October 15, 2018

Minimal light design by Vibia | Tempo

Minimalism is not the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of Barcelona, Vibia might be a beautiful exception though! Next to the small kitchen update I am planning, my home is in need of a new lighting solution, As you might have read I find this really difficult, continuously coming across to many options might be one of the main reasons. 

Founded in 1987, Vibia is a design-oriented lighting manufacturer based in Barcelona. With 'Tempo' Vibia presents three designs in two sizes in this collection of pendant lamps. I especially love the wall mounted version and I could easily see this next to my bed. The collection is inspired by degrees of luminance and the interplay of opacity, translucence and transparency. Have a look at the Vibia website for all different sizes and options of Tempo and many other lighting solutions.

pictures via Vibia
October 12, 2018

The Five Seasons by Marcel Wanders for Alessi | w/ Style shoot

October already, I can hardly believe Summer is slowly ending! On the other hand I am looking forward to the new season and redecorating my home for Autumn. I love to bring in some darker colours, maybe paint a wall, bring in some carpets and light the candles around the home a bit earlier to let their fragrances fill the home.

I don't know about you but I love my candles to be more than just a candle, I like to see them as small accessories for my home and I want them to fit my interior. No surprise you won't see any colourful candles or scented candles other then just simply black, white or a muted brownish autumn colour at my home.  

Finding new scented candles, room sprays or diffusers that fit my taste can be hard if you love them to look as good as possible. When we got the opportunity to work with Alessi and create some images of 'The Five Seasons' collection I was happy to find out their new collection would perfectly fit our homes. Not only from a design point of view, also the use of plant based wax and fragrances as bergamot, vetiver, cedar wood and moss to name a few, are really the kind of fragrances I love.

The Five Seasons
The idea of the home fragrance and its possible reinterpretation through the language of design has fascinated Alessi since the mid-1980s and this new chapter dedicated to home fragrances is now written by our very own Dutch Marcel Wanders, who also happens to be one of Alessi’s most fragrant

A collection of organic formed objects is created, using precious materials like porcelain and mahogany, we see a perfectly shaped ash wood tray, lava stones, and other elements inspired by nature. The scents were created with the advice of one of the most important perfume makers in Grasse, the world’s perfume capital known for its cultivation of flowers and sophisticated production techniques. 

The personalities of the five new fragrances are suggested by their highly evocative names referring to the four seasons: “Brrr” mature, fresh and bright as Winter, with notes of bergamot, lily of the valley and musk. 
“Ahhh” young and delicate like Spring with the freshness of a mystical garden and with notes of cardamom, hyacinth and vetiver. 

“Hmm” stands for Summer, warm and inviting with a bouquet of figs, red fruits and mixed woods. Complex, dense, smokey and sensual “Grrr” has a mix of incense, cedar wood and moss like a perfect Autumn day. 

Sardinian Lava stone fragrance diffuser
The lava stone fragrance diffuser was a bit special to me, not only because I love lava in general but the black lava stone chosen for “The Five Seasons” comes from my beloved Sardinia. A small ash wood tray accommodates the lava stone and an essential oil and dropper. This composition is offered exclusively for “Shhh”, the most intriguing collection that is mysterious, spiritual, obscure and enveloping, with hints of eucalyptus, rose and patchouli.  

Leaf fragrance diffuser
According to Alessi, the Mahogany leaf fragrance diffuser is perhaps the piece that best captures the spirit of the collection. The porcelain bowl, white for the four seasons and black for the season of transcendence, is circular with a slightly rounded base.

The leaves used to diffuse a different scent for each season, are made from sapele mahogany, chosen for its porosity and colour, which enhances the silhouette of the design. There are five different leaves to choose from, each one paired with a different fragrance, six leaves can be used in the diffuser at the same time, we loved to use two of the 'Ahhh'. 

The Scented candle come in two different sizes in black or white porcelain bowls, last for around 40 hours. Each candle is closed with a decorated ash wood lid made by artisans from the Valle Strona, an area of Lake Orta close to Alessi’s headquarter. The lid can also be used as a base. 

Last but not least, instead of burning candles I often use Room spray, and I personally love it. The Five Seasons Room spray, pictured in the first picture evokes memories of the original glass perfume bottles and its atomiser produces a perfect puff of perfume. The use of Room spray comes from an age-old ritual to treat oneself to a wonderful moment of calm, something still relevant for many of us these days as well.  

