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September 28, 2018

Alexandra Hotel Barcelona | Travel w/ Style

I love to show you the other hotel we stayed in Barcelona which in my opinion was the perfect mix of Spanish hospitality and design with a Scandinavian touch. I think the lobby says it all! The Alexandra Barcelona Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton is a designer boutique hotel where fascinating history meets modern details and avant-garde. Designer furniture from the ‘50s and ‘60s and local photography in both public spaces and the rooms is combined with the original mosaic flooring, framed ceilings and natural oak details.

Located in one of our favourite areas on Carrer de Mallorca in Eixample and close to the Passeig de Gràcia, the fashion, culture and commercial heart of Barcelona, it was the perfect spot for discovering more of Barcelona. Visiting one of the beaches of Barcelona, but also going a bit further to a smaller town more south along the coast for a day.

The hotel offers 109 rooms of different styles and categories and 4 exclusive suites for holding all kinds of conventions, meetings and banquets. All completely equipped with the best service and technology. We stayed in a beautiful big room with a balcony looking over the green trees and a corner seat filled with cushions in the spacious bay window. Next to the bathroom there also was a beautiful white bath in the room itself. And how about the view over the roofs from the balcony bath?

Alexandra Barcelona offers excellent dining experiences including a Catalan gastronomic breakfast buffet with local quality products, a two-floor brasserie featuring ingredients grown in their own vegetable garden, a Charcuterie bar with Catalan specialties. Spain was hot and just like in the other hotel, have a look here: Cotton House hotel, if you missed it, hotel Alexandra has a swimming pool for guest next to the cozy restaurant and patio area.

More pictures can be found at our  Travel w/ Style page and on our Pinterest
This post was written in collaboration with Hotel Alexandra  | Pictures © w/ Style 
September 26, 2018

A new minimalistic kitchen in solid wood | Reform X Dinesen

At home I am about to change a few things in my kitchen, I am actually planning things since last Summer, but time passed by while painting and being undecided what else to change beside taking of the huge and shiny extractor.... I guess I was also maybe not totally happy with how the colour came out at the end and although I was looking for a more softer look, I secretly also missed the black backsplash.

Eventually I will find a solution to make it work again, meanwhile I am looking around and dreaming away after an email I received 
about the new 'UP' kitchen from my friends at Reform that I love to share with you. 

For those who are not familiar yet with Reform, they are a Copenhagen based company that uses IKEA's metod line of kitchen elements as a base giving everyone the opportunity to have a new designed or update their kitchen with architect designed fronts and table tops with a very affordable total price. 

September 24, 2018

An amazing white home by a Swedish blogger

After a few days crying out loud, well not really of course, because Summer seems to be almost over. I am finally getting a bit on track again with both the blog and catching up with the online news. Busy strolling through the blogs of some of my online friends to see what they have been up to blogging wise and cleaning my home after five weeks of travels and staying home doing nothing else but enjoying the sun in between... How I loved this Summer!

While most of the blogs went on a kind of Summer break I did found some news around like the wonderful news update of my friend Allan of Bungalow5DK and his couch design collab with Sofa company. On his blog I also came across a wonderful home and story of a girl who is running a blog just like me for over ten years but I never ever heard of before... and she seems so well known in Sweden. Now I ask you how can this be?

Sweden’s most successful blogger, Isabella Löwengrip started blogging when she was only 14 years old and now has build not only a successful business but is sharing here everyday life with more than 1,5 million readers. Her brand new home is just amazing and totally up my alley, seems like a dream she worked for very hard. 

pictures courtesy  Isabella Löwengrip 
September 21, 2018

bulthaup b3 | Personalize your kitchen to perfectly fit your home

Previously I wrote about how I love open spaces, also in my own home my living and kitchen are connected to each other which gives the home a nice flow. What was a separate smaller kitchen and a middle sized  bedroom are now the heart of the home where I love to cook and work at the huge table. I was lucky to be able to choose the look, and design my kitchen during a small renovation a few years ago within the possibilities given that time.

