in Furniture

Vitra’s new idea of shelf

Perhaps only people from the UK will understand this but sometimes I can hear myself saying “I want that one” with the same tone of voice of Matt Lucas playing Andy in the brilliant comedy sketch show “Little Britain”.
Yes, I want those beautiful shelves that look like natural protrusions of the wall, designed by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec for Vitra. The Corniches come in three different forms, sizes and colours for a honest price and they are wide enough to hold books or be used as a coin tray or wall pocket.  They have a lot personality by themselves which means you can display successfully even an ordinary object  (just be careful to get the proportions right). 
in Furniture

Ikea PS 2012 – part II


I have to say, sometimes Ikea products look much better in the catalogue. I’ve already spoken about the Ikea PS 2012 “Ikea’s new eco design vintage collection” but after having had the chance to examine the Ikea PS 2012 collection, I have to say that some items were a little disappointing. 

For instance, the floor light Ikea PS 2012 looks a bit odd, it’s only 66 cm high and the material of the lampshade looks cheap, it looks a bit like cheap mosquito net. I can only picture it in a little girl’s extremely girly bedroom but in my opinion it’s not worth it (119 euros in Italy). On the other hand, the Ikea PS 2012 pendant light looks good and the real added value are the range of colours (blue and yellow being my favorite). The best piece is definitely the outdoor chair by Wiebke Braasch.  
The Raskog trolley is not part of the PS collection but it’s worth a mention, it’s in a lovely mint green and can be used to keep a room tidy and display anything, from magazines to fabrics to kitchen bits and bobs. 
in Color Inspiration, DIY, Interiors

Neat masculine bedrooms

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Four beautiful neat bedroom looks that I would almost define masculine. If you decide to keep it minimal, it’s really important to find the right balance between natural raw materials, quality textiles and distinctive details, if you don’t want it to look just bare and boring. Also if you do go for this sort of look, keep in mind that it works only if it’s clutter free (and lets be honest men sometimes don’t understand this concept). 
Quattro look lineari per la camera da letto, che defineri quasi maschili. Se vuoi andare sul minimale, è importante trovare il giusto equilibrio fra materiali naturali, tessuti di qualità e dettagli di carattere, altrimenti il risultato potrebbe essere spoglio e noioso. Inoltre, se si opta per questo tipo di look, bisogna tenere presente che funziona solo se tenuto ordinato e con pochi oggetti.
in Color Inspiration, Interiors

The Glade, a new idea of trompe l’oeil

I just came across a curious and sophisticated new version of a trompe l’oeil and I couldn’t resist  publishing it.
Carolyn Quantermaine has collaborated with Belgian artist Didier Mahieu on the new design of The Glade at Sketch in London, coming up with an exotic, decadent, dreamy garden that functions as a tea room by day and a bar by night. In order to recreate the depth of a forest, they enlarged an image from a Communion card, recoulored with paint and printed it again, cut it and rearranged it with the decoupage technique. What is it? Is it wallpaper (the print process suggests so)? Is it a trompe l’oeil (the painting process and the fact that it looks tridimensional suggest so)? Is it decoupage? Is it an art piece or a design product? Who knows, we just know that it looks amazing and that it is very innovative.
in Arts+ Crafts

Trompe l’oeil and street art

Sala d’Estate, Palazzo Chigi, Ariccia (Italy).
by Andrea Mantegna, St.Ignazio Church,Rome (Italy)
by Pere Borrell del Caso, Collection Banco de Espana, Madrid
by Escif, Katowice (Poland)
by Edgar Mueller
by Bansky, West Bank (Israeli)
Vank Square, Teheran
A bit of culture: it’s always handy being able to drop a french word into conversation while sipping cider at the pub, it sounds cool.
As Wikipedia explains, trompe l’oeil  is “an art technique involving extremely realistic imagery in order to create the optical illusion that the depicted objects exist in three dimensions”. The name is french and means ‘to deceive the eye’. It was also used by the Greeks and the Romans (see, for instance,Pompei in Italy) but  it thrived during the baroque period producing incredible results of perspective illusion .
When you speak about it, people think about cheesy badly made sea views in american-italian houses, however it’s widely used by street artists to create different worlds, to open unexpected doors to imaginary spaces or to make a shallow reality prettier.
in Color Inspiration, DIY

