My seven sins of living in vtwonen
This month I'm in the Jungle Fever issue of vtwonen magazine! Theo-Bert shared his Seven Sins of Living in May's issue, and this June it was my turn. I was interviewed by Monique van der Pauw about lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy and pride... but with a home & living touch. You can read the feature HERE, but if you don't read Dutch, let me tell you a little bit about my sins!
The first sin is gluttony and it couldn't be more obvious: I mean there's never enough plants in my life! I grew up in a home with a lot of plants everywhere. I recently saw pictures of what our livingroom looked like and there were plants everywhere: on the table, chairs, floor and in front of the window. Which means I basically grew up in an urban jungle. As a teenager I had a Saturday-job at a garden center, but my love for plants truly sparked after a visit of the Jardin Exotique in Monaco. I brought home some cactus cuttings from that same holiday and the thrived at home, so I collected more and more plants. And when talking to Igor about that in 2013, we realized we had a mutual love for plants and decided to show them on our blogs. This monthly series turned into a community of plant lovers called Urban Jungle Bloggers. And the rest is history!
The second sin is envy and I definitely envy people that constantly re-decorate their home. I love testing new paint colors, and using new accessories and my plants travel throug our entire house, but that's about it. I'm attached to my stuff and spaces and use most things until it breaks down or looks too scruffy. Like our giant couch. I really envy folks with a nice large couch and I've been looking to purchase a new one from Fest Amsterdam or Muuto. Robert and I don't like the exact same interior style, he's more into primary colors, but I really like pink and green too.
Lust is obviously about our new bathroom that we built ourselves. After years of a temporary and cold shower cabin (and showering with frozen shower gel), I love our new bathroom. My best ideas pop up when having a nice hot shower. You can read more about our bathroom renovation HERE.
The fourth sin of sloth is about cleaning our home in Photoshop. I'm not lazy, but cleaning is not my hobby. Especially in a big home like ours (with 27 rooms) it's a never-ending story. And because I take a lot of photos for my blog and Instagram, I sometimes clean in Photoshop! I'm also really good at doing really nothing, just messing around in the house, read, Instagram, go for a run or take care of my plants, which completely relaxes me. Oh and junkhunting! Never enough new containers for my planties!
Anger... grrr I don't like bad products, fake design, throw-away stuff. Mankind doesn't need more real junk! I'm not a true design-junkie either and don't buy specific designers-only. But I love well-made, beautiful, good design. When I see yet another Vitra copy I think: come on, come up with something yourself! We own a few design pieces that we have had for years, Alessi cutlery, a Pastoe cupboard, an Arco dining table. They are still beautiful after all these years! Changing your interior doesn't have to be expensive, you can find the best stuff second hand too! And be more environmentally responsable.
I'm not extremely greedy and don't need a lot of stuff. As a little girl my sister usually spent her pocket money easily. I always saved it, not even with a specific goal. Robert tells me to buy stuff every now and then and just do it! And I do and love the things I buy. In general I prefer spending my money on traveling and visiting family and friends. Of course I do love beautiful things that I would love to have. And when I do, I pin it to my "Wishful thinking, a virtual wishlist with beautiful products that I love, but not particularly need" Pinterest board! Sometimes I simply appreciate watching at all of that beauty!
Pride, it's Pride month! No seriously, when I think of pride & living, I think about our home, which is quite different than a regular home. It's a large industrial office building in Le Corbusier style, modern and open, designed by French architect Carl André. We already lived in the village when we passed by the building on a Sunday walk in 2004. It was abandoned and wild, but we loved it! It included a laboratory, a meeting room and lots of office space. In the CEO's room we found a little button that allowed the CEO to listen to what was going on in the meeting room! Quirky, right?! That same room is now our cinema room. It's a pleasant home not too far from Paris, where I visit for work and friends regularly. Discover new areas of the city, new cafés and boutiques. It feels like a luxury to live in a spacious home, yet so close to Paris.
Merci vtwonen for the wonderful opportunity to share a little bit more about my home & life! Oh and about vtwonen: stay tuned for more very soon! Have a nice Friday everyone!
mini guide Brussels
When visiting our family in Holland, we always (always!) pass by Brussels. And in fifteen years we never ever stopped there. Which turned out, is a pity because Brussels is a sweet and diverse city, well worth a visit.