We are all unique and live different in our homes, we have other needs in our kitchens and our houses look different. Some have great features from the past and other are more contemporary. When it comes to designing your new kitchen, bulthaup b3 gives you the freedom to let your design ideas and dreams be fully realized fitting perfectly the character of your home to the smallest detail of your new kitchen.
September 19, 2018

Bastone collection by Finnish designer Antrei Hartikainen

Antrei Hartikainen is one of the designers I keep bumping into after first meeting him over dinner in Helsinki some years ago. I have been following him ever since, as I think Finnish design really has something different from all other Scandinavian design and I like it a lot! At Ambiente earlier this year he already told me about the furniture he was designing and I love seeing the result. The 'Bastone' collection Antrai  designed for POIAT Products Oy consist of a cabinet and a sideboard.

Antrei: "The Bastone collection moves naturally in the frontier of art and design, and showcases filtered light and reflections of shades as well appreciation of craftsmanship. The exterior of both the cabinet and the sideboard are partly open, partly covered by round and narrow strips of wood."
Antrei Hartikainen (b. 1991) is a master cabinetmaker and designer from Finland known for his exquisite works in wood. The award-winning pieces, including functional products and pure artworks, achieve heights of sensuality, elegance and craftsmanship that place them with the finest examples of modern Nordic carpentry. You might have seen his Fiori and tables pictured below on the blog before, a few examples, see more at Antrei Hartikainen

September 17, 2018

An all white dream Spa | Willow Urban Retreat

Remember the beautiful serene Parisian SPA in wabi sabi style I wrote about on the blog before? Today I love to show you Willow Urban Retreat in Armadale, Australia. Meme Design realized an almost holistic experience by using advanced air purification systems and low toxicity building materials to encourage restoration, support and advocate human wellness. The retreat consists of a wholefood cafe, a movement and meditation studio, a day spa and a detox facility. Willow urban retreat is a beautiful space and ofcourse I was interested to learn more about the design.

Meme Design: 'Working within two narrow heritage buildings, the two titles are opened up with the insertion of a central courtyard, an oversized arch to the shop front and long skylights along the perimeter of the building, maximising space, volume and natural light. Further arches slice through the dividing wall to connect the café and spa, encouraging circulation within the multipurpose space. Arches seem fitting within the Victorian vernacular and inform a spatial language of soft, seamless curves at intersections and meeting points between wall, floor and ceiling."

"The palette of materials includes natural stone and jade green onyx, a continuous hand applied cement render and a hand poured, pigmented cement bar. Finishes are understated, minimal and robust to withstand high usage and the interchangeable programs at the retreat."

More pictures at Meme Design

Photography Sharyn Cairns
September 14, 2018

Cotton House Hotel Barcelona | Travel w/ Style

A few years ago I visited Spain for the first time with a small group of bloggers and we had an amazing week together discovering Spanish design in collaboration with RED. I have been in contact ever since with my Spanish friends and we still meet each other if we happen to be in the same location whether it be my home town Amsterdam, Ibiza, Cologne or Milan and I was happy to see them again in Barcelona this Summer.

Together with Wen I visited Barcelona and Madrid this last month and stayed in different hotels that we will cover on our Travel w/ Style page to give you a small impression. Our first stop was at the Cotton House hotel in Barcelona. The Cotton House hotel is located on the former site of the ‘Cotton Textile Foundation’ A 19th- century building centrally situated within walking distance from several tourist attractions, and only a few steps away from shops and delicious restaurants.

The Cotton House Hotel
We were welcomed by the lovely team and were really impressed by the beautiful entrance of the building, a vestibule covered in mirrors. The building is really elegant with several great rooms and lounges where the bar and restaurant are located, a luminous glass conservatory and a 300 sqm terrace filled with beautiful greens. Impressive stairways: one, a grand marble staircase, and the other, a spiral staircase built in the 50's that received much acclamation among experts in architecture.