Multicoloured stripes

+deco_original_retro-style-striped-velvet-armchair +deco_ikea_rug_stripes
The minimalist era, all gray and sleek, has come to an end. Colours are finally back. We wear yellow trousers and coral tops, fluorescent shoes and golden accessories. Our houses welcome new oranges, minty blues and bright yellows. Considering the difficult financial period that a lot of the world is experiencing at the moment, we need to bright up our days and rooms. Easily done with one the items above (just don’t go over the top with the stripes!).
From top:
Seletti: “Trip- 3 drawers” chest of drawers
– A re-uphlostered vintage armchair from Not On The High Street
Squint Limited : silky lampshade
– Ikea : “Randerup” rug
– Anne-Claire Petit : Elephant teddy bear
in Ispiration

Fashionably into interior

Fashion designers are known to dabble in interiors. Armani, Versace, Ralph Lauren, Diane Von Fursterberg, Missoni have had for a long time their own home collections which I find a bit boring and far too slick with the exception of the gorgeous Ralph Lauren and Missoni textile collections. Diesel have launched a new kitchen collection (above) in collaboration with Scavolini, a classic italian brand with a long, rich history in the field and are well known for their affordable quality. Enzo Rosso, founder of Diesel, does this industrial look very well so the results are a success.
In the last few years The Rug Company has enlisted many fashion designers such as Alexander McQueen, Vivienne Westwood, Paul Smith, Marni, Lulu Guiness, Matthew Williamson, Alice Temperley. Considering that the process of designing a rug or a cushion involves designing a textile and is not so distant from what fashion designers do daily, the results are often very interesting. Designing furniture is a completely different skill compared to designing clothes, some fashion designers should keep it in mind (for instance   Italian Independent for Smeg and Antonio Marras for Rossana Orlandi). 
Check out these cushions and rugs from The Rug Company (as always Vivienne rules).
in Arts+ Crafts, Color Inspiration, DIY

God (and Pantone) save the queen’s sense of colour

+deoc_pantone_queen_color_palette_2 +deco_queen_pantone_color_palette_1
Most Italians believe that she hasn’t got much dress sense and that she often looks like a kid’s ice-cream or a bottle of Lemoncello (for instance at William and Kate’s wedding). 
I think she is faboulous: she never clashes with the background even if she wears quirky colours, she is always elegant and appropriate, she has always been faithful to herself, she loves colour and she uses it to express a feeling or help to transmit a message.
Today she was wearing white, a peaceful calming colour that stood out but didn’t clash with the red and gold of her surroundings on the barge (Kate also did well with a red dress).
I would love to have one of the limited edition Panton Queen’s Colour Guide released with Pantone and Leo Burnett London! It displays the monochromatic outfits of the queen over the  last 60 years as a colour palette with the Pantone references. Brilliant.
in Furniture

Smoking barbeques


I’ve just spent an amazing weekend in Worcestershire, United Kingdom and I have to say when it’s sunny, Britain is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. The countryside was lush and painted with flowers, the rivers were flowing, the people were cheerful and the peacocks jumping around. The perfect time for lunch with friends and family with one of these interesting barbecues.
The ones with a star are available on a budget, the others  are more pricey, the pig barbecue is  unfortunately the most expensive . 
From top left/Dall’alto a sinistra:
Eva Solo : “Table Grill”
Eva Solo : “Grill Globe
-Barbecook : “Puuur
-Focus : “Sigmafocus” bbq
-Astor : “Bruce” grill
-Mom : “Walzer” coal grill 
-Traeger :  “Lil’ Pig” grill