14 February, 2011

FJ House by Studio Guilherme Torres

Masculine interior design? My first thought was: only testosterone. An old, boring 80’s apartment in São Paulo redesigned and renovated by Studio Guilherme Torres feels now like a trendsetter night club: a modern garçonnière of a successful, single bachelor. 

Linear led lighting running through concrete-finish walls and ceiling, create an interesting stage-like effect. Custom-made wooden furniture mixed with famous statement designs, a few vintage pieces and colorful adult toys... effortless ‘high-low’ style. And a black bathtub residing in the main bedroom... true bohemian spirit.

photography © MCA Estúdio  via: Yatzer

13 February, 2011

Insect inspiration

Not only for entomology enthusiasts: creepy, strikingly beautiful insects photographed by Mads Hagedorn-Olsen and Anders Morell Hagen. The prints creatively complement modern furniture and the overall effect is quite intriguing, do you agree?


...and one more example of edgy styling idea: a parallel with "flying" lightning fixture. Does anyone know where this insect print come from?

top images via: Avdelingen

11 February, 2011

In Stockholm

Atmospheric penthouse photos, shot by Christer Olausson, a photographer and founder of the media and publisher house Amazing Magazines. Beautifully captured: the light, reflected by white walls, emphasizes all textures and gives a true sense of depth. Airy space...


via my favourite: Zyprezz

10 February, 2011

Designers & Books

Architects, fashion designers, graphic designers, interior designers, product designers... and their lists of the most significant, inspiring, meaningful books, formative to artistic and personal development. Books that make your brain storm, bring new design ideas and even change your entire world-view. Designers & Books,  a brilliant online catalogue was created by Steve Kroeter. 

51 designers, 703 books, and I'm sure the database will grow continuously. The best reads of Daniel Libeskind... and Witold Rybczynski recommends "Books Every Architect Should Read"... just have a look and make your own list! Being a bookworm myself, I found an endless source to feed my reading addiction. After only a brief search I made this obligatory hunger-reading list:

'Art and Visual Perception: A Psychology of the Creative Eye' by Rudolf Arnheim
'The Design of Everyday Things' by Donald Norman
'Annie Leibovitz: Photographs 1970–1990'
'Elements of Design' by Gail Greet Hannah

Have you read any of them? What are your favourites, books that changed somethig for you?

09 February, 2011


Two old buildings, uninhabited for years, leaning against each other in rural landscape of Italian Salento. Thick stone walls that witnessed 200 years of history, deeply rooted into surrounding nature... simple, strong beauty and authenticity that captivated an architect Luca Zanaroli instantly. Discovering the place together with his wife Silvia, they were both overwhelmed by immediate sensation of feeling at home... and started thinking about moving in.

In his renovation project, Luca aimed to reveal genius loci of the place, keeping intact the patina of time and balancing contrasts between rural and urban elements. He "contaminated" the countryside atmosphere with the use of materials and decorative objects of city style: a mix of cold and warm surfaces such as steel and fabric, contemporary design objects contrasted with artworks bought from local artisans.

The family, inspired by the life of previous inhabitants, understood the meaning of direct, everyday relationship with the earth. They decided to recover physical contact with the ground, for example by replacing the beds with futons and furnishing only with the most necessary, simple objects.

Do you think these interiors somehow express Wabi-sabi idea, the beauty of imperfection?

seen: Les bulles de Miluccia

06 February, 2011

Shared space

It's where all pathways meet: a dining area, a kitchen, a fireplace.

Designing a well-balanced house layout might seem like solving a puzzle: ergonomics, proportions, function, natural light distribution... Having a blank page, I start with these binding points. It's where the soul of the house should come alive.

images via: 1, 2, 3, 4

04 February, 2011


"Wabi is the beauty that springs from the creative energy that flows in all things, animate or not. It's a beauty that, like nature itself, can appear with dark and light, sad and joyful, rough and gentle"
Makoto Ueda

Beauty of imperfection... the quintessence of Japanese aesthetic. Ephemeral and incomplete, undeclared, almost unnoticeable. The kind of humble beauty that can be seen only in a balanced, quiet state of mind.

Wabi-sabi is a concept drawn directly from Buddhist philosophy, based on contemplation of nature with its continuous cycle of birth, growth, decay and death... An idea entirely opposite to our European aesthetic shaped by ancient Greek ideals of symmetry and perfect, mathematically calculated proportions. Wabi-sabi aesthetic are intuitive rather than intelectuall, described by presence of natural processes and intimate atmosphere, simplicity, modesty, asymmetry and asperity.

Wabi-sabi can not be perceived as a decorating style but rather as a state of mind that creates certain atmosphere. It is a way of living, harmonious minimalism, the art of eliminating the unnecessary and touching the essential. Japanese architect Tadao Ando, in his study of wabi-sabi wrote: "...interiors tend to be muted, dimly lit, and shadowy-giving the rooms an enveloping, womblike feeling. Natural materials that are vulnerable to weathering, warping, shrinking, cracking, and peeling lend an air of perishability. The palette is drawn from browns, blacks, grays, earthy greens, and rusts."

Axel Vervoordt, an interior decorator and art collector, applied wabi-sabi aesthetics while renovating his magnificent medieval castle of van 's-Gravenwezel. The twelfth-century building, with its bare rooms, worn-out walls and peeling paint, became a perfect canvas for creating new, harmonious and relaxing atmosphere: "Wabi interacts with interiors in a perfect manner, giving them depth and intelligence."

images via: Marie Claire

03 February, 2011

Polish design 1955-1968

News for all design travellers heading to Poland: an interesting exhibition starts tomorrow at The National Museum in Warsaw. Entitled "We want to be modern", the exhibition presents Polish design from the Modernism period between the regime thaw of 1955 and the social reforms brought in 1968. Featured ceramics, glass, textiles and furniture express new design thought of the time, slowly liberating from socialist realism. Beautiful everyday objects from the vast museum collection were almost unknown in Western Europe. I think the chairs are genius!

02 February, 2011

Surrealistic menagerie: François-Xavier Lalanne

“Everyone can recognize animals... You don’t have to explain what they are or mean.” Ancient Egyptian and Greek gods, Celtic Mythology, medieval bestiary, Indian totems... animal symbolism has been engrained in all cultures and religions. We are mesmerised over and over again.

Lalanne's whimsical sculptures achieve record prices at art auctions. His work became very popular in 1976, when French singer and songwriter Serge Gainsbourg published his album with the title and cover inspired directly by one of the sculptures - "The man with the head of a cabbage".

Inspired by Brancusi, Ernst, Man Ray and Duchamp, Lalanne created his own brand of surrealism, inhabited by herds of sheep, iron rhinoceroses, dinosaurs and baboons. His work was also influenced by ancient Egyptian and Assyrian art, seen everyday at the Louvre, where he worked as an attendant for a short period. 

Lalanne's works are almost impossible to classify, balancing somewhere on the border between fine art and design. They were created with childlike joy and surreal sense of humour, and I think this is why we find them so intriguing...

images via: The Selvedge Yard