In tranquil countryside in Western Algarve, a unique concept in home renovation is unfolding. A run-down Portuguese quinta is being faithfully restored with painstaking attention to detail and authenticity; it’s also being equipped with state-of-the-art technology that will allow the owners to control their home via a single swipe of an iPad.
Pedigree Intelligent Home Renovations is the new division of the Algarve’s renowned home cinema and entertainment specialists, Projection Dreams. As the brainchild of its owner and Managing Director, Vince Myers, Pedigree Renovations is the logical way to expand the operations of this prestigious brand.
Vince has an impressive business pedigree of his own, including 20 years in worldwide project management working for blue chip companies. After 14 years living and working in the Algarve, his latest venture has been spurred on by a simple desire to make dull places look beautiful. He is constantly saddened to see so many neglected properties: “I don’t see old quintas being tackled in a quality manner and everyone seems frightened to death to put technology in them,” he explains.
So, the concept of Pedigree Renovations was born, pairing Projection Dreams’ already phenomenal intelligent home technology with a top-notch team of renovation experts – all committed to quality and only working with the very best materials.
A high level of in-house expertise means Pedigree Renovations’ projects are also extremely cost-effective. The building team includes home automation specialists, electricians, an aesthetics department and a gardening division; it even boasts its own furniture company, producing bespoke pieces from sofas to plush, leather home cinema seats. An archaeological specialist is also at hand to advise on historical matters, ensuring things like the style and colour of the property are in keeping with the local region. Adds Vince: “What this means for the client is a confidence that the total project will have synergy; from the very beginning everything will be designed to work together.”
Pedigree Renovations’ current work-in-progress, for a well-known client, clearly demonstrates how easy it can be to maintain the style and character of an older building, yet inject it with some 21st century bells and whistles. Their ethos is to avoid anything too clinical and straight. It’s all about the character, the past, the look – being able to transfer something back into a real home.
Early-stage work at the quinta involved preparing the outside areas for future landscaping, a swimming pool and entertainment areas, which will eventually include one of Projection Dreams’ incredible outdoor cinemas. The original bread oven is being restored and updated to include a rotisserie; crumbling boundary walls have been rebuilt or constructed from scratch using local stone and fencing and electric gates have been added for extra security. A machine driver digging on the land accidentally unearthed a natural well, which will become a feature in its own right. Everything blends naturally into the local landscape.
Inside the quinta girders were added for reinforcement and in the lounge a vaulted ceiling was created for extra height and improved acoustics; original bamboo and eucalyptus ceiling decoration has been revived; walls have been roughly textured, mimicking an artisan finish; handmade wooden window frames replicate the originals and stable doors complete the intrinsic rustic feel.
Local craftsmen have been brought in for specific tasks, which not only contributes to the regional economy, but also helps keep alive some dying Portuguese trades: calçada cobblestones and locally produced terracotta Santa Catarina tiles have been used extensively throughout the project. Particularly striking is the one-off, hand-crafted original design set into the tiles of the hallway floor.
At every stage of conception, the Pedigree Renovations’ team bears in mind how things used to be. A reclamation company in the north of Portugal supplied an original cast-iron, 1930s spiral staircase which leads to the roof terrace. It arrived covered in concrete but was meticulously cleaned and restored by a local metalworker who then added a mezzanine, with railings to match. The finished result is seamless; it’s as if the staircase has always been there.
While one section of the team dwells on the past, others are actively contemplating the future by simultaneously installing all the necessary hardware for a fully-automated home. Using Projection Dreams’ versatile, easy-to-use iPad-controlled system, owners can control virtually any aspect of their home including lighting, heating, energy, music, audio, video and security.
Pedigree Renovations are offering an untapped and unique service in Portugal. They believe that too many properties in the Algarve are going to wrack and ruin and that their renovation potential is being ignored. Their philosophy is all about being kind to an old building and respecting its past, yet at the same time nurturing it into this century. With such a conscientious team in place, Pedigree Renovations are able to create a complete lifestyle: conceptualists who can make your property exactly what you want it to be.