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Ispiration

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 Interiors, Ispiration

Amara Interior Blog Awards Gala

plusdeco blog, +deco blog, shortlisted , interior design blog, interiors blog, best interiors blogs

So, just to recap, +DECO was shortlisted at the Amara Interior Blog Awards this year and I was invited to the awards gala. I called my friend Kelly Washbourne (a very talented painter), I told her to keep the evening free and I booked tickets to London for 14th November. It was an incredible night, very well organised, in an lovely place and full of interesting, creative people. I didn’t win but I was very proud to be shortlisted and to be there.

These are some photos of the event taken by the official photographer, Clemènt Lauchard (a part from the bottom one, a silly shot of m taken by Kelly).

My 24 hours in London (unfortunately I couldn’t stay more because of work) were a blast. I spent some quality time with my pal Kelly, wandered around London, attended the gala, slept 4 hours, went to the V&A to see the Tim Walker exhibition and the museum, walked around some more and had lunch with Kelly and the lovely Sara and her baby girl Edie.

My flight was late, I couldn’t find a cab to get home from the airport because of the torrential rain and I ended up getting there at 1.30 but it doesn’t matter. I would do it all again.

plusdeco blog, +deco blog, shortlisted , interior design blog, interiors blog, best interiors blogs
in Arts+ Crafts, Interiors, Ispiration, People

The Giacometti Foundation

Giacometti is one of the first artists I fell in love with; he is one of the first members of my imaginary inspiration family.

When my sister and I started squabbling too much, my parents put a single bed in the studio and that became my bedroom. I grew up surrounded by floor to ceiling bookshelves. The bookshelves were full of so many different types of books: scientific texts, the best novels from all over the world, art catalogues, travel books, dictionaries and encyclopaedias. When bored, I would pick a book and flick through it. The books I devoured during those years are part of the person I am now. I will always be grateful to my parents for this, even if at the time I thought it was unfair not having a proper bedroom.

When I first found a book about Giacometti, it was love at first sight. I was moved by his essential, textural, fleshless, fragile human beings.

It is with great pleasure that I dedicate this post to the Giacometti Foundation, an institute centred on Giacometti‘s work and art. The Giacometti Foundation is composed of the Giacometti Institute, a place dedicated to exhibitions and research and the Giacometti Foundation a place closed to the public, dedicated to the protection, disclosure and promotion of Giacometti’s work. The Giacometti Institute is located in 5, Rue Victor Schoelcher in Paris the Montparnasse neighbourhood where the Swiss artist lived and worked throughout his career. The Institute covers an area of 350 square metres, in the former studio of artist and interior designer Paul Follot, an elegant Art Deco building with flowery decorations, wooden floors and a lot of light (see the images below). The Giacometti Institute hosts 3 or 4 temporary exhibitions a year and frequent educational activities. For instance, a few months ago the Institute hosted an exhibition putting together Giacometti and Peter Lindbergh! On a permanent basis, you can see a reconstruction of Alberto Giacometti‘s studio with his furniture, personal objects and walls painted by the artist. 

P.S: For some more about what I mean for my inspirational family, read this post.

Giacometto Fondation, Giacometti Foundation, Giacometti Institute, Giacometti Paris, plusdeco blog, +deco blog, interior blog, elena giavarini, art blog, giacometti exhibition

(Photos courtesy of the Fondation Giacometti)

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)

in Interiors, Ispiration

+DECO in the final!

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!

in Ispiration, Outdoor

September musings

I have always felt that my year starts in September and not in January. I believe in scholastic years, probably because I always go on holiday in August and in September I feel mentally energized and inspired, ready to start a new period of my life.

I am reading Michelle Obama’s autobiography that has a very powerful title “Becoming”. In the preface, she explains why she decided to write a book and she says: “There’s a lot I still don’t know about America , about life, about what the future might bring. But I know myself.”

That is exactly how I feel, familiar with myself, with my flaws and qualities, with my strengths and vulnerabilities. It took ages to arrive at this point and a lot of pushing boundaries even when I was terrified.

As Michelle points out: “Even when it ‘s not pretty or perfect. Even when it more real than you want it to be. Your story is what you have, what you will always have. It is something to own”.

And this is why you should try to make it as interesting and joyful as you can, taking some risks and always putting things into perspective.

Have a nice year, all of you. ❤❤❤

In the photograph below the title, Gurnard’s Head in Cornwall, UK. In the photograph below, trees in Caprera, Sardinia, Italy. Both photos taken by me.

in Arts+ Crafts, Interiors, Ispiration

About Anastasia Savinova’s collages and eating meat

anastasia savinova, plusdeco blog, +deco blog, +deco, collages, art anastasia, art anastasia savinova, collages houses, collages architecture, interior design blog, italian interior design blog

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.”

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