11 Maggio 2020 / / +deco

I don’t know if I have ever mentioned that the background of +DECO homepage was drawn by me. Since I was a kid, I have enjoyed filling pages and pages of scribbles and doodles, mini forms that interlock and form patterns. The inspiration came from my cousin who used to write beautiful notes to me, with elegant hand-writing and similar patterns to those on my homepage.

Jason Chambers plays with shapes as well but in a more complex way. His world is clearly inspired by Picasso, by Surrealism but also by Cubism; it reveals many surprises. His drawings are fun and dreamy at the same time, they are an expression of a stream of consciousness, almost made by an inevitable necessity from the pen. If you look properly, between the interlinking of shapes and lines, eyes appear (many eyes), faces, mouths, letters, birds, butterflies, flowers, ears and limbs.

I hope that soon someone will ask Jason Chambers to do a massive mural in a city, it would look incredible and different and it would be a perfect-fit because his drawings represent the tingling city existence so well, which is a bit surreal and a bit ironic.

(Images courtesy of Jason Chambers)

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29 Aprile 2020 / / +deco

Poor my eyes: most of the time indoor and in front of a screen for hours every day. They fell so dry, I feel so sorry for them that publishing Lover’s Eye collection by Artefacto Madrid seems to me an original and fun way to apologize.

The Argentinian Santi Carbonari and Franco Donati source antique and vintage porcelain, restore it and “and stamp with (the) new designs through a careful process of high temperature vitrified. They have many collections of plates with different subjects but they are all fun and pop and original.

The decorations of the support of the antique or vintage porcelain complement and create a funky contrast with the fantastic and detailed prints representing tropical worlds, lunar places, collage beings, cartoon heroes and much more.

I wanted to publish at least other twenty plates!

Artefacto Madrid sells also prints, lights, t-shirts and glass objects.

The level of detail of the antique porcelain together with the quality and complexity of the prints makes these decorative plates pop and captivating.

For more porcelain on +DECO, use the search on the website or click here.

images courtesy of Artefacto Madrid.

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22 Aprile 2020 / / +deco

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 Webben
Designed by Floris Webben
Designed by Michael Verheyden
Designed by Ryosuke Yazaki

(Images courtesy of JAG Galerie)

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16 Aprile 2020 / / +deco

The best 2020 outdoor furniture according to +DECO? Ayana by B&B Italia!

The collection designed by Japanese designer Naoto Fukasawa is exactly what I would like for the terrace and garden I don’t have!

It combines the elegant simplicity of traditional Asian furniture, the longevity and solidity of wood , Scandinavian inspired shaped seats and a choice of fabulous, quality textiles for the upholstery (I absolutely love the fabrics shown in the photos below!).

What I like about this collection, apart from the looks, is that it is something you can live with and not be too precious with, something your kids will inherit because you’ll never get tired of it.


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10 Aprile 2020 / / +deco

There are some materials that bring back memories, that carry some degree of intimacy, even if we don’t know what they are called. They change according to people’s experiences in life and some are also related to specific geographical areas. I am sure that many people who live or grew up in Lombardia associate with Ceppo stone for instance. Ceppo stone, extracted mainly from the area near Lago D’Iseo, is a natural sedimentary stone with a beautiful warm color often used in architecture and interiors all over the world.

Today, in tribute to Lombardia, a region that is being so badly affected by the disruptive force of Covid 19, we are going to look at some gorgeous designs by Tommaso Spinzi which for me evoke nostalgic feelings and have a very contemporary refinement.

Tommaso Spinzi is a young sophisticated Interior and Furniture designer with an international pedigree and a studio in Milan called Spinzi Design that offers Interior Design, Furniture Design and Art Direction services.

In 2019 he designed the Origini Collection (Origini means Roots in English) using some recovered Ceppo stone and the frames of Mid- 20th Century Collection furniture.

The inspiration came when, having moved to Milan after many years abroad, Tommaso went for a ride on his motorcycle and saw some imposing historical architecture made from this elegant grey stone that looks like Conglomerate stone.

Origini is the result of this warm feeling of revival and procured nostalgia; the collection mixes different elements of stone, metal and brass with impressive character and uses original furniture legs from the 1950’s and blocks of recovered stone.

Each piece is unique, a statement and an investment.

(Photos courtesy Tommaso Spinzi, artwork on wall Dripping Face by Alessandro Paglia)

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31 Marzo 2020 / / +deco

Like a large part of the world’s population, I am on a lockdown because of the virus Covid-19 and I have been confined to my house for the past three weeks. This period has forced me to review some of my thought processes and points of view enhanced by the constant daily frenzy. This uncertain period has revolutionized the rhythm of our days, leaving a trail of lost appointments and meetings, leaving time for thoughts and reflection.

