Volta mobiles from Paris
Remember I stumbled upon those cool mobiles on Etsy a while ago? They are designed and created Otxo and Mario Conti from VOLTA Paris. And because Paris is just around the corner, I hopped over to visit their fresh new showroom, where they display their collection of mobiles and stabiles.
Alexander Calder (August 22 1898 - November 11 1976) is the name of an American sculptor who is known as the originator of the mobile, a type of moving sculpture made with delicately balanced or suspended shapes that move in response to touch or air currents. Calder's monumental stationary sculptures are called stabiles.
All mobiles and stabiles by VOLTA Paris are made from repurposed metal and entirely painted and assembled by hand in France. They are already mounted and the only thing that you have to do when you receive it, is stick the ceiling fixture to the ceiling, wait for 24h to make sure it sticks well and attach the mobile. It's as easy as that! I like how mobiles or stabiles, like the one below, are a nice alternative for artwork. They also have a quality that 2D artwork, or even classic sculptures don't have: they are always in movement! Mesmerizing, fascinating or hypnotizing!
VOLTA Paris's goal is to bring mobiles back into contemporary interiors and make them part of any decor. Last year they worked with heju on two limited editions, more about that here, and they sold out very fast.
I have a pink Emotif mobile in our cinema room and the other day I removed it because I was rearranging some stuff and I really missed it. It adds a playful touch to the room!
The Ambitieux, the ambitious, inspired by Eucalyptus leaves. I love the feather-y movement of the petals:
In the String shelves: this standing mobile in black, blue, yellow, red and white:
And apart from the VOLTA Paris collection, you can get in touch with them for a custom order! There are many many colors to choose from, these are just a few RAL colors they work with, or go for an all white stabile:
VOLTA Paris /// 39 rue Breguet /// 75011 Paris /// by appointment only
Shop the mobiles and stabiles via the VOLTA Paris website or in their Etsy shop!
The Botanic Garden in Berlin
It just started snowing here at home in France, while I was looking forward to a weekend of sunshine. Well that's the mysterious ways of nature ;) Anyway, I wanted to show you one of the sunny places I visited in September last year: the botanical garden in Berlin. At the time there was a garden festival going on with lots of vendors from around Europe setting up their stands with garden plants. It was fun to see how specialized some of them were: there was an entire booth of carnivorous plants and one guy only sold plantain lillies (hostas). But the most beautiful part of the Botanical Garden was inside their sixteen greenhouses: tropical plants, cacti, succulents, epiphytes... And something I found particularly touching: memorial messages all across the garden, like this one to Plant friend and loving mama Evelin Elstermann:
The Bromeliad greenhouse:
My favorite area where the cacti and succulents grow, including this fantastic Cryptocereus anthonyanus, also known as Selenicereus anthonyanus, a zig zag Cactus. In the mean time I found a little cutting so I'm growing my own right now. I'm obsessed with its shape!
Preparing to bloom:
More blooms coming up:
End of the day in the Botanical Gardens:
Unfortunately it was closed, but one of the greenhouses looked like a castle! A good incentive to go back soon and visit the castle from the inside!
The botanic garden in Berlin is one of the biggest in the world, it counts 16 greenhouses open to the public and the entire garden spreads over 50 hectares of land on the south west of the city. There's a metro station close to the garden, so it's very easy to go there and escape the buzzing city for a nice and peaceful break. It felt like such a big contrast with the city life: we even had the chance of attending a live concert of Alphorn musicians in the garden!
Botanic Garden Berlin /// Unter den Eichen 5-10 /// 12203 Berlin
If you love botanical gardens as much as I do, you may enjoy checking out my posts of botanical gardens in: Valencia /// Monaco /// Amsterdam /// Paris /// Helsinki /// South of France /// Munich /// Madrid
A bloomifique plantshelfie
As much as I like flowers, I love houseplants so much better. In a previous Urban Jungle Bloggers topic we had a plants & flowers challenge and I remember is was really nice to figure out how to use both flowers and plants in one setting. With flowers you get to play with a wider range of colors and that's exactly what I get to do again today! Dutch plant grower Anthura sent me two of their new Stellenbosch orchids with a unique deep purple color to use in our home. So I decided to use them in a plantshelfie, together with some of my plant friends.
