Steel blue stool
As an art student I used to have a paintbrush in my hand almost every single day and loved it. But ever since I started working as a creative I never really felt the need to paint (artistically) again. Isn't it strange that things can change so radically? Probably the only things I've painted in the past 15 years are frames and skirting boards in our home, some walls and ceilings, a yellow door, lots of terracotta plant pots and two stools. When I watched Marij and Souraya play with paint and colors at the vtwonen & design beurs live on Stories, I felt inspired and just "had" to paint something.
I used a matte Inchyra Blue from Farrow & Ball and applied it to a little thrifted stool and a mini plant stand. Somehow the blue/grey/green-ishInchyra Blue feels very grown-up, I usually rather prefer bright not-so-grey colors. But mixed with some grey ceramics and my usual color palette, it looks surprisingly fresh. And what I like even better, is the ultra matte finish... it truly absorbs the light. Maybe I need to paint some more?
Our home is for sale!
It's been 14 years since I first lay eyes on what would become our home. On a Sunday walk along the river Oise, in the town where we rented an apartment, we discovered this industrial building. Through the (many!) windows, we saw something that looked like a laboratory, an indoor garden, an impressive staircase and lots of space. The garden was overgrown and wild, but all we saw were the possibilities to turn this into something cool. The first time we visited the inside, I remember walking through the empty offices, and it looked like the people left their desk 5 minutes ago and they would be back from lunch soon: calenders on the wall, notes and agendas with appointments everywhere. It could have felt creepy, but it didn't. The long corridors with office spaces, the staircase that was even more impressive from up close, the view over the river... love at first sight. Long story short: it became ours.
Living in Studio Sapique has been an adventure, we moved in in the heart of winter, without proper heating, electricity or water. While wearing gloves, we started with the basics: electricity and plumbing. With lots of help of family and friends, we removed the damaged wooden floors, drilled underfloor heating into our concrete floor, lay new floors, installed a new heater, redid the plumbing, rewired the electricity, dug a trench for the new water installation and another one for the gaz tank, installed radiators, un-wildered the garden, put in isolation and new ceilings, painted walls, doors, ceilings, built a new bathroom from scratch, and decorated the building. Lots of blood, sweat, tears and energy went into building our Studio Sapique. There's more work to do, but for us it's time to move on and explore life in the South of France. That means our house is for sale!
We created a dedicated website with information about the building, the floor plans, photos, the work that needs to be done... It's a unique building, at 50km north to Paris, not far from charming Senlis, or the Château de Chantilly. I will definitely miss the light: the 3 meter high windows makes it a very bright home and I'll also miss the space that gives a home with 27 rooms: you can make a mess and close the door in the evening and no one will notice ;) Now let's hope we'll find someone who sees their future in this building and is interested in buying it. If you know someone who's looking for a large building where they can work and live: please let them get in touch with us for a visit!
Oh and why Studio Sapique? The building was conceived in 1965 for a company called SAPIC (Société d’Application des Produits Industriels et Chimiques, which means something like Company for the application of chemical and industrial products) that produced foundry materials and chemicals. Because the building is based on a quay, we thought it was nice to upgrade the name to Sapique. The funny thing is that it also pronounces as "ça pique" in French: it stings. And the Studio just because it's a place where we are creative, not because it's a French "studio" with just one room ;)
Find out more about our property for sale HERE. Or read it in French here.
vtwonen loves sharing
Earlier this year I was asked to work with the team of vtwonen on the new vtwonen loves sharing magazine. In previous editions of this annual blogazine they featured our home and we also did a series with bloggers from the Urban Jungle Bloggers community. But this year was a little bit different as my fellow blogger & vtwonen blog award winner Theo-Bert and I were asked to be "Guest Editors"!
Everyone that has ever worked with Theo-Bert and the vtwonen team, knows that this means a lot of fun, sweet treats (Theo-Bert loves baking!), laughter, creativity and brainstorming. We were interviewed for a story about what our blogging and Instagram experiences and everything that comes with that, and Souraya from Binti Home shot our portraits (in matching blue!), that you can see above. The result is an inspiration packed magazine with several home stories, the most inspiring Instagrammers, illustrators, interviews, city guides and more. I'm so proud to be part of it and even more so, because I got to interview four of my favourite creatives that are featured in the magazine too.
You can order your copy of vtwonen loves sharing magazine online.
