Monday, October 20, 2014

From Place To Space: Bloggers Tour Amsterdam

Lately I took you to our magic, coastal inspired bloggers dinner in Amsterdam and to the showroom of Moooi. Today I want to give you another insight into what our group of European design bloggers was up to in Amsterdam. Our 4-days bloggers tour was packed with design, bloggers, good food and lots of fun of course.

We kicked off our bloggers tour at the interior design fair 'Woonbeurs' where we were invited along with other Dutch bloggers by Dutch interiors magazine VT Wonen - we all contributed to their special blogger issue. We had the opportunity to discover the beautifully styled VT Wonen house at the fair and browse the other halls too. No wonder that I was absolutely happy to see lots of greens at the fair - a real Urban Jungle Bloggers playground!

The next day was reserved for the 'Meet the Blogger' conference where we mingled and networked with a huge bunch of international bloggers, listened to a Q&A session with Kinfolk Magazine and gave presentations/workshops. I teamed up with my friend Elena and we spoke about green trends and how to trigger a community - but I will blog about that in more details another time!

Apart from our appointments with local brands and designers, we also had time to roam the city and discover nice restaurants, cafés and sights - mostly we traveled in style with limousines and chauffeurs order through the easy Uber app.

One evening we were invited to dine at the fantastic Bluespoon restaurant in the Andaz Hotel - a real 5-star delight and a hotel design that makes you feel like amidst the bewildering beauty of 'Alice in Wonderland'! And we couldn't skip the compulsory canal tour in Amsterdam - thanks to the great 'I Amsterdam City Card' we had not to worry about getting tickets for the public transport nor the canal tour - it was all inclusive! A real recommendation if you plan a weekend trip to Amsterdam anytime soon!

I hope you enjoyed this little Monday voyage to Amsterdam. Have a great new week and let's see where I'll take you next Monday!

Photography by Igor Josifovic, Uber pic by Susanna Vento

Friday, October 17, 2014

'Feathers' Wallpaper By Mini Moderns & Matt Sewell

One of my favorite British design duos, Mini Moderns, has recently launched a new wallpaper design named 'Feathers' in collaboration with artist Matt Sewell. Inspired by the nature and painterly put with a dreamy watercolour effect, this wallpaper is a real eye-catcher. 

I really like the strong visual impact of this wallpaper design in contrast with the light brush strokes of its watercolour effect. Imagine this wallpaper as a feature wall in a spacious room, imagine it as a wallpaper of an alcove, a reading nook and more. And why not an entire room if you like to go bold!

This playful wallpaper design comes in five colourways: Lido, Mustard, Chalkhill Blue, British Lichen and Coach Emerald. 'Feathers' is the third wallpaper design in the Mini Moderns 'Hinterland' collection which marks a repeated collaboration with the artist Matt Sewell. 

Photography by Mini Moderns

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Styling & Decorating A Small Apartment - Part 1

Size does not matter. Not when it comes to styling a home at least. For the past seven years I have been living in a small rooftop apartment with a mere 32 square meters. Thus I am often asked about how to style and decorate a small apartment. Well, I am not a trained interior designer nor stylist, so my idea of styling a home is a very hands-on approach. Go with the feeling, play around, apply a trial-and-error approach, give it some time and tweak around. A home is never finished - it grows and lives with you.

My overall mantra for styling a small apartment is 'one in - one out'. It is a hard one, but it is the only way to avoid too much clutter. Sometimes I fail my own mantra - for example when it comes to vintage ceramics or cushions (may I be forgiven), but I try to let go of things that I do not love entirely. I want to buy a new chair? Fine, then I need to get rid of another one at home. Am I ready to do that? Question mark! But I think that is the only way I managed to sail in the waters of interior design blogging without ending up with a zillion things in my small apartment (suffocated under a pile of stylish throw cushions if you want so).

When I pick furniture for my apartment, I try to find stylish and functional furniture with lots of storage space - think of beds with storage space underneath, think of chest of drawers (I have all my DVDs and BluRays in those drawers), think of shelves and using your walls for storage and go for stools instead of more chairs. When not in use, pile your books and magazines on them and top it off with a nice houseplant. Easy, right? Extra tip: Use large mirrors to visually expand your home - I have two mirrors opposed to each other and they make the room look wider and brighter. 

Don't be afraid to display what you love - I love my vintage ceramics so I keep them on my sideboard but I change the arrangement and placing from time to time. Keep them grouped together - it makes a stronger impact and keeps your small interior cleaner. 

