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black&white

in Arts+ Crafts, Interiors, Ispiration

Jason Chambers’ metaphysical drawings

jason chambers art. jason chambers, plus deco blog, ink drawings, surreal drawings, black and white art, picasso inspiration

I don’t know if I have ever mentioned that the background of +DECO homepage was drawn by me. Since I was a kid, I have enjoyed filling pages and pages of scribbles and doodles, mini forms that interlock and form patterns. The inspiration came from my cousin who used to write beautiful notes to me, with elegant hand-writing and similar patterns to those on my homepage.

Jason Chambers plays with shapes as well but in a more complex way. His world is clearly inspired by Picasso, by Surrealism but also by Cubism; it reveals many surprises. His drawings are fun and dreamy at the same time, they are an expression of a stream of consciousness, almost made by an inevitable necessity from the pen. If you look properly, between the interlinking of shapes and lines, eyes appear (many eyes), faces, mouths, letters, birds, butterflies, flowers, ears and limbs.

I hope that soon someone will ask Jason Chambers to do a massive mural in a city, it would look incredible and different and it would be a perfect-fit because his drawings represent the tingling city existence so well, which is a bit surreal and a bit ironic.

(Images courtesy of Jason Chambers)

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 Furniture, Interiors, People

Snoopy Limited Edition Matt Black

I know it could sound like I am fishing for presents for Christmas (I wish!) but I can not mention the fact that Flos has produced the matt version of the Snoopy light to celebrate its fiftieth anniversary.

It is a Limited Edition of 1700 numbered pieces of the iconic table light designed by the Castiglioni brothers 1967, identical but for the matt powder finishing snout-shaped lampshade, inspired by the most famous dog in the history of cartoons.

This light is exactly like the version found in the catalogue but the snout-shaped lampshade is matt with a powder finishing instead of glossy.

A must-have for collectors and design-lovers and a sound investment.

SalvaSalva

in Color Inspiration, Interiors, Ispiration

Easy chic

Hello everyone, things are good these days, no news to report which I suppose is good news.

Work is progressing slowly but progressing and I have finally managed to achieve a good quality of life. I even started practicing yoga again which I love. Because of my timetable, I can’t go to my usual Ashtanga Yoga school but I found a place near my house where I can practice Hatha Yoga at 7.30 in the morning and I really enjoy it unexpectedly! Sometimes you need to adjust your wishes to your needs and learn to adapt to the circumstances.

The house I want to show you today reflects my state of mind: calm and happy.

This apartment was published on the Entrance website, a estate buying/selling mediator (via Planete Deco) and the photos are by Anders Bergstedt.

As you can see the shell is pretty simple: white walls, white windows frames, no architectural frills. It re-proposes a recipe that always works: a white shell, some black elements, eye catching trendy details, light grey soft furnishings and few wooden vintage pieces. The atmosphere is very serene and the place is fled with light. Updating a space like this is very easy and unexpensive, you just need to change the artwork, some details and the cushions.

Sometimes the simple things are the ones that work best for our daily life.

in Color Inspiration, Interiors, People

DKUK Studio

Some of my best friends from the U.K. live in Peckham, south London. Our friendship flourished in Brixton and Clapham and over 10 years later we still meet: either in south Rome or in south London.

Peckham has changed massively since I was living in the British capital, it seems only in London can areas change so radically so fast. Peckham is now a place full of cool bars and shops, populated by a lot of people wearing vintage clothes and long beards.

My friends own a very buzzing pub there called The Montpelier; if you are in the area don’t miss it for a real pint (or two) and top nosh as well.

A good example of the new Peckham life is the art-exhibiting hairdresser DKUK Salon with its new concept and funky interior by the  Sam Jacob StudioDKUK Salon was opened in 2014 by Daniel Kelly, an artist and hair-dresser who had the idea of hanging artwork in his salon instead of mirrors so that customers could really (and calmly) appreciate them instead of staring at their own image. I think this is conceptually a wonderfully presented idea (even if I have to admit I would not feel in control of my hair). This very small shop that catches the attention with walls covered in white slates and 1980’s inspired yellow graphic details.

Images are from Jim Stephenson.

SalvaSalva

in Interiors, Ispiration

Postmodern elegance in Istanbul

Hello lovely people, today I decided to show you a look a bit different from what I generally post and like, more classic and post-modern.

