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in Furniture, Interiors, Ispiration, People

Spinzi Design Roots

spinzi design, ceppo, ceppo stone, furniture design, elena giavarini, plusdeco blog, +deco blog, stone, lago iseo pietra, designers milan, furniture designer milan, tommaso spinzi origins, origins collection

There are some materials that bring back memories, that carry some degree of intimacy, even if we don’t know what they are called. They change according to people’s experiences in life and some are also related to specific geographical areas. I am sure that many people who live or grew up in Lombardia associate with Ceppo stone for instance. Ceppo stone, extracted mainly from the area near Lago D’Iseo, is a natural sedimentary stone with a beautiful warm color often used in architecture and interiors all over the world.

Today, in tribute to Lombardia, a region that is being so badly affected by the disruptive force of Covid 19, we are going to look at some gorgeous designs by Tommaso Spinzi which for me evoke nostalgic feelings and have a very contemporary refinement.

Tommaso Spinzi is a young sophisticated Interior and Furniture designer with an international pedigree and a studio in Milan called Spinzi Design that offers Interior Design, Furniture Design and Art Direction services.

In 2019 he designed the Origini Collection (Origini means Roots in English) using some recovered Ceppo stone and the frames of Mid- 20th Century Collection furniture.

The inspiration came when, having moved to Milan after many years abroad, Tommaso went for a ride on his motorcycle and saw some imposing historical architecture made from this elegant grey stone that looks like Conglomerate stone.

Origini is the result of this warm feeling of revival and procured nostalgia; the collection mixes different elements of stone, metal and brass with impressive character and uses original furniture legs from the 1950’s and blocks of recovered stone.

Each piece is unique, a statement and an investment.

(Photos courtesy Tommaso Spinzi, artwork on wall Dripping Face by Alessandro Paglia)

in Color Inspiration, Furniture, Interiors, Ispiration, People

Boa Boa restaurant in Milan

Since last week things have massively slowed down in Italy and in the rest of Europe. The progressive and relentless spread of the Covid-19 has forced people to stop and reconsider their habits. The Italian government is doing a good job in keeping its citizens informed, not instigating panic and making decisions aimed at limiting the spread of this new and unpredictable disease.

To take our mind off this uncertainty let’s see what our Vito Nesta is doing. Do you remember him? I am sure you do. We have spoken about his designs more than once and a few months ago we published an interview where he explained his recent projects and he answered some questions about his creative process.

Today we are looking at one of his latest projects, the decoration of Boa Boa, an Asian-fusion restaurant in Via Pontonaccio, Milan. Vito created a fun and relaxed interior; he used mainly three colours (rust blue and bottle green), eye-catching wallpapers , lovely lampshades, velvet and a touch of gold to give the restaurant plenty of character.

The wallpapers Casablanca and Samoa are designed by Vito Nesta for Devon&Devon.

We just have to hope that Milan will be back on its feet in no time so that I can go and experience Boa Boa‘s cuisine that I have been told is delicious.

(Images courtesy Vito Nesta)

in Furniture, Interiors, Ispiration

An open space in Madrid

pia mendaro, clara cebrian, warehouse, madrid architecture, madrid warehouse, plusdeco blog, +deco, +deco blog, hanging bed, suspended bed, madrid interior design

When Clara Cebrian asked her friend the architect Pia Mendaro to do her place up, the brief was simple but tricky: be ‘almost nothing’ to work as ‘almost anything’.

The place is a 100 square meter warehouse in Madrid, a 10 meter square space with downspouts, a gable roof supported by two steel rafters, a facade with two windows and a door. A fascinating industrial shell basically. As Pia explains: “We were sure about three things: that the space must be understood as what it is – a square -, that we had to use a kitchen that Clara had bought in a sale, and that the downspouts were where they were and were immovable.

We decided to make a ‘covert wall’; a front where we could place the kitchen (everyone always wants to be in the kitchen). The kitchen would become the main protagonist of the space, and behind it, the bathroom and facilities would be hidden. The wall passes under the belt of the trusses, allowing the warehouse to be understood as it is, and prevents doors from opening directly onto the space (especially the bathroom).

