Urban Jungle Bloggers #35
New beginnings is the Urban Jungle Bloggers topic for this Spring season. And it couldn't be more appropriate with all my plants awakening from hibernation. One of my Euphorbia is growing new stems, the Begonia are growing new leaves every day, the giant Opuntia in the greenhouse is expanding with 37 new ears. Lots of new beginnings in my urban jungle here at home and I hope to grow some more babies too, in my newly installed propagation station!
In these past months I've been collecting laboratory glassware because I really wanted to build this so-called propagation station. It started with a nice lot of all kinds of Erlenmeyer flasks, petri dishes, Pyrex beakers and test tubes that I found at my local thrift shop. Every time new glassware came in, the chef let me know there was something new for my botanical experiments. And of course he had to remind (every.single.time!) me to play it safe, because he knew where to find me if I would cause a big explosion ;)
Anyway, together with the old glassware from the previous laboratory in our home it is a nice collection that is perfect for growing new plants in water. The first results are there: tiny baby roots on a Peperomia watermelon stem and more Tradescantia zebrina (from a cutting from Helsinki!). New beginnings and more to come!
But first a real holiday, that already started a few days ago. Time to unwind and to do anything but work. Very much needed to come back with fresh energy and ideas in May. If you like, follow me on Instagram, I promise I'll share a few peeks of beautiful Corsica!
Urban Jungle Bloggers is a seasonal series hosted by 2 bloggers: Igor (Happy Interior Blog) and Judith (JOELIX.com). Every month we share ideas to create an urban jungle through styling ideas, DIYs and green tips & tricks. You can find additional inspiration on our Urban Jungle Bloggers Pinterest board and keep up-to-date via Facebook or Instagram. Want to join? Find out how on our website and use #urbanjunglebloggers on twitter and instagram. Let's bring some green into our homes and blogs!
► For more New Beginnings, check out the gallery!
Le Refuge by Marc Ange in Milan
Marc Ange's pink day bed, called Le Refuge, was probably the most Instagrammed place in Milan during Design Week. I loved it so much that I also posted a picture, which instantly became my most liked picture ever. It features laser-cut steel pink leaves, a cosy mattress. Together with the blue sky and amazing shadowplay, I must admit this is quite a dreamy daybed. I would definitely risk striped tanlines for it ;)
Le Refuge or “The Imaginary World of Marc Ange”, the creation presented by The Invisible Collection in Milan 2017. Unveiled in the garden of the Mediateca di San Teresa in the heart of Milan, Le Refuge is the projection of a childhood memory; Its large leaves form a shelter under the sun, away from reality, just like those of the imaginary jungle that grows in the room of a child who seeks escape.
Together with the Green Gallery, in the garden of the Mediateca di San Teresa, where Wallpaper set up their Holy Handmade exhibition, they created a green hut that felt like the living version of Marc Ange's day bed, without the bed. A green refuge so to speak:
I liked how the eye catching pink of the day bed was reflected inside by using bright pink orchids, bromeliads, Anthura and Medinilla:
For this view I would definitely want to risk striped tanlines:
One of the reasons I love palm trees so much, is because of the beautiful shadows. The leaves from Marc Ange's daybed, are nearly as amazing:
What do you think? Is this something you would want in your dream garden? I know I would!!
mini LIVING breathe in Milan
One of the most sensational installations in Milan was definitely the Breathe tower in the Tortona district. When I heard it was all about conscious, healthy and green living I knew I had to go and see it for myself. Together with NYC-based architects SO-IL, MINI (from the cars!) introduced a creative problem-solving approach for future challenges in urban areas. In other words: how do we "live" in the future. In the next decades more and more people will live in urban environments, apartments will become smaller and more expensive, so we need to re-think how we live. According to Breathe: we will need to share more space and tools (for laundry or cooking for example) with others and make conscious decisions on how we use the few square meters we have. I must admit I was very happy to see that plants are an undeniable part of this concept, because they are vital!
Breathe consists of a tall tower in between two buildings and is composed of a metal frame that is covered with a white mesh fabric. You enter the home via a communal kitchen with modular elements and then reach the other 5 areas via a steep spiral staircase. These areas are for working, relaxing and taking care of yourself in a very minimalistic way, including a capsule clothing collection (!), a few books and some accessories, houseplants and different floor-seating areas and hammocks. As you can see in my photos, the tower is covered by a translucent mesh fabric that filters the air and makes the entire home look very airy and bright.
