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in Color Inspiration, Furniture, Interiors, Ispiration, People

A new adventure for Child Studio

A new adventure for Child Studio!

The creative British Child Studio duo has collaborated with British brand Floor_Story to create a colourful rugs collection inspired by the Bauhaus, an artistic movement started in an art school that operated in Germany between 1919 and 1933. The collection’s title, 19-19, gets its name from the beginning of this period and it consists in 6 handwoven wool and silk rugs, called after some of the most relevant Bauhaus female artists and designers.

As Alexy Kos and Che Huang, the founders of Child Studio, explained:

“Bauhaus aesthetic is often seen as something rather austere and unrelenting, but we have always been fascinated by the rich and inventive use of colour in the interiors & graphics produced by the artists associated with this movement. We always try to inject colour in our interior work and this project was an opportunity to tell a new story entirely through the abstract means of geometry and colour.”

The collection was photographed at the Isokon Building in London, designed by the architect Wells Coates. Many founders and key figures of the Bauhaus School like Walter Gropius, László Moholy-Nagy and Marcel Breuer lived in this modernist building in the 1930’s. The wood-panelled interiors are to die for, the perfect setting for Child Studio new adventure and Floor_Story‘s gorgeous rugs!

Photos Felix Speller & Child Studio, courtesy Child Studio.

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

Alfhild Külper’s deep work

There are some books that have the power to ignite awareness. When you finish reading them, a seed has been planted and a new awareness has been introduced . These books become part of what you ultimately are.

At the moment I am reading “Deep Work” by Cal Newport. I don’t know yet if it is going to be part of the books that make me but I can tell you that it has already given me food for thought.

Deep work is what we do when we focus and concentrate for a stretch of time. It is quality, on-task work produced in a state of total focus. It is what artisans do all the time: they devout their attention to what they are creating, every step is important, every distraction could compromise the final result. It is what Alfhild Külper does when she makes her beautiful wool creations. With a busy, frenetic job as a head of design at a luxury fashion house, Alfhid was looking forward to engage in something more hands on and felt the urge to make something intricate and soft.

She has started creating beautiful, hand knotted rugs inspired by nature. Each piece require many hours of patient attention, many hours of deep work.

Alfhid Külper rugs are pieces that last forever, that combine tactile and visual emotions.

(Photographies courtesy of the artist)
in Interiors, Ispiration, Outdoor, People

The hotel of the year: The Birch

The Birch is a hotel where you can have fun, socialise, rest and reflect in Hertfordshire, England, just 30 minutes north of London. Not bad for a countryside hotel, no wonder it has been voted the Hotel of the Year 2020 by the London magazine Times. Apart from the many cool indoor and outdoor spaces (and bars) where you can meet people or simply hang out, there are several workshops (glassblowing, pottery, bread making), a yoga room, a cinema, an on-site organic farm and a wellness space. The original features of this 1763 Georgian mansion were preserved and not overwhelmed by the furniture which is a wonderful selection of functional pieces that range from trendy vintage to the more modern. The interior was curated by the architect studio Red Deer, run by founders Chris King and Chris Penn.

(Photos by Adam Firman, courtesy of The Birch)

in Color Inspiration, Interiors, Ispiration, People

Child Studio for Cubitts

I ended my last post about the Child Studio 3D project Casa Plenaire saying, “I can’t wait to see their next project!” and here we are!

This time the British creative duo (Che Huang and Alexy Kos) moved to Brighton to design the new Cubitts store. They took their inspiration from Martin Parr’s photography series The Last Resort featuring images of beach life. The British photographer succeeded in capturing the eccentricity of human ordinary existence with unusual chromatic combinations.

Studio Child designed the spectacles store around two colours, a cerulean blue and a very pale yellow for a modernist look. The result is fresh and contemporary.

Have a look as well at the cool Humble Cafe’ in London designed by Studio Child, a triumph of pink and formica!

Photographs courtesy Child Studio.

in Interiors, Ispiration, Outdoor, People

I fell in love with this refuge

At the foot of Monte Rosa (which means pink mountain because of its color at dawn), in a sort of valley scattered with rocks spread out like crumbs from the rocky walls surrounding it, there is a cute refuge built in 1925 and re-decorated in the 1980’s (hence the formica tables), the Rifugio Zamboni-Zappa.

I spent a night there in July with Alex and Giulio and I took at least thirty photos with my smartphone. Waking up in such an outstanding location and having breakfast in such a unique refuge, it is an experience in life.

The refuge is set in a valley on the East side of the imposing Monte Rosa, The refuge is set in a valley on the east side of the imposing Monte Rosa, offering a unique perspective of the mountain. To get there, you have to take two chair lifts (or walk it, depending on your legs) from Macugnaga, ascending panoramic paths and crossing the glacier, it normally takes about an hour.

The refuge, run by a lovely, friendly couple, is open during the good weather season and hosts people for the night or just for lunch.

I recommend you sleep there (don’t forget to book).