In the process of locating Clara’s sleeping area, we thought of making a wheeled bed, a cabin, a box with windows … until we decided to detach ourselves from the ground. We thereby provide a horizon in the warehouse; a connection with the outside that we believe necessary for mental health. It ended up being the project’s highlight: a very light, semi-hanging platform, which in turn supports a small elevation of the roof. We designed this structure with Manuel Ocaña; 20mm steel rounds working on compression and suspension, and 8mm corrugated rods in tension. The platform accepts a maximum of 5 people on it, so we made a ladder with wheels that could hide: skinny habits.”

The result is an airy place where you feel free. A versatile space no fuss just fun, ready to host people, art or just a lot of light.

pia mendaro, clara cebrian, warehouse, madrid architecture, madrid warehouse, plusdeco blog, +deco, +deco blog, hanging bed, suspended bed, madrid interior design
Photographs by Manuel Ocana, courtesy by Pia Mendaro.
in Arts+ Crafts, Furniture, Interiors, Ispiration, People

Living in a museum

palazzo federico, palazzo contefederico, palermo, palazzo palermo, palazzo contefederico palermo, interior design palermo, places to see palermo, plusdeco blog, elena giavarini, conte alessandro federico, cool places palermo, must see palermo

Palermo is one of my favourite cities in the entire world. It is a magical, fascinating, exotic, elegant place where life seems to be so sweet that you almost feel compelled to move there. Every time I go, I discover new incredible things and my love for the city grows a bit more.

One of my recent discoveries was Palazzo Contefederico, a few steps from from the buzzing Ballaro’ market. This sixteenth century palace is still inhabited by the Count Alessandro Federico and his family; one of Alessandro’s sons guided me around the marvellous rooms of the Palazzo Contefederico. The fact that the tours are led by a member of the family and the fact it is still their home make the experience unique.

It is a very inspirational visit for the interior design lovers with colourful original tiled floors, beautiful pictures and frames, precious wall-coverings and numerous delightful glimpses into another world.

Also unmissable is the majolicas collection at Le Stanze al Genio, that I wrote about some time ago.

Unfortunately the vintage shop Mercurio & C that I photographed last year closed down (see the post). A boring jewellery shop opened instead (even if originally it was a jewellery shop).

(Photographs by Elena Giavarini)

in Color Inspiration, Furniture, Interiors, Ispiration

The Ace Hotel and New York

I feel like going to New York and spending there a few weeks if not months. I would like to spend there enough time to really be able to explore the city and slip into its folds.

In the last two years ago, I have read mainly autobiographies and biographies. I find extremely interesting reading about the developments and moods of a person who has created or done something memorable, never mind if he/she is a hotelier or a fashion designer.

The book “Just Kids” by Patty Smith have catapulted me in the Nineteen Eighties and Nineteen Ninety New York, in the buzzing Chelsea Hotel rooms, in the pre-HIV bars of the big Apple.

Another tassel that has cemented my attraction for a city that encorporates the entire world but still manage to be almost a state in itself.

So, just to put you in the mood, I am going to show you some images of an hotel where it would be nice to stay, the Ace Hotel, a trendy hotel in a 1904 building. Try to believe.

Photos courtesy Ace Hotel.

in Color Inspiration, Furniture, Interiors, Ispiration

Save yourself

joanna laven, swedish interior design, swedish interior designers, plusdeco blo, +deco, interior blogs, interior design, swedish apartments, elena giavarini

This year seems to have started well. Nobody I know has mentioned the word “SALES” yet, which makes me hope that people are becoming a bit more conservative; Emanuele Farneti, Vogue Italia’s editor in chief, has decided to not publish any photos in the magazine’s January issue and replace them with illustrations, “in a nod to the need to take action to save the environment”; and at the Golden Globes a vegan menu was served, a sign that finally the mainstream is beginning to realise that some choices can have a massive ripple effect environment and therefore have a more positive influence. Things are moving in the right direction at last. 

I am in this mood as well: save the planet, save yourself from frusrtating consumerism, save your brain from too much internet connection.

One of the best discovery I made this year it is that I can set time limits for apps, categories or websites on my iPhone. For instance if you put 15 minutes as a time limit for Instagram, after that time frame your phone asks you if it is ok to close down or if you want to to ignore the limit and continue browing. This function gives you a concrete idea of how much time you spend zoning out in front of a screen, navigating through too many images and too much incomplete information. It also suggests that it is probably time to stop and that you could be doing something else. I am also making a conscious effort to look at the sky more. I have noticed I walk most of the time looking down or at eye level (when not looking at my phone screen). I look at people, at shops, at the floor, at houses or buildings but rarely up. When I do look at the sky, I find it soothing. It is almost a little massage for my eyes.

