The second part of my trip to Laos is here, (check the 1st part here) this time with the beauty of nature around Luang Prabang region. We did a boat cruise at Mekong river, we went to a natural park … Continue reading
I’m very thrilled to post – at last – about my trip to Indochina!! Well, just the 1st part, of many…because I took so many photos that it took me sooo many time to choose just a few of them and even now I have to split the posts.
So my mother, my brother and I went to Laos, Cambodia and Bangkok for 10 days the last October and I don’t need to say that we had the best time!
It was a very intensive trip, very tiring (I even got sick some days) because we squeezed so many things and places to so little time but it was definitely worth it.
At first, we visited Laos, and specifically Luang Prabang, a small and very beautiful town in north-central Laos. It’s a remarkably well-preserved town, combining the traditional architecture and Lao urban structures with those built by the European colonial authorities in the 19th and 20th centuries. In fact, Luang Prabang has been claimed by UNESCO to be the best preserved city in South East Asia.
We spent only 3 days there but were enough to feel the peaceful spirit of Laos and understand just a little of their culture. The hotel we stayed was the cutest, it was the best welcoming place in great style that got us in the mood immediately.
We arrived in the morning, after a whole day travelling with almost no sleep…so we were exhausted! My brother D. took his clothes off at once and slept under the mosquito net of his bed without even thinking about it though my mother and I felt more courageous and decided to explore Luang Prabang. During noon…with the sun and heat at their strongest…it was impossible!!
However we were very lucky to find out the paradise on earth at our first steps! Manda de Laos is a hotel with the most amazing restaurant in an artificial lily pond with lotus flowers!! We walked a path through a beautiful garden with small ponds to excite you without even know what’s in the end. So when we arrived at the large pond with all the exotic plants around we had our jaws dropped!! We sat for a cold coffee that Laos is very famous (they produce their own coffee) and a juice to fuel us for our walk.
So, we left the paradise on earth and began to stroll around the town, exploring the colors and the flavors of the town who was sleeping at that time. The town inspires a tranquility, maybe because there are very few cars, a lot of bicycles and is sited on the side of Mekong river with the vigorous vegetation all around. Also, Luang Prabang is famous because of the many Buddhist temples, very well preserved and the monks that live there.
The biggest monument of Luang Prabang is the Royal Palace and the area around it. Very well preserved, today the National Museum, unfortunately photos weren’t allowed inside and it was very interesting. You could totally imagine the life of the kings living there, accepting visitors or sleeping in their simple bedroom. Also it displays a lovely collection of artifacts reflecting the richness of Lao culture throughout the ages.
Then we visited the magnificent Wat Xieng Thong with the impressive “tree of life” mosaic set in colored glass. Traditional architecture of these buildings (Palace and temples) impressed me a lot because it was quite different from what I’ve seen already in Asia, very unique, simple but majestic at the same time. And the small glass tiles which covered some parts of them were sparkling in the sun, creating a light atmosphere.
As every asian town respecting itself food markets are very widespread and seductive. It’s the joy of the photographer, so many colors and strange products and of course a lot of fresh fruits and street food counters. I liked a lot the people that worked there when they were relaxing or even sleeping while they waited for customers. With that heat and humidity of course, there aren’t much you can do.
The atmosphere of the town is really unique, the morning stillness alternates with the evening buzz when everybody goes out and the market is working for real at a cooler temperature. We were afraid sitting at one of the many picturesque restaurants by the river (I don’t know why, we had no reason actually) and decide to eat at a simple yet cute little restaurant by the main street because it felt less touristic.
The food ok, I can’t describe how nice it was in general wherever we ate, I love asian cuisine and I especially love noodles where you could find everywhere in so many versions. It felt really good to taste the food in a simple way of offering, without trying too hard.
Local people wake up at 03.00 or until 05.00 in the morning as we’ve been told (wow…) to go to work and it’s very natural for them because of the temperature of course. A very early morning religious ritual is also happening every day, the morning alms giving ritual to saffron clad monks. This tradition is unique to Laos, being the only Buddhist nation still preserving this procession.
