Visiting the Laskasas and Domkapa Factories in Porto.

Belcasa Concept is a brand based on quality, ethics and sustainability. Naturally, we seek to reflect these qualities in our own work but it’s important that we choose suppliers that display them, too. That’s why I’m pleased to tell you about my recent visit to two of Europe’s most impressive suppliers of furniture and interior goods – the Portuguese manufacturers, Laskasas and Domkapa.

Both factories are owned by the same man: Celso Lascasas. In another post, which we’ll publish shortly, we’ll provide more details about him; how he began in the furniture business and the values that underpinned the growth of his brands. For now, though, I’d like to focus on what Laskasas and Domkapa offer customers today, and how they embody many of the qualities for which Belcasa Concept stands.

The Visit

I visited Laskasas in March 2024, at the invitation of Ana Silva, Laskasa’s Project Specialist for the UK and Australasia. She and her colleague, UK Market Manager Flavia Martins, had visited us in Manchester a few months earlier to see the progress of our showroom refurbishment and our plans for opening.

My return visit was a real pleasure. The teams there are supremely professional but also enthusiastically hospitable, and I was immediately made very welcome. My visit began with a tour of the office and both factories, where I watched their craftspeople at work. 

It was a privilege to meet and observe these time-served artisans, and I felt that I’d been given a real insight into the pride they take in their work. There really is no substitute for seeing that work firsthand. I was genuinely impressed to witness the time, care and precision that goes into their designs and material selection, the joinery and the upholstery – everything, in fact, that a hard-working team has to do when producing items of the finest quality.

The Domkapa and Laskasas Brands

Laskasas and Domkapa are both very well-respected brands but they have different specialisms and they serve different markets.  

Laskasas offers a comprehensive range of interior products, including not only furniture and upholstery items but also lighting and an array of home accessories. It aims to suit a broad spectrum of tastes, purposes and environments. Domkapa, on the other hand, focuses exclusively on upholstery and fabrics. It has earned an excellent reputation for crafting superbly detailed upholstered furniture.

Together, they are two of our main suppliers of furniture. Another, as we’ve said before, is Fascino, which specialises in bespoke designs, and during my visit I was struck by how much the companies have in common. 

First and most obviously, they all take great pride in craftsmanship and quality. They don’t deal in cheap, mass-produced furniture or short-lived fads. In these days of fast fashion and throw-away consumerism, it’s great to see companies pushing back; reminding us that there’s an alternative that isn’t just more aesthetically striking; it’s also better for the environment and better for the buyer’s pocket.

The maxim “buy well, buy once” applies perfectly to the world of furniture and interiors. High quality, hand-made items are designed and built to last, so they’ll deliver decades of reliable service and won’t break down or need to be replaced after just a few short years. 

Furniture items demand significant resources in their manufacture and design, and many more in their distribution for sale. It’s therefore far better – by which I mean far more sustainable – only to have to buy such items once. However, that option is only viable with bold, timeless designs and high-quality materials, but – happily – that’s just what Domkapa and Laskasas are about. Their styles are contemporary but rooted in tradition; a fusion of modernity, elegance and sophistication. 

Bringing Craftsmanship to the Market

My natural reaction to seeing all this was that I wanted to bring it all home and make it available to Belcasa customers in the UK. After all, that’s essentially what the visit was about – selecting furniture items and deciding what I could stock. But I have to admit; it proved to be a very hard decision. “Spoiled for choice” just about sums it up.

With British customers in mind, I had to focus on which items would best suit the market. Sizes and styles of homes vary across the world, and so do the ways in which in which people use their living spaces. So, in the end, I chose a selection that I think will work beautifully in elegant British homes; pieces that will serve as dramatic centrepieces, others that will provide beautiful visual accents, and others that will work as parts of a collection.

Ultimately, discerning customers have always appreciated quality and sophistication, and traditional designs have always stood the test of time. I’m therefore confident that the products supplied to us by Domkapa and Laskasas will not only delight those who love style and sustainability; they will also prove to be excellent value for money. (For more thoughts on this subject, see our blog “Why Quality means Value.”).

Timeless Materials

The durability of furniture and interior depends first on craftsmanship – for which northern Portugal is especially renowned – and second on the designer’s choice of materials. 

Here, the design teams certainly cut no corners. While I was there, I saw marble – which is especially on trend right now – being used as part of bold and breathtaking tables of various sizes. Despite the fact that it’s a material that’s been used for literally thousands of years, it has a remarkable ability to stay relevant; always speaking of quality and lasting beauty.

So too do certain other materials. Wrought and polished metals, natural stone and carefully finished woods are just some of the robust but aesthetic choices that feature in the Laskasas and Domcapa product ranges.

We’ll look at some of these issues in more detail in a forthcoming Question and Answer session with Ana Silva. It will appear in our Blog section very soon. In the meantime, if you have any questions, or you’ve seen here any designs that you particularly like, please get in touch.

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