Joanna Lavén‘s interiors are consistent with my 2020 mood: elegant and somehow sustainable because they are timeless. I love the light in this apartment and the subtly serious, very tasteful use of colors. 

in Arts+ Crafts, Color Inspiration, Furniture, Interiors, Ispiration

A designer to watch: Faina

faina, ukrain design, plusdeco boig, +deco, +deco blog, interiors blog, interior blog, clay furniture, elle decoration awards, sustainable interior design

Hello my lovely readers, sorry I haven’t post for over a week but I have had a few problems with my computer. Having carried a very heavy IMac 27′ twice to the Assistance, I gave up and I bought a new one, which actually hasn’t arrived yet. I can’t really complain because I had my current Apple for almost ten years and it has served me well for all that time even if I have abused it quite a bit. Still, changing computers and mobile phones always involves re-installing programs, transferring data and even if it is much easier than a few years ago, it is never a smooth process because it never goes according to plan, there is always a hitch.

I am not sorted yet but I really want to share something new and different with you before Christmas.

Behind Faina, the very earthy, sculptural brand we are going to speak about today, there is a Ukrainan lady, Victoriya Yakusha.

Victoriya, an architect and designer, started Faina in 2014 “to make national identity understandable and recognizable throughout the world. The collection is based on her study of the domestic traditions, materials and craft techniques that were carefully transformed into contemporary minimalist design objects”.

She uses typical Ukrainan elements like lay, felt, willow, flax and solid wood to create her organic collections and her pieces make real statements.

The ZTISTA line won the Elle Decoration International Ukraine Design Award 2019 for its beauty and its sustainability. The pieces of this collection are made of upcycled steel, flax rubber, wood chips, cellulose and clay and they look magnifically primitive. They are shaped by hand in fact.

Look at these designs properly, you will see them again!

faina, victoriya yakusha, ukrain design, plusdeco boig, +deco, +deco blog, interiors blog, interior blog, clay furniture, elle decoration awards, sustainable interior design

Photos courtesy of Faina.

in Furniture, Interiors

Customisable Schneid Studio lights

The naked light bulb trend is still pretty big but I am honest I would never use industrial looking lights bulbs in my interiors anymore.

I would use Junit lights from Schneid Studio though. You can assemble different shaped wooden pieces and different coloured cords to make your original light or get the combinations that Schneid Studio proposes and that you can see below. According to the pieces you use to assemble the light, the lamp can be taller or shorter because the pieces have different measurements. The cords come in 8 colors (white, grey, black, blue, teal, mint, red, yellow). The cable cups, in white or black, are made of soft plastic material (PVC) so that they fit tight to the ceiling. The curated version (already set) costs 249 euros each. The custom made version starts from 145 euros: the price varies according to the pieces and how many pieces you pick.

The wooden pieces reminds me of the Memphis Group geometric and colourful shapes. Schneid Studio has also some other interesting lights; for instance see the images below of the Eikon Circus series with choice of three shapes, different color and material to combine the wooden base and lampshadeCust (349 euros per lamp).

If you want to see some unusual light bulbs, look at +DECO post.

in Arts+ Crafts, Color Inspiration, Furniture, Interiors, Ispiration, Outdoor, People

Furniture made from husks of corn

Some product designers just aim to make beautiful objects, some put their effort into making something beautiful and environmentally friendly, or even something that will help preserve the biodiversity.

Fernando Laposse, a Mexican product designer recently voted Eco Designer to Watch by the British magazine Homes&Garden, is a part of the second group.

He has invented a veneer for furniture and interiors made from the husks of Mexican corn. His collection, Totomoxtle, showcases objects and furniture padded with this colourful veneer.

As you can read on Fernando Laposse website “this project goes far beyond simply aesthetics. Totomoxtle focuses on regenerating traditional agricultural practices in Mexico, and creating a new craft that generates income for impoverished farmers and promotes the preservation of biodiversity for future food security.

