in Arts+ Crafts, Color Inspiration, Furniture, Interiors, Ispiration

Tropical and colonial marvel

I am working from home today. I am here in front of my computer, the cat sleeping on my lap, purring away like a coffee machine, a smiley blue sky outside. It is one of those days in Rome where you can smell spring in the air. The quality of the light, the warm temperature, the first buds on trees deceive your brain and heart, making you believe that spring is just around the corner. Part of me is hoping for another two months of cold weather, I am not sure I can resist until the summer with this glorious sun, my mind gets into a dangerous excited and playful mood that makes concentrating a hard task.

You all know I love de Gournay, a collection of hand painted Chinoiserie wallpapers called The Colony designed exclusively for the newly renovated Colony Hotel in Palm Beach, Florida.

This large scale scenic mural comes from the collaboration with the French maison with Colony owner Sarah Wetenhall and de Gournay and inspired by the original mid-century mural that adorned the hotel lobby when it first opened in 1947.

The joyful wallpaper depicting flamingos, monkeys, alligators, panthers and luxurious fauna and the furniture picked by Kemble Interiors perfectly combine, achieving a look that it is at the same time colonial, feminine, humorous and tropical. 

Photography by Carmel Brantley, courtesy de Gournay.

in Color Inspiration, Furniture, Interiors, Ispiration, People

Boa Boa restaurant in Milan

Since last week things have massively slowed down in Italy and in the rest of Europe. The progressive and relentless spread of the Covid-19 has forced people to stop and reconsider their habits. The Italian government is doing a good job in keeping its citizens informed, not instigating panic and making decisions aimed at limiting the spread of this new and unpredictable disease.

To take our mind off this uncertainty let’s see what our Vito Nesta is doing. Do you remember him? I am sure you do. We have spoken about his designs more than once and a few months ago we published an interview where he explained his recent projects and he answered some questions about his creative process.

Today we are looking at one of his latest projects, the decoration of Boa Boa, an Asian-fusion restaurant in Via Pontonaccio, Milan. Vito created a fun and relaxed interior; he used mainly three colours (rust blue and bottle green), eye-catching wallpapers , lovely lampshades, velvet and a touch of gold to give the restaurant plenty of character.

The wallpapers Casablanca and Samoa are designed by Vito Nesta for Devon&Devon.

We just have to hope that Milan will be back on its feet in no time so that I can go and experience Boa Boa‘s cuisine that I have been told is delicious.

(Images courtesy Vito Nesta)

in Interiors, Ispiration

Wallpaper: new alternatives to tropical

I don’t know about you but I have had enough of tropical wallpapers with their palm leaves and exotic birds sprawled all over lush vegetation.

Don’t get me wrong, I like some of the classic or new tropical designs, I just get bored of a look when I see it everywhere.

I have therefore selected some new different wallpapers for those of you who are wondering what the alternatives are to the natural look.

The first one from at the top is Circus from Wall&Decò, a very glamorous alternative to a simple faded wall.

Wall&Decò always manage to come up with something different, I have to say. The Italian brand, famous also for its outdoor wallpaper (see my post), is becoming more and more successful.

The most tropical one in my selection is the second from the top, Miami from the collection Icon by Cole& Son.  It is available also in black and white but I like this variation best, it’s less visually aggressive.

The third one from top is again from Wall&Decò and it is called 17130EWC. I have picked it for those who like a more timeless, elegant look.

The dark red wallpaper matching the fabric of the sofa is Mey Meh by House of Hackney and it is for those who like to dare. Such a busy, unique wallpaper probably suits period houses best and it definitely needs a lot of thought in matching the rest of the decorative elements. In a few words, don’t choose a wallpaper like that if the rest of the furniture doesn’t go with it: for instance a white Ikea piece against such a background would stick out like a sore thumb.

Carrying on, we have Hornbeam by Farrow & Ball, in an unusual and very pretty combination of the colors divided by a frame painted in the common shade of green. Hornbeam is not a new design from the British brand probably better known for its paints, but it is a graceful option in every shade available.

The wallpaper in the bathroom (second image from the bottom) is designed by Christian Lacroix for Designers Guild and it is called Bain the Minuit-Mediterranee.

I have to say that Christian Lacroix is one of the main reason why I still follow Designers Guild that used to appeal to me more in the past.

Last but not least a striking wallpaper by Pierre Frey called Soccorro, inspired by the Maya geometrics. I am a big fan of Pierre Frey fabrics these day so I couldn’t not include one of his wallpapers even if I wished more set photos were available on their website.


in Furniture, Interiors, Outdoor

About Chilly’s bottles and about blogging

The best thing about having a blog is that people write to you to present their products, their art-facts or simply to signal cool stuff. That is exactly what happened a few days ago when my stylish cousin Piero sent me a message with the link to Chilly’s bottles, saying that it might be good material for my blog and here I am, presenting these beautiful objects!

In the last few years, quite a few people have asked me information about writing a blog.

I believe it is difficult for a lot of people to understand just how much work is involved in keeping a blog until you do it. First of all you need to have something to present and something to say, you need interesting content.

Sometimes you struggle to find a variety of subjects to write about and sometimes you find a couple of great ideas in one day.

Then you need to source the photos or take the photos yourself. Often the images need to be post-produced a bit or at least cut. Of course you always have to acknowledge the author of the photos or at the least the source because sharing is caring if it is done in a fair way.

The next step is the text. I write in English and Italian which is a bit tricky because I have to be careful to not lazily translate from English to Italian or vice-versa but try to deliver what I want to say in the best possible way in both languages.