These daily morning alms are very important for the people, expressing their deep faith and work like this. Group of monks of each temple parade in a row, holding a basket. People sitting on the side of the street offers them cooked sticky rice which they’ve bought through specific vendors. That’s happening because the old days this was the food of the monks, only by people’s offerings, they don’t cook inside the temples. Today I’m not sure if it’s still the same but people still offers them cooked food for sure as an expression of faith.
However, from what I’ve read online this procession has become a touristic magnet which annoys the locals, sometime they don’t respect the monks and photograph them very closely like they are an exotic animal, but when we went very few visitors where participating and they were very respectful.
All the days in Laos I stayed almost sleepless because of circumstances: at first, travelling one whole day without sleeping, the first night my mother had a migraine crisis during the night so we were helping her, the next night my cat from Athens was lost and I was doing phycological support to G through telephone to help him find her (I didn’t want to return to Greece missing a cat!) and last but not least we wanted to attend the morning alms of the monks so we waked basically at night..! So, you get in the mood of how tired I was and how difficult it must be to even walk through the hot day!!
However, I remember 2 nights that stood out, the night market at the main street of Luang Prabang and a dinner at Manda de Laos.
The night market happens every afternoon until almost midnight, the street is filled with vendors and tents in red and blue color (Laos flag) creating a festive atmosphere full of colors! People gathers, plays music, eats, it’s like a real fest. Also, the stuff that they sell…not bad at all!!
However, we lost my brother there for a while and because of not having phones to contact (rookie mistake) we were very anxious but eventually we found each other. He had gone to watch a local theater play and he was just enjoying his time while we were waiting for him!!
The second night that will stay in my memory forever was the dinner at Manda de Laos. As I told you before we went with my mother there the first morning there and were so impressed that wanted to have dinner also, and have D. to see it too. So we made a reservation and went our last night in Luang Prabang.
The place was magical, like you were in a fairytale! The lilies had opened full because of the night coolness and the lights were highlighting the beauty of the place. Such beauty that words aren’t enough!!
Of course, the food was equally great. It’s a fine dining restaurant that offers a very upgrade level of laotian cuisine, expensive for Laos but close to european prices, not more. We made also a mistake and ordered 3 times (!) the food we wanted to eat so we were suffering at the end – I was close to explosion that night!
In the meantime, we went some excursions to Mekong river and other places and we were amazed by the great nature of Laos.
So stay tuned for the next post that will cover that part!
And last but not least, the 3rd part of this amazing trip to Southwest France, Saint-Emilion! As I told you at the previous post, we visited Bordeaux for 1 day and the second day we decided to go to this beautiful village to learn a little more about wine.
Saint-Emilion is a super well preserved traditional French village with all the fairy tale memories you may have. As if Bell and Gaston from the Beauty and the Beast was living here..! And as if this wasn’t enough, it’s a large area of vineyards, a whole appellation of wine, very famous for those who know. Extra treat, the jaw dropping chateau that every vineyard has and had me hanging from the car window while arriving and making “aaahh” sounds all the way! It was a total dream…
So, already from Athens I had make a reservation to a chateau near to the village that had a guided tour in English and because of that our reservation was at 2 o’clock splitting our day at two. So we had to have lunch just by arriving and after the chateau tour we’d return at the village to continue our visit.
When we arrived the weather was beautiful, sunny and cheerful (though at the end of the day not so much…), so we walked around a little bit before lunch. The only thorn at the fairy tale situation was the very touristic site that was, at least when we went. G for example couldn’t overtake it while I didn’t care much. We didn’t have the proper time though to explore it because of the schedule.
So by arriving at 12 o’clock we had to have lunch very early for our habits but that’s how French people do it! I’ve done a mini research from before and we went directly to the “L’envers du decor” a very nice restaurant with a picturesque yard. We weren’t very hungry but tried with pleasure 2 plates of their regional cuisine. I tried pigeon for the first time but I must say I wasn’t crazy about it. The wine was excellent though, both of our choices!
After the chateau tour we returned to the village to see more about it, we walked through the streets and admired everything around! Thankfully you can’t miss the most amazing view of the village at a central street balcony. It’s the 1st photo of the post, where you can see the square, the rest of the village and the vineyards as long as you can see. The weather this time was pretty gloomy but we were lucky not to have rain at this point, that’s why the half of the photos are sunny and the others quite dull.
