Interior Design Trip: Part 2 – The Past meets the Present in Porto

This year Open Plan Living hosted its first Meet the Makers trip to our homeland of Portugal. Here we invited our clients to understand more about the culture and history behind our brands and also provide them with an insight into future design innovation.

The first half of our trip (as documented in our May blog post) focused on the production process as we experienced a behind the scenes look at some of our factories and also explored the culture and flavours that influence the Portuguese design ethos.

Design inspiration dominated the second half of the trip as we travelled to the unique and vibrant city of Porto, where stunning architecture and luxury interiors capture the true essence of our design heritage. This month we’d like to share with you some of the highlights of our visit to Portugal’s second city.

Covet House Douro

Covet House is a design lovers dream. An ancient, three storey waterfront mansion, located in Douro – a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the most beautiful landscapes in Europe, this stunning property is a unique showroom destination, where each room is decorated by prestigious Portuguese design brands. This provided our clients with the opportunity to see some of our most iconic statement products in situ and visualise how they might work in different interior scenarios.


Their innovative use of materials makes Duistt one of our most popular brands and a tantalising trip around their showroom provided plenty of oohs and aahs from our UK designers.

São Bento Railway Station

No trip to Portugal would be complete without an appreciation of its famous tiles! This 19th-century railway station is home to approximately 20,000 azulejo tiles, dating from 1905–1916. They were composed by Jorge Colaço, an important painter of azulejo of the time and form breathtaking tiled friezes around the walls of the railway station depicting Portuguese battles and quaint country scenes.

Pousada do Freixo

Once an 18th century palace, Posada do Freixo retains all of its majesty as a luxury hotel destination and exudes history and splendour both inside and out. The building is blessed with classical architectural features including frescos on the walls and ornate ceiling mouldings, which provide the perfect juxtaposition for contemporary interior design within.
Outside, we enjoyed the French-style gardens and granite stonework – further examples of the rich heritage that feeds the city and its people.

The Yeatman

To sit back and drink in the full beauty and eclecticism that Porto has to offer, The Yeatman hotel, nestled on a hill overlooking the city is hard to beat. Michelin starred and set amidst Porto’s famous port wine lodges, it would have been rude not to enjoy some of the local produce! Freshly inspired and united by a mutual love of Portuguese interior design, our team raised a glass to toast the end of a successful business trip and the beginning of some great business relationships!

If you would like to learn more about any of our brands and products, please do not hesitate to contact Ana on 07941091352

Ana & Renata

We are wives, mums, best friends of 25 years and we share a passion for interiors and furniture design. Despite living in two different countries, we decided to embark on the adventure of creating a business together and we are loving it!

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