This post is written in collaboration with Alessi | Pictures © w/ Style 

Concept w/ Style | Photography Wen van Woudenberg | Styling Desiree Groenendal 
October 10, 2018

A concrete house by Whispering Smith architects

Let's talk concrete! One of my personal favourite materials and to be found in almost every room of my own home. I love the raw feeling of concrete but could never live in a complete concrete box, I always need a good dose of white and wood combined with it to soften the concrete. This minimalistic home located in Perth, Australia has the perfect mix of materials and the outside of the home shows how beautiful soft the use of concrete can be as well.

Whispering Smith: "We are a staunchly feminist architecture firm working across both residential and commercial projects. They specialize in working with clients on innovative approaches to delivering architecture and we are champions for millennial housing, sustainable architecture, local craft and friendly minimalist architecture. House A is the first of three carbon neutral dwellings in Scarborough made from high recycled content concrete panels and whitewashed recycled brick. The house is 3 storey mini tower with a garage underneath and a loft on top. Minimal land, minimal house, minimal life"

Photography Ben Hosking
October 8, 2018

Chrona lights | Graypants design studio

I first came across the team of Graypants some years ago in Milan, originally from Seattle and Amsterdam, Graypants’ creativity leads to diverse designs in products, architecture, and other beautiful objects around the world. Their work expands globally with collaborations and custom designs for leading companies worldwide. 

In Milan it was their Murmurations chandeliers that caught my eye, and I am pretty sure you have seen their handcrafted 'Scraplights' made from recycled cardboard. Totally different is the Chrona light that create a luminous glow by combining spun brass and diffused acrylic. With a variety of configurations in both horizontal and vertical orientations, Dish pendants can be clustered together to make stunning constellations or individually hung to accentuate any space and are available in diameters ranging from 6 to 17 inches. 

pictures courtesy graypants
October 5, 2018

Copenhagen Design tour by Fredericia & Georg Jensen

You might have seen at my Instagram stories I was on a two day trip to Copenhagen last month, it was kind of the last trip of my holidays and a really cool kick off at the same time of the new season with new releases and the first fairs. The Designtour was organised by Fredericia and Georg Jensen, both brands I visited earlier. This time I really got to know the brands and was taken not only on a trip down memory lane, visiting the coastal home of one of Georg Jensen most important designers, but also got to meet Monica Föster and followed a workshop by a craftsman who works on Fredericia's limited edition of the Spanish chair in olive green to celebrate its 60th anniversary.

On the first day we were welcomed by both Fredericia and Georg Jensen and taken on a short bike trip to the Fredericia headquarters and showroom located at the top of the historic former Royal Mail House in the heart of Copenhagen. Here, on 1,100 square metres spread across two floors, Fredericia created their own universe presenting everything there is to know about the brand from the stories of the early years and its founding in 1911 until the present day.

The piece that immediately caught my eye was Børge Mogensen’s original 2213 sofa, which for many years stood in the designer’s own home. The sofa shows the outstanding quality of Fredericia furniture, how it lasted over the years, was passed on to the next generation and becomes even more beautiful over the years. We were welcomed with a tour through the history, the building and collection of Fredericia by owner Thomas Graversen and his son Rasmus, followed by a demonstration of the making of the iconic Spanish chair by Tärnsjö Tannery and a small workshop by the Swedish craftsman. 

Making of the Spanish chair | Tärnsjö Tannery workshop
On occasion of the 60th anniversary of the iconic Spanish Chair, Fredericia launches a special edition in solid oak combined with an elegant Olive Green saddle leather. To honour Børge Mogensen’s work, Fredericia searched the master’s archive and discovered this subtle, natural colour, which was one of his most loved hues and one of the dominating interior colours at the time. 

Now, and for the first time ever, the Spanish Chair is available in this modern mid-century colour marking 60 years of impeccable craftsmanship and cutting edge design. The leather for the Spanish chair is manufactured by Swedish Tärnsjö Tannery. One of the craftsman travelled from Sweden to demonstrate the making off and learned us a few techniques in a given workshop. 

The Spanish Chair Special Edition is available until 31 December 2018.