Saint-Emilion is actually a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as a Cultural Landscape, a historical landscape that remained intact but which is still carrying on its activity. So beautiful in the medieval architecture monuments and houses as long with the large vineyards and wineries around it. It has a history of wine production since its early days, many centuries ago.
The chateau we visited was Chateau Corbin, with a beautiful house that the owner lives there and the winery on the same property. It was an unmissable experience even though the rain burst out as we were there. No problem, we’ll stay here drinking wine until it stops!
We learnt a lot about their production and the works of a winery that was very very interesting, I definitely recommend it! One interesting info: they plant roses at the beginning of every series of the vineyard because that used to protect the grapes from diseases – the bugs attacked the roses first – but now they do it mostly for beauty reasons and I couldn’t agree more with them!
Another interesting info about this chateau is that from generation to generation is run by women, without planning it. Women power rules!
I don’t know why but our group was full of old people, and then to the village we continued to be surrounded by them..as also at the airplane going to France we had pink and white little heads all around! What on earth, is it an “old people” thing to do, the wine taisting travels, and I didn’t know? Go explore it!
So, we and our young friends end up to a beautiful tasting room with wooden ceiling and stone paved floor and a huge painting hanging on the wall to taste the wines we’ve learnt so far, bought one bottle for back home and left happy with a lot of red alcohol on our veins!
Returning to Toulouse the same afternoon wasn’t the easiest thing to do after a day dedicated to wine…but apparently we didn’t think much when organizing the trip. I definitely recommend to spend the night close to the area, to see more things, enjoy the most of it and don’t get extremely tired on the way back, as we did.
In total, it was an amazing 6 days trip that I enjoyed a lot!! I could definitely stay 1 week more, expanding all these fantastic experiences! 🙂
As I told you at the previous post here, we went for vacations to Southwest France with G, at Toulouse, where my sister lives. We wanted though to have as many experiences as possible so we took the opportunity to go for a small trip around and see other places too. Our trip theme was the wine exploration (it was..it became..no difference!) so we decided to go to Bordeaux and St.Emilion!
Actually it’s very easy to go from Toulouse to Bordeaux (2,5 hours highway) but I did the stupidity and didn’t deactivate the gps option “avoid tolls”, so we had a nice 4 hours roadtrip through the villages!! I wouldn’t recommend it though because we arrive at Bordeaux pretty exhausted… However, after we arrived, we’ve settled in the hotel etc. checked the map and our sortie started immediately!
Bordeaux is a beautiful city, even more beautiful than you expect. It’s so imposing with all these great old buildings, so well preserved, the architecture is totally grandiose! Of course we stayed mostly at the old city center because we only had 1 day but from what I saw in general it would be very cool to live there. The city is famous of course for the wine culture and the latest years for the gastronomic field with so many great restaurants to explore! It’s very vivid full of pretty little shops, bistros, cafes and young people everywhere. The truth is that you should spend more time if you have the possibility but even like this it was totally worth it.
Of course there is a river again, our beloved Garonne, protagonist of the city, creating 2 parts that both have interest. We stayed at the less famous side but we crossed the beautiful bridge Pont de Pierre to go to the other side every time. There are so many things to see there that even if you won’t have any plans you’ll be like “ahhhh” all the time. And so many we didn’t see, like the Cite du Vin a new museum about wine that must be very very interesting.
Walking down the riverfront you get to know the grandest face of Bordeaux, the stunning Place de la Bourse with the Miroir d’Eau (water mirror) that impressed me a lot. Also, you pass by the Puerta de Cailhau, an old gate of the city that stands proudly to welcome you. Beautiful from both sides.
Miroir d’Eau is an urban area that, as an architect, I found it very cool and clever. It’s a square with a fountain that people can actually interact with it. A large surface that pours and spray water, creating, when still, a mirror that reflects the buildings in front of it! Also, people can walk over it, cooling themselves on hot days or just lay down by the sides. I have to say that passing through the water is very fun, you should definitely try it!