Despite their exotic look, Phalaenopsis are very easy to keep alive, as long as you keep them warm (between 20° and 25°C ideally), in a light spot (without direct light) and drain it in water every 7 to 10 days. Watch this little video on the Bloomifique website to learn how to keep your Phalaenopsis happy and healthy.
Below is also an orchid: a Ludisia jewel orchid, one of the only orchids knows for its leaves, instead of the flowers.
The deep pink purple-ish color of the Anthura Stellenbosch is so bright, that I decided to collect all my plants with purple or red hues. The orchid pots are by Pottery Direct International, one top left is a pastel pink Turin pot with retro finishing, the salie green one is a Calais pot with antique finishing. Look how the speckles match my MAEVO and vintage pots on the top shelf:
Check out the deep purple-pink-ish color:
When taking photos, my Oxalis triangularis fell asleep, it folded the leaves back into night mode. Also love the new Skagerak Edge vase:
The shelf system that I used is the FENCY by Tolhuijs, a socially responsably created grid structure with shelves that you can easily reposition. They are part of a social responsable project and made out of festival fences. Pure waste upgrading and it looks pretty nice too! I also picked some pink berries here in the neighborhood:
How do you like Phalaenopsis? Do you have any at home? Oh and a tip if you have an orchid that lost its flowers: yes it looks weird, but the plant is not dead. Keep taking care of it (although a little less watering) and your plant may flower again in the next season!
Blogpost created in collaboration with Bloomifique and Anthura. As always all opinions and photos are my own. Merci Anthura!
A mini jungle with Bergamotte
Where do you buy your plants? Have you ever bought plants online? It's always a bit of a suspense, right? Depending on where the plants come from: will they survive the trip? What will they look like? Are they carefully wrapped?
When ordering flowers or plants at Bergamotte there is no suspense. Here in France they are very well known for their fresh Parisian flower bouquets that you receive in a beautiful flower box. They deliver all flowers in 2 hours in and around Paris and the next day in the rest of France. So when Bergamotte asked Urban Jungle Bloggers to create a mini plant collection we knew they would "rock" the delivery part.
We choose four sturdy plants for our little jungle called Oaxaca. First is this spiky punky agave Nana (with its little UJB flag) which is probably my favorite. Althought I also realllly like the Opuntia ficus: I can't wait for spring and higher temperatures so that he will start growing like mad. At least that's what Opuntia usually do: they grow fast! And that's also why they are considered weed in some places in the world ;) Opuntia ficus grow fresh figs that you can eat, called "figues de Barbarie". They usually have a very mild taste but their colors are amazing: yellow, greenish, red or pink!
Wally quite likes the Peperomia plant, but not enough to eat it... which is quite surprising, because he loves to nibble on juicy leafy plants.
Our Bergamotte x Urban Jungle Bloggers mini jungle comes in basic terracotta pots which blend in with any kind of interior style and match with other shapes of terracotta pots. Terracotta pots are also a safe option for your plants: if you overwater the pot will suck the water out of the soil and the excess water evaporates. Which is good for most succulents and cacti: they don't like wet feet and thrive on a little bit of draught between waterings.
One of my pet peeves with houseplants is that I hate (yes! hate!) plastic terracotta colored pots. The French have a fantastic name for the pots that cover those ugly grow pots: a cache-pot. It hides those ugly grow pots. I must admit that I hate these grow pots so much, that I usually plant my plants directly in the cache-pots with a layer of pebbles on the bottom if the pot has no draining holes. And even though I like basic terracotta pots, I repotted the four plants from our Oaxaca urban jungle yesterday because I had a few pots that needed a new plant ;) Check my Instagram to see what they look like now!
