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 Color Inspiration, Furniture, Interiors, Ispiration

Green, pink and gold: Felix Soho

Who wouldn’t want to have a coffee at the Felix Roasting Co.?

After the great success of the Felix Roasting Co. in Midtown in New York and thousands of Instagram shares of its photos, Ken Fulk, designer, creative director and partner of the project and proprietor Matthew Moinian opened last August another hot shop in Soho, London, Felix Soho.

Like the American sibling, the interiors are lush and eye-catching. The dominant colours -a rich blue-green, a soft pink and sparkling gold- bring together different materials and patterns.

(Photographs courtesy Felix Roasting Co.)

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 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 Color Inspiration, Furniture, Interiors, Ispiration

70’s, the 2018 trend

This year as well I was asked by the super cool American online magazine The Lux Pad to write about the 2018 most prominent trend in my book.

I believe that the new year is going to bit about pattern; this is my contribution:

“2018 will see a new trend coming straight out of the 70s. We have already got used to decorating with tiles, bold patterns, unusual shades and vintage furniture, but this year we will go for even more pronounced graphics in ceramics, in a combination of colors that we considered dull – if not ugly – before like brown and orange or mint green and gray.

Vintage 70s inspired pottery will be proudly displayed and new versions of 70s designed tiles will make our floors much more interesting and eye-catching.” 

Click here, to read my 2017 forecast.

Tiles by Bisazza

Tiles by Bisazza

Ceramics by K+R

Wallpaper from Wallpaper from the 70’s


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 Furniture, Interiors, Ispiration


Please take me to Amazonico in Madrid!

Sandro Silva‘s  and Marta Seco‘s restaurant looks so inviting and apparently the food with dishes from different countries, from Brazil to China, Argentina, India, Peru, and Japan is a must try as well.

A good excuse to go back to Madrid!

in Interiors

Samantha Santana’s bold peel and stick wallpaper

I got very enthusiastic recently about Samantha Santana’s wallpaper. First of all it is an explosion of bright colours, a blast of flowers; also her wallpaper, in the peel and stick version, is very convenient not just because of the price but also because it is easy to apply and easy to remove unlike traditional wallpaper (and you can find this version as well on Samatha Santana‘s website).

It is a good idea for photo shoot backgrounds as well (and this is why it caught my attention in the first place)

Samantha Santana’s designs almost have a photographic definition that gives them depth and a more contemporary look. They are in fact much more audacious than many of the flowery country-house-style wallpaper on the market.

On Samantha Santana‘s website there is a video where she shows how to apply them onto the wall; it looks very easy.

This fabric wallpaper is printed on a woven material with green eco-friendly inks which make it even more appealing.

Before putting it up though, make yourself sure that the plaster on the wall is compact and not about to crumble (even if it doesn’t look like it is sometimes it does). It is advisable in fact to test the material on the wall first.

In any case, I am sure you can think of many different places to use this summery uplifting wallpaper!

Samantha is based in the USA but she happily delivers all over the world. She is really nice and helpful and she answers your queries normally within hours.

So, have I convinced you, shall we do a cumulative order?
For some tropical wallpaper, see here or for some other don’t-go-unnoticed wallpaper by Hermes, see here.


in Color Inspiration, Furniture, Interiors

The Gatsby Cafè

The Gatsby Cafè was a former hat shop, open, when selling just hats made sense and a respectful outfit was considered incomplete without a hat.

It is under the arcades of a beautiful nineteen century square of Rome, Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II, not far from the central train station Termini.

Once home to upper-class families, it used to host beautiful shops frequented by elegantly dressed ladies.

The area is not as glamorous as it used to be, because in the Seventies there was a progressive decline due to the closeness to the train station and the inability of the council to preserve it. Now Piazza Vittorio is slowly but steadily improving thanks to young professionals and families moving there, attracted by the central location, the size of the houses and the prices of the properties.

With the desire to contribute to the renewal of old splendour to this square, 5 friends decided to open a trendy bar in what used to be the hat shop Galleria Venturini.

The result is the Gatsby Caffè, a successful bet.

Guided by two set designer friends, the owners kept most of the original features like the terrazzo floor on the last floor, the brass hardware, the glass showcases; then they added color (the blue being predominant), “Mad Men” inspired wall papers, vintage seats and historical objects like the old theatre posters. Young staff and happy customers did the rest.

Photos courtesy of Susana Porteiro.

in Color Inspiration, Furniture, Interiors, Ispiration

An original apartment by Marcante Testa

I am going to show you today a truly original apartment in Venice designed by the studio Marcante Testa. This is the first apartment completed in the renovation of a nineteenth century building in a small canal near San Marco.

As you know I periodically ponder on the concept of originality (see my post about the Salone del Mobile 2015 and Salone del Mobile 2017) because I believe it is really difficult to do something new these days. Andrea Marcante and Adelaide Testa managed to mix Memphis studio inspired objects (to know more about Memphis Studio and see the inspired Kartell collection, read here) ,  vintage glamorous brass elements, unusual combination of colors and iron frames and furniture in bright colors.

I would have never said that all these things could look good together but they somehow do and the result is interesting and very balanced.

I love the idea of ‘framing’ the doors and windows and to encapsulate the kitchen with iron structures.

I love the fact that on the page dedicated to the project on the  Marcante and Testa website you can find out, room by room, where all the furniture is from.