Igor and I were in Bruxelles recently to promote our book and to host a plant hanger workshop and had an extra day to explore. There were quite a few places that I really loved (and want to revisit on our next trip to Holland!) that go well beyond Manneken Pis, chocolate and beer. So here we go with some of the places you don't want to miss on your next citytrip to Bruxelles, Brussel, or just Brussels.
By the way, I still have no clue which language you're supposed to speak in Brussels. Speaking English seemed safer than French or Dutch, because the Bruxellois would either be insulted by Dutch or by French and reply in a different language. As long as you understand each other, it's OK, but it felt confusing either way.
► I'm still dreaming of the iced coffee I had at Aksum, an Ethiopian coffee house, not far from the Grand Place. My number one reason to go back to Brussels, and I'm not even a coffee-addict. Warmly (or ice-coldly ;) ) recommended!
► The prettiest plant shop in Brussels: BRUT. A real jungle vibe, with lots of pink grow lights, lush plants and vintage rattan furniture. We created an entire blogpost about Brut on Urban Jungle Bloggers if you like to take a look inside. Next time I also want to visit their newly opened sister-boutique La Pharmacie with more vintage & plants.
► Good design and vintage shopping in the Rue Blaes, including Atat and Welcome Gallery with some very nice Calder-inspired stabiles!
► The glazed shopping arcade Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert is a bit touristy (check the first picture above), but there are a few nice design and interior shops inside and... Meert ;) Need I say more?!
► Forget waffles with too many toppings: go to Aux Merveilleux de Fred for a raisin cramique. Super soft fluffy bread with raisins. Or indulge in his merveilleux.
► Dinner at La Cantina Brasil for nice brasilian food in a kitschy jungle decor. Not tested, but I was recommended to have dinner at Jour de Fête.
► On Sunday, wake up early to visit the Marché du Midi, the fruit and flower and plant market near the Bruxelles Midi trainstation. It is huge and has so many beautiful flowers, very cheap houseplants and the most wonderful fruit en veggies. If you visit at the end of the market day, at around 13:30, you can find the best bargains.
► If you woke up early to visit the market and did some grocery shopping, or maybe even adopted a new plant, walk towards the Marolles area, just south from the Marché du Midi. On the Place du Jeu de Balle, there's a large Sunday fleamarket where you can find anything from complete tourist traps, to the best vintage finds ever. I found it to be rather inexpensive, the vendors were willing to negotiate and easier than the French folks at the vide greniers we usually visit here in France.
► fter (or before!) a stroll around the fleamarket: go for Sunday brunch at Chaff, great for people watching as it's right along the brocante square.
Do you have more Brussels tips? I can't wait to go back, have a nice Aksum coffee, a cramique and for some more junkhunting at the Place du Jeu de Balle ;)
Plants and colors
Today I get to blog with a group of French interior bloggers: le collectif de blogueurs Project Inside! They asked me to be their guest blogger this month and bien sûr I said yes: I mean the topic couldn't be a better match: "Les Plantes et les couleurs" (Plants & Colors). Both inspire me so much every day!
What I wanted to show you is that when you think of "plants" you almost immediately think of greenery and the color green. But there are quite a few houseplants that have the most wonderful non-green colors. They can add that unexpected pop of color to your interior and brings out the green in your other plants as a contrasting color.
I decided to gather them on my plantshelfie and actually I have more of them than I expected: quite a few Tradescantia pallida, purple heart plants as they grow so fast and easy, a Tradescantia zebrina that I brought home from Finland as a cutting, the beautiful Oxalis (a gift from Morgane), the Stromanthe triostar, which is actually very red-ish from the back (I turned it around for the photo), a Ludisia jewel orchid (a gift from Caroline), the Euphorbia trigona rubra that has this weird green burgundy color and the backside of the Begonia maculata which is red:
The flipside of the Marantha triostar is almost neon pink in some areas:
So tell me: do you own any colorful houseplants? Or do you prefer the fresh green "neutrals"?
Read more Plants & Colors blogposts on the blogs of these French blog ladies from Project Inside:
Atelier Rue Verte /// Regards & Maisons /// Lovers of Mint /// Mariekke /// Ilaria Fatone /// Interior Crisp
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