The staircases lead to the old library and the space now called “L’Atelier” which was the office to which guild-members withdrew so that their tailors and shirt-makers could take their measurements. The Cotton House recovers the essence of this tradition by offering its guests an artisanal tailor service provided by the professionals of Santa Eulalia, the most prestigious tailor establishment in Barcelona. A tailor from that firm will come to the Atelier to take guests measurements, advise and select unique fabrics of the highest quality to make the desired garments.

The decoration of the 83 rooms, including five spacious suites, is inspired on cotton through a chromatic combination of the white, black and sepia of the cotton plant and everything it evokes: softness, comfort, delicacy and naturalness, which are materialized in the fabrics and textures of the very highest quality. The rooms have been designed to offer all possible comfort: the bed linen is made with sheets with 300 thread count mercerized Egyptian cotton and 600-g towels, honeycomb bathrobes and slippers, and cosmetics of the prestigious Ortigia brand, made with 100% natural products from the Mediterranean area.

It was really warm when we were in Barcelona and it was great to start the day with a breakfast in the beautiful garden. You might have seen our stories on Instagram with the beautiful shot from above taken from our balcony also. What I loved most about our stay though was the early morning swim in the exterior pool located at the sixth floor and seeing the city wake up before breakfast. 

More pictures can be found at our  Travel w/ Style page and on our Pinterest!

This post was written in collaboration with the Cotton House | Pictures © w/ Style 
September 13, 2018

A new Vipp kettle | Travel w/ Style kitchen shoot

Going through my mailbox the other day I stumbled upon an email from Vipp and the release of a new electric kettle, the latest addition to Vipp’s collection of kitchen accessories. It took five years to finetune the design and with its powder-coated black surface perfectly matching the Vipp kitchen. Now this is what I call a kettle, I think I am the last person on earth not using one because I refuse to put a piece of plastic on my countertop... even if I know it will be real time saver. 

Its bringing back great memories from our very first w/ Style trip abroad photographing the kitchen in both The Loft in Copenhagen and maybe even more exciting at The Vipp shelter at lake Immeln. I have to confess I often think back of our stay at the shelter wondering how it would look green are the trees, would the lake be perfect for a swim today... and how would it be to have a tea at the small dock before lighting the fire, it is such a magic place I hope to come back one day. 

Morten Bo Jensen: "The design of the Vipp electric kettle borrows its shape from the old-school dome-shaped kettle used over heat, yet with the convenience of electrical heating. With its powder-coated black surface and handle, this kettle guarantees a tactile boiling experience. The grooved spout in stainless steel, the organically shaped handle, and soft rubber details are nods to Vipp’s recognisable design DNA."

"The kettle is developed with a double surface providing insulation that makes the surface heat-proof and keeps the water heated for a longer time. The kettle carries a mechanical design expression with only a discreet toggle button and small LED on/off indicator interrupting the smooth, black surface." 

Kettle product pictures ©vipp
pictures from our stay at the shelter and loft © w/ Style 

photography Wen van Woudenberg | styling Desiree Groenendal
September 11, 2018

Karimoku X Norm Architects | New wooden furniture

It is not the first time I have seen Danish designers and architects travelling to Japan to learn and work together with different Japanese furniture manufacturers and craftsman. I love to follow these travel stories and with Japan high on my travel bucket list it is a pleasure to also see some of their personal discoveries during their trips.

These pictures are made during a recent visit of Danish Norm architects who have designed a series of furniture for an interior renovation project in Tokyo in collaboration with Japan’s largest wooden furniture manufacturer, Karimoku, with Keiji Ashizawa Design and Torafu Architects having also participated in the workshops, designing furniture for specific spaces, including a private home and office space. 

Norm Architects: "During the factory workshop, designers and manufacturers gathered around each prototype, sharing input and opinions in order for solutions to be thought out in collaboration. Japan and Denmark share traditions in their approach to furniture design and cabinetry, and the Karimoku collaboration was an opportunity to investigate that, and learn and benefit from each other"
"The result of the Karimoku x Norm Architects collaboration is a series of functional, high quality wooden furniture that speak with their surroundings rather than make a statement, carrying references to both Japanese and Scandinavian aesthetics and design traditions."

Photos: Jonas Bjerre-Poulsen, Masaki Ogawa