When at the end of afternoon the last group of tourists leave, you find yourself in the shade of Monte Rosa‘s peaks, surrounded by the force of nature and an epic solitude and this beautiful refuge is the perfect place to experience it from.

in Furniture, Interiors, People

Angelot, turn disadvantages into advantages

Angelot -a patisserie shop in Xiasha in China– was born from the experience and vision of two young but very experienced Chinese architects,  Yan Zhang and Jianan Shan, founders of Say Architects studio.

The architects managed to solve some evident architectural disadvantages, like the recessed front door and the fact that the full height window inside that face a nice view. They didn’t try to hide these disadvantages, they made them focal points, strengths. The entrance, covered in customized tiles, is curved and it accompanies the clients inside, revealing the dining area slowly, like a surprise. In order to make sense to the two different heights between entry level (very low) and dining area (very high), they created a changing clearance along the route.

They used customized GRC (glass fiber reinforced concrete) to soften the wall and the semitransparent curtain to block exterior view but keeping the sunlight.

Some lemon tree add color and bring nature in the interiors, the cherry on the cake.

Photographs by Hao Zhang, courtesy of Say Architects.

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

Food stylist Kate Wesson about inspiration and lockdown

I have known Kate Wesson for a few years now. We have spent some lovely weekends in Rome together walking around and eating delicious food. Kate is a keen food explorer, a curious eater and passionate about all things related to food and its presentation . It is not a coincidence that she has had so much success working as a food stylist and food writer, she boasts a long list of brands and agencies that she has collaborated with. I love Kate’s instagram because it shows her passion for beautiful food. She posts images of what she cooks on a daily basis; her Instagram makes you salivate! Her style is honest and attractive, as food should always be.I recently asked Kate a few questions about her work and how to make this lockdown more yummy.

When did you decide to become a food stylist ?

“I made the transition from chef to food stylist fairly early on in my career at the age of 25. Working in the food industry back in the early 2000’s the hours were long poorly paid and tough. I had always enjoyed the visuals of food as much as creating something that tastes amazing. I love the different visual texture and colour combinations you can create and I recognised that the plating of dishes was often where I felt I was able to express myself the most.”

What’s been your most interesting jobs as a food stylist?

“As a very small scale micro influencer I was flown out to the Italian island of Pantelleria to document the food and culture of this beautiful place to help promote the film A Bigger Splash starring Tilde Swinton and Ralf Finns that was set on the island. I had 2 great guides who took me around  and we visited the local producers, made fresh ricotta and visited the terraces where the famous pantelleria capers are grown. The island was quiet as we were out of season so we had some restaurants opening especially for us serving some delicious local dish’s cooked only for us. I loved hearing the story of how certain dishes have come about and meeting the producers who have such a passion and finding a way of documenting this through a series of images was a career highlight.” 

How do you find cooking these days without being able to pop to the shops whenever you want to get ingredients? 

“I’ve always been a creative cook but the current situation has really pushed me creatively to  try new combinations out and I am often substituting ingredients with success (but not always!) sometimes I’ve had some real wins. The main ingredient that seems to be difficult/ near impossible to get hold of is wheat flour, it seems the only flour often left on the shelf is buckwheat and I have enjoyed using this although I am missing making pasta as I’ve run out of 00 flour now. 

I have never liked food waste and recently I seemed to have stepped this up a gear too and I don’t seem to waste a single scrap any more. All stems, cores and cheese rinds are kept in a big tub in the freezer and when amassed made into stocks perhaps with a chicken carcass or left over bone from the freezer. Left over chicken skin from a Sunday roast is rendered off for its fat and the left over crispy skin is used to top a ramen or crumbled into a salad. Any peelings like potato, carrot or artichoke are crisped in olive oil and salt and eaten as a snack. This morning I found 3 bruised overly soft pears in the fruit bowl normally I would have thrown them out but instead I whizzed them up in my blender with some maple syrup, mixed spice and melted coconut oil and used this mixed to make delicious granola by mixing it with some oats, whole nuts and seeds and some chopped stem ginger. I love this new found thrifty behaviour and it seems to be spreading I hope when this is all over its something we all still manage to keep hold of. 

Ive also been foraging outside when I’m out for our daily 1 hour of exercise at the moment I can pick up nettle tops, wild garlic and wisteria.” 

Can you recommend interesting places to shop online for interesting table ware? 

“As stylists we often go to the London prop houses to source and hire tableware/linens background surfaces and all things food related these places are like an Aldines cave full of treasures. When shopping for home or an extra special piece for a photo shoot : Kana Ana, David Mellor, La Tuile a Loup, Texit Vicens, Volga Linen are a few of my favourite places to source from.”

What’s your favourite cuisine?

“I love to explore many different cuisines, food in the UK is very encompassing and London has some amazing restaurants from all around the globe. I find my taste change all the time, we are loving south American food at the moment ceviche and tacos have been something we have cooked a lot recently. I am also enjoying fermenting vegetables and experimenting with this technique which is handy to keep foods for longer during the lock done days.”

