion retail. I started in sales when I was 15 years old and by 18, I was already managing stores in Brazil; followed by running multiple stores for a luxury brand called Divina Decadencia. I have worked for luxury brands since including Nicole Farhi, Jasper Conran and Donna Karan New York. My last role with DK was as Managing Director UK and INTL business development. In late 2015, I decided to follow my passion for interiors and design and went on to set up Casa Botelho!

  • Born in the vibrant country of Brazil, how has that inspired and influenced your style?

Brazil is a colorful country filled with happiness and a free spirit. I am always inspired by Brazilian architecture, furniture, and interiors. I particularly love geometric shapes, so Oscar Niemeyer and his architectural work have had a huge influence in our designs. A Brazilian rock is the inspiration behind our upcoming collection for our show at Clerkenwell Design week.

  • What motivated you to move from Brazil to London? What was the transition like?

Initially, I came to London to learn English, then fell in love with London, its culture and mostly the people. What was supposed to be a 3 months’ trip turned into to a long-life commitment.

  • You have worked with leading luxury brands across the globe; tell us more about your first-hand experience with the industry?

In the UK, my first luxury experience was with Harvey Nichols. I worked at the Firth floor restaurant as a waiter. It wasn’t in fashion but was surrounded by beautiful designs and cloths and I got to learn about food, wine, and international customer service. After which I was at Nicole Farhi for a bit but quickly moved to Donna Karan New York. At Donna Karan, I learned about draping, tailoring, and fabrics. And not just any fabrics but ones that had a story. I also learned about LUXE; how to embrace, capture and evoke sophistication.

  • With over 22 years of experience in luxury retail, what motivated you to make the move to interior design?

I was immersed in the world of fashion and design from the early age of 17. During my various jobs and projects, I was involved in design meetings and projects, fashion shows, presentations and was in charge of directing the visual appearances and set-up of showrooms. I developed an attentive eye for detail and a passion for styling people and spaces. I learned, in depth, about fabrics, materials, draping and homewares, which led me to the world of interiors.

  • What is your design ethos?

I draw my background in fashion and attention to detail to create sticking interiors and focused home entertainment treasures.

  • How would you describe your personal style?

Personally, I like sharp and clean lines. I wear a lot of black, greys and navy. I apply the same principles to my interiors but always injecting moody and bold shades as accent colors. Tom Ford is a great inspiration to me.

  • Apart from work, what are your other interests? Where do you find your inspiration?

I love walking my dogs every morning and spending time with my husband over the weekend. We enjoy cooking and entertaining friends and family at home. A party here and there is also welcome. I found my inspiration at home, during my travels and through designs from 1920 and 1930’s. I like mixing old with new, and that seems to me a recipe that works well.

  • Your townhome in London has been dubbed as ‘The most fabulous home in London’. Tell us more about how you found out style inspiration for it?

Honestly, it was a natural transition. I had no idea it would turned out this way. It was about selecting interesting materials and finishes, intrigue lighting, bespoke designs and ensuring there was a link in between all the elements that would tell a story - Casa Botelho was born this way!

  • What is your method when it comes to design? Or, when you take on a new project?

We typically have a free first consultation so we can learn about the project and meet with the clients. It is vital that we believe in it and there is a connection in between the client and us. Then, we follow up with a scope of work and a fee proposal together with some ideas to ensure the client has faith in us and our design ideas.

  • What aspect are you the most excited/passionate about when doing custom home design projects?

I love custom projects, you can mold and shape each item or element in a unique way. Bespoke projects are the most magical, it can enhance designs and peoples life's too.

  • You recently did a photo shoot at celebrity florist Nikki Tibbles home in London for Style H magazine, where did you draw your design inspiration from for the project?

Honestly, Nikki’s home was already superb, filled with gorgeous vases, wallpapers, and furniture. It was about moving items around and picking some key eye-catching elements, like the emerald Trilogia rug.

  • How did you discover Art Hide? What is it about the brand that appeals to you the most?

I discovered Art Hide designs while browsing on Instagram. I saw the rugs and felt in love with it. Then, I emailed Kura (the founder) and we connected instantly.

  • Why Art Hide? What do you think of their collections? Why does it appeal to you?

I have an obsession for luxe materials and high quality cowhide is one of them. Art Hide products are contemporary, versatile and sophisticated. The clever geometric shapes in rich colours caught my eyes the minute I saw it. There was a chemistry in between our brands and we are now a family.

  • Any personal favorites from their signature rug collections?

The Trilogia is one of my favorites, but I also like the Zeus designs.

  • Tell us more about the range Art Hide created in special collaboration with you?

While having a meeting with the team for one of my projects in London, I came up with the idea of using the hide as a base mat for our martini tables. Then we took it to the next level by developing a fun pattern utilizing the laser burn technic. The team was amazing and quickly reacted to the idea. Samples were sent and the rest is history!

  • What inspired this collection?

Our CB logo was the main inspiration behind the collaboration and the Hide Collection for Casa Botelho. The laser burn combined with lush skins give these tactile designs plenty of panache.

  • Is it a limited edition collection?Where can people find it?

It is not a limited-edition collection and you can find it at www.casabotelho.com, as well as Blue Ribbon Company, Eporta, and Treniq.

  • How was your overall experience working with Art Hide, Kura and Bree? It has been a pleasure to work with Kura and Bree. They are hardworking, smart, successful and keen to explore new ideas. We are continuing to develop more products and working on future collaboration which you will be able to see at Clerkenwell Design Week in London May 23-25 at Platform stand 15. Our journey continues…