Our new pink & grey sofa from Cubit
A few weeks ago one of the best deliveries ever arrived: our new sofa from Cubit! The huge, comfy, beautiful and pink & grey sofa, transformed our livingroom and even our lifestyle: I've read several magazines from cover-to-cover; as well as one book (The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert). We've dreamed of a new sofa for years: as much as we like our armchairs and cinema chairs: there's nothing better than a large sofa to hang out and relax. And to read!
I created a little video about the Cubit sofa, you can watch it here, or read more below:
Now that our home is for sale, we knew we wanted a sofa that would look good here, but also in our future home, wherever that may be... and that's where Cubit comes in: they make high quality modular sofas that you can design yourself on their website. From more than 600 different modules you can create your own design: a classical 2- or 3-seater, a corner sofa, a low lounge sofa, or even a sofa landscape. The Configurator on the website works like a charm: you can play around with the different sofa elements and then visualize your design in 3D, which is very helpful to get an idea of the dimensions and shapes. Our two wishes were a daybed and a pouffe, to which we added a corner element and a chair element in grey.
One of the strong points of the Cubit concept is the large variety in colors and fabrics that you can choose from. It is also the toughest part (at least to me!) because selecting your favorite color from the rainbow is nearly impossible. My first instinct was: yellow! Our living room has many yellow elements. But it's good to shake things up every once in a while and go for something completely different. Somehow lots of pink sneaked into our home in the past years and I believe that it's actually a really nice neutral color. Cubit has several pink fabrics in their collection, and the virgin wool blend called Novum in Flamingo Pink was my favorite: it has a sleek and luxurious look and matched nicely to the even more neutral Stone grey.
The design of the Cubit sofa is very square, sleek and no-nonsense. But also surprisingly comfortable with good support in the seating area, back- and armrests:
Robert was slightly worried about that the sofa would slip on our white floor: but the non-slip rubber base completely avoids that: they simply don't move! Which makes moving them around quite a little workout ;)
A different setup with the corner module and the chair:
Dwjareb and Otta also approved the new sofa, although they're still a little bit impressed by its size and new-ness. But that's good: at least they won't destroy the fabric right away. And good to know: the covers can be removed and cleaned, which is great!
The fabric fits so nice and snug around the base & foam of the sofa modules and the quality feels really good. Now that we've used the sofa for a few weeks, there are still no inelegant dents in the seating area and it doesn't look all saggy. According to Cubit their sofas never lose their sturdiness. So let's hope they deliver on that: I'm sure we will enjoy this sofa with its timeless design for years to come.
By the way, most of the sofa components are supplied by manufacturers from East Westphalia in Germany, a region with a long tradition of furniture production. Which makes that their sofas are Made in Germany. Fabrics and foams are Ökotex-certified and the transport distances are short. For now we are really (really!!) happy with our new Cubit sofa! From designing to delivery and end result: the entire process was so smooth, I can only recommend to check out their website if you're looking for a new sofa. Oh and once you're there: you'll see they also design very nice sideboards and shelves in a large variety of color... just saying ;)
This blogpost was made in collaboration with Cubit. As always, all photos, the video, opinions and words are completely my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep JOELIX.com going! And merci Cubit for your confidence and great designs.
Royal Greenhouses of Laeken in Brussels
When you're in Brussels during the only 3 weeks of the year when the Royal Greenhouses of Laeken are open to the general public, you just HAVE to go, right? This was the first time ever, that I queued up to visit a greenhouse. It was also the most annoying visit ever: there were too many loud and impolite people to my liking... there was only one route through the greenhouses and it all felt way too polished, perfect and flowery to me. BUT...
BUT: the final greenhouse, the Winter Garden with the Royal Crown on top, made it all worth it: I mean look at how amazing it looks in the first photo! It was so impressive, with beautifully aligned palms, banana trees and ferns. And this mega giant huge Monstera deliciosa on the side... One of the biggest specimens I have ever seen:
In 1873, architect Alphonse Balat designed a complex of greenhouses for King Leopold II, made entirely of glass and steel, in order to complete the castle of Laeken. He supervised the different stages of its construction until his death in 1895, and was succeeded by the architects Girault and Maquet. Built between 1874 and 1905, the Royal Greenhouses were a spectacular innovation by their size and their architectural quality. King Leopold II was particularly fond of camelias, and thus the greenhouses house an exceptionnal collection of them.
A few facts and figures: The park measures 194ha and the greenhouses complex covers a 1.5ha floor space with a roof made of 2.5ha of glass. 651 Tonnes of steel are used for the Winter Garden. Some plants are nearly 200 years old. 60 Employees take care of the plant collection and more than 100.000 people visit the Royal Greenhouses of Laeken every year.
If you have the chance to visit the Royal Greenhouses of Laeken before May 11th, go go go! It is spectacular and so worth the visit, despite the touristic feel of the venue, it is impressive. A definite must-see!
The Royal crown on top of the Royal Greenhouse:
La Serre du Congo:
Along the winding path through the different greenhouses everything is very floral: if you like fuchsia plants, this the place to be: they are everywhere and the small garden parcels are meticulously cultivated.
Royal Greenhouses of Laeken, Château de Laeken, Avenue du Parc Royal, Brussels
Open 3 weeks per year (April 21st - May 11th 2018), tickets 2.50€
Mindcraft 2018 exhibition in Milan
The Mindcraft exhibition curated by Henrik Vibskov last year was one of my very favorites, so I was impatient to check out this year's edition. The weather was just as glorious as in 2017: the sun hit the inner court of the historical San Simpliciano cloister and made everything look extra special. All the pillars were covered with thick yellow, white and grey blankets by Kvadrat, partner of the Mindcraft 2018 exhibition, and invited to sit back and relax. Just what most visitors of the Milan Design Week needed: a comfy place to give their feet a break from walking around town.