Unfortunately, the number of native varieties of Mexican corn are currently in sharp decline. International trade agreements, aggressive use of herbicides and pesticides, and the influx of highly modified foreign seeds have decimated the practice of growing native corn across the country: It simply isn’t very profitable anymore. The market now favours  standardised features which can only be obtained with genetically modified and hybrid corn. Additionally, the majority of the corn harvested worldwide is used to feed cattle or transformed into secondary products that range from sweeteners for processed foods to bioplastics, therefore nutritional quality is not a priority. “

I think it is important to highlight this new generation of environmentally aware designers, who invent new uses for waste and recyclable materials.

I love warm hues of Totomoxtle veneer and its tactile feeling.
Fernando Laposse is definitely one to watch.

(Photograps from Fernando Laposse website)

in Arts+ Crafts, DIY, Furniture, Interiors, Ispiration, People

The spirit of macramè

Behind these beautiful macramè creations, there is a young woman called Carla Rak with a lot to say and a very promising brand Aprile Textiles, just launched.

We have interviewed her to find out a bit more about her story, her inspiration and her designs.

You have years of experience as a photo-editor.  How did you switch from working with images to designing?

For years my main job was photography. I worked as a Photo-Editor for Contrasto while I was studying for my degree in Sociology and my PHD in Communication and carrying on my visual research; I have received awards from the Italian Institute of Philosophy and the Benetton Foundation. Since 2011 I have taught Editing and photojournalism at the ISFCI of Rome.

After I finished my studies, I left the agency and I have followed a more artistic path, exploring themes that are important to me and using various techniques and instruments that I have chosen and learnt according to the content that I wanted to express.

In my work I mainly use photographs, collage, texts and textiles. A few months ago, my book “Eyes as Oars” was published in where I experiment with archive images.

My involvement with textiles started when I taught myself embroidery and crochet: I have never considered these two techniques as instruments for making useful things like jumpers or similar things. In fact, I have always used them to express concepts and states of mind.

For instance, I made some textiles masks, a huge crochet hand that was shown in Milan in 2015, some textiles collages, embroidered or filet crochet objects; they are all an expression of my vision.

I have taught myself macramé at the beginning of 2019 and soon after I launched Aprile Textiles.

I like techniques that allow me to create an almost infinite number of different possibilities. A needle, a hook or, like for the macramé, just my hands. Compared to some of the others, this is an easy and quick to learn technique; the challenge though is finding a coherent and versatile language.

The home is an important place to me, a symbolic space where you can surround yourself with intimate and durable objects rather than industrially made and short-term things. Macramé tapestry has a simplicity to it, but it can make a statement and become the main feature of the room. Above all, thanks to the complexity of its knots and the pattern of the cords, they can make a space more intimate straight away.  

Your creations revisit the macramé technique, which is part of the Mediterranean tradition, in a very elegant and contemporary key. Where does the inspiration for your pieces come from?

When I work with images, for instance when I make collages, I realize that I move day by day towards the abstract and towards a geometric purity. Macramè can be a very decorative technique and it can be used to create complex and lavish patterns. My goal is to respect this fact but also to create more linear, more minimal and cold designs. Find a balance. It is a never-ending experimentation: I often use different cords for different projects and I have to get to know each cord, each cord reacts differently when knotted and often this means that the project can take a new route  and develop into something different during the creative process.

Each job is the result of a clash between what you had in mind and the technique that you are using. In other countries Macramè is really trendy, especially for fans of boho look which is far from my aesthetics. My references are geometry and a harmonic coexistence between shapes. I get a lot of inspiration from my city (Rome), there are so many historic gates, balconies, palaces entryways, public pavements that were decorated for the sake of making something beautiful.

Today it isn’t considered necessary and it is not budgeted for, but I believe we need beauty around us. I have a inspirational sketchbook that includes photographs of patterns and features I see on the streets.

The Aprile tapestries are handmade and their shapes and knot designs can be totally customized; they are perfect for decorating a space in many different ways. How are they mainly used by your clients?

Up to now they have mainly been used as wall tapestries. Macramè though is a very versatile technique and it can be used to make seats, lampshades, room dividers, rugs and much more. In these cases, a certain level of customization is required to meet the clients needs.

Your creations are mainly black and white. Have you ever thought about using another colour or more colours?

In the last piece I made I introduced a hint of colour. We will see. I would like to experiment in so many different ways that I would need numerous lifetimes to do it all. I am planning to make other designs with different techniques as well, as a part of Aprile. These new projects (at least in my head) have plenty of color.

(Photo courtesy Aprile)

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