in Arts+ Crafts, Furniture, Interiors, Ispiration

Umasqu wall art, a present you won’t return.

Every year Christmas starts earlier.

This year, at the end of November, shop windows were already decorated with Christmas trees and stuff, and the city was already infested with advertisements for Christmas.

If we carry on like this, considering climate change, in a little while we will only have two seasons:  Summer and Winter/Christmas plus dozens of commercial anniversaries like Halloween, Mother’s day or Black Friday.

As you probably know by now, I am not a romantic at heart when we speak about Christmas, there is too much fuss for nothing in my book, if it wasn’t for the fact that Christmas allows me to have a little holiday and the fact that I love culinary traditions, I would be the reincarnation of Mister Scrooge.

I dislike waste as well and Christmas is the time where people buy things just because they feel obliged to give presents to people.

When I say that, I often have someone like Alex telling me that receiving and buying presents can be a pleasure, it is an act of love. Ok, but it doesn’t sound like that when you hear people huffing and puffing because they don’t know what to get for their relatives or people waiting for their friends to leave so they can comment on the awful presents or the amount of unwanted stuff taken to charities shops or simply the general choice of verbs used when referring to their Christmas shopping: “I have to buy a present for..” (I never say “I have to” when it is an act of love, you see).

The good news is that there are a few things around that almost everybody would like to receive, like the Umasqu wall art. The bad news is that people rarely buy these sort of things.

The amazing Umasqu masks and wall art in wood, formica, MDF  are available at www.umasqu.com with free delivery shipping.

in Interiors, Ispiration, Outdoor

Christmas in Cornwall

This was second consecutive Christmas by the sea.

Last year we went to the Caribbean (here are the photos of an incredible place we discovered in Dominica, where Orlando Bloom and Johnny Depp used to hide from the world), this year we spent it in Cornwall, two different fascinating scenarios ruled by powerful seas.

Corwall is the south western tip of Britain, bordered to the north and west by the Celtic sea and to the south by the English Channel, famous for its dramatic cliffs, its cute fishermen villages and a history of mining.

If you are not lucky enough to be able to travel to the airport in Newquay (there are only a few routes available), you can fly to Bristol and hire a car (it takes between 3 to 4 hours driving according to where you want to go in Cornwall) or travel to London and get a train down (time varies again from around 4 to 5 hours).

Summer is the best season, the weather is better and it allows you to fully enjoy the stunning nature, including the beaches (even if, I warn you, some of you will find the water too cold to bathe in for more than 3 minutes).

During Christmas, the weather is extreme and quickly changeable but overall quite rainy; it is much warmer though than the rest of England.

Here are a few photos of the south of Cornwall,  to get you in the mood.






The Ship Inn Pub in Porthleven

The Ship Inn Pub in Porthleven

Giulio and Isobel drawing in The Ship Inn Pub in Porthleven

The Tate Gallery in St.Ives

The Tate Gallery in St.Ives

The Tate Gallery in St.Ives

A pint of amazing ale at The Lamp & Whistle in Penzance


Fish and chip shop

A café/vintage shop


in DIY

DIY Christmas ornaments

Yesterday I turned the radiators on for the first time since last winter. 
I know many of you have had the heating on for months already but in Rome is much milder ; only today it feels like winter. 
This change in temperature has made me think that in just over a month it will be Christmas
This year I‘m spending the holidays in Rome and, I have to say, I am quite happy about it.  My family is originally from Parma so for years I have traveled north to see them
Later in life, when I lived in London, I traveled south to see my parents. In the last few years we have traveled to England to see my lovely parents in law when possible
This year is going to be a Roman and particularly lazy Christmas at home with my two men. I can’t wait.
I haven’t done anything for Christmas yet, I must start decorating or at least start thinking about it.
This week, to start with, I wanted to organize a late afternoon Christmas DIY party with Giulio and his friend Livia. I have selected a few child-proof projects from the net, very simple to make.  I love the little potion ornaments!

And you, where are you going for Christmas


in Furniture, Ispiration

Christmas present post

Alexander treats me like a sort of Mr Scrooge because I hate waste and in my opinion Christmas is the celebration of waste (he is going to complain about this post, I know it). I just don’t like buying useless things or useless presents. I don’t think we need kilos of chocolate and sweeties but only a few good quality ones, I believe we don’t need to buy presents for people we barely know, I am convinced that when in doubt it is better buying something useful than something that it is going to end up in the rubbish bin and if people consider it weird to give a shower mat as a gift, it is their problem not mine. So yes, I am a little bit Mrs Scrooge but I am proud of it. 
Speaking of what, I have put together a few original ideas  for Christmas, some beautiful presents for people who like useful things!  The prices are in euros but they are all pieces that you can buy in most parts of the world. 
Check out last year Christmas post for more ideas.
  •  Pure Linen Scented Candle by Zara Home, 17,99 euros. It is pretty and it smells lovely.  I also really like the Ginger Bread one, very Christmassy.  
  • Karlos Missoni Home throw (around 370 dollars).  To keep you warm for the next few years.
  • A vintage bottle cooler from Etsy , this one is from FrenchBargains (24,52 euros). It is a very useful object and not many people have one.
  •  A food tour  or a cooking class. The photo below is one of the food tours in Naples organized by Eat In Italy Food Tours (75 euros, 60 euros under 12 of age). Giving as a present an experience instead of an object is the new chic.
  • Snoopy table lamp by Flos, around 749 euros. A classic that will find a place in any house.
in DIY

6 creative Christmas trees for small spaces

As you probably know by now (check this post for my optimistic next house’s requirements), the house I am living in at the moment is almost 80 square metres so I am always interested in decorative solutions for small spaces. I am not into Christmas decorations very much because I grew up in a city with mild climate that inspires you to collect shells more than hang snowflakes all over the house. However, considering I am married to an Englishman who grew up surrounded by all this Christmas stuff and I have a toddler now, it looks like I will have to make a Christmas tree this year. I don’t do fake plants, I much prefer to have an alternative Christmas tree like one of the ones pictured above. They also don’t take up much space and they are difficult to knock over by my 2 year old son who is incapable of standing still. I think I will go with the Ikea Liamaria‘s fabric and pin it on different fluo decorations.
Top row from left:
– A Christmas tree made of dozens of different little objects hung on the wall,an idea from All the luck in the world
– Wire tree from Living Etc December 2009
– A reclaimed wood tree from Paradigm Interior Design
Bottom row from left:
– A tree made of a wool garland, idea from the shop Down the Wood
– Post-it tree from Homes & Gardens December 2013
Ikea Liamaria fabric 
in Furniture, Ispiration

A few good ideas for Christmas presents




I have to admit it, I’m not a big fan of the lead up to Christmas. I enjoy it when it arrives but I get quite nervous thinking about all the organisation. Perhaps it is because I come from a warm country and it feels less Christmasy, the pressure to buy the right presents and the pressure of pretending that I like the useless presents I receive, call me Scrooge but I can’t be bothered sometimes. However, in trying to embrace my inner Christmas I would like to list some affordable ideas for presents. TELL ME WHAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO RECEIVE VIA EMAIL O IN UN COMMENTO (related to design and decoration) and I WILL PUBLISH IT IN MY NEXT POST. You never know, the right people might read it 😉