in DIY, Ispiration

Decorating with graffiti

The Panic Room at the Au Vieux Panier Hotel in Marseille
from the 2014 Ikea catalogue
via Iddesign Jeddah
via Vectormu
via Not a Paper House
via Hannas Room
Inspired by my profile photo, I have selected for you some cool examples of how to decorate with graffiti. I am gutted that I haven’t got any photo of the piece of wall art Alex made in the apartment where we used to live before. 
If you have never made a graffiti before and if you have never used a spray can, I would strongly advice you to employ a graffiti artist. A part from that, be bold, if or whenever you will change your mind, you can paint it over! 
in DIY

A few ideas to transform an Ikea chair

 I have the impression that some people are bit traumatized by architects and more than once I have been called in to ‘fix’ something an architect has done. Of course they are an abundance of talented architects who also excel with interiors but some of them think that they know about furniture and furnishings when they don’t and they create cold, monochromatic, expensive, lifeless spaces. For instance at the moment I am helping a local bar owner, who recently opened up in a hipster area of Rome and was designed  by a successful architect, to make his bar more welcoming. I am trying to find inexpensive solutions because they have already spent a lot and while looking for some seats I thought that it would be fun to repaint or redecorate some Ikea chairs or some vintage chairs. 
So, here is a selection of some of the best ideas offered on the internet. I really like the top one, covered with gold leaf and  with spray painted legs,i t makes me think about how many things we could do using this technique considering that gold is back in fashion now.

The pretty blog by Emerja has transformed the Ikea Silla chair with a mix of techniques, decoupage and painting.
The legs of the Ikea Antilop highchair are also spray painted and the white plastic shell can be decorated with a stick (here).The Ikea Borje chair (below) was painted yellow and upholstered with a pretty flowery fabric by the blogger from Eat Knit & Diy.  
The solutions, mixed with nice pieces, can give some colour to a boring room.

Ho l’impressione che alcune persone sono un pò traumatizzate dagli architetti e alcune volte sono stata chiamata per ‘aggiustare’ quello che un architetto aveva fatto. Naturalmente ci sono molti architetti estremamente talentuosi anche nella creazione di interni, è però a volte vero che alcuni di loro pensano di saperne di mobili e tessuti quando non è necessariamente vero e creano spazi senza vita, freddi e monocromatici. Ad ognuno il suo direi. Per esempio adesso sto aiutando dei ragazzi a rendere più accogliente il bar che hanno recentemente aperto in un zona trendy di Roma e fatto rinnovare da un architetto di successo. Sto cercando di trovare soluzioni a basso costo perchè ovviamente hanno già sostenuto costi elevati e mentre cercavo delle sedute da aggiungere, ho pensato che sarebbe divertente trasformare delle sedie di Ikea o delle sedie vintage. 
A questo proposito, ecco una selezione di alcune delle più interessanti idee offerte dalla rete. Mi piace molto quella in alto, rivestita di foglie d’oro e con le gambe dipinte con lo spray. Mi fa pensare a quante cose si potrebbero fare con questa tecnica di rivestimento adesso che è ritornato di moda l’oro.
L’autrice del blog Emerja ha trasformato la sedie Silla di Ikea con un misto di tecniche, decoupage  e pittura. 
Anche le gambe del seggiolone Ikea Antilop, sono state pitturate e la scocca in plastica decorata con un adesivo (qui).
La sedia Ikea Borje invece (foto in basso) è stata prima pitturata di giallo poi è stato creato un cuscino rivestito di stoffa a fiori; tutto opera della blogger di Eat Knit & Diy.
in Color Inspiration, DIY

Colourful stools


It is really hard in Italy at the moment, we are going through a big recession caused mainly by the way our politicians have run the country for the last 50 years. Most of us are oppressed by taxes, constricted by too many contorted rules and  not left very optimistic about our future. Young people are struggling and they dream of leaving the country with the sometimes false belief that abroad they will be happier. In such a dim panorama, strangely enough creativity blossoms and ideas flow. Sometimes the difficulties of daily life and a jolt to those certainties in life oblige your mind to think about new solutions. A working mind often produces good ideas. The government though must find the way to invest in the future and make the process of investing simpler.
The stools above show how a simple versatile object of daily use can be transformed.  The colours represent the hope that things in Italy will get better soon.