Trinidad chair by Nanna Ditzel
After a wonderful lunch at Aamanns we visited the studio of Dennie Ditzel, daughter of Nanna Ditzel. At her studio we admired the prototype of the Trinidad chair, which is slightly different than the one we know and was launched in 1993 and marked a turning point in Fredericia's history, establishing Nanna Ditzel as Fredericia's second house designer after Børge Mogensen.

Dennie enthusiastically talked about her mother and her uncompromising approach to quality, playful shapes, her strong personality and magnificent ability to transform her artistic dreams into very functional and sophisticated designs. To celebrate the 25th anniversary of Nanna Ditzel’s iconic Trinidad chair, Fredericia launches a few new editions of the chair in smoked oak, grey and light grey oak leaving the veneer with a visible wooden structure. 

Georg Jensen Silversmith visit
We finished our first day with a delicious dinner at the Fredericia Showroom supported by Electrolux The next morning after a breakfast at the super cool breakfast area of hotel SP34 where I stayed,we drove to the coast to visit the old home of Henning Koppel, who was one of the most important Scandinavian designers and an important figure in the history of Georg Jensen. 

Georg Jensen represents quality craftsmanship and timeless aesthetic design, producing lifestyle products ranging from hollowware to watches, jewellery and home products. I visited the silversmith a few years ago already and it was good to be back, it's such an impressive place and I love to see how pieces are made. We also visited the archives this time and saw some beautiful pieces made in honour of the 100th birthday of Henning Koppel.  

The philosophy of Georg Jensen himself was to create democratic designs possessing both functionality and beauty. His artisanal skill and artistic talent combined with his continuous ability to identify and support design talent was the foundation on which he built Georg Jensen in Copenhagen in 1904.

Home of Henning Koppel
At the home of Henning Koppel his daughter, welcomed us in her garden where a table was decked with some of his original and newer pieces made to celebrate his 100th birthday. The legendary Henning Koppel’s work is synonymous with both the heritage of Georg Jensen and Danish design itself. Working endlessly in his pursuit of reconciling form and function, Koppel was obsessed with creating everyday objects that were beautiful without sacrificing practicality. 

I loved to hear his daughter talk about her family life and how her father was always drawing, she even took out some old family pieces to show us and many of the drawings could be seen in the home. In his early years most inspiration came from nature. Henning was more a sculptor than a silversmith and he challenged the smiths with the organic shapes he draw. Henning Koppel is responsible for what we have come to think of as “Danish design" and his designs broke new ground for Georg Jensen with expansive and beautiful shapes. 

2018 - the year of Henning Koppel
Most recently the Georg Jensen design team have taken original Koppel designs and reworked them to new variations of his iconic pieces. Original Koppel watercolour sketches from the archive have inspired and introduced a new colour palette of black, steel and shades of blue as seen in the koppel vase

Some sketches Koppel drew were difficult to make at that time. The 1041 was first made in 1954 for an exhibition celebrating Georg Jensen’s 50th anniversary. Koppel was not really satisfied though with the finished result and destroyed the piece after the exhibition and it was never made again till the drawing was found in the archive. With today's techniques it was brought to life by one of Georg Jensen's silversmiths in Koppel's honour. The video shows the making of and gives you a sneak peek in the home of Koppel we visited. 

Eel dish
Henning Koppel’s work today remains highly sought-after. The monumental design of Koppel’s Eel Dish, a design triumph that placed Scandinavia on the global design map, is a work of art we got to see the silversmith working at. 

This is not a piece of hollowware you make after having finished your apprenticeship of 4 years. It takes many more years of training to be able to make this masterpiece and it takes an experienced silversmith about 500-550 hours to make the covered dish

Monica Förster design marks this year’s Christmas Collectibles with a collection of winter nature motifs, the winter bird, acorn, birdhouse and pinecone, all perfect symbols for your Christmas decoration. She designed three new collections in total and second is a collection of candle holders she called 'Tunes', a combination of candlesticks and trays. 

The Matrix collection of which 
you can trace its roots back to early Art Deco pieces from the Georg Jensen archives, is a series of cube and cylinder vases that let you present your flowers in a surprising new way. The grid-like structure almost encourages you to play around with your floral arrangements and be innovative. All elements can be stacked one on another to create a centerpiece.

written in collaboration with Fredericia and Georg Jensen who covered my travel, accommodation and expenses.

pictures by vosgesparis.