Breathe in, breathe out...
This early Spring weather is wonderful.... and messed up. We had the warmest month of February EVER. So freaky! And together with these high temperatures and sunshine come peaks of pollution here in and near Paris. While the quality of the air outside is really bad, the quality of our indoor spaces are often even worse and more polluted than the air outside. Many materials used in interiors, like foam in sofas, paints, glues and building materials contain harmful substances and cause headaches, asthma, allergies or fatigue. Even our cosy scented candles release toxic formaldehyde... and that's where the Dyson Pure Hot + Cool comes in.
The Dyson Pure Hot + Cold moved in a few weeks ago: it filters 99.97% of allergens and pollutants from the air and keeps them trapped. And while doing so, it can also heat in the winter and cool in the summer. The heating option is very much appreciated by Otta, our almost 18-year old cat: like all kitties she loves her home to be extra warm and cosy. And Robert is very much looking forward to stay cool this summer ;)
But why use a Dyson airpurifier when you have a home filled with houseplants that also purify the air? Good question! Actually the Dyson is very much more effective than the plants, especially more quickly. It senses and displays the real time air quality. When I turned it on: the screen immediately showed that the quality was good: green light! I felt very relieved that what we feel (good air quality at home) is actually reality and confirmed by technolgy! Until we had dinner and lit a dozen of non-scented candles: the air quality immediately dropped and spiked on fine particules from cooking and candles. In no-time the Dyson Pure brought back the air quality to its normal "good". Being good and fast at filtering the air in a room can be a life changing quality when you suffer from this season's pollen. With these elevated end-of-winter temperatures, there is more pollution in the air, but also much higher doses of different pollen that cause a runny nose, an itchy throat, teary eyes, sneezing and an overall feeling of blehhhh, for everyone suffering from hay fever. The Dyson airpurifier can help you feel better, as long as you stay inside ;)
The Dyson Pure Hot + Cool is really easy to set up: it's basically plug & play! All you do is download the app to control the device via your mobile phone. It allows you to schedule air purifications, heating or cooling as well as oscillation, air flow, night mode. And you get live reports on the current state of the air quality, but also of the air outside in your village or city.
If you don't walk around with your phone, you can also use the remote control to adjust the settings. Ever since Dyson launched their first products, like their well-known vacuum cleaners and bladeless fans and airblade hand dryers, I've always been intrigued by their sharp British design aesthetic: no fuss, very sleek, with a technical look and intuitive interface control. Their graphic identity is very minimal and even the booklet with (minimal) instructions is a joy for eye. My only (minor) regret with the Dyson Pure Hot + Cold is the color of the device and the electrical cord: there is a lot of grey. I'd prefer an all white version, with a colorful textile power cord ;)
Very relieved: the air quality in our home is "good" (and green!), the humidity a little on the high end, but the Dyson Pure is working on it!
Even though we have underfloor heating (which is sooo nice!), it is lovely to warm up the room a little extra when needed. Otta really loves it too and likes to position herself in front of the warm air stream! For now I truly enjoy the Dyson Pure Hot + Cold, and it looks so much better than the average airpurifier or electric heater too! Will let you give you some updates in a few weeks on Instagram if you like. Have you ever thought of getting an airpurifier device?
This blogpost was made in collaboration with Dyson. As always, all photos, opinions and words are completely my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep JOELIX.com going! And merci Dyson for your confidence and cool products.
Studious Colors in Paris
If you love interesting architecture and bright colors: this is one building to visit when you're in Paris: the Atrium of the Pierre & Marie Curie University in the 5th arrondissement (Jussieu). Designed by architects agency Périphériques and open since 2006, it is a color lovers dream. When visiting I noticed it is a bit "dated", not very fresh, but I loved it nevertheless. The vibrant colors on the walls, floors and ceilings are something I want for our future home too: it's bold but when the color is just right, it feels amazing! The cutout pattern in the concrete walls makes it a very playful building and you quickly remember in which area you need to be: every Science division has a different color and by taking one of the criss cross elevators you enter a new "world".
If you are discreet you can walk around the University's Atrium to admire the views while others are working hard to be(come) scientists. The custom metal study desks were almost all occupied, and behind the colorful doors were people researching in laboratories, working in offices and studying in classrooms, it was buzzing in near-silence. Studious vibes all over! What I found rather remarkable is that most people that worked or studied here in the past (and wrote about the place on blogs & social media) didn't appreciate the bright colors as much as I did. As someone stated: "this overdose of brightness before coffee on a 8:30am exam was a bit too much to handle". :)
Have a look for yourself:
Atrium of University of Paris Sorbonne Pierre & Marie Curie /// Place Jussieu /// 75005 Paris
Luggage check at entrance and it is appreciated when you are discreet as this is a place to work and study.