Outdoor spaces are now desolated and socialising is taking a new direction. On one side, the forced cohabitation has made us rediscover the joy of being together and the art of patience, on the other side, in the majority of the cases, relationships have been forced down the virtual route but maybe more frequent, sweetened by the fear.

We are seeing numerous photographs of the city where I live, Rome, empty and desolate as it has never been before and the ones I’m publishing here have caught my attention due to their impact.

It is a project by m²ft , an architecture studio established by Flavio Martella and Maria Vittoria Tesei based in Madrid and Rome.

They have had this to say::

“Rome. A chaotic, noisy, populated, busy, polluted, lively city. The images of the places and monuments of Rome are impossible to separate from the thousands of people who crowd it: they are the continuous layer that characterizes this city. Or at least the city before the coronavirus.

Today Rome presents itself, like many other cities in the world, in a vest in which it had never been seen. Pure architecture without people; pure form without users; pure urbanization without urban population; pure public space without public. A temporary scenario that has the flavour of the apocalyptic, reminding of dystopian tales and movies that were hoped to remain only in the collective imagination.

We knew in fact that we lived in a fragile reality, always close to collapse, but we didn’t think it could be so weak. But thanks to coronavirus we are entering a new era where all the past choices can be questioned, having tasted, even briefly, what we are facing.This is therefore a project that critically addresses the new urban situations that are emerging from the pandemic. It then displays the toxic atmosphere that is consciously and unconsciously attributed to the public space and to all situations related to it, accentuating the idea of fear that today is associated with it. To do so, we use a graphic style inspired by science fiction, to highlight how, until a few days ago, these situations seemed to have happened only in stories.”

Images courtesy of m²ft Studio

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21 Marzo 2020 / / +deco

The incredible Yves Saint Laurent Museum (incredible should be inseparable part of the name) is one of those pieces of architecture that just sits perfectly in the location where it was built and looks like it has always been there even if it has a very contemporary feeling.

I have a thing for bricks, especially red bricks. It might be because I grew up in Rome, among the Roman ruins and fascist architecture that used bricks frequently. Recently I developed a soft spot for traditional grey Chinese bricks as well, often used by the beautiful architecture firm Neri & Hu.

The Yves Saint Laurent Museum in Marrakech was designed by Studio KO on a plot of land close to the Jardin Majorelle; it covers an area of 3,908 square metres and hosts 2 exhibitions, has an auditorium, a library, a coffee shop, a restaurant and a bookshop. It was commissioned by Pierre Bergé, who recently died, in memory of his partner, the legendary fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent.

The architecture perfectly balances volumes and sinuous curves, different materials like the concrete of the reinforced structure, red brick made from industrial clay, the natural terracotta with a base in pre-cast terrazza of the outside facing and golden details.

Studio KO, founded by architects Karl Fournier and Olivier Marty, hasn’t left anything to chance. The interiors are sublime. Bricks are used for patterns on the outdoor shell like wood is used to design patterns in the interiors.

Yves Saint Laurent Museum in Marrakech is an example of elegance, a happy combination of forms and colors, the perfect homage to a master of fashion and a genius creative mind. It is no doubt one of my favourite pieces of architecture from last few years.

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Photographs by Dan Glasser, courtesy of Karla Otto Paris.

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12 Marzo 2020 / / +deco

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)

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12 Marzo 2020 / / +deco

Dalla settimana scorsa, la societa’ ha dovuto progressivamente ed inesorabilmente rallentare il passo. La diffusione inesorabile del virus Covid-19 ha obbligato la gente a fermarsi e a riconsiderare le proprie abitudini. Il Governo Italiano sta facendo un buon lavoro nell’informare i cittadini senza alimentare il senso di panico e nel prendere decisioni finalizzate a limitare la propagazione di questo nuovo ed imprevedibile virus.

Per distrarci da questo clima d’incertezza, vediamo cosa sta facendo in questo periodo Vito Nesta. Ve lo ricordate? Sono sicura di si’. Abbiamo parlato delle creazioni di questo designer di origine Pugliese piu’ di una volta e alcuni mesi ho pubblicato un’intervista in cui ci ha spiegato i suoi recenti progetti e ha risposto ad alcune domande riguardanti il suo processo creativo.

Oggi vediamo uno delle sue ultime fatiche, la decorazione di Boa Boa, un ristorante di fusione-asiatica in Via Pontonaccio a Milano. Vito ha creato un interno divertente e rilassato, ha usato colori naturali, carte da parati accattivanti, deliziosi paralumi, velluto e un tocco d’oro, tutti elementi che danno al ristorante personalita’.

Dobbiamo sperare che Milano torni alla normalita’ quanto prima cosi’ che potro’ io anche provare la cucina di Boa Boa che promette bene.

(Images courtesy Vito Nesta)

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24 Febbraio 2020 / / +deco

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.

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Photographs by Manuel Ocana, courtesy by Pia Mendaro.

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