Tag

period houses

in Interiors, Ispiration, Outdoor, People

The hotel of the year: The Birch

The Birch is a hotel where you can have fun, socialise, rest and reflect in Hertfordshire, England, just 30 minutes north of London. Not bad for a countryside hotel, no wonder it has been voted the Hotel of the Year 2020 by the London magazine Times. Apart from the many cool indoor and outdoor spaces (and bars) where you can meet people or simply hang out, there are several workshops (glassblowing, pottery, bread making), a yoga room, a cinema, an on-site organic farm and a wellness space. The original features of this 1763 Georgian mansion were preserved and not overwhelmed by the furniture which is a wonderful selection of functional pieces that range from trendy vintage to the more modern. The interior was curated by the architect studio Red Deer, run by founders Chris King and Chris Penn.

(Photos by Adam Firman, courtesy of The Birch)

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

Living in a museum

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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 Color Inspiration, Furniture, Interiors, Ispiration

The Ace Hotel and New York

I feel like going to New York and spending there a few weeks if not months. I would like to spend there enough time to really be able to explore the city and slip into its folds.

In the last two years ago, I have read mainly autobiographies and biographies. I find extremely interesting reading about the developments and moods of a person who has created or done something memorable, never mind if he/she is a hotelier or a fashion designer.

The book “Just Kids” by Patty Smith have catapulted me in the Nineteen Eighties and Nineteen Ninety New York, in the buzzing Chelsea Hotel rooms, in the pre-HIV bars of the big Apple.

Another tassel that has cemented my attraction for a city that encorporates the entire world but still manage to be almost a state in itself.

So, just to put you in the mood, I am going to show you some images of an hotel where it would be nice to stay, the Ace Hotel, a trendy hotel in a 1904 building. Try to believe.

Photos courtesy Ace Hotel.

in Color Inspiration, Furniture, Interiors, Ispiration

Contemporary elegance in Warsaw

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We have more than once spoken about the fact that I love old things, for their quality and the stories they have.

Very modern and bare apartments are not for me.

For me there is a contemporary elegance created by the charm of natural materials, inspiration from the past, furniture tailoring; this elegance never tires the eyes.

It is what I call the ‘well made with taste’ category.

This apartment in Warsaw, furnished by Marta Chapkra of Studio Colombe, is a perfect example of this elegance. To tell you the truth, all the work by Studio Colombe is an example of this.

The wooden herringbone floor and a sophisticated choice of colors form a background for some refined pieces. The choice of natural colors, all light, is vibrant. White is presented in different hues, it is never simply white. Textiles introduce color and structure.

The kitchen, custom made like a lot of the furniture, is original but simple.

The insertion of wooden circles, the division in panels, the two colors, the marble backsplashes are all endearing elements.

The art, small and discrete paintings, add interest without dominating the scene.

I would move into this apartment tomorrow, without changing anything.

Rarely do I feel like stating something like that but in this case the balance between the quality and the taste of the decoration has really impressed me. 
Studio Colombe‘s house looks comfortable to live in, really comfortable, full of wardrobes and easy to live in spaces.

If you want the see some more houses of this category, check the old converted church in Australia and the London former stable presented in a previous post.

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in Color Inspiration, Interiors, Ispiration

Please let me use Nuvolette wallpaper by Fornasetti

It is hilarious, I have been trying to use Nuvolette wallpaper by Fornasetti for years but every time I propose it to a client along with other options, they never go for it. They all recognise that it is gorgeous but they find it a bit unsettling, perhaps too nostalgic or simply too tempestous.

Don’t get it me wrong, I wouldn’t use it all around a house, I would put it on a wall or a entryway but it is the same for the wallpapers I love, better in small dozes.

A part from that, it is a classic, a safe choice because it is above fashion and it will never become outdated. It has a repetitive, strong motif and the fact that it is white and grey makes it very elegant.

Nuvolette was designed by Fornasetti , it is produced by Cole&Son and distributed by vary suppliers; it comes in different colors or intensity (for instance darker or in light blue) but my favourite is the classic version in light grey.

I would advise anyone to use it in small quantities on walls large enough to appreciate the design or contiguous walls.

Another wallpaper my clients like but don’t dare pick for their homes is Calico, designed by Rachel and Nick Cope.

And you, what do you think? Do you like Nuvolette by Fornasetti? Would you have it in your house?

in Interiors, Ispiration, Outdoor

One of the most exciting hotels in Scotland

There is so much to discover about the Fife Arms Hotel.