Donkey's Tail, Sedum burrito, Sedum Morganianum... beautiful names for a very cute succulent with lots of small bubble leaves. They are rather fragile, but the cool thing is that when a leaf falls off, they'll soon grow new roots and leaves!
What do you think? Have you ever bought plants online? If you live in France, check out Bergamotte's collection of plants (and flowers!) and get yourself a mini jungle ;) It's an easy going and easy growing selection of plants that are perfect for beginning plant lovers, or that will extend your ever growing urban jungle.
Have a great weekend!
KOTI a Finnish sleepover in Paris
In the middle of this bustling and extremely busy week with IMM in Cologne and Maison & Objet in Paris, I found a slice of calmth and design: at KOTI in the heart of Paris. Although it also felt very Finnish! KOTI, Finnish for home, is a creative idea launched by and in the Finnish Institute in Paris where they built a group of six wooden cottages in a typical Finnish style. You can book a cottage for 1, 2 or 4 via airBnB and "escape the hectic pace of modern life, savour the luxury of simplicity, the importance of home and the value of sharing unforgettable new experiences".
The vibe during the launch event reminded me of the friendly, down-to-earth and unpretentious people we met last year in Helsinki and of the Finnish design (which is not the same as Scandinavian design!). The lovely bites prepared by chef Antto Melasniemi, paired with a cocktail of the finest Finnish gin and apple juice (yum!), reminded me of all the delicious dinners we enjoyed in the Finnish capital. And it reminded me that I really want/need/have to go back and explore some more. Until then, I can pretend to be in Finland, during a sleepover at KOTI in the middle of Paris. Not too shabby if you ask me ;) Have a look:
In the big hall of the former cinema that is now the Finnish Institute in Paris, six cottages were built for the KOTI project: 100 days of Finnish hospitality in the heart of Paris. Each AITTA (cottage in Finnish) has its own pastel colored wooden sliding door: pink, grey, dove, green, white or blue:
"Linda Bergroth is the creative engine behind KOTI and a multi-talented lead designer. Originally hailing from Finland, Linda lives and works between Helsinki and Paris. She brings her signature style: a Nordic love of pragmatism and natural materials, coupled with her unique zest for bold color, to the conceptualisation and curation of KOTI. Inspired by the simple pleasures of holiday stays in a Finnish countryside cottage, Linda hopes to share the delights of an aitta with guests to the Finnish Institute in Paris. With her charming cottage designs and a hand-picked selection of collaborators, Linda invites guests from all over the world to experience the warmth, tranquility and communal hospitality of a shared Finnish sleepover".
The KOTI project will remain open for 100 days (and nights) to celebrate the 100th anniversairy of the independance of Finland. After these 100 days, the cottages will be transported to Finland and reinstalled and opened to the Finnish public for another 30 nights. As the cottages are a living art installation celebrating the Finnish home part of this installation, they are open to public viewing during the day from 1pm-6pm.
On the beautiful wooden bedside tables designed by Matti & Merz you'll only find three items: a wake-up light by Innolux, a vase designed by with a few twigs and a wooden hand mirror by Studio Kaksikko. I love the custom designed bedlinen by Lapuan Kankurit in grey with a bright yellow stripe:
Below: the lovely bites prepared by chef Antto Melasniemi. During a stay at KOTI you can enjoy a communal breakfast on the large wooden breakfast table in the middle of the space. A typical Finnish breakfast is served every day with rye break, finnish butter and blueberries.
A peek inside the family cottage:
More linenware by Lapuan Kankurit:
Even the youngest guest seemed to appreciate KOTI <3
KOTI sleepover Institut finlandais Paris /// 60 Rue des Ecoles /// 75005 Paris /// France /// +33 1 40 51 89 09
All bookings via AirBnB from January until May 2017
@joelixjoelix on instagram