in Interiors

The Green Box

I hope you have had a nice September!
I love September (read the post about the amazing La Minervetta Hotel for a complete September praise) and I am full of meaningful resolutions for the new year (my head is still set on scholastic years) most of which are based on time and energy optimization.
Almost two years of pandemic have left me and, I suppose, many other people, with a decreased ability of focusing due to the amount of time spent at home in an environment that push you to multi-task and be connected for too long. The book Deep Work by Cal Newport has really helped me to reflect on some aspects of our increasing inability of focusing and pinch down what I want to improve in my daily life regarding time management.

To illustrate with an interior how important is to use your time well, I want to show you a project where the space has been used notably and where a green box has became the focus and the core of the project.
The project by Ester Bruzkus Architekten is refereed to as The Green Box for obvious reasons. As Ester Bruzkus founder of Ester Bruzkus Architekten has explained to us:
“Before we transformed the top-floor apartment into a cozy home for a Berlin couple living a vegan lifestyle, the empty apartment had floor- to-ceiling windows on two sides and exposed concrete walls on the other sides. It was raw and cool and open – and there was something nice about that to hold onto in the new design. So rather than create a series of conventional rooms that would close off the sense of openness, a single millwork box was positioned away from the walls to make rooms between it and the existing walls. The box, lacquered in a deep green, works with warm golds and violets and brown tones to play off the cool concrete ceiling and wall, contrasting materials and colors, and carefully crafted details to make a home that is at once cool and cozy.”
I am very impressed by the choice of the green: it is the perfect shade for such a prominent feature, not ordinary but not too loud either.

“The kitchen takes up one of the long sides of the green box (hidden within is also a roll-out modular sauna!). Sheets of natural green-and- violet quartzite work with the lacquered wood. The cooking island combines the quartzite and the lacquered wood with black-tinted glass, and is covered by a playful and sculptural lighting by PSLab, who provided all of the lights for the apartment. An important detail of the green box is that the ceiling is part of the box and is held away from the concrete ceiling. In this way, the “box” is not just a freestanding object but it makes rooms.

“The kitchen counter, back and shelving are made from natural green- and-violet quartzite. The millwork on the green box is lacquered wood, some of which is detailed to have a strong rhythm of ribs.”

In addition to the deep green of the central millwork are a rich palette of other materials – travertine, marble, limestone, quartzite, glasses of different characters, brass, stainless steel, and rich colored fabrics. Because the owners are vegan, no animal products were used – for example, the carpet is hand-tufted from botanical silks.

The bathroom occupies the space between the green box and the existing wall. Sinks are made from green marbles, black steel and pink basins; the shower and bathtub are made from a pale limestone that harmonizes with the other tones. The design also uses the simple geometry of the circle in a number of ways: in the design of handles for the cabinetry, in an oversized round mirror, and in a circular skylight that was built above the shower.

“The headboard is an exuberant design by Josef Frank (produced by Svenskt Tenn). The bedroom is located between the green box and a floor-to- ceiling glass wall to an outside terrace.”

I love this project. It is functional, elegant and with plenty of personality; these very important characteristics ultimately the most important aspect is how rational is to space where you live. A bit like my days…

(Photos by Robert Rieger, courtesy of Ester Bruzkus Architekten )

in Interiors

Cristina Celestino for Fornace Brioni

Italy is famous all over the world for its exquisite craftsmanship passed on from one generation to another, as well as its creativity and ability to design timeless pieces. In Italy there are a lot of family businesses that manage to reach across the world. Versace, Brunello Cucinelli, Trussardi, Natuzzi are only a few of the family run brands in our country: everyone knows that Italians are family people.
These companies have managed to succeed, survive and make a name for themselves because they managed to preserve the quality of what they produce but also to embrace the future and identify and collaborate with the right talented professionals.

Fornace Brioni was created in 1920 by the Brioni family and since then it has produced terracotta floors. The factory is near Mantova, in Gonzaga and is still run by the fourth generation of the family (Alessio and Alberto Brioni).
Fornace Brioni is having a period of extreme popularity thanks to its history in making terracotta floors and its partnership with Italian architect Cristina Celestino, creative director of the brand since 2007.
Cristina Celestino has designed some special collections for Brioni: Scenografica that takes its inspiration from the work of the set designers during the Baroque period; Giardino delle Delizie inspired by the grottoes in the Reinassance gardens; Giardino all’Italiana based on the idea of drawing nature.
Here are a few images of Fornace Brioni collections designed by her.
No wonder they are everywhere on Instagram.

in Color Inspiration, Furniture, Interiors, Ispiration

White in the City (but everywhere really)

In less than a month I am going to the Salone del Mobile, this time accredited as a blogger and not as a professional so expect many photos.

I look forward to finding out what it is truly original in the furniture world (but we will speak about this later on, closer to the date) and to visiting some of the events organized in Milan, in what is called the FuoriSalone. I am very curious to see, for instance, the White In The City installations.  In some of the best locations in Milan, some super famous architects and designers were invited to give their interpretation of the color white. The event is sponsored by Oikos, a paint producer and directed by Giulio Cappellini.

I asked myself, what is my interpretation of white?

White for me represents a start.

Starting is one of the most important phases in everything. White is the beginning.

In spaces and art work where there is no white you can be sure that at some point there was some white (white paint used to mix color, white furniture repainted, the walls before being painted etc). White is the background and the only color that goes with anything.

In art white can be predominant (see some artwork by Burri) or the background (see for instance some artwork by Keith Haring)

Starting something new or different has a enormous importance in our lives and it is the first step of another very important stage which is changing; this is why, I associate the color white with the concept of hope.

In interiors white is the color, in the sense that it is the only color, that it never goes out of fashion.

Not many people are going to paint all the walls of their house green and leave it like that for more than 2 years. It was sometimes said that white is the safe option but i would actually define it as the classic option, classic meaning that it always works.

Below some images prove the fact that white is everywhere, always.

One of the room in the Hotel Room Mate Giulia designed by Patricia Urquiola (who partecipates in White in the City).

Loley carpet by Studio Libeskind (partecipating in White in the City).

One of the room in the Hotel Room Mate Giulia designed by Patricia Urquiola (who partecipates in White in the City).

The photographer Paulina Arklin made white a life style choice.

An example of how, even in a very eclectic and colorful space, white is present (source http://littlegreennotebook.com/)

in Furniture

Some of the best free-standing baths

Io by Flaminia.
Vicchensw by Cheshire.
Montefresco by Albion.
Morphing by Zucchetti.
This is one those posts that I struggle to publish because the more I think about it, the more I research the subject, the more things I find that I would like to show you. I don’t have the space to fit a free-standing bath in the house I live in now and I am not even a big fan of baths having a restless personality (my husband says “I have ants in my pants”) but I love the way they look. I have picked different styles but they’re all very sleek, my favourite being the Monfresco.
From the top: Io by Flaminia, Vicchensw by Cheshire, Monfresco by Albion, Morphing by Zucchetti.