And of course it’s great for photos, probably the most photographed place in Bordeaux, especially by night! Unfortunately, when we went at night the water was almost drained so you can only believe what I say. I tell you the truth and it was absolutely incredible! (you should check it on google)
Walking on the inner city you keep seeing great buildings like the Cathedral of St. Andre with the huge-separated belfry and the amazing organ on the inside. The funny thing is that Bordeaux was full of such buildings and everyday life was just happening among them, like “ah, I’m waiting for the tram here in front of this Cathedral to go to work, the usual..”
The day we visited the city a street festival for celebrating nature, or something like that, was being held in several public spaces and it was very festive and joyful. We passed by a square where they had a small concert, people was eating and drinking wine at the cafes around and it was full of life! What I loved the most was this casual but buzzy atmosphere and light spirit of people that were enjoying their drink and food outside, so many small cafes-bistros, cute, pretty and simple.
In such a cafe we spent some time to drink a glass of wine and rest a little (so many hours walking…). We were lucky to find Cheverus cafe, because it was exactly what we needed, quintessential retro interior that I fell in love with, where we tasted the most delicious tapas I’ve ever eaten (ok, I was super hungry also but it was really good!).
Now is the time to learn that my second favorite taste after croissants+coffee for breakfast is fine tapas+wine for anytime. In general I’m such a glutton you can make me happy with just food, so imagine my fulfillment at this trip!
After the small pause with wine to fill our batteries we continued our walk around the city. Unfortunately the stores close early in the afternoon so we didn’t have the chance to go for any shopping or maybe the universe protected us I don’t know… But of course when we found a pastry shop with a vitrine full of macarons we stepped inside to taste some of them (5-6 were the minimum to have a proper opinion…). This made our walk even more interesting as you understand!
However, walking all day at Bordeaux while eating macarons makes you super thirsty… and because of the closed stores G. almost had a crazy episode but thankfully there are a lot of street water fountains so that people can drink freely water. And something like that saved the day..!
We closed this day at Mama Shelter for drinks and dinner, where I’ve made a reservation days before because I wanted so badly to see it. Designed by Philippe Starck, its a funny space, very popular and vivid. The food wasn’t exceptional but very good even so, the cocktails super, and in general it was totally worth it to catch the city’s vibe.
We walk our way to the hotel to see the city by night, passed one more time from the Mirroir d’Eau (full of people even at midnight) and crossed the lighted bridge Pont de Pierre for the last time…and almost passed out at our beds! Goodnight Bordeaux!
I don’t know about you but I love France! I went to a francophone school so we can say that french culture is in my DNA now, and that’s why I get very enthusiastic when I have the chance to awaken this part of my brain. Toulouse is a beautiful city at the southwest France, the 4th largest city in the country but not a touristic destination which adds at her charm. My sister lives there with her boyfriend so we decided with G. to visit them at the end of May and explore this part of France as possible. And it was marvelous!
Toulouse is a quiet yet full of life city, with the river Garonne (it runs through the southwest France and northern Spain) make her even more beautiful. People have a quality life there, you can tell by just walking at the streets, see them using the public spaces, sitting at the banks of the river, using the bicycle a lot and having fun at the cutest little cafe-bars. It was raining some of the days but it didn’t stop us from exploring. They call her the red city because of the red stones at the building facades all over and in combination with the greenery create a nice scenery. The perfect scenery to have a quality time for vacation, drinking wine and eating french delicacies!
So, our first acquaintance with the city was my sisters house. She lives with her boyfriend at a small but very sweet apartment. From the photo group above you can see her kitchen only because all the rest of the house was covered with our luggage. We spent 1 night there, then we left for a 2 days trip to Bordeaux and St.Emilion (I will dedicate another post about them) and returned to Toulouse where we stayed at a beautiful airbnb apartment at the city center, old house with wooden floors, 3m high windows and totally downtown.
My favorite part of the first days was the breakfast we had at T’s apartment, with real treasures from the neighborhood’s bakery. You should know that i absolutely love french croissant with my coffee!!! I think if I was living there I would make this bakery super rich. Croissants, pain au chocolat, cinnamon rolls and of course fresh baguette with french cheeses etc. Really, I couldn’t ask for more.
Strolling around the city you can see a bunch of beautiful places, of course there is a carousel at a square, and when you feel tired you can sit for a beer or a glass of wine at lovely cafes.