My favorites from Maison & Objet 2019
After a less surprising September 2018 edition, I really enjoyed this past January's Maison & Objet. The quality was really good and while I already shared a lot in Instagram Stories, I wanted to share some of my highlights here on the blog as well.
One of the gems I discovered is the porcelain skyline by Spanish designer Romina Gris. The shapes of her vase designs, as well as the velvet, glossy, striped, patterned and gold finishes are gorgeous. They'd look fantastic paired with some totems and lots of plants, leaves and flowers.
Another highlight was finally meeting the team behind Living Things. They design the most fun handmade terracotta pots and we've been in touch for several years. The Voltasol rolling plant pot and TriPot are some of my most-used plant pots here at home and their new Coppa is so fun for... totem building! It was really nice that we instantly clicked in real life as well. And the fun detail: when I passed by their stand at Maison & Objet, the sun came out! A beautiful sunshine for beautiful sunny pots ;)
Sleek and handmade, Voltasol and TriPot are so stylish and add a playful touch to lots of different homes!
Round shapes and mirrors are still very much on point and I can't get enough of them. Great examples at the Harto stand where they presented only new designs this time. And a fun mirror shelf by Danish brand WOUD. Don't you love it when functionality and style match so well?
These URA mirrors by Pierre Chaplin for Cinna are so cool! They add a dash of color through their colored edge and remind me of vinyls, CDs and donuts. Anyway, I think they look fab! And I realized that I spotted quite some dashes of yellow this season as well. Our yellow living room turned a bit more green, grey and pink in the last year, but I'm in the mood again for yellow!
Circular shapes, round bulbs, playfulness, fun colors at Maison Dada. I didn't know the brand before... at all! Founded by two Frenchies in Shanghai, Maison Dada proposes playful designs, like the new "Les chinoiseries" boxes and the pretty "Sachi Sacha" wall light:
Felt heaven by Muskhane. This booth looked so vibrant and cosy because of the good and warm lighting. And a fun carpet at Magic Circus. And again, bubble lights!
This was probably the most Instagrammed stand at Maison & Objet this year: the cosy and homy setting of HKliving. The colors were spot on, the styling very contemporary, trendy and warm. But after sharing this in Instagram Stories, I received several (rather violent and judgemental....) messages from people mentioning these ceramic wall ornaments were "stolen" from artist Uinverso. Now I know from experience, that copying and stealing happens so very often, but it's disappointing every single time. There are no real winners when it comes to copying or styling artwork, the only thing I know for sure is that it's not a compliment when an established brand uses your art illegally or uses it as an identical inspiration. I believe that mistakes happen all the time. A designer can use an uncredited image (source: Pinterest/Internet... ughhhh) and develop an entire collection, without anyone checking before production. I also believe mistakes can be handled with class and gracefully by getting in touch with the artist and find a mutally beneficial solution. The world needs more love and common sense.
Super soft living rooms at the Cinna stand. Loved the scenography by Francesca Avossa Studio with a lot of greenery:
A very clever trompe d'oeil stand design by French brand iBride. Every time I see their Alpaga cabinets I can't help but touch those fringes... it feels so good and is quite addictive!
One of my favorite stands at Maison & Objet was German/Colombian brand Ames. A perfect mix of handmade artisanal items, a fabulour color palette, contemporary shapes and paper plants by Sarah Illenberger:
Such a gorgeous color pallette:
A year ago I wrote that LRNCE deserved a bigger stand... and they did get more space at this edition of Maison & Objet! Love it when small brands like this build their empire and continue to create new inpspiring designs... I mean that sunny plate on the right <3
Love the contemporary sinks and bathroom designs from ex.t as well as this lush green stand at Gervasoni for their outdoor collection:
New colors for the timeless lights of Sammode (in a cute paper jungle) and on the left their re-edition of lights from the 1950s by French designer Pierre Guariche:
Check my @joelixjoelix Instagram pinned highlight, for some additional images, if you like!
Fracas gallery in Brussels
Sometimes when you least expect it, you discover a gem that gives you hope. Or at least that's how I feel when I walk into creative spaces that propose a unique vision. I felt it at a fashion shop in Berlin, that a dear friend introduced me to, a few months ago. And I felt it again when I visited Fracas Gallery in Brussels last month. The pin on the map on my phone said "Cool gallery Camille Esnée". I pinned a few months earlier just in case I'd be in Brussels in the near future. And yes it was really cool, and yes they had pieces of French ceramist Camille Esnée on display. And yes the space looked amazing: bright, spacious, with lots of cool old details, tiles & bricks, and houses an amazing collection of contemporary ceramics, design and art. And even a lush plantshelfie above the desk. I already shared quite a bit in Stories, but as I took so many photos, I wanted to share it with you here on the blog too. If you're ever in Brussels: tag Fracas gallery on your map ;) You won't be disappointed!