The first thing I have noticed and loved was the tweed wall upholstery designed by Aramita Campbell (Aramita, what a cool name!) in the living rooms and corridors (as seen in Marie Claire Maison).

As you probably know by now, I am a tartan fan, in fashion and in interiors.

The second thing that jumped into my eyes was the art displayed in the property: the eighteen century art and features together with the sophisticated contemporary pieces complement and enhance the spirit of this magical place.

The Fife Arms is no doubt one of the hottest hotel in the Highlands, Scotland. In the Victorian time the mansion was a coaching inn, it now hosts 46 rooms and suites, a bar, a restaurant and a park designed by the award winner Jinny Blom.

The project was run by Russel Stage and Moxon Architects who managed to put in effect Manuela and Iwan Wirth‘s vision, two well-known Swiss art gallerists.

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Photographs by Sim Cannetty-Clarke

in Furniture, Interiors, Ispiration

2019 most exciting trend, fringes!

Happy New Year! It is time to start looking at what we are going to love in 2019 and what is new out there.

One of the most exciting trends this year comes again from the past and it is fringes (you are probably going to regret giving away your Grandma’s armchair any minute now..).

If you opt for a bold color or a more conservative nuance, fringes will vest your sofas and armchairs, giving your room a more glamorous bodouir aspect!

Velvet, damask and jacquard textiles complement the use of fringes particularly well but I have also seen fringes made from the same dark brown, luxury ranch-style leather from sofas.

I love the collection Fringes by Munna, its armchairs  and the sofas (see below some examples) look fabulous from the front, the side and the back and they come in a series of vibrant amazing colors so it was difficult to pick only two to show you.

If you want to revamp an old armchair, you can copy the Gucci armchair and stud the fringe along the base of the seat, a cheap and easy trick.

Keep in mind that the fringe doesn’t need to replicate the dominant color of the seat but actually a contrast adds interest.

What to expect then? It is time to stop eating and drinking and start getting creative around the house!

“Fringes” by Munna.

GG Jaguar Armchair by Gucci.

Octopus Jaguar Armchair by Gucci.

Chair Didi by Abhika.

“Fringes” by Munna.

Antique Napoleon III armchair by 145 Antiques.

Couture Light Blue Pouf by Lorenza Bossoli for Artemest.

Crapaud Armchair by La Redoute.

Baxter T-Arm sofa by Jonathan Adler.

in Arts+ Crafts, Furniture, Interiors

Punk baroque candles by Coreterno

It is time for candles, the clock turned back and we have all shifted towards a winter mood again.

Well let’s use it as an excuse to get some punk baroque candles, like these ones by Coreterno. I’ve also included some of their prints because I think they are pretty cool as well!

In her last editorial Cinzia Felicetti, editor of Marie Claire Maison Italia and a very talented writer if I may say so, underlines how we should focus on the slow change of the seasons and their magnificent beauty instead of focusing on the passing of time or the accumulation time on our shoulders. A very wise advice.

in Color Inspiration, Interiors, Ispiration

Benjamin Moore 2019 Color of the Year

I have used Benjamin Moore paint only for one project.

The client is American and he was so adamant that Benjamin Moore paint was the best that he had it shipped from America.

After a few years I couldn’t agree more, Benjamin Moore is actually some of the best paint in the market. The product yield is good, the quality is excellent, the colors very attractive and durable.

It is a shame that it is not widely distributed in Europe (in Italy it is sold only in Milan).

Benjamin Moore every year picks the color of the year and this year the voted shade is the AF 690, a grey that in Italy called grigio perla (pearl grey).

I have used this color many times and I love it. It is a sophisticated hue and as Ellen O’Neill, Benjamin Moore Director of Strategic Design Intelligence says “this understated yet glamorous gray creates a soothing, impactful common ground.”

It goes very well with wooden and white furniture and it is perfect when you want to achieve a contemporary and elegant look.

We will find out only in December which one is going to be the Pantone’s color of the year but I wouldn’t be surprise if they will pick a neutral color as well.

Photos from Benjamin Moore website

in Furniture

Feathers lamps

What shall I do with my spare time? Shall I put some nail polish on or write a post about feather lamps? It is a no brainer, I can’t wait to show you these fabulous, over the top, sexy Ostrich Feather Lamps from A Modern Grand Tour
It is not a surprise that the British fashion designer Matthew Williamson has one in his house and one in his showroom! They fit perfectly in a super classic environment or in a colorful exotic styled space (like Matthew Williamson’s) and they are beautifully made (hence the price).
I really like the Temple and Ivy Multa table lamps as well, with or without feather lampshades.
Who needs nail polish when you have a lamp like that?
             
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