Unfortunately I didn’t took any photos from the coolest restaurant we went, Chez Navarre, with classic occitan cuisine, with a serving system to remember. There were large tables full of starters from which you can choose whatever you want. When you feel ready you serve yourself from a table with few main dishes (we were lucky that they had duck that day) and at the end you go to another table with the sweets and cheeses. The interior of the restaurant was very authentic, an old building with wooden structure and bricks creating an imposing atmosphere. The only problem was that because of this free serving system you could eat until you die as we almost did…
The center of Toulouse is quite small so you can move by walking as you pass through nice buildings and squares. The days that the weather was good we walked a lot and we had the chance to get used with the city easily. There are old, beautiful buildings everywhere!
We weren’t so much interested for museums etc and we were more free on Sunday&Monday that they were all closed. So the only sightseeing we visited was the church of St.Jacobin, southern gothic style, constructed entirely of brick.
One of the highlights of our visit in Toulouse was the market of V.Hugo. It’s a pity that in Greece we don’t have such places where you can buy fresh products and also taste in the same area their delicacies, drink a quick glass of wine and really enjoy your shopping time. As you can guess we did all these (well, almost)!
It was amazing how many delicatessen products were gathered there. Separated the meet market from the fish market, the unnumerable cheeses, foie gras, magret, sausages etc. However, the best part was when we sat for fresh oysters and shrimps with wine at 11 o’clock! It was delicious, the best way to start your day in vacations! It closes at 13.00 though so you should go early if you want to have time.
G was late and missed that part with the oysters so when he came at the market we sat for a quick glass of wine at the shops on the groundfloor and afterwards we went at the 1st floor where there are restaurants to have lunch. All cooked with products of the market downstairs of course. There is a lot of people so maybe you should go early there too, but we were lucky and found a place. We tasted foie gras and other parts of duck, fish tartar among others and finish our gourmet lunch in happiness!
After this amazing morning-lunch we went to the Grand Rond park to have some leisure time. We played a Finnish game, named mölkky that kept us busy for a long time. It was super fun and I was the worst player of the 4, even though I did had a victory!
This park is next to another park, creating a large green area perfect for Sundays, where there are free chickens and other domestic animals. So strange…imagine laying on the grass, reading a book and see a chicken passing by…
In general, we had a really great time, we spoke in french, we enjoyed so much the food and the wines, we tasted so many french appellations and learn a bit more about wine, we went for shopping in vintage stores that I love (G. found a geek source of retro arcade games and comic book stores that made him craaazy) and so much more. We enjoyed the city in general, and I must say that Toulouse is definitely worth visiting!
The Indian spirit is still burning inside my blue flamingo guys! Don’t lose hope, the patterns about this amazing culture are on the way, as I promised! After the first post of the series “Patterns from India” we continue here with some abstract motifs, flowers, lotus flowers mostly, paisleys, blocked technique for fabrics etc which are very popular in India. They use flowers everywhere, mostly as offers to gods but in general everything is so colorful and they have amazing fabrics with so many prints! So, at this post we’ll enjoy this aspect of India depicted in patterns.
- Flowered theme pattern in white background via WeHeartIt 2. Diecut Tiled by David Matthew Parker 3. Indian inspired morifs in yellow by Daneisha Kay 4. Pink paisley by Janet Broxon 5. Abstract colorful motifs via Coquita
What I learned there and really impressed me was the Woodblock printing technique on textiles. It’s very developed and common to decorate their fabrics, and it’s very interesting during the process. I found only a few for this pattern collection but if you search on the internet I’m sure you’ll be amazed.
- Light pink motifs via Pinterest 2&3&4. Woodblocking printed patterns via BibliOdyssey 5. Blue madras paisley delft via InsideStores 6. Magenta paisleys by Wagner Campelo
Next group is of course about flowers, in yellow and orange colors, their national color combination I’d say! Besides, marigolds are very characteristics of India, as people make welcome necklaces for visitors.
- Tropical floral wallpaper by Tania Rivilis 2. Orange flowers (it’s chinese art but could be indian art easily with marigolds!) via South Kensington museum 3. Autumn delight lotus by Soul of Birds 4. Blue Tropical Gardern Patterns by Tetiana Kartasheva via Pinterest 5. Yellow flