escolhido: Chosen Authenticity

escolhido: Chosen Authenticity

Meet escolhido: mindful creation of timeless, unique and personal spaces. The founders Jade Passey and Daniel Baker have revealed the background of their homeware brand, core values, the most common issues we face when decorating our own homes and how we can reflect the Mediterranean style in decoration.

(All photos seen in this article are courtesy of Zavial Studio and escolhido © )

When it comes to interior design, blending authenticity, sustainability, style and intellectualism to form a finished look that goes beyond browsing and handing over your credit card is a difficult job. It requires taste, knowledge and careful curation. That is why, escolhido is about to spark your finest interest by revealing one of the best names for interior design lovers and decoration fans. Especially if you admire aesthetics in a minimalistic approach, earthy colour tones.

escolhido is an interior design and styling company based in Algarve, Portugal run by Jade Passey and Daniel Baker. The name escolhido speaks for itself. Meaning ‘chosen’ in Portuguese, they seek out and choose pieces that have a history and tell a story. Through them, you will discover an excellent choice of ceramics, vases, chairs, accessories, and furniture.

What is escolhido? Could you explain what you are doing?

escolhido is an interior design and styling company currently based in the Algarve in Portugal. It is a small company, run by myself and my partner however to enable consistency, quality and to ensure we always deliver the highest of standards, we have built up a community of professionals from photographers, builders, electricians and plumbers to work alongside us.

Our ethos lies in the mindful creation of  timeless spaces that are personal to our clients. We are here to help create homes and spaces fitted to our clients’ lifestyles and personalities. At escolhido we believe that having a clear understanding of our clients core values and design goals are key to creating a sustainable, functional and stylish space. We work with our clients to help bring these to life.

We source hand chosen sustainable staple pieces for clients around the world who are looking for something special or something they have inspiration for but cannot find themselves. Seeking out pieces that have a history and tell a story and can transform a space, whether they are subtle or a key feature piece is our ultimate goal. With years of experience in the hospitality industry as hoteliers, events and consultants working in several locations around the world, we also offer a bespoke creative consultancy service.

We also run a concept store through our site which has hand chosen (by us) sustainable pieces available to purchase and we are now developing the store to enable us to start working  with and stocking some carefully selected brands, makers & creators who share our ethos and outlook.

We are currently building a community, to champion makers and creators that we admire around the world. On our website we have a ‘reading material’ feature called ‘let’s talk’ where we speak to some of our favourite and most inspiring people from around the world about what they do and what inspires them.  We cannot wait to share who else we have lined up for this in the coming months. When the world allows we would like to bring some of these people together to create something special.

What is the meaning of escolhido in Portuguese?

escolhido means ‘chosen’ in Portuguese. We really love the name. Everything we do is hand chosen, whether its inspiration, products of furniture or the people we choose to work with. It is a company based on authenticity, honesty and relationships.

Could you tell us a little bit about your background? How did you start doing this?

Jade Passey: I have always been a very visual person with a huge passion for design. After studying Fashion Design at University, I spent over six  years working in London in creative roles in music, marketing, management and events before moving into the wellness, hospitality and interior and styling world which led me to working in places like Croatia, India, Sri Lanka before my partner and I settled in Portugal a couple of years ago to set up and open a retreat for a company we were working for at the time.

Through our experience, love of sustainable homeware and design and creating beautiful spaces, escolhido has grown into an interior design and styling business over the last few years. We have vast experience and passion for interior and design, having led on refurbishments and creative curation on hotels and homes.

With years of experience of working in the hospitality industry working in several locations around the world I have gained a lot of experience. Working with boutique hotels has given me that extra touch of knowledge and flare to understand what makes a home or hotel extra special.

“When I think of the Mediterranean style, the words handmade, texture, nature and slow come to mind. To create this style, I am always inspired by natural elements, simplicity and artisan pieces, hand thrown pottery and of course outside dining.” – Jade Passey

© escolhido & Zavial Studio.

What does the Mediterranean style mean for you? How can it be achieved?

Jade Passey: When I think of the Mediterranean style, the words handmade, texture, nature and slow come to mind. To create this style, I am always inspired by natural elements, simplicity and artisan pieces, hand thrown pottery and of course outside dining. Scents are also a big thing for me, so planting lavender, rosemary, olive, pine and citrus trees around your home if you can will add such a dreamy element to your surroundings.

What do you think are the most common issues we face when decorating our own homes, and how is escolhido addressing them?

We believe before decorating our own homes, it is key to have a clear understanding of our values and what feeling and atmosphere we want to create in our home. Without this base knowledge, people can often feel confused about where to start, the style they wish to go for, colour palettes and where to start.