From the top / dall’alto :
Milking stool by Um Project
– Metal and wooden stools by HARTO design
– Knitted stools by Claire-Anne O’Brien 
– Colourful stools by Jo Black Designs
Prince Aha stools or occasional tables by Kartell
– DIY painted Frosta stools by Ikea
in DIY

The Painted House paint rollers

I have started the week with a smile on my face having spent a nice lazy weekend with some old friends.
On Saturday my friend Stefano -a cocktail bar manager who recently moved back to Rome after over 10 years between London and Dubai- organized an intimate cocktail party on his terrace and he spent all night making some wonderful cocktails for us. Can you think of anything better of chatting with the people you love and sipping watermelon martinis (amongst the others) on a warm summer Roman night? On Sunday we were invited by some other friends, Stesi and Marzia, to eat a very tasty American style BBQ in his lovely garden. As soon as I arrived I noticed that their house was looking much better organized and not just because they had tidied it up: it was evident the effort they had made to make the place prettier, they had also started to think about how to display objects and colours. I was really chuffed when Marzia said that she was inspired by my blog. It is the positive comments more than the growing number of visitors that make it worth it. 
Today I want to speak about a simple clever idea by The Painted House that I would like to have. It is a paint roller with two rolls, one is a sponge that collects the paint and the other is a stamp that imprints the pattern onto the wall. It is a valid alternative to wallpaper, it doesn’t cost much, it seems easy to use,  it can be used on different materials and unlike  wallpaper it allows you to change your mind more often, you can just paint it over. I wanted to try it on my entryway but I don’t have the time at the moment, when I do, I’ll post some pics. 
The idea is original but at least 100 years old, Clare Bosanquet took it from Romania and she gave it a modern twist. These ‘magic’ decorative rolls (worldwide) are sold on The Painted House website and the photos come from there.

in DIY, Ispiration

Frames wall paper

 Hello everyone, it is hard to concentrate tonight because there is a concert on at full volume in the park I see from my windows. I have been to hundreds of open air concerts in my life and I haven’t even considered the possibility that the music could have annoyed the neighbours so I suppose I deserve it.
Do you like the ‘wall crowded with frames’ look and you haven’t got time to collect them? Opt for a wall paper with printed frames! Some of them are more sober than others but in any case I advice you to wall paper only a wall or a limited space because it is a quite busy design; it could easily clash with the furniture in front of it. 
From top left, clockwise, wall paper from Andrew Martin, Neodko & Deyrolle, Land of Nod, Andrew Martin (bottom two). 
in DIY

DIY cat bed

This post is dedicated to my friend Suz and to all those cat lovers out there. It gives a few ideas for cat beds that you can easily and cheaply make by yourself. My favourite is the Mac bed! What is yours?
You can learn how to make the suitcase bed on Fancy Seeing You Here, the wooden geometric dog or cat house on HomeMade Modern and the cardboard house on Haute Nature. If you can’t be bothered to make it, you can purchase a cat hammock at Cat Crib
in DIY

6 creative Christmas trees for small spaces

As you probably know by now (check this post for my optimistic next house’s requirements), the house I am living in at the moment is almost 80 square metres so I am always interested in decorative solutions for small spaces. I am not into Christmas decorations very much because I grew up in a city with mild climate that inspires you to collect shells more than hang snowflakes all over the house. However, considering I am married to an Englishman who grew up surrounded by all this Christmas stuff and I have a toddler now, it looks like I will have to make a Christmas tree this year. I don’t do fake plants, I much prefer to have an alternative Christmas tree like one of the ones pictured above. They also don’t take up much space and they are difficult to knock over by my 2 year old son who is incapable of standing still. I think I will go with the Ikea Liamaria‘s fabric and pin it on different fluo decorations.
Top row from left:
– A Christmas tree made of dozens of different little objects hung on the wall,an idea from All the luck in the world
– Wire tree from Living Etc December 2009
– A reclaimed wood tree from Paradigm Interior Design
Bottom row from left:
– A tree made of a wool garland, idea from the shop Down the Wood
– Post-it tree from Homes & Gardens December 2013
Ikea Liamaria fabric 
in DIY, Furniture, Ispiration

Wall headboard stickers

I am not a big fan of wall stickers but these funky headboards by Blik can make a statement in a simple white bedroom and dignify a bed. It is a good solution, for instance, in rented places where you are generally limited with what you are allowed to do and how much you can invest; they also add interest to a bed comprised of just a mattress and a bed frame. I particularly like the Wrought Iron Headboard, the red one in the first photo (top right). If you have a steady hand you can even try to paint the headboard yourself but I am not sure it is worth the fuss considering how affordable these wall decals are. 
I prefer beds without headboards anyway but of course only if you put them against a wall. In my book the simpler the bed‘s structure the better.