Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Brillante choice: Busnelli

Fiocco chair

"Fiocco" means bow in Italian and this chair brings the visual joy of a colorful curly ribbon on a gift for (or from?) someone dear to us.

Two metal ribbons run parallel creating large and sinuous lines and among them is a comfortable stretching fabric. Fiocco, produced by Busnelli, was designed in 1970 by Gianni Pareschi. Part of the MoMA collection and re-edited in 2007, this chair is able to fill any space with its vibrant colors, available also in pure black or white, while being extremely thin and when viewed from the side it shows only the contour, allowing to appreciate other elements of the room.

I can see this chair in a contemporary interior decor or creating a great contrast as
a focal point in a classic interior.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Summer is here

Is summer here? It should be, officially, but still I am not so sure.
In any case better be ready to enjoy the sunshine and the garden, possibly reading a great book and drinking a healthy vegetables and fruits juice cocktail while resting on one of these irresistible pieces. I have seen them in an installation of Paola Lenti's latest collection, in Milan, during the Design Week, and later it was also presented during the ICCF in New York in May.

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Mix raspberry and strawberry juice with ice...sit down and relax.

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Have a fresh and refreshing drink with plenty of mint...

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or perhaps cucumber juice on ice...

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Sip a milk shake with a hint of vanilla while sitting comfortably on these stunning chairs...

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A superb selection of colors and textures for the outdoor furniture.

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Paola Lenti has chosen Palazzo delle Stelline to show her latest collection. It is a gorgeous building in the center of Milan, with a large cloister, since it was a monastery, and now home for international meetings, installations, educational workshops, cultural events. The building is just across the stunning church of Santa Maria delle Grazie, where The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci can be admired.
It was a special treat to see her beautiful outdoor furniture in such a wonderful context.

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It's a wrap...

Photography by Albarosa Simonetti

Friday, June 18, 2010

Rossana Orlandi

In Milan in a narrow and quiet street, away from the heavy traffic, there is a charming concept store created years ago by another smart lady, Rossana Orlandi. The first moment you see the gate you’ll know that something unusual is waiting for you inside.

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Entering the courtyard you are amazed by the variety of furniture, objects, artifacts, all surrounded by a lush vegetation. Is this in Milan you would ask? Yes it is indeed!

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A fairly new chair by Urquiola near a 1970 garden ornament.

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In one of the several rooms inside there is a collection of items rescued from old shops (Perrier is a contemporary piece perhaps?).

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A clever arrangement of old glass shades, now almost a sculpture.

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Turquoise on display.

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The Campana brothers once again, with their extravagant series of colorful vases.

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Espresso cups right from the 50’s.

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An array of objects and again a salvaged set of boxes from an old store.

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Old ornate plates create a totemic object.

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The old window expands the space into a great natural garden.

An unusual place to enjoy while discovering eclectic pieces of interior decoration.

Photography by Albarosa Simonetti

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

One of my favorite blogs

To understand why there is the picture of this gorgeous pastry above… you must read the whole post!

A year ago I discovered by pure luck the most refined blog, written impeccably by Diane Dorrans Saeks, a best-selling author from San Francisco. She has published 20 books on Interior design, all of them an absolute must in your personal library if you are a professional or just passionate about design and style.
I am sure many of you are already familiar with some of her books like the following:





In her blog The Style Saloniste she really keeps up with the title, in fact it is like being part of one of the famous salons of the past, where people were involved in deep conversations about highly cultured themes.
She writes about design, style, travel and I have virtually accompanied her to Venice, Provence, around Paris, through magic India and many more places, always with the feeling of being there with her, so vivid are the description of places and people.
Now I like to tell you about the pastry pictured at the beginning…from the book “Paris patisseries” as the one below.


I am so glad to say that I received a great gift as a giveaway from her blog, a marvelous book on French patisserie which will enrich my large collection of books about food, recipes… yes… but also novels talking about the pleasure of the table, books on history of food, how recipes and the way of entertain has changed through centuries, and more.
Can you imagine my joy when Diane wrote to me that I won the book!
Thank you Diane from one of your many loyal readers
and thanks for the kind words in your last post.
You are an inspiration.
Images from The Style Saloniste blog

Friday, June 11, 2010

Martini anyone?

Roberta is a very smart Milanese lady, owner of “Roberta e basta” several stores, who many years ago started a business searching for furniture and accessories mainly from the 1920’s and 1930’s , at the time undervalued by architects and decorators. The day I took the pictures there was a “happening” at one of the showrooms in Brera district in Milan with the theme “Bar furniture from the Fifties”.
Needless to say Roberta (above) arrived dressed as a lady of that time and so did her beautiful daughter in law (below).

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and a few guests…

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I was told they had a great time just finding the dresses and accessories, I had a great time taking the pictures!

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Bar furniture was a piece that in Italy became popular in the Fifties in wealthy families homes. It was a status symbol also because at the time Italy was enchanted by the American lifestyle, coming to us after a terrible war time mostly through Hollywood movies, so we all wanted to act like Grace, Audrey or a more simple Doris…or Cary and Rock preparing a drink for guests behind a stylish counter and pouring it in the appropriate glass. How to prepare a perfect Martini was then a must!

Below are a few beautiful pieces you can find at “Roberta e basta” main store.

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Roberta has now six stores in Milan and with the help of her son she researches also more modern pieces of furniture, particularly from the 1950’s and 1970’s but with an eye to any beautiful modern or contemporary piece of furniture or accessories.

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A fun time taking pictures, chatting and sipping Prosecco accompanied by delicious tartine.

Photography by Albarosa Simonetti

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Where can you find more beauty?

Where can you find the most exquisite and elaborate textiles then at Bevilacqua, Tessuti d’arte, in Venice? Utterly beautiful store representing truly the Venetian splendor of the past, the present, the future. No matter how modern or minimalist some houses are, many more give a welcome to traditional decoration, sometimes opulent, sometimes more subtle. Certainly even a few pieces of these fabrics can create a stunning effect.

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At a Venezia Biennale in the recent past this company represented the “Genius of tradition” with eight centuries of velvet in Venice by Bevilacqua.

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I could see Desdemona dressing in this fabulous room, waiting for Otello to visit her in her apartments…

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I was allowed in the darker room, where a stunning collection of antique textiles are kept in a semi dark environment to avoid deterioration. I was not allowed to take pictures though so you must believe me, it was magic. To explain more my fascination for this store I need to say that in their not far textile mill a few scenes from one of my favorite movies "Anonimo Veneziano" took place.

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The Lion of Saint Mark (Leone di San Marco) a symbol of Venice for centuries is carved in marble and becomes a base for this display table.

This is Giulia, a very gracious lady who showed me around narrating the history of the company.

A delightful hour spent surrounded by beauty.

Photography by Albarosa Simonetti
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