The entire structure is also "rebuildable" so you can move it to a new location and start all over. It's a bit like a contemporary tent or caravan. It almost feels like glamping ;)
The plants inside Breathe and on the rooftop terrace are selected for their air purifying powers, like this Kentia palm, the Philodendron and the Ivy:
A "hammock" for reading, relaxing and sleeping:
At the lush green rooftop garden, rainwater is collected and stored to use in the rest of the home.
What I liked most about this idea of transparent and translucent living is that, quite unexpectedly, you feel some kind of privacy in all the different areas, but at the same you're not far away from others.
The spiral staircase to the next floors, and the minimal and modular kitchen:
During my visit, the team from Dezeen was there to host a panel discussion with Oke Hauser from MINI, Ilias Papageorgiou from SO-IL, Jane Hall frpm London collective Assemble and Italian architect Carlo Ratti. The final words by Carlo Ratti were definitely what tied the entire Breathe installation together when he quotes Herbert Simon and Albert Einstein: "Science is about how the world is, design is how the world could be." This is definitely an interesting proof of concept!
Read more about the MINI living Breathe installation on Dezeen and Designboom.
My personal favorites from Milan 2017
Milan was good, really good. I'm in the middle of sharing all my favorites here on the blog, and I just couldn't not share these. But they didn't fit in: because they are my faves! For very different reasons (the colors, light, shapes or people behind it) so here we go.
When I pushed the door of Dimore Studio I was welcomed by an interior with the most stunning color palette I've seen in a while. The lady behind the counter kindly asked if she could help me and told me the actual exhibition was on the other side of the hallway. I passed the hallway and entered the wonderful world of Dimore Studio. The colors, the light, the materials used, the proportions: it made an unforgettable impression. I mean how cool is this thick transparant piece of this table construction?
And something I love so much in Milan: the hidden green patios, tereaces and balconies: a peek into the rooftop garden:
Currently I'm completely drawn to circular shapes. My entire Pinterest "Wishful Thinking" board is filled with round items. At the Dutch Design presentation by Baars & Bloemhoff I saw this light suspension by Sabine Marcelis called Filter created. It's made of high macs material and looks simply stunning! The only thing I don't get is the ugly white electricity cord. But hey, that's easy to replace with something more stylish ;)
At the Euroluce, the lighting exhibition of the Salone, my friend Tiff and I just had to visit our friends from LZF. Remember the garden party? This time LZF presented their new color PINK! This new shade (my favorite!) is such a good match for their lamps in translucent wood veneer: it makes them look even softer:
And I said hi to the big brother of my Smelli Fant: the life size Elephant:
Then off to Santa & Cole: they presented new lights by designer Anthony Dickens. Anthony told us that he was inspired by Cochin paper lanterns on a trip to Japan in 2010 and worked really hard to create a lighting system that combined this traditional way of working with paper, with the latest LED technology. The result is Tekio: a lighting system based on flexible structures covered by paper modules held together by magnets. You can create all kinds of different combinations, like wall lights, vertical pendant lamps, horizontal lines, circles and ovals.
Nina Masó, one of the founders of Santa & Cole, that we also met at the wonderful Parc de Belloch last year, welcomed the press during a special aperitivo:
Like last year, the food at Santa & Cole was something special: they invited Pepi de Boissieu to create a "Pu-erh" tea installation & ritual. More about that on Pepi's Instagram, if you like to know. And have you ever seen such a stylish way to cut off Spanish sausages?
So, here they are: some of my very favorites from Milan. I hope you liked them as much as I do? But there's more! I'll show you two other green projects later this week. So stay tuned!
Mindcraft exhibition in Milan
The MINDCRAFT Exhibition at the Cloister of San Simpliciano was one of the many highlights of my trip to Milan. Danish Fashion design Henrik Vibskov curated the exhibition and it was just as eclectic as his own designs and shop in Copenhagen. It felt very contemporary with a focus on handmade and crafts, impressive by its volume with eye for details, cohesion and color. It's not my forté to put things into lots of words, I tried to capture it in these few photos.
Oh and if you were wondering, this exhibition has nothing to do with Minecraft, the video game ;) or maybe it has: it's playful in some sorts!