Of course my life would be much easier if I were a minimalistic all-white kind of guy. But hey, I love my knickknacks too much to let go. But loving home decor does not mean living in chaotic clutter - not even in a small apartment. For the German speaking/reading among you, I blogged about styling a small apartment on Roombeez too. 

Next week I will share the second part of my 'Styling A Small Apartment' story. 

Happy Thursday!

Photography by Igor Josifovic

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Happy Interior Blog Recommends: Libratone

Liberate your sound in style! That was my first thought when I was introduced to the stylish wireless speakers of Libratone during our Design Bloggers Dinner in Amsterdam. They sponsored our party by providing a beautiful and strong speaker system to keep our guests entertained with fine music. I was convinced by both design and sound quality so I had to get a closer look on their website and learn more about their wireless speakers.

I belong to the generation of people who have no radio at home. I only stream music (probably like most of us) and currently I am using a bluetooth speaker to stream the music from my iPhone to my entire apartment. But it is not as stylish as the cool Libratone speakers. Not to mention that the sound quality is rather poor. If only I knew Libratone before!

What I really like about the Libratone speakers is that they are covered in real wool and they come in a variety of colours to complement any kind of interior styling. My personal favorite is the Libratone Loop in Petrol Blue - it would definitely make a good appearance in my home. 

Which one would suit your home best? And do you use wireless speakers to stream music in your home? Just wondering...

Photography via Libratone
Libratone was a kind sponsor of our Design Bloggers Tour

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Why This Room Caught My Eye

If I tell you that blue is my favorite colour, I will not surprise you, right? No wonder then that this bedroom caught my eye in an instant. When I spotted the interior styling in this bedroom I was totally inspired - I immediately wanted new blue bedlinen and I wanted to redecorate my bedroom area. 

Blue is a wonderful hue for the bedroom - it is calming, soothing, it makes me think of the ocean, the sky, fresh, crisp air. It makes me want to linger on, to stay in bed and daydream. But before I digress, let me break it down why this room caught my eye:
  • Blue Bedlinen: I love these bedlinen! The deep blue colour, the playful Piñata inspired patterns, the softness of the cotton - I could literally jump into the bed if there wasn't my laptop screen in between us!
  • White Backdrop: Blue against white is magic - it recalls Greek island trips, nautical adventures, seaside holiday. Simple colour matching perfection!
  • Wooden Accents: Adding wooden accents to a blue scheme is wonderful. These colours complement each other and seem to translate the elements water and earth into interiors. Definitely something I will consider for one of my upcoming redecorating projects at home!
What catches your eye in this bedroom?

Photography via Hunting for George

Monday, October 13, 2014

From Place To Space: Praktik Bakery Hotel In Barcelona

What happens when you combine the city's best bakery and a stylish hotel? A city traveler's dream comes true! Ok, at least in my case. A few weeks ago I spent five days in Barcelona, Spain, and booked a room in the pretty new Praktik Bakery Hotel in the Eixample area of the Catalan metropolis. If I had to sum up my three strongest impressions of the hotel, it would be: the best chocolate croissant, fabulous indoor plants, cool room design. 

In Barcelona you will find a total of four Praktik hotels: the Praktik Bakery, the Praktik Garden, the Praktik Rambla and the Praktik Vinoteca (opening this Wednesday). Each hotel has a special theme but one fact is mutual to all of them: a strong sense for design.

My room in the Praktik Bakery Hotel was pretty small but abound with cool and urban design. I loved the all white setting with stark black industrial wall lightings and the blue tiles as a contrast in the entrance and bath area. But the real highlight was downstairs in the entrance area: Barcelona's best bakery: Baluard.

Waking up in the morning and stepping out of the room was a treat already - I could smell the fresh bread and croissants even on the sixth floor! And every day started with a scrumptious breakfast in the wonderful bakery - warm croissants, fresh bread, fruits, coffee, juice - it couldn't get any better! And you could watch the baker working on the fresh supply directly through a glass wall. 

Apart from the design and the great bakery, I was totally smitten by the abundance of indoor plants. The entire back wall of the bakery was covered in various indoor plants giving the space a warm and welcoming atmosphere. The Praktik Bakery Hotel is located in downtown Barcelona and I could see the famous Sagrada Familia cathedral right out of my room window. If you are planning a city trip to Barcelona any time soon, I recommend you have a close look at the Praktik Hotels - you won't regret it!

Happy new week!

Photography by Igor Josifovic

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