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in Color Inspiration, Ispiration, Outdoor, People

Some thoughts and the project CoRome

Like a large part of the world’s population, I am on a lockdown because of the virus Covid-19 and I have been confined to my house for the past three weeks. This period has forced me to review some of my thought processes and points of view enhanced by the constant daily frenzy. This uncertain period has revolutionized the rhythm of our days, leaving a trail of lost appointments and meetings, leaving time for thoughts and reflection.

Outdoor spaces are now desolated and socialising is taking a new direction. On one side, the forced cohabitation has made us rediscover the joy of being together and the art of patience, on the other side, in the majority of the cases, relationships have been forced down the virtual route but maybe more frequent, sweetened by the fear.

We are seeing numerous photographs of the city where I live, Rome, empty and desolate as it has never been before and the ones I’m publishing here have caught my attention due to their impact.

It is a project by m²ft , an architecture studio established by Flavio Martella and Maria Vittoria Tesei based in Madrid and Rome.

They have had this to say::

“Rome. A chaotic, noisy, populated, busy, polluted, lively city. The images of the places and monuments of Rome are impossible to separate from the thousands of people who crowd it: they are the continuous layer that characterizes this city. Or at least the city before the coronavirus.

Today Rome presents itself, like many other cities in the world, in a vest in which it had never been seen. Pure architecture without people; pure form without users; pure urbanization without urban population; pure public space without public. A temporary scenario that has the flavour of the apocalyptic, reminding of dystopian tales and movies that were hoped to remain only in the collective imagination.

We knew in fact that we lived in a fragile reality, always close to collapse, but we didn’t think it could be so weak. But thanks to coronavirus we are entering a new era where all the past choices can be questioned, having tasted, even briefly, what we are facing.This is therefore a project that critically addresses the new urban situations that are emerging from the pandemic. It then displays the toxic atmosphere that is consciously and unconsciously attributed to the public space and to all situations related to it, accentuating the idea of fear that today is associated with it. To do so, we use a graphic style inspired by science fiction, to highlight how, until a few days ago, these situations seemed to have happened only in stories.”

Images courtesy of m²ft Studio
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 Arts+ Crafts, Furniture, Interiors, Ispiration, People

Living in a museum

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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 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.

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(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, People

Creativity is fuelled by curiosity

Many things have been said and many more things are going to be said about Karl Lagerfield now he is dead, I don’t think you need me to state the obvious.

I just wanted to pay homage to an incredibly creative person and reiterate that creativity, as I stated many times before, is fuelled by curiosity.

in DIY, Interiors, Ispiration, People

+deco, this year it is the 9th best trending interior design blog!

I started +deco a few years ago, during a transitional period of my life when many things were changing . I started to write the blog just after I had given birth to my son and after I had left my full time job to start my free lance career. Whilst writing and designing +deco, I have learnt a lot about technology, graphic design, people and myself. Somehow, +deco and myself have grown together and I have gained much more confidence as a woman, a professional and a blogger in the last few years.

I have always been the kind of person who can manage to get by without much effort. I finished university with full marks , I managed to build a nice life in London even if I couldn’t speak English much when I moved there and I had never studied it, I have always done ok at sports because I am tall and lean, I have always been able to do ok without committing too much to anything.

But at some point in my life I discovered that if you want to have control over your life, you need more, you need to know what you want and be persistent in achieving it. What you want can be whatever you like, what you enjoy or simply something that attracts you. Now, I still have a bit of road to do professionally but I have definitely become the person I wanted to be and I hope this reflects on my blog.

The full list of the Best Trending Interior Design Blogs, here.

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

Leila Ataya, my latest obsession

Leila Ataya is my latest obsession. I love the sexiness of her dark age futuristic heroines. I love the detail in her paintings.

I know in my last post I ranted about what a waste of money and time Christmas presents can be sometimes but this is different.

So my dear friends and family (or I should say, my dear Father Christmas), could I please have a painting from Leila Ataya this year?

I have been a good girl, I promise….

 

in Furniture, Interiors, Ispiration, People

Gorgeous furniture by Anna Karlin

Lets speak about this.

This gorgeous, sweet looking girl called Anna Karlin

……who designs the gorgeous, sexy furniture below.

I am not a green-eye monster generally but some people seem to be blessed with beauty and talent, some more than others, let’s be honest.

Now, the question is, does being beautiful help in being successful?

I think it can either help you or in the long run make it more difficult. If you manage to rely on your looks and actually invest in your personality and abilities, being good-looking is a strength. If you only rely on your looks, you generally grow fragile because you need a lot more than that to safely cruise along in this world.

But let’s speak about the gorgeous furniture collection the super talented Anna Karlin has designed.

The stools or occasional tables are very interesting and elegant.

The black planters are basically the only planters I have seen that look like a piece of furniture and not a cage for pots.

I am in love !!!

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