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.
Loved these "Powder Variations" sculptures by Carl Emil Jacobsen:
On the left: digital print on silk by Birk Marcus Hansen and the minty green Spinning Time Machine by Isabel Berglund:
The textile huts have such detail and feel womb-like cosy and even slightly African:
And there in the back the most amazing larger-than-life paper flowers by Marianne Eriksen Scott-Hansen:
What makes the Designweek in Milan so special, is that its historic city center is the temporary stage for contemporary design, which creates unique and very interesting contrasts. Like here:
Another feature that made the Mindcraft Exhibition so good, is that the Mindcraft website is so explanatory as well. And it comes with a beautifully layouted catalogue, designed by Henrik Vibskov himself.
A walk around green Milan
As you may know, Milan is so very green: not only the booths and exhibitions of the Salone del Mobile or the FuoriSalone are green (more about that soon!), many balconies, façades and walls of buildings are covered with leaves. It's refreshing, especially in a city that is so dense and suffers from air pollution quite a few days per year. And because the weather was so lovely during my stay, I walked around quite a bit. Here's what I saw:
The staghorn fern, graptoveria succulent (the one bottom left) and the Tradescantia pallida on this balcony are so pretty!
The kind of matchy/matchy I love, in Brera Design District:
Passing by the famous Maryflor florist. They also have quite a few interesting cactus plants in their shop. It was impossible to take their picture because of the bright reflections of the sunlight, but believe me: they were lovely!
I love this light:
The work of Francesca Pasquali, an installation of colored cobweb dusters(!) for Melissa:
More pale pink and green balconies:
And the two most famous green towers in Milan: the Bosco Verticale (vertical forest) by Stefano Boeri:
Stay tuned, I'll show you more design goodness from Milan later this week!
On a blogsafari with Design Diffusion
When someone asks you to go on a blogsafari, how can you say no? Last week I was invited by Design Diffusion magazine to visit the Salone del Mobile in Milan and discover the very best in interior design. So off I went, for a few days of design, sunshine, blogfriends and gelato! Join me on a virtual safari at the Salone:
First stop and also one of my favorite stands of the DDN blogsafari: Arflex! Blush tinted glass, round and graphic shapes, terrazzo, a very nice soft color palette and an overall sixties vibe. Very 2017!
After visiting Annibale Colombo and Natuzzi, there were more new colors for the Random bookshelves by MDF Italia:
Desk candy by Gallotti & Radice. It's very addictive to twirl the brass wheel:
Very hot and happening: mobiles, stabiles and wallhangings. Like these brass and glass ones at Gallotti & Radice:
Do we have a theme here? More brass and graphic hangers at the booth of Poliform, who are known for their high quality furniture:
Interesting shapes and LED lights by Artemide called Yanzi, by Shanghai based studio Neri & Hu:
When we walked into the booth of JPC design, we entered another universe: inspired by nature, with natural materials like rocks, metals and paper (for the white Ixorb bench below!), and the galaxy! According to designer Thanos Zakopoulos you cannot do much better than nature itself.
That's exactly why they used brutal rocks in brass for the Antivol side tables. "Antivol" as in impossible to steal, because they're so heavy ;) And on top of the tables: the planet mirrors called Naia in brushed and matte brass with different kinds of marble:
It's buzzing at the Salone del Mobile (and hi Kate!)
Even more so than the Kartell designs, I loved the graphic background panels in their booth with Mediterranean view with graphic patterns:
New in the Kartell family: these new stackable chairs in biodegradable plastic called BIO, designed by Antonio Citterio:
And what is a Blogsafari without plants? Well, we indulged in lots of lush green at Gianfranco Ferrè Home and kokedama moss balls with big Monstera deliciosa leaves on the stand of Roberto Cavalli Home:
A giant plantshelfie by Gallotti & Radice:
With the beautiful ceramic watering can by Elke van den Berg that is still on my wishlist:
As you know, Milan is a particularly green city, especially when you know that it's also an industrial city. I explored the city for a few more days and I can't wait to share more with you next week! I walked a lot, so stay tuned for more ;)
For now, I hope you enjoyed this Blogsafari and that you maybe even discovered a few new brands?
Thank you Design Diffusion magazine for organising this fun Blogsafari! Check out #ddnbloggers on Instagram and my Salone album on Facebook to see more.
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