Monday, July 28, 2014

From Place To Space: Château de Chantilly

A few weeks ago I traveled to Paris not to stay in town. From Paris I headed north to the Picardy and - more precisely - the Oise department. This region is just about 35 kilometers north of Paris but you will find yourself in the middle of a beautiful countryside, far away from the bustling city life in Paris. Wide and golden cornfields, little villages and towns scattered along the Oise river, sunny glades and a gem of the French nation and its history: the Château de Chantilly.

Many insiders claim that it is way better to go and visit the Château de Chantilly than the over-famed and tourist-drowned Versailles. Now since I have never been to Versailles (so far), I can not confirm or neglect that stance, but I can surely recommend a trip to the beautiful Chantilly castle. The château is not too big thus a pleasant sight to visit without being overwhelmed by endless rooms and exuberant decor. The Château de Chantilly is interesting in different aspects: first of all it is magnificent as a sight itself including its vast gardens and stables. It also hosts a rich collection of art, ceramics, decorative objects and it showcases many important moments of the French history. Plus the castle is located just at the outskirts of Chantilly town, a charming little town, somewhat sleepy but nonetheless quaint. 

After the visit to the Château de Chantilly I continued on a little road trip around the Oise department. Little villages like Ermenonville look so peaceful and give the impression as if time has stood still for a while. You can wander around and discover lots of beautiful nature, charming cafés, old abbeys and romantic churches. Who knew that the countryside is just a 40 minutes drive from buzzing Paris? Even though I am a city boy, I really love countryside escapes from time to time. And after this one I know I need more French countryside escapes in my life. Let's make it a mission and - as always - I will take you along. If you like of course. Happy Monday, friends!

Photography by Igor Josifovic

Friday, July 25, 2014

Design Apartment To Rent In Germany

In Germany's east there is a city called Weimar. I have never been there. But for those among you interested in European history this might be a name you've heard of. Or for those among you interested in literature - you might remember something with Goethe and Weimar. But today I don't want to talk about history or literature here. I will talk about interior design in Weimar. To be more precise: About a fab design apartment to rent in Weimar. Actually they have two of them, but today I want to show you the latest addition.

When I saw the pics for the first time my instant feeling was: I like this! The apartment looks airy, spacious, modern, light-flooded, with a strong Scandinavian vibe and vibrant colour splashes. In a nutshell: my kind of interior. But there is more to this apartment than just a lovely interior concept: The apartment is equipped with design classics (evident on the first glance, right?) and designs from the local Bauhaus University of Weimar. Thus, this is not only a stylish holiday home but also a great example of how to exhibit local, young design.

To be frank, I have not planned any trip to Weimar so far. However, I feel like I have to overthink my planning as this apartment seems to be very attractive and inviting. And after all, I could also brush up my history and literature skills a bit. Even though the booking website is called 'Hier war Goethe nie' (literally: Goethe was never here) I think I could bring a long one of his books. Design, history, literature - sounds all well worth a trip to Weimar.

Happy weekend, friends!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Urban Jungle Bloggers: Watering Your Plants

I have a crush on plants. Big surprise, ha? Well, I was trying to figure out what's behind that crush: Was it my mum's eternal jungle at home when I was a kid with a Monstera plant that looked like Tarzan could swing around on the aerial roots? Is it my longing for a bit more nature in an urban habitat? Don't know exactly, I just feel like they are perfect roomies - less demeaning than a pet yet still alive and thriving. And yielding joy and happiness. Like anything alive, they too need some care. Most above all they need water. Especially now during summer. That's why my fellow Urban Jungle Blogger Judith and I have decided to dedicate this month's edition to the topic: Watering your plants.

Admittedly, the topic sounds a bit unspectacular but we thought there might be some good tips regarding watering houseplants out there. Especially for someone like me. Most of my plants are cacti and succulents and they require just a little bit of water. During the winter period I water them scarcely like once a month and during summer I water them either every week or every other week, depending on the weather and temperatures. Every other week I add a liquid fertilizer to the water and I take care that the soil is well hydrated without any dammed-up water. That's all!

But there is one more watering trick I want to share with you. To give you an example: Last year when I prepared for my 3-weeks trip to the US and Canada, I was wondering how I am going to handle the watering problem for my pilea plant which is actually the only plant I have that demands more regular watering. Since I live alone in my apartment and I don't really know my neighbors, this was a pretty crucial question. So what did I do? 

The solution was so simple as if created in a kindergarden group. All I needed for this was a glass, mug or any other vessel filled up with water and an old shoe lace. I've filled up the glass with water, placed one end of the lace into the glass and the other end in the soil of my pilea plant. Result? When I returned after three weeks of holidays the glass was empty and the pilea was all green and happy! The shoe lace transports the water slowly from the vessel to the plant pot and secures a constant hydration without overwatering your plant. Perfect and easy! I repeated the same strategy during my Israel trip this spring and it worked again! I will stick to this!

Last but not least: I really wanted to share my new watering can with you as I've found a fabulous designy watering can by Swedish designer Kristina Stark but it didn't arrive in time for my little photo shooting.  

I hope this comes in handy for the summer season and your plants at home. If you have some more advanced watering tips, join our Urban Jungle Bloggers edition and share them with us! Happy planting!

Urban Jungle Bloggers is a monthly series initiated by 2 bloggers: Igor (Happy Interior Blogand Judith ( 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 on our Facebook page. Want to join? Use #urbanjunglebloggers on Twitter and Instagram. Or let us know and we'll share the badge and upcoming topics with you. Let's bring some green into your homes and blogs!

Photography by Igor Josifovic, last pic by Pflanzenfreude

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Happy Interior Blog Recommends: Frjor

If you think I made a mistake in the headline, no worries, the cryptic name 'frjor' is correct! It's the name of a new design label from Germany by Anna Becker that has launched just now a first range of porcelain bowls in black and white patterns. And since I love to feature young designers and artists in my Wednesday column, here we go with a fresh vision from Germany.

Anna's designs are pretty playful yet cool - the black and white patterns recall Scandinavian coolness and the almost floral shapes make me think of classics from Marimekko. But what I really loved about this label is the fun, unexpected presentation of the bowl. Turned around they serve as candleholders and stacked they looks like vases. As an Urban Jungle Blogger I could also see them lined up with plants on a windowsill. But then again that's me.

In our short conversation the designer told me that she is launching her label with a first set of porcelain bowls. Reading between the lines this means that we can expect more interesting designs from 'frjor'. I'll keep an eye on it. And maybe you should too. 

Happy hump day!

Photography via 'frjor'
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