Of course I'd like to present my selection of four here on my blog too. First up: my friend Tiff from Curate & Display. On her blog and Instagram Tiff gives followers a minimal and stylish peek into her life as stylist and photographer. She recently styled a window at Heal's in London! I like how she went beyond her usual muted color palette but still kept it very "Tiff". It always makes me smile when I see her putting up a dozen of paint chips on a wall, in different shades of grey to choose from. It's all in the details! And how cool looks this moodboard in her home office:
One of the things we focused on for the magazine, was to select some "new" talents, bloggers and Instagrammers that are not very well-known in Holland (yet)... and I couldn't not pick some French creatives too ;). Freg from Notre Loft started blogging when he documented the building of his own loft, which over time turned into a fulltime job. He blogs about anything that has to do with lofts: interior design, cool new (French!) brands, with an industrial and contemporary vibe. Maybe you have seen his cool video from last week's Maison & Objet? His loft in northern France is so bright and a real family home where he lives with his wife and two daughters. Check out the Barbie doll in the image below (and make sure to follow him along via @notreloft):
My third pick is not a blogger, but a Parisian couple of creatives. Dominique + Romain are woodworkers & designers and make custom made-to-measure interiors for clients. I visited them in their atelier in Paris where they explained to me what they do and how. I love their approach of working with their clients: they prefer to work along with them, not just for them. Which makes sense, dont you think? If I would have to start the renovation of our home from scratch, I would ask Dominique and Romain to take care of the interior. Check out their latest design projects on their website or follow them via @dominique_et_romain for a peek behind the (Parisian) scenes!
There's a reason why I'll never be a foodblogger: once there is food on the table, I forget about the rest. But when I think of one photographer that catches food, and particularly vegetables, in such a beautiful way, it's Syl Gervais. Her two funny cats, plant-filled interior and her cute accent (in Instagram stories) are very charming too. I love the peeks behind the scenes of her work as a photographer as well as her adventures as an avid urban gardener and her Green Living Kitchen workshops. Follow her via @syl_loves and on her website to see more!
I hope you enjoyed my four picks! You can read so much more about them in the vtwonen loves sharing magazine, that you can buy online here. There's also this little video (in Dutch) of when the makers of the vtwonen loves sharing magazine (including me) met for lunch at the vtwonen beach office this summer:
My favorites from Maison & Objet 2017
After a very festive weekend launching our #urbanjunglebook in French (read all about it here!) I visited Maison & Objet on Monday. It was much calmer than during the first weekend days, but as usual there was not enough time to see everything of the fair in just one day. I looked for greens and creative plant designs to feature on Urban Jungle Bloggers soon, but I also found some really nice contemporary designs that I loved.
My eye fell for high quality, circle shapes (my favorite "trend" right now!), saturated bold colors and playfulness. Designs that invite you touch, twist, turn, play, fold and that can have multiple purposes. I shared a lot of them on Instagram stories already, but also wanted to show them in more detail here on my blog. These were some of my favourites:
First up: the new Vega 175 designs by Isaas Piñeiro for La Cartuja. A Spanish brand, founded in 1841 in Sevilla that specializes in ceramic tableware. From what I knew about La Cartuja, they make very traditional tableware with classic motif styles. It appears that most Spanish families own at least one piece from La Cartuja, that they use for Sunday brunch or special occasions. I was pleasantly surprised to see their new designs, that are decorated with gradients (!) that have been airbrushed by hand, which makes every piece unique.
The Wall hook designed by Isaas Piñeiro for La Cartuja and another gem on the right: a key tray with details from historic motifs of La Cartuja, that form a very comtemporary pattern. Oh and did you see the La Cartuja logo? I love it!
Sleek and playful: the ISO A and ISO B tables by POOL for Petite Friture:
Unintentionally I loved quite a few Dutch brands that presented their products at Maison & Objet, like Puik (with their yellow setup in the first photo) and I also fell for some of the 10 (!) new products that Vij5 introduces this month, like this interesting new clock. It was 18:08 here:
The Tumble cabinet by Studio Vosk for Vij5 is not new, but oh so cool: when you pull the little oakwood lever on the left, the door falls open. It's an addictive mechanism!
The Dressed cabinet by Puck Dieben for Vij5 is brand new: it consists of a shelving unit (love the deep green!) with a textile ribbon from Kvadrat fabric, that you use to dress the cabinet by weaving it and thus creating different divisions. Watch the video below to see how it works:
After playing with the cabinet, I continued my search for playfulness at iBride, a French brand that launched their new Babel products at Maison & Objet. It's a series of 3 sculptural pieces (in green, anthracite and white) that consists of bowls, plates, cups that equally interlock with one another to create inifinite possibilities.
The glossy inside of the cups, dishes and bowls designed by Benoît Convers are decorated with illustrations from Rachel Convers that focus on the senses: touch, hear, taste and smell:
Sharing is the new eating according to iBride. Babel Eat, Babel Drink and Babel Make:
The Babel products are made of melanine and make you want to touch and feel them: the outside has a matte finish and a geometric 3D structure that allows the different pieces of the towers to interlock and keep in place. It looks decorative too:
Spotted for the first time earlier this year at IMM in Cologne: eclectic brand Ames Design. I love their use of bright bold colors, big fat planters (made in Colombia) and lush tropical plants:
More design goodness from Holland from Fest Amsterdam, with affordable design in nice fabrics and colors, like their collaboration with Mae Engelgeer.