In their own words: "Initiated by two creatives, FRACAS is a platform dedicated to art, design and contemporary craft. Based in the center of Brussels, FRACAS is a concept-space that combines a workshop and an exhibition gallery where we exhibit and sell self-edited works of artists, designers and contemporary craftspeople. The space welcomes curated exhibitions and themed collections that gather together the work of creative minds from different fields, aiming to allow the general public to discover nice and original works. Conceptualized as a participatory structure for self-edited works of artists and designers, FRACAS puts the makers in front of the public without taking any commission on the sales, insuring the makers receive a fair income, and the clients pay honest prices".
There was one peculiar thing in this gallery: none of the items had name tags or information about the item or artist. Which means you simply look at the pieces and can only admire them for what they seem like to you, without any context. I believe this can be really nice and refreshing, plus you don't have any disturbing stickers or descriptions on the wall that tell you more about the artist or work. But sometimes a little bit of context and the techniques used, can be helpful to better understand the artwork. That's where the Fracas website comes in: you can find more information about all items and artists there and in their webshop. This also allows the Fracas team to restyle the different corners of the gallery very easily, which keeps it interesting ;)
Above: the works of Studio Jephrïm, Soha (and others).
Beautiful details from the building's former life:
Tradescantia, Calathea and Rhipsalis:
My favorites: this shelf with ceramics by Emmanuel Chevrel, Cécile Bichon, Alisson Thirion and Julia Huteau:
In the shop window a selection of pastel colored vases by Laurin Schaub, Sarah Pschorn, Messgewand, Alissa Volchkova (and others):
The HOOK by Camille Esnée, who I follow on Instagram (because she makes beautiful work) and that introduced me to Fracas in her Instagram Stories a while ago. And a large piece by Julia Huteau:
Wall sculpture by Anton Reijnders, vases by Sarah Pschorn, lamp by Bultin:
Wall sculpture and vases and plate by Fanny Richard, Tradescantia pallida cutting, stool by Soha:
The plantshelfie above the desk, pendant light by Schneid:
Fracas Gallery /// rue des Chartreux 82 /// 1000 Brussels, Belgium
Open Tuesday to Saturday from 11am to pm
Living room update
A living room update today! Clearly not of our own home, but this is the living room of my biggest cheerleaders: my dear parents! This summer they mentioned they were looking to update the colors and furniture in their living area. It had been years since they changed anything and asked me to think along. We planned a few Skype calls and they decided to go ahead with one of my ideas: to skip the mint green and add some pink! The layout of the room stayed the same: the Leolux sofa was completely upholstered with new black matte leather and the custom room divider and shelves on the left (below) went from mint green to a bright coral pink, with several layers of paint (done by my mama herself).
The two T-line Arflex armchairs that were originally bright red (when I grew up in the 1980s) had been mint green for over a decade and perfectly matched the Urban Jungle book that my parents proudly display in their living room. But it was time for new seatings and backrests, and a new pink Febrik fabric upholstery (reference "0641 Drop Tum Tum"). Quite an investment, but they are like new and are so much more comfortable!
What didn't change: the four coffee tables and three cylinder lights and the bronze candle holder. All designed and created by my papa! And the oxblood red Gelderland armchair is still in place as well.
The wooden bookshelves, another creation of my father, were replaced by this sleek Cubit sideboard in white and pale pink. My parents were so very impressed by the design and quality by the Cubit sideboard in our home they wanted one too! Their special hi-fi cases hide the ugly media box and even cancel its buzzing noise! A second sideboard was attached to the wall under the small circular window that hols more books, music and magazines.
On top of de Cubit shelves: a small Kalanchoe, a mini Diptyque candle and two pieces of ceramics made by my mama herself: a pink piggy bank and a tall black & white vase that I love.
A close up of the Arflex T-line chairs, designed by Burkhard Vogtherr in 1984. Initially they were bright red, then mint green, and now TumTum pink!
And probably the biggest change in the living room is the oversized Nani Marquina Shade rug. It's truly a DREAM with such a nice gradient of pink, rust, green. It was designed by Turkish designer Begüm Cana Özgür, who I met earlier this year at Maison & Objet. And not only does the rug transform the room by its gorgeous mix of colors, it also completely changed the acoustics in the living room and makes the room (and feet) feel so much warmer.
The last thing left to be changed are the throw cushions! We spotted some really nice Grid Knit cushions from Scholten & Baijings for TextielMuseum, so they may join the family soon. And I would also add quite a few extra plants if this were my living room ;)
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