All photographs are taken and styled and all the food prepared by Kate Wesson, as the amazing Japanese Okonomiyaki Pancakes Recipe is that you can find below.

KATE’S LOCK DOWN JAPANESE OKONOMIYAKI PANCAKES RECIPE

Serves 2 

Ingredients 

150g plain flour 

2 eggs 

150ml water

1 tsp baking powder 

salt 

200g Finely shredded Chinese cabbage 

A handful of finely shredded kale 

A handful of shredded left over- chicken, chopped ham or grated cheddar cheese 

2 spring onions finely chopped 

1 tsp minced ginger 

70g finely chopped kimchi or sauerkraut or other fermented vegetable 

sunflower/rapeseed or groundnut oil 

4 tablespoons of okonomiyaki sauce or make your own by mixing together the following: 2 tbsp. Ketchup ,1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce ,1 tbsp. Honey, 1 tsp soy sauce, 3 tbsp. of mayonnaise, ideally from a squeezy bottle.

Extra optional toppings: 

A tbsp. of toasted sesame seeds/ black or white or both 

Finely sliced spring onion 

1 tbsp. pickled ginger 

sprinkle of chopped chilly

1 tbsp. siracha hot sauce 

A sprinkle of Bonito flakes 

A sprinkle of finely shredded nori seaweed 

A handful of chopped herbs such as chives or coriander 

Method 

  • Place the flour, baking powder and a good pinch of salt in a large mixing bowl and whisk together. Crack the eggs into the bowl and whisk in with 150ml of water until you have a smooth batter. 
  • Stir in the remaining ingredients, don’t be afraid to substitute with what you have left over as ingredients are very interchangeable but always making sure you include the cabbage. 
  • Heat a tbsp. of oil in a medium sized non-stick frying pan over a medium heat; spoon in half the batter to make 2 large pancakes and cook until golden, carefully flipping to cook the reverse side and repeating the process with the remaining batter. Alternatively you can make several smaller ones by spooning in the batter and cooking in batches.  
  • When the pancakes are cooked on both sides, brush the top with a little of the okonomiyaki sauce until lightly glazed. Slide the pancakes onto plates and drizzle with the mayonnaise and a little more of the okonomiyaki sauce, sprinkle over the optional extra toppings and devour! 
in Color Inspiration, Furniture, Interiors, Ispiration, Outdoor, People

Casa Plenaire by Studio Child

Traveling with your mind and fantasy is a skill that we have developed over thousands of years but with the level of realism we’re now used to on TV and social media it seems we’re using our imagination less sometimes. The new abstract looks much more real.

Thanks to the technological evolution, we can create worlds that look like or are better than the one we live in, we can make objects with a complex printer and build idyllic spaces sitting at our desk.

This is what Studio Child did for Plenaire, a dynamic, sustainable British skincare brand. Che Huang and Alexy Kos designed the perfect lockdown escape, a place where most of us would rather be now. Using a 3D program, the prolific duo designed a house by the sea (maybe on an island), flooded by light and air. The rooms remind me of the white-washed Greek houses hugging hills that roll down to azure oceans or the southern Italian houses with sleek rounded edges and circular ceilings surrounded by olive groves. The furniture is spartan but chosen carefully: pieces by Pierre Paulin, Eero Aarnio and Greta von Nessen go together with summer objects like stray hats, shells, fans and amphoras.

Studio Child has nailed it again, I can’t wait to see their next project! In the meanwhile, check out one of their recent cool projects, Humble Pizza in London.

Images courtesy of Child Studio

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

Let’s go to Paris! JAG Gallery

And just like that, traveling has become a distant memory, if not impossible. All of a sudden, borders have been closed and our immediate area where we live has became our whole world. Who knows how long for it will be that we won’t be able to take a plane, a train or a boat on a whim, not for work, pleasure or to explore, no matter how big the urge to escape is, no matter how much we want to visit a loved one.

What I like about blogging is that it allows me to make people travel from their desks to somewhere they might not imagine themselves going to, to inspire curiosity, to show readers new exciting things and places.

After Marrakech and the YSL Museum, Rome with the project by m2ft , Milan with Spinzi Design, today we are going to fly with imagination to Paris, to the sophisticated Galerie Jag.

Galerie Jag is where curator Jessica Barouch displays a carefully selected collection of objects and furniture by artists from all over the world.

The space is a cosy apartment in the 7th Arrondissement, displaying wonderful attention to detail and “beautify” (a word Jessica uses and that I love) by displaying numerous sculptural pieces that are a part of Galerie Jag’s collection.

Colors and materials play an important role in unifying all the artistic elements: warm white, black backgrounds, wood, earthy and mellow hues.

Designed by Yuko Nishikaya
Designed by Yuko Nishikaya
Designed by Floris Wubben
Designed by Floris Wubben
Designed by Michael Verheyden
Designed by Ryosuke Yazaki

(Images courtesy of JAG Galerie)

in Furniture, Interiors, Ispiration, People

Spinzi Design Roots

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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)

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