I am thrilled to announce that +DECO has been shortlisted in the Best Interior Design Inspiration category by the international Amara Interior Blog Awards. I am going to London in November to attend the awards ceremony.
I am so happy that +DECO is growing and getting recognition, it makes me proud. In the last few years I have worked hard to post inspirational content, to propose different points of view and I have tried to keep +DECO an honest take on the interior and lifestyle world.
Thank you so much to the jury and to all the people who have voted for me without being asked to. Thank you to the sponsor, Missoni Home.
London I am coming, whatever is going to happen, for me it is already a victory!
I am back to reality in Rome after two weeks touring England. I came back inspired and mentally energised ( I will tell you all about it in my next post) but in need of a diet. Even if in Britain the cooking ability and the awareness of quality of ingredients has increased, meat is still a widely common ingredient and most people eat meat at least once a day. I need to go back to my almost meat-free diet, which is -no doubt- better for the environment and better for my body.
Cutting your meat consumption should be the first answer as well for all the people who feel indignant about what is happening in the Amazon.
This is not the place to explain why, there are numerous scientific reports, documentaries, articles out there that prove why animal agricultural is the most polluting factor nowadays.
Going back to a more suitable subject for +deco, I want to finish the month with some original collages by Anastasia Savinova.
They represent the possibility of building something solid uniting different elements.
The collages are part of a series called Genius Loci. As explained on Anastasia Savinova‘s website, “each work is composed of numerous photographs of buildings and landscape forms that are true and authentic for a studied area. These works balance between documentary and fiction, factual and imaginary spaces, and become keepers of the memory and the spirit of the Place.”
When I was living in London, Formica cafes where still quite common, above all in the more run down areas; they generally opened until two o’clock in the afternoon and they used to serve classic English breakfasts or simple sandwiches (ham and cheese or similar), obviously accompanied by steaming cups of tea. When they first opened in the Fifties, these cafes introduced a new concept of catering: a cheap, faster, simpler alternative to restaurants yet not as impersonal and quick as fast-food outlets. They were new and they wanted to look new. It isn’t surprising that Formica, a relatively new affordable material, easy to clean and heat-resistant, was the preferred choice for the furniture.
These places have always trigged a sensation of cosiness and familiarity in me and when I found out that Child Studio had opened a new place in Kings Cross in London called Humble Pizza, but often referred to as the Formica Cafè, I was quite curious to see the photos.
Humble Pizza is an explosion of pinkness but what you notice the most is its Fifties feel. All that pale pink screams Fifties inspiration, it’s timeless. Pink formica covers the walls, tables, counter fronts and a subtle cherry wood framing divides the formica panels.
A mosaic tiled floor and some classic mid-century lights by European designers Poul Henningsen, Jacques Biny and Luigi Massoni complete the evocative vibrant look.
Olive green painted portions add interest and define spaces.
The two creative minds behind Child Studio, Chieh Huang and AlexeyKostikov(see photo below), have looked back at the history of the street where Humble Pizza is, an area buzzing with alternative creativity in the Seventies and Eighties, inextricably linked to Vivienne Westwood’s punk genius.
Evidently they wanted to create a place where people could hang out, read, exchange information and feel energized by the food and the environment.
In my opinion, they haven’t just succeeded in that but also in designing an enveloping calming place.
It looks like they wanted to create a place where people could hang out, read, exchange information and feel energized by the food and the environment.
In my opinion, they haven’t just succeeded in that but also in designing an enveloping calming place and a place that you will want to photograph.
This Adventure Cat Tent by Tinker Trading as sold out quickly in some colors and understandably. It is very cute, practical and it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg like some design cat beds you see around.
It is lifted from the floor making it easier to vacuum and it can be transformed in a hammock. The fabric cover can be put in the washing machine.
If you make some cat beds, check +deco previous post here.
We have more than once spoken about the fact that I love old things, for their quality and the stories they have.
Very modern and bare apartments are not for me.
For me there is a contemporary elegance created by the charm of natural materials, inspiration from the past, furniture tailoring; this elegance never tires the eyes.
It is what I call the ‘well made with taste’ category.
This apartment in Warsaw, furnished by Marta Chapkra of Studio Colombe, is a perfect example of this elegance. To tell you the truth, all the work by Studio Colombe is an example of this.
The wooden herringbone floor and a sophisticated choice of colors form a background for some refined pieces. The choice of natural colors, all light, is vibrant. White is presented in different hues, it is never simply white. Textiles introduce color and structure.
The kitchen, custom made like a lot of the furniture, is original but simple.
The insertion of wooden circles, the division in panels, the two colors, the marble backsplashes are all endearing elements.
The art, small and discrete paintings, add interest without dominating the scene.
I would move into this apartment tomorrow, without changing anything.
Rarely do I feel like stating something like that but in this case the balance between the quality and the taste of the decoration has really impressed me. Studio Colombe‘s house looks comfortable to live in, really comfortable, full of wardrobes and easy to live in spaces.
How are you? In Rome we went from wearing woolen jumpers to 30 degrees in a few hours.
I had to pack the winter stuff and take out the summer dresses and sandals in a hurry.
I took the chance to throw away a few things; like most people, I have quite a few pieces of clothing that I keep but I don’t wear, for some obscure reasons. I like them but not enough to wear them, evidently.
I also don’t have a good full-figure mirror which makes wardrobe-related decisions more difficult. The long mirror I have makes me look shorter and fatter (I hope). Sometimes, when I need an honest image of myself, I use the mirror in the lift, how ridiculous.
Flos has recently released a 205 cm mirror that would serve this purpose well, La Plus Belledesigned by Philippe Starck.
It is a long oval with a led light incorporated and an optical opal silicone diffuser. The aluminium frame is available in polished gold, polished copper, polished bronze and brill fumé. La Plus Bellewould add interest and a nice soft ambient light to any entryway or corridor.