Another all time French favorite: eno studio. I love how they always incorporate (healthy!) plants in their booths and use bold colors and shapes. The Moïra armchair (here in Bois de Rose color) looks so inviting:
Really liked this cluster of cute DOT pendants from Danish brand Woud:
I know "poor man's marble", also known as terrazzo is very trendy right now, but I really like the ERAT collection design by Alberto Bellamoli for Lucie Kaas. It's not simply a terrazzo print, or cheap terrazzo look-a-like, it's real marble scraps, pigment and marble dust cemented together. The stones have been hand picked by Alberto and the trays, candleholder and mirror are really heavy!
These pieces of art, designed by French Samy Rio are so beautifully made in collaboration with Cirva and Sevres cité de la céramiques. The vase from the Vases composées collection and Totem Mirror are a true ode to craftsmanship and industrial design. You can find a lot more information about them here, including some videos of how they were made. Stunning!
Scrolling through my phone, I realized I had more even favorites!
• Like the beautiful paper goods from new Notem Studio (props for their very consistent and stunning art direction!)
• The entire (!) collection from Valerie Objects x Muller van Severen
• The BOLT lamps by Dutch Tonone.
• The FAN stool by Finnish BEdesign.
Our new living room
C'est la rentrée ! It's Back to School! And I'm going back to work with what feels like a new living room! Over the summer we decided our living room needed an upgrade. We gave away our two yellow Ikea Klippan couches because we never sat on them, and the only thing left, were two very comfy Ikea Karlstad armchairs. They were dark grey and made our living room look dull, dark and not very stylish. But the truth is that it's one of my favorite places at home, where you can find me reading or Instagramming, almost daily. So it was time to make it look good too. And that's where Bemz came in, as they make custom covers for Ikea furniture! As well as cushion covers, curtains and bedroom textiles.
From over 250 (!) fabrics I got to pick what would look good for our Ikea Karlstad chairs. Not an easy task, because there is so much to choose from, including textures and prints. Bemz recently launched their velvet range together with Designers Guild, that has a luxurious and vintage look. And what I didn't see before: they also introduced a recycled fabric called Bemz Respect that is made of leftover cutouts from the fashion industry, that are transformed into a high quality sustainable fabric without dye or water! However, picking a fabric is not only about the quality of the fabric and its look & feel, it's also about the color. And as you know, a photo on a screen looks different on every device, so to make the best decision, I ordered a pack of samples with some of my favourite fabrics (that you can see here on my office wall). Some from the recycled line, some textured and regular cotton and what turned out my favourite fabric: this super soft Linara Peach Skin cotton.
It may come as no surprise that I went for yellow & pink. I could have skipped the yellow and picked pink-only, but the home office and dining area are in the same room and have yellow accents. To brighten up this big north-facing space of 8 by 4 meters, and tie the room together, a mix of both seemed like a good idea. So that's when I placed my order: two Sun Yellow covers for the Ikea Karlstad chairs, and a whole lot of soft pillows in Linara Peach Skin (Rose Quartz and Pomelo).
It took two weeks for the covers to be created and when they arrived I couldn't wait to get started. I watched a little tutorial on YouTube before changing the covers of the Ikea Karlstad chairs. I was surprised to see how well they fitted, the scratch that is used to attach the covers to the frame of the chairs was in the exact (!) same place, the covers fit tight and smooth. Once covered, I used my dear Jiffy steamer to make the creases disappear (you can also use a Mister and wait for the pleats to disappear the next day) and wow, what a difference! What do you think: from dark grey to bright and yellow:
For the styling of the room, I brought in some extra greens, including the Anthurium in the Mifuko basket and the Haeng x UJB pendant. The large white pots with homegrown cacti are by Elho, the wooden elephant is called Smelly Fant by LZF, pots are from Yfna x Green Monsters, Maevo Studio, Matagalan Plantae, Living Things, Ikea and vintage.
The perfect fit:
Gathering plants in small groups and to mix and match pots and foliage, always makes me happy. Another little #plantgang:
I like the "new" view from my home office on the other side of the same room! For this blogpost I only took photos of this side of the space, this is the dining table in the middle, and my home office.
A super soft round pillow, that softens the very square Ikea Karlstad chairs, here in Bemz Linara Peack Skin Pomelo fabric, 63% cotton, 37% linen:
Another reason why this is my favourite seat in the room: the view on the Oise river:
The Littlephant Geometrics cushion cover, blends right in:
Impossible to count the number of planthangers I knotted over the past year, so I just "had to" hang a few in here. If you like them: you can find the tutorial in our #urbanjunglebook!
I'm very happy with how the revamp turned out. I love the soft cushions, the sleek yellow covers of the chairs, that make the room look so much brighter (also at night!). Perhaps, our little cat Otta loves Bemz even more than I do: she immediately claimed one of the pink pillows as her own and sleeps there 23 hours per day ever since. Good to know the covers are machine washable ;)
This blogpost was created in collaboration with Bemz. As always, photos & opinion are my own! Thank you for supporting the brands that keep JOELIX.com going.
@joelixjoelix on instagram