If you are a social person/ family and you like to entertain, a tip would be for your living area and dining area to be spacious enough to easily have friends and family in your space comfortably. Your focus pieces of furniture would be a table large enough for you and your guests and the seating area in the living room to be slightly oversized. Whereas, if your home is more of a quiet sanctuary and you like to have alone time, then perhaps focus on creating a snug and several different areas in your home to relax.

Let’s talk colour. Spend some time looking at colour and patterns and take note of how they make you feel. If soft tones make you feel relaxed and calm then fill your house with these. Or, if bright colours and patterns give you energy and inspire you then you know that’s what you want to surround yourself with. Or maybe, you can blend the two within your homes in different rooms.

When starting to redesign a room, rooms, or your home think about the themes you would like to run through the house. You don’t want your home to be matchy matchy as it can lack personality, however you can create a flowing theme running through your house through for example choosing a certain era of furniture, colour of wood, art or colour palette.

When creating mood boards, it is as important to pick out the images that inspire you as well as those that you don’t like so much. This will then start to give you a really clear idea on your own style. It is also a good idea to note down the why? What is it on this image that you are drawn to, how does it make you feel?

It’s all about lifestyle, how do you want to feel when you are at home? How can you make life more streamline by creating your ideal home? Can you create more storage spaces, so you don’t end up with clutter around the house.

I also believe it is important to stay true to yourself, not to follow trends too much. A home should be timeless, and with that in mind it is important to figure out what you love and how you want to live. Opt for materials that will last, that can be cleaned, that age well. You don’t always have to buy new either, there is something special about finding a piece that has history, character and a story. Our homes should be practical and make life easier for us and not add more work or stress that needs be. It should be our sanctuary.

Can you tell us a little bit about your customer: Who is she, where is she from, and generally what is she looking for?

Our customer is someone who has a love for homeware and design, for travel and discovery. Who shares a passion for sustainability. This is one of our core values and is at the heart of every decision we make, everything we source and do.

We believe a piece no matter how big or small can change a room and set the tone and our aim to find those pieces and share them with people around the world.

What is your favourite book/magazine on design? How about your favourite site?

I live in the countryside in the west algarve and it isn’t always the easiest to pick up a good interior magazine, however when I am back in London or at the airport these are some of my favourites.  Cereal Magazine, Kinfolk, The World of Interior and Architectural Digest. I also love flicking through Conde Nast Travel to pick up inspiration and to be honest, most travel supplements. 

My top design websites are probably  KinfolkThe London List and OpenHouse Magazine 

In terms of books, ‘The Monocle Guides’ are always a great source of inspiration, ‘The New Mediterranean Book’ is really beautiful and so is ‘This is Home by Natalie Walton’. I also love old interior design books that you can pick up in charity shops and flea markets. ‘The Interior Design Hand Book’ is a great one for those looking to embrace a project alone. It has some brilliant tips and acts as a guide. I want to get my hands on a copy of ‘The Foraged Home’ from what I’ve read, it has a nice focus on repurposing pieces and a sustainable home. Which of course, is what we are all about. 

How has social media paved the way for online interior design?

I think social media has been a huge game changer for interior design, especially in the last few years. Instagram has given us instant access to inspiration, the latest trends and being able to follow other people’s renovation journeys. I think it is amazing to be able to access inspiration so easily however it is important to not get too caught up in the latest trends and to stay true to yourself. You want to create your own timeless home that embodies your personality.

I love how Instagram acts as a platform and showreel for your work, your style and being able to share and save your finds so easily. It is an incredible tool to market yourself, connect with like minded people and to build a community all over the world. The second hand shopping market has also boomed over the last few years thanks to the help of Instagram, so we are very grateful for that as I am sure many other people are too. 

Head over to our Instagram to see some of our favourite people, places, pieces and sites 🙂.We have connected with so many people that we admire and share our ethos, it offers you the ability to connect with such a diverse mix of people around the world which enables you to stumble across some real gems. 

Tell us a little about your home. Do you have pieces from escolhido?

To be honest we started by sourcing and collecting pieces for our home in Portugal and this is where the concept and idea for escolhido started. Our house is packed full of art that inspires me daily, ceramics that we couldn’t help but keep for ourselves and some key pieces of furniture that once in our house, we couldn’t let them go.

We are now on the hunt for a showroom so we can start to collect bigger pieces and let clients come and see us in person. 

What’s next for escolhido?

Following on from the success of my first collaboration, hand designed and painted plates with Portuguese ceramicist called Casa Sol, I have some new and exciting collaborations planned for the year ahead. I love working with people and bringing our inspiration and vision together to create something truly unique. 

One of our main goals has always been to start a property portfolio in Portugal and then eventually around the world. We want these to be an extension of escolhido and have the same ethos. They will be filled and styled with sustainable furniture, hand made pieces and they will all have a real essence of the country running through the property .  We have also been working on a business plan for a concept hotel should we find the right property and also the right investor.

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