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wood

in Interiors

The Green Box

Hello,
I hope you have had a nice September!
I love September (read the post about the amazing La Minervetta Hotel for a complete September praise) and I am full of meaningful resolutions for the new year (my head is still set on scholastic years) most of which are based on time and energy optimization.
Almost two years of pandemic have left me and, I suppose, many other people, with a decreased ability of focusing due to the amount of time spent at home in an environment that push you to multi-task and be connected for too long. The book Deep Work by Cal Newport has really helped me to reflect on some aspects of our increasing inability of focusing and pinch down what I want to improve in my daily life regarding time management.

To illustrate with an interior how important is to use your time well, I want to show you a project where the space has been used notably and where a green box has became the focus and the core of the project.
The project by Ester Bruzkus Architekten is refereed to as The Green Box for obvious reasons. As Ester Bruzkus founder of Ester Bruzkus Architekten has explained to us:
“Before we transformed the top-floor apartment into a cozy home for a Berlin couple living a vegan lifestyle, the empty apartment had floor- to-ceiling windows on two sides and exposed concrete walls on the other sides. It was raw and cool and open – and there was something nice about that to hold onto in the new design. So rather than create a series of conventional rooms that would close off the sense of openness, a single millwork box was positioned away from the walls to make rooms between it and the existing walls. The box, lacquered in a deep green, works with warm golds and violets and brown tones to play off the cool concrete ceiling and wall, contrasting materials and colors, and carefully crafted details to make a home that is at once cool and cozy.”
I am very impressed by the choice of the green: it is the perfect shade for such a prominent feature, not ordinary but not too loud either.

“The kitchen takes up one of the long sides of the green box (hidden within is also a roll-out modular sauna!). Sheets of natural green-and- violet quartzite work with the lacquered wood. The cooking island combines the quartzite and the lacquered wood with black-tinted glass, and is covered by a playful and sculptural lighting by PSLab, who provided all of the lights for the apartment. An important detail of the green box is that the ceiling is part of the box and is held away from the concrete ceiling. In this way, the “box” is not just a freestanding object but it makes rooms.

“The kitchen counter, back and shelving are made from natural green- and-violet quartzite. The millwork on the green box is lacquered wood, some of which is detailed to have a strong rhythm of ribs.”

In addition to the deep green of the central millwork are a rich palette of other materials – travertine, marble, limestone, quartzite, glasses of different characters, brass, stainless steel, and rich colored fabrics. Because the owners are vegan, no animal products were used – for example, the carpet is hand-tufted from botanical silks.

The bathroom occupies the space between the green box and the existing wall. Sinks are made from green marbles, black steel and pink basins; the shower and bathtub are made from a pale limestone that harmonizes with the other tones. The design also uses the simple geometry of the circle in a number of ways: in the design of handles for the cabinetry, in an oversized round mirror, and in a circular skylight that was built above the shower.

“The headboard is an exuberant design by Josef Frank (produced by Svenskt Tenn). The bedroom is located between the green box and a floor-to- ceiling glass wall to an outside terrace.”

I love this project. It is functional, elegant and with plenty of personality; these very important characteristics ultimately the most important aspect is how rational is to space where you live. A bit like my days…

(Photos by Robert Rieger, courtesy of Ester Bruzkus Architekten )

in Color Inspiration, Furniture, Interiors, Ispiration

Child Studio’s latest project

The more I look at the interiors from Child Studio the more I like them. It is the same for Humble Pizza and the spectacles store Cubitt as well, both published on +DECO.
Today we are going to look at Child Studio‘s latest project in the Saint John’s Wood district of London, not far from the Abbey Road pedestrian crossing made famous by the Fab Four. The founders of Child Studio Alexy Kos and Che Huang designed this interesting space -originally a post office- keeping in mind its history. The interior preserves the historical memory of the modernist building in which the restaurant is located and they have also introduced some distinctive Japanese elements.

The blue geometrical ceiling complements perfectly the custom-made dark cherry wood panelling perfectly. The black floor gives the space an oriental feeling when the glass block partition introduces a curve element allowing in the meanwhile the light to flow. Dotted around there are some legendary design pieces such as the Pipistrello table light designed by Gae Aulenti in 1965, the moulded plywood armchairs designed by Norman Cherner in 1958, the cast aluminium stools by the Japanese designer Naoto Fukasawa, some antique brass sconces by Stilnovo.
What can I say….another ‘bravo!” for Child Studio!

in Color Inspiration, Furniture, Interiors, Ispiration

Mãos at the Blue Mountain School

The older I get, the more I like uncomplicated interiors. This eight seater Mãos Restaurant at the Blue Mountain School in London is a good example of an interior thats charm is based on a clever use of materials and colours. The furniture is functional and complements the space: it adds colour and interest without dominating the attention. The pinewood floor with its abundance of knots gives this notable Michelin star eatery in the East End a natural look, it reminds me of the floors in saloons in the Wild West. The floor in one room is complemented by the wall colour and in the other room it complements the light grey of the painted wall and the tiled wall. In both cases, the chairs -very different from each other- introduce a new style and a new colour.