The quality of my writing depends on when I write a post as well, on how tired I am or how much time I have.

I get work through my blogging but I work as well for a production studio and as a freelance interior designer and personal shopper (even if all these things are really entangled).

When you have finished with the content, you need to put in all the key words otherwise nobody will find your post.

When the post is published, you enter the social media world and honestly it feels you need a full time staff just to do that properly.

Being significantly present on the social media requires a lot of time that often I don’t have so I do what I can.

So, in brief, blogging is time consuming. So before starting a blog, make yourself sure you really want to do it otherwise you will be discontinuous.

From this analysis, it is also clear it is easier to have a successful blog, when you have money to invest in the project and people working for you.  Still if your content is not captivating, you will never get there.

Me, I love doing it and I wish I had more time and funds to invest in it but so far I can say I have had a lot of satisfaction blogging, I have learnt a lot and I am proud of what I have done.

Obviously it has taken hundreds of hours and tons of determination but that is for everything I suppose.


in Color Inspiration, Outdoor

Urban Jungle Bloggers: “Desert”

The new exciting challenge for us proud Urban Jungle Bloggers is entitled “Desert” and it is, as always, fruit of the volcanic green imaginations of Igor and Judith.

In the last few years, since I moved back to Rome, I have developed a passion for cactai.

In fact in the last eight years in my last two apartments, growing plants has been a difficult task.

My first house in Italy was on the 7th floor with an amazing terrace overlooking a 1920’s area; one side of my current home, which is on the fifth floor, faces west and the other east. In both cases, the sun floods into the house for most of the day.

Considering the sometimes extremely hot temperatures in Italy and the fact that I am often away for weekends, cactai and tropical plants have become the only possible choice on my balconies, almost anything else is bound to die.

In particular I love cactai: they are tough and resilient outside yet retain so much moisture inside, there are dozens of different kinds of them and they have incredible shades of green or purple and they grow in volume slowly but steadily. Not to mention the fact that they make people who haven’t got  green fingers into professional gardeners.

Cactai need sun, a little water and a soil top up every so often if you keep them in a pot.

That is it, the essentials. I like to think of them like buddhist monks, not needing anything material because they’re nourished by a secular wisdom.




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in Furniture, Interiors, Ispiration

Autumn and Rockett St George’s wallpapers

Autumn has finally arrived, duvets are back on the beds , leaves are getting yellow and some fanatics are already preparing the Christmas decorations.

I have had a terrible cough for weeks now. I can’t remember how it feels living without a cough anymore. My lungs and throat hurt constantly and my voice is much lower than normal.

I have to say that it is my own fault because I don’t generally take medicine until it is too late and I don’t look after myself either; I don’t rest when I am sick which apparently is highly advisable in these circumstances.

I can’t wait to feel normal again and be able to fully enjoy one of my favourite seasons, autumn.

I have noticed that people come back from holiday with the intention of saving after the summer’s inevitable expense but also with a strong desire to update the look of their houses.

If you are one of them and you also believe in the wow factor even if more expensive, have a look at these very cool wallpapers by Rockett St George.

Rockett St George is an online British emporium of homeware, selling some pretty cool stuff.

The wallpapers I’ve picked for you are quite a statement so I advise you to use them in small spaces (small bathrooms or entryways, on the wall or on the ceiling), framed as artwork or on just one wall or a portion of a wall.

Rockett St George put together some of the most innovative designs from the most promising designers. For instance the wallpaper at the top (L’Afrique) and the forth (Alt Deutsch)  are designed by Studio Job.

The second with the fish, that I really like, (Fishes In Geometrics)is by Florant Bodart and the floral on black background (Jellyfish) is by 17 Patterns.

I am pretty sure that you are going to find another three or four styles of wallpaper you like on the website. Let me know which one you like best!







in DIY

DIY hanging frame

Today I wanted to share this tutorial with you from Design Sponge that explains how to make this simple but impressive hanging half frame which looks vintage but it is not. The photo was taken by the author of the tutorial and blown up to create an abstract effect. The palm leaf on the vase in front of the picture is a touch of class. You can read the step by step tutorial here

Good work! 

in Ispiration

The trend of the moment : tropical leaves

I have always been into tropical and colonial looks so I am really happy to see designers such as Matthew Williamson and Christian Lacroix embracing the primitive fascination of palm tree forests in their new collections (for Osborne & Little and Designers Guilds, respectively). Plants -as I’ve stated other times before – are a great way to decorate, so why not introduce explosive shades of green into fabrics and wall papers! The choice is wide nowadays, for every taste and pocket; here are some of the most interesting designs.

I really like the armchair upholstered in Pierry Frey Mauritius linen, it is fabulous.
House of Hackney has invested a lot in the ever green design pictured below, launching  Palmeral, a line of lampshades, screens, hot pads, mugs and so on. I like the notepads and the deck chair but I am not sure about the clothing and the black lampshades: it is a succesful design but I think we are slightly exaggerating here.
Another classic is the Martinica Banana Leaf wall paper designed in 1942 by Don Loper for the Beverly Hills Hotel and sold ever since.
What do you think? Are you in touch with your primitive side?

From the top:
Mauritius from Pierre Frey
Martinica Banana Leaf wallpaper by Don Loper available at DW Los Angeles
Jardin Exo’chic – Bouganvillier cotton by Christian Lacroix for Designers Guild 
Palma Verde by Micheal Szell for Christopher Farr
Curica by Micheal Szell for Christopher Farr
Sunbird cotton and wall covering by Matthew Williamson for Osborne & Little 
At the bottom /in basso:
Palmeral cotton, linen, wall covering and much more for House of Hackney