I have always been into grey soft furnishings combined with wood  furniture and spiced up by black details and this living room designed by Escape from Sofa Studio (I strange name for a studio, I know) is a very good classic still original example of this mood.

The variety of materials compensate for the lack of color. Marble tops, grey textiles, wooden elements, golden structures, the black and white patterns of the wallpaper, the grey and white patterns of some fabrics, the shiny black frames and shiny black lights, a bit of chenille or velvet: this is a good mix of hard (materials) and soft (textiles) all put together by a simple and ever-trendy color palette.

I really like as well the patterned wall in the dining area recalled by the stand of the table: it stands up for itself, it doesn’t need any wall art. This is a very good way to create a focus point that transcends trends.

deco_khalkedon_penthouse_istanbuldeco_khalkedon_penthouse_istanbul_2deco_khalkedon_penthouse_istanbul_1deco_khalkedon_penthouse_istanbul_3deco_khalkedon_penthouse_istanbul_7deco_khalkedon_penthouse_istanbul_6

Photos by İbrahim Özbunar.

in Interiors, Ispiration

Restaurant Numéro 7 in Fez

Last week I was really busy at work, running like a headless chicken. On my way home, on Thursday I saw at the entrance of the courtyard where I live a group of neighbours in tears; I was informed that a guy who lives next to us died in a motorbike accident. That day he wasn’t supposed to go by bike but a series of coincidences drove him towards his destiny. He left a young wife and the 8 year-old daughter. 
I was in shock. These sudden news obliged me to stop and ponder about how fragile our lives are and above all about how precarious the situations we work so hard to build can be. I can’t begin to imagine the pain that is suffocating the wife’s and the daughter’s hearts right now. The thought makes my head spinning. 
We can’t control everything, even if we try hard.   
“Everyday, think as you wake up, today I am fortunate to be alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it” says the Dalai Lama wisely. 
In the photos by Steven Rothfeld, the amazing Restaurant Numéro 7 in Fez, Marocco example of simplicity and elegance.
 
 
La settimana scorsa sono stata molto impegnata con il lavoro e mi sono ritrovata a correre come una trottola. Tornando a casa giovedì, ho visto un gruppetto di vicini in piedi all’entrata del cortile in lacrime e sono stata informata della morte di un ragazzo che vive di fianco a noi, in un incidente motociclistico. Ha lasciato la moglie ed una bambina di 8 anni. Quel giorno non doveva neanche andare in motorino, una catena di coincidenze e cambi di programma lo hanno guidato dritto dritto verso un destino che evidentemente era già scritto. Ero scioccata. Questa improvvisa notizia mi ha portato a fermarmi e a riflettere su quanto fragili siano le nostre vite e quanto precarie siano le situazioni che costruiamo così a fatica. Non riesco neanche ad immaginare la pesantezza del dolore che sta suffocando il cuore della moglie e della figlia in questo momento. Il solo pensiero mi fa girare la testa. 
Non possiamo controllare tutto, a prescindere dagli sforzi che facciamo.

 

 “Ogni giorno, quando ti alzi, pensa che oggi sei fortunato di essere vivo, che la tua vita è preziosa e che non la sprecherai”, dice il Dalai Lama con la sua solita saggezza. 
 

Nelle foto
di Steven Rothfeld, il bellissimo Restaurant Numéro 7 Fez, in Marocco, un esempio di semplicità ed eleganza. 
in Color Inspiration, DIY

Decorating with stripes

I’m absolutely convinced that you don’t need much money to decorate, you need ideas and time. I started this blog and approach my work with this belief at the forefront of my thinking. Painting some stripes on the wall can make a corridor or an entry hall much more interesting. If you are not brave enough to use colour, you can copy this idea from the Maxxi Museum in Rome and paint black lines of varying heights. In order to achieve a good result, draw the line with a pencil and then mark with some masking tape and paint within the lines by hand. In the blog Centsationalgirl, a few people swear that the way to do it is by painting over the tape. I’ve never tried this but I’ll definitely be giving it a go, because just applying the tape and painting inside the lines requires a very steady hand and it’s likely you won’t end up with a straight line especially if it’s a long stripe.
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