The Blue Mountain School doesn’t just host the Mãos restaurant on the sixth floor but also an events room (Grace’s), an exhibition and project space (Blue Projects) and a collection of limited edition works available for sale (Hostem Archive).

Photographies courtesy of The Blue Mountain School

in Color Inspiration, Furniture, Interiors, Ispiration, People

A new adventure for Child Studio

A new adventure for Child Studio!

The creative British Child Studio duo has collaborated with British brand Floor_Story to create a colourful rugs collection inspired by the Bauhaus, an artistic movement started in an art school that operated in Germany between 1919 and 1933. The collection’s title, 19-19, gets its name from the beginning of this period and it consists in 6 handwoven wool and silk rugs, called after some of the most relevant Bauhaus female artists and designers.

As Alexy Kos and Che Huang, the founders of Child Studio, explained:

“Bauhaus aesthetic is often seen as something rather austere and unrelenting, but we have always been fascinated by the rich and inventive use of colour in the interiors & graphics produced by the artists associated with this movement. We always try to inject colour in our interior work and this project was an opportunity to tell a new story entirely through the abstract means of geometry and colour.”

The collection was photographed at the Isokon Building in London, designed by the architect Wells Coates. Many founders and key figures of the Bauhaus School like Walter Gropius, László Moholy-Nagy and Marcel Breuer lived in this modernist building in the 1930’s. The wood-panelled interiors are to die for, the perfect setting for Child Studio new adventure and Floor_Story‘s gorgeous rugs!

Photos Felix Speller & Child Studio, courtesy Child Studio.

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 Interiors, Ispiration, Outdoor, People

I fell in love with this refuge

At the foot of Monte Rosa (which means pink mountain because of its color at dawn), in a sort of valley scattered with rocks spread out like crumbs from the rocky walls surrounding it, there is a cute refuge built in 1925 and re-decorated in the 1980’s (hence the formica tables), the Rifugio Zamboni-Zappa.

I spent a night there in July with Alex and Giulio and I took at least thirty photos with my smartphone. Waking up in such an outstanding location and having breakfast in such a unique refuge, it is an experience in life.

The refuge is set in a valley on the East side of the imposing Monte Rosa, The refuge is set in a valley on the east side of the imposing Monte Rosa, offering a unique perspective of the mountain. To get there, you have to take two chair lifts (or walk it, depending on your legs) from Macugnaga, ascending panoramic paths and crossing the glacier, it normally takes about an hour.

The refuge, run by a lovely, friendly couple, is open during the good weather season and hosts people for the night or just for lunch.

I recommend you sleep there (don’t forget to book).

When at the end of afternoon the last group of tourists leave, you find yourself in the shade of Monte Rosa‘s peaks, surrounded by the force of nature and an epic solitude and this beautiful refuge is the perfect place to experience it from.

in Interiors

Up in the mountains

My love story with mountains started when I was a month old and precisely when my mother took me at the foot of Monte Rosa.

While I am waiting to get my annual mountain fix, I have decided to show you an hotel that sits perfectly amongst the Dolomiti peaks, in the Madonna di Campiglio’s skiing area.

The 5 star Hotel Lefay Resort & Spa Dolomiti was designed by Studio Apostoli and it won Hospitality Design Award 2020, promoted by Hotel & Tourism Forum.

The architecture is inspired by the local houses and it converses harmonically with the surrounding territory through the numerous spectacular windows in the spa areas, in the living areas and in the cosy rooms.

(Photos by Mattia Aquila)

in Interiors, Ispiration, Outdoor

Your own design Bee Home

We know that IKEA has always been upfront in design research and has always worked to find new environmentally friendly solutions for packaging and producing but this time they have outdone themselves. On United Nations International Bee Day, May 20 IKEA’s research and design lab SPACE10 has teamed up with design studio Bakken & Bæck and industrial designer Tanita Klein and they have launched Bee Home, a free and open-sourced design that allows everyone to design your very own Bee Home in just a few minutes.

