in Arts+ Crafts, Furniture, Interiors, Ispiration, People

Living in a museum

palazzo federico, palazzo contefederico, palermo, palazzo palermo, palazzo contefederico palermo, interior design palermo, places to see palermo, plusdeco blog, elena giavarini, conte alessandro federico, cool places palermo, must see palermo

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, Furniture, Interiors, People

Studio 140 Italian Arts and Crafts

I have known and worked with Emanuele for a few years and I am very excited about his new creative adventure, Studio 140.

Emanuele is an experienced art conservator, a skilled artisan, a volcanic designer and a lovely person.

In the last twenty years, he has designed and made many beautiful tables, frames, chairs; what I am showing you today and what you can see on Studio 140 website is only a selection of what he has created so far.

Emanuele has a unique approach because he merges the expertise of an artisan, the subtlety of an restorer and the inventiveness of a designer.

The result is Studio 140, a collection of life-lasting, beautifully detailed pieces.

All pieces can be made in any size a part from the unique pieces.

Studio 140 is also working on a new furniture collection made with scagliola, a substance made of selenite, glue and natural pigments that resembles marble or semi-precious stones.

This technique was very popular during the Baroque and it allows to make very hard-wearing surfaces with a richness of colors not possible in natural marble.

Here is a selection of my favourite pieces!














in Arts+ Crafts, Furniture, Interiors, Ispiration, People

Les coléopterès


It is incredible how situations, things, people and intentions intertwine and intersect.

One Saturday morning in September, I found myself at the Gatsby Cafè drinking a coffee with a perfect stranger, plucked from the internet. I had seen his creations on Instagram and I wanted to write a post about Les Coléopterès, the beautiful bugs made in ceramic that he designs.

When I got up to leave, I had the impression that I had found a new friend and an interesting and engaging interlocutor (a rare commodity nowadays). This is the beauty of the net, the possibility to build a net of people, virtual or not, who share your interests.

Maurizio Minerva is a gentleman with sweet eyes who lives between Rome and Tel Aviv and works as a free-lance art-director and graphic designer, after years spent in a big communication agency.

With the intention of putting his bubbly creativity at use in different forms, he studied ceramics in Paris with the idea of developing a collection of hand-painted beetles in limited edition.

Les Coléopterès arrive in pinewood frames measuring 19 x 26 x 5 cm, wrapped accurately in beautiful paper and identified by the cool logo obviously designed by Maurizio. A perfect present, I would add. Take note, friends!





in DIY, Ispiration

Frames wall paper

 Hello everyone, it is hard to concentrate tonight because there is a concert on at full volume in the park I see from my windows. I have been to hundreds of open air concerts in my life and I haven’t even considered the possibility that the music could have annoyed the neighbours so I suppose I deserve it.
Do you like the ‘wall crowded with frames’ look and you haven’t got time to collect them? Opt for a wall paper with printed frames! Some of them are more sober than others but in any case I advice you to wall paper only a wall or a limited space because it is a quite busy design; it could easily clash with the furniture in front of it. 
From top left, clockwise, wall paper from Andrew Martin, Neodko & Deyrolle, Land of Nod, Andrew Martin (bottom two). 
in Ispiration

Old photos

I have had these gorgeous old family photos for years and I hadn’t hung them up because I was waiting to have the right frames and the perfect place. My attitude towards decoration has changed a lot recently, I am much bolder because I realized that my taste and my life continuously change and evolve and there is no point waiting until I have the money or the time to do exactly what I would like to do, taking the risk of not doing it at all.
I got this black frame from Ikea, a pack of two only costs 3 euros. It is really plain and not great quality but I managed to make it more interesting by using some recycled wrapping paper as a background. I love the photo, it is of my grandfather and it looks really good framed like that, it is striking and nostalgic. 
in Arts+ Crafts, Ispiration

Malleus’s posters

Last week Alex brought back a wicked poster by Malleus Rock Art Lab from The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion concert (at the Circolo degli Artisti here in Rome). It is one of 200 numbered prints and it is already framed and up on the wall. 
I have always had a passion for Art Noveau and Schiele so it is no surprise I like this poster that combines both. This Italian based power artist trio have worked with many big musicians – The Cure, The Prodigy, Muse and Iggy Pop & The Stooges, just to mention some- and have featured in many magazines. The Circolo degli Artisti (it translates “the artists club/circle”) has been one of the main focal points in the Roman music scene in the last ten years. Check the other two posters that Alex brought back for me that night (I had to stay in with little Giulio but at least he came back with some presents).
in Interiors

Hobbs Barbers Shop, London

I have just spent a few snowy days in London seeking inspiration, working (not much really) and wandering around with my beloved friends.
Speaking about creative ways to hang pictures (see my previous post), I find the wall of this little quirky barber shop by Borough Market in London very clever. What makes it  captivating is the overall arrangement and the colours of the walls, not the objects themselves. The red paneling, the purple frame and the touches of gold and yellow really enhance the objects displayed ;  the same wall in cream would be so much more insignificant.