MINDCRAFT is an exhibition concept showcasing some of Denmark's most talented craftspeople and designers. The curated exhibitions demonstrate the qualities, potentials and versatility of new Danish craft and design. The MINDCRAFT exhibitions are organized by the Danish Arts Foundation and the Agency for Culture and Palaces and this year's edition was curated by Ditte Hammerstrøm.
The chosen focus of MINDCRAFT18 is on the essence of the work with design and craft. The objects on display take centre stage, with an emphasis on the hands-on engagement with the material and the visual, aesthetic and sensuous qualities of the objects.
My favorite piece from the exhibition: this LMA (lick my ass) chair by Pettersen & Hein. It is made of 4 pigment-dyed concrete blocks, joined together with iron tubes, and a glass-blasted, anodized aluminium seat with hand-made indentations that create a textured surface.
A knit sculpture called Aurora Borealis by Iben Høj:
Textile sculpture Black Matter by Anja Vang Krag in the back, and water resistant paper creation Field of flowers (long winter poem) by Louise Campbell in the front:
Dream tiles by Cristina Celestino for Fornace Brioni
When I lay eyes on these tiles by Cristina Celestino for Fornace Brioni, I immediately imagined where I would use them in our home... or even better: future home ;) The shapes, the colors, the patterns...
The tradition of Fornace Brioni's handcrafted brick tiles, that are called "cotto", dates back thousands of years and is the result of the subtle alchemy between rainwater, earth and fire. Simple materials that are totally natural and ecological and that get their contemporary touch under the art direction of Cristina Celestino. She designed two collections for Fornace Brioni called "Giardino delle Delizie" and "Gonzaga". All products are available in a wide range of colors, but I particularly liked the color combinations presented during Milan Design Week. You clearly see the references to formal gardens, botanical shapes, but in a new and very geometric way.
Mustaches, leaves, a Tangram-like toy? So simple, yet so pretty:
What do you think? Can you see these tiles in your home?
Highlights from Milan Design Week 2018
Last week I was back in Milan for Design Week. The previous edition (2017) was so good and hard to top, but again it was a lovely trip. Very warm and sunny (27°C), very crowded. In a short amount of time I managed to see quite a bit, but also missed out on so many other design exhibitions. Overall I got the sentiment it was all a bit less risky: no mindblowing lifechanging design exhibitions, but very good ones nevertheless.
The main reason of my visit was to attend the Gardena event at the La Gare hotel, overviewing the Bosco Verticale by architect Stefano Boeri. These vertical forest towers were built in 2014 and are one of the first things you see when you get off the train at the Garibaldi station in Milan. They represent 2ha of forest on a relatively small surface. Stefano Boeri told us all about the choice of bushes and trees and how the greenery was tested in a wind tunnel in the US to make sure they can resist the winds on top of the building. The tenants of the apartments don't take care of their balconies by themselves: the flying gardeners as they call them, have the keys of the apartments and make sure all greenery is doing fine. However, as Stefano Boeri told me when I asked him: most tenants are very inspired by their green frame of their home in Milan, that they enjoy grow plants in their apartments too. I'd love to see what that looks from the inside!
One of the most inspiring aspects of Milan are the green balconies and façades everywhere. That's when you realize there is a lot of work left to do in Paris... looking at you Jardinière Sauvage ;)
The first design stop was at the Objets Nomades exhibition by Louis Vuitton. It was surprisingly good, with these nomad cabins in the courtyard and a very flowery presentation inside the Palazzo Bocconi (more of that below).
Of course I had to visit my friends from Pijama at their boutique in the Isola area (near the Bosco Verticale) where they presented their new collaboration with Waxman Brothers. The very colorful African grocery styling reminded me of Maison Chateau Rouge here in Paris. I really love their cachepots that cover any dull plant pot and add instant style. Also, their laptop covers and pouches are so goodlooking and practical. I just love neoprene <3
If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen my discoball adventure? Long story short: I spotted an XXL discoball at our local thrift store and my Instagram followers voted for me to get it. So now I'm the proud owner of that huge discoball (and love it!) and keep seeing discoballs everywhere, like this cool "melted" one at Disco Gufram.
Just opposite of the Pijama boutique, was the group show called Mutant Matter by Dutch Invertuals, a carefully hand picked group of passionate, and vision driven designers, pushing the boundaries of their capabilities. I really loved these pieces by Xandra van der Eijk, called Future Remnants:
And these bold shapes by Fleur Hulleman, called Untouchables:
These wall lights by Michael Anastassiadas seen at Nilufar Gallery made me smile:
Pink, Red and bubbly ballons at the Objets Nomades exhibition by Louis Vuitton:
The impressive ceiling dressed in handmade leather flowers (available in their shop at 240€/piece), again at the Objets Nomades exhibition by Louis Vuitton:
The Tropicalist vase by the Campana brothers, inspired by nspired by South American Quesnalia and Bromeliad flowers:
How surprisingly beautiful are these translucent balcony fences?
And Milan in the spring is not the same without the Wysteria hysteria everywhere... it makes the city smell so good:
More to come soon! I have two extra blogposts coming up with my favourite design exhibitions in Milan... and check out Urban Jungle Bloggers too as we'll cover some nice (and new!) plant shops from Italy's design capital!
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