We have long been following the work of the Flattered Apartments, which are without a doubt one of the best (if not the best) examples of how to do tourist rental accommodation in Portugal. Always respecting the identity of the cities where they are located, the apartments are always elegant, simple and happy spaces, perfect spots to discover Portugal. We talked with Miguel Mateus, one of the co-founders, about Lisbon, the perfect house and plans for the future of Flattered.
Tell us a bit about yourself...
I was born in Lisbon, in Lapa, the son of parents from Beiras (all my family originated in Oleiros, Castelo Branco district). I did all my school course here until I entered UTAD, in Vila Real, where I graduated in Veterinary Medicine. All my professional life has been linked to the pet medicine. In 2005 I founded with my wife Catarina (Silva) and our partner, Catarina (Alves), what is now the Veterinary Hospital of Maia.
I am the father of two daughters and it was precisely in 2010, when my eldest daughter was born that Catarina, on maternity leave, sees a television show about a project of a young lawyer from Lisbon who was dedicating herself to something that at the time didn’t had a name. Renting apartments for tourists. 2010 was a tough year when the government announced new austerity measures almost every week. The famous PEC IV that culminated in the financial assistance request in April 2011, brought us a reality that we had never experienced before as entrepreneurs. This was the trigger to start a new business and that's how we came up with the idea to create the Flattered Apartments.
I'm elastic or eclectic, whatever you want to call it, in my choices. I studied Economics in the high school and only in the end I decided to change to Biology. I end up entering Veterinary Medicine passing next to the Agronomy. I have always embraced very different things in my head and never knew very well what I wanted to be when I’d be 'grown up'. One of the recurring themes in my passions has always been Architecture, Interiors and Design in general. Nothing makes me happier than living all the phases of our Flattered projects. The initial mood boards, the first drawings, define the program, the specifications, the research of pieces, the layouts, the details, the fabrics, in short everything related with a new project. We have had the invaluable luck of meeting the ideal interlocutors. From the team that created our identity, graphic design, architecture to the specialties, we have been blessed.
What do you like most about your house?
The fact that it is facing South and having the social area flooded with light all year is very important. But I especially like going down the street and being on the beach, going to the Market on foot, being able to take my daughters to school on foot, doing almost everything without needing a car.
What is the ‘perfect’ house for you?
It is a house that expresses in a simple way the time we live in. Without fear of hurting sensibilities. It is also a house that tries not to fall into the temptations of the various 'isms' that so often divert us from our path. In practical terms it is a contemporary home, whether in the context of a restored old house or a home made from scratch.
"It is without doubt a small garden or a terrace. In short, it's where my family, my books, and my magazines feel good. "
Where do you live?
I live in Matosinhos, in a small apartment, near the beach.
And if you did not live there, where would you like to live?
It would definitely be in the center of Porto. I cherish the dream of buying an old house, not necessarily a ruin, and have the opportunity to rebuild it or build it from scratch.
Even if you do not live in Lisbon, why do you like the city?
Lisbon is a place of memories for me. That's where I was born and raised. I always lived between Almirante Reis, where my parents' house is located, Praça de Londres, Arco do Cego, Campo Pequeno, Avenida de Roma and o Areeiro. This is the geography of my childhood and adolescence. I also have a special affection for São Pedro de Alcântara, the Botanical Garden at Escola Politécnica and the Gulbenkian. These were the places of my last years in Lisbon and where I try to return whenever I can. Today when I visit the city it is with the look of an outsider, a tourist. I see almost always only the good things, the positive side. We have always make lists of things to see, restaurants to try, things like that. I do not feel the problems in the same way as those who live here every day, but I confess that I sometimes feel the longing. Especially those places that disappeared and didn’t come back.
What are the plans for the future of Flattered Apartments?
This is always the hardest question to answer. But in a very objective way our plan is to continue to grow. In particular we want to increase our offer in Lisbon and Tomar during the next 12 months. In the medium term we continue to look for opportunities in Porto. Although this plan has been outlined for some time we will always be open to embrace opportunities such as the one that arose in Tavira in the middle of 2017 and that led us to open the Flattered to be in Algarve in the Bernardas Convent designed by Architect Eduardo Souto de Moura.
We follow the tourist rental accommodation as a political and economic theme. We do not totally rule out the idea of one day moving to the more traditional hotel activity if the legal framework does not allow other alternatives. We like to host people and, without false modesty, I think we do a good job.