I have been following Vito Nesta for a few years and his world, through his creations has become more and more familiar to me.
It is actually an exotic and familiar world, with numerous different stimuli.
Born in Puglia, graduated in Florence and adopted by Milan, Vito Nesta is an insatiable traveller, one of those types that lives the concept of travelling and for which travelling means exploring. He can find inspiration on a trip far from home or just wandering around the streets of the city he lives in: the secret is wanting to discover new things and the curiosity that leads you find something magical even around the corner.
I have asked him a few questions and as usual, he was a real gentleman.
Your designs speak about various sources of inspiration that you get from your travelling and an exotic imaginary from different periods. Have you got an archive of images, objects, books that you use as a mood board?
I have a big archive of materials that I have collected during my numerous trips.
I love going to markets and quirky vintage or antique shops, losing myself in the streets of a city I don’t know well; often I come across old second hand dealers or bookshops and I always find amazing things, I must attract them somehow. I periodically attend auctions where I buy antique engravings, books and whatever catches my eye. Everything can become source of inspiration, for instance my collection of dishes called Natsumi for my brand Grand Tour was inspired by the decorations found on an old wardrobe doors.
Which one of your projects or designs is the one you are more affectionate with and why?
I am affectionate with all of them more or less because each one tells a story, my story and the story of the project. Some though have given me more satisfaction. Generally I am more attached to the latest projects because, like babies, they need more attention.
In your recent exhibition “Travel music. Vito Nesta in the rooms of Giuseppe Verdi” curated by Annalisa Rosa and sponsored by Bonaudo, in the incredible rooms that hosted Giuseppe Verdi at the Grand Hotel et de Milan, you have proved again your sophisticated cromatic sensitivity. How did the idea of these site specific installations come to you?
When I visited the Grand Hotel and the Verdirooms two years ago for the first time, I fell deeply in love with that space. I promised myself that there and only there I would present my first personal exhibition one day. The Grand Hotel is a place full of history and so much has happened there over the last 150 years. So many incredible people have passed through and each one of them has left a sign or a trace.
With “Travel Music” I am trying to tell some of these stories; for instance the collection of dishes Grand Hotel et De Milan speak about Milan and it is my elaboration of historical materials that you find in the hotel rooms; the two canopic vases made by Ceramiche Gatti, for instance, recall two iconic statues also present in the Hotel (one dedicated to the abolition of slavery in Brazil and the other a Moor holding a big lantern).
All these elements were then surrounded by an architectural scale installation, using specially tinted leather, produced by Bonaudo, a company that has made a name for itself working quality leathers and sponsored the project. “Travel Music” has given back a piece of history to the city, offering people a new vision, not enclosed in a museum.
What advice would you give to young designers?
The advice I would give to new designers is to have a lot of patience and determination. This job has become extremely difficult and it is almost impossible to see results in a short period.
The most important thing is to set goals and pursuing your dream without distraction.
Sliding into the cold, rough North Atlantic Ocean, there is a unique semi-submerged restaurant called Under near Lindesnes, in Norway.
Based in an incredibly powerful setting, Under offers its guests a unique point of view, five and half metres under the water, and a simple yet sophisticated menu.
The restaurant, designed by the Snøhettastudio with precious contributions from several local partners, is perfectly integrated into the craggy shoreline and at ease in the midst of the often sudden weather changes.
The style is essential and the real decoration is the magical rarefied light coming from the big windows looking into the deep water and the sea life it contains.
Watch the video on You Yube where the chef Nicolai Ellitsgaard explains the philosophy of the restaurant and you’ll be looking for an excuse to go.
I was in Milan last week and as usual I saw a lot of interesting things but also trends that I had already predicted in previous years.
This is my list of the 2019 interior trends after visiting this year’s edition of ISaloni.
I predicted that rounded sofas were going to be a big trend in 2017 but the world probably wasn’t ready at the time to embrace completely different shapes of sofa and armchair so it took a while for the trend to explode properly.
We spoke about it a few months ago in the post “White is back (and rounded sofas”) and since then this look has spread even more.
At the Salone del Mobile this year Adrenalina, an Italian brand, had the best examples in my book: well made, comfortable and original.
Bigala by Roberto Giacomucci is the perfect private nest and it can come with electric sockets and a little table:
Bixib by Luca Alessandrini changes perspective according to the point of view and the base is a mix of silk and bioresin.
NEW WALL SCONCES
Wall lamps that offer ambient light, perfect for corridors or entryways are finally back in fashion. It is something that you have probably seen in your grandmother’s house but the new designs are something else, geometrical, efficient, sexy.
Nemo has two wall lights I really like, very linear, very impressive.
Wall Shadows by Charles Kalpakian:
And Tubes by Charles Kalpakian:
In 2019 we will see a return to natural materials, especially wood.
Wicker will also have a renaissance.
Wicker chairs make a come back with new fun looks.
Lisetta by Elena Salmistraro for Bottega Intreccio is glamorous and funky at the same time. The four cushions in different hues make them unique.
Fratelli Boffi 5610/C LUI 5-A is a wicker throne more than a simple chair. It comes in different colors.
Versatile tiles are tiles that can be mixed and matched to achieve a unique (or at least different) pattern.
Versatile tiles are generally monochromatic and they come in various shapes. The idea is actually old: you can find amazing floors made of monochromatic tiles from the 1800’s and the first 60 years of 1900.
The tiles can be combined for colors or shapes and can be put horizontally or vertically in some cases.
Micro for instance offers a variety of micro tiles or mosaic tassels that you can freely combine; they are then sold in blocks.
Visit Micro‘s website to fully understand the extensions of their tiles and mosaic possibilities.