This is how it works:
“Step 1: Design. Visit Bee Home website and design your own Bee Home based on predefined parameters. This means you not only select the size, height and visual expression, but also define if you want to place your Bee Home on a rooftop, a backyard or on a balcony. This makes the design process fun, intuitive and easy enough that it can be done in a matter of minutes.
Step 2: Fabricate. When satisfied with your design, you download the design files instantly and for free, which you then forward to your local makerspace and have them make it locally and on demand. On https://www.beehome.design/ you can find a list of makerspaces in your local area.
Step 3: Place.The final step is to place your Bee Home and plant some flowers.”

Bees are under increasing threat of extinction, as Myles Palmer, Project Lead at Bakken & Bæck explains:
“To reconnect with the many bees in our environment, we need to give back what we have taken from them: their homes. By designing new interactive experiences, we can create a more sustainable manufacturing process for doing so: one that is truly open-sourced, informed by local living and customisable for many contexts and uses.”

Images courtesy di SPACE10

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

Let’s go to Paris! JAG Gallery

And just like that, traveling has become a distant memory, if not impossible. All of a sudden, borders have been closed and our immediate area where we live has became our whole world. Who knows how long for it will be that we won’t be able to take a plane, a train or a boat on a whim, not for work, pleasure or to explore, no matter how big the urge to escape is, no matter how much we want to visit a loved one.

What I like about blogging is that it allows me to make people travel from their desks to somewhere they might not imagine themselves going to, to inspire curiosity, to show readers new exciting things and places.

After Marrakech and the YSL Museum, Rome with the project by m2ft , Milan with Spinzi Design, today we are going to fly with imagination to Paris, to the sophisticated Galerie Jag.

Galerie Jag is where curator Jessica Barouch displays a carefully selected collection of objects and furniture by artists from all over the world.

The space is a cosy apartment in the 7th Arrondissement, displaying wonderful attention to detail and “beautify” (a word Jessica uses and that I love) by displaying numerous sculptural pieces that are a part of Galerie Jag’s collection.

Colors and materials play an important role in unifying all the artistic elements: warm white, black backgrounds, wood, earthy and mellow hues.

Designed by Yuko Nishikaya
Designed by Yuko Nishikaya
Designed by Floris Wubben
Designed by Floris Wubben
Designed by Michael Verheyden
Designed by Ryosuke Yazaki

(Images courtesy of JAG Galerie)

in Furniture, Interiors, Ispiration

An open space in Madrid

pia mendaro, clara cebrian, warehouse, madrid architecture, madrid warehouse, plusdeco blog, +deco, +deco blog, hanging bed, suspended bed, madrid interior design

When Clara Cebrian asked her friend the architect Pia Mendaro to do her place up, the brief was simple but tricky: be ‘almost nothing’ to work as ‘almost anything’.

The place is a 100 square meter warehouse in Madrid, a 10 meter square space with downspouts, a gable roof supported by two steel rafters, a facade with two windows and a door. A fascinating industrial shell basically. As Pia explains: “We were sure about three things: that the space must be understood as what it is – a square -, that we had to use a kitchen that Clara had bought in a sale, and that the downspouts were where they were and were immovable.

We decided to make a ‘covert wall’; a front where we could place the kitchen (everyone always wants to be in the kitchen). The kitchen would become the main protagonist of the space, and behind it, the bathroom and facilities would be hidden. The wall passes under the belt of the trusses, allowing the warehouse to be understood as it is, and prevents doors from opening directly onto the space (especially the bathroom).

In the process of locating Clara’s sleeping area, we thought of making a wheeled bed, a cabin, a box with windows … until we decided to detach ourselves from the ground. We thereby provide a horizon in the warehouse; a connection with the outside that we believe necessary for mental health. It ended up being the project’s highlight: a very light, semi-hanging platform, which in turn supports a small elevation of the roof. We designed this structure with Manuel Ocaña; 20mm steel rounds working on compression and suspension, and 8mm corrugated rods in tension. The platform accepts a maximum of 5 people on it, so we made a ladder with wheels that could hide: skinny habits.”

The result is an airy place where you feel free. A versatile space no fuss just fun, ready to host people, art or just a lot of light.

pia mendaro, clara cebrian, warehouse, madrid architecture, madrid warehouse, plusdeco blog, +deco, +deco blog, hanging bed, suspended bed, madrid interior design
Photographs by Manuel Ocana, courtesy by Pia Mendaro.
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