Q&A: Sara Neves of The Untitled House
Meet Sara Neves, co-founder of design and branding company HUSE® in Cascais, Portugal. And meet The Untitled House, a raw—but rosy and surprisingly cozy—concrete home that she and her artist husband built from the ground up, in collaboration with architects João Quintela and Tim Simon of Atelier JQTS.
What are your favorite qualities in a home?
I really like architecture that will stand the test of time and never seem out of date, houses that have a simple structure and make good use of natural, “raw" materials that feel warm and comfortable.
What do you love most about your home?
I love the concrete slab and beams that make up the structure of the house. It was something we always wanted to have, and we are extremely happy with the final result. We also really like the fact that the house is tucked away in a cul-de-sac facing a small pine forest.
What do guests love most about it?
Guests are always surprised at how cozy the house feels. Somehow, they expect it to feel cold and industrial because of the concrete structure, but that is not the case at all.
How did you first discover it?
We built from the ground up after purchasing the land in 2017. We had been living in an apartment but, with two small kids, we felt we needed to have some outdoor space.
What was the biggest challenge in creating it?
The construction was a very long and hard process. There was a lot of bureaucracy involved, and managing contractors is never easy. It took four years from start to finish, but it was worth it in the end.
What’s your most treasured possession in the home?
Personally, I really like our '70s "Confidential" sofa by Alberto Rosselli for Saporiti. We bought it before the house was completed, not knowing whether it would fit, but it turned out perfect! We also have a small art collection—my husband Pedro Batista is an artist and regularly trades artwork with other artists—and I really treasure that. The big painting behind the sofa in the living room is his. The house is "Untitled" because my husband’s paintings are always untitled as well!
What was your biggest indulgence?
The wooden window frames. It was something we had always wanted and, although wood is a “live” material with some mood changes, it adds more warmth to the house.
What is your favorite pastime when you're there?
I enjoy cooking and having people over. That is why we decided to have an open kitchen, so we could socialize while getting dinner done.
Where in the home are you happiest?
The living room is my favourite part of the house at the moment, and where we spend most of the time as a family.
What is your favorite place to curl up with a good book?
Probably in the garden if the weather is nice.
What book would that be?
Something by Haruki Murakami, most certainly.
What is the soundtrack of the house?
I am not much of a music listener myself, but maybe The Mattson 2, a jazz duo from California.
When you leave the house, where do you go?
We really enjoy being outside so we go for hikes, or to the beach in the summer—both a 10-minute drive from the house—and we also go to Lisbon when we are looking for more “urban” activities such as visiting museums and galleries.
The Untitled House is available to book through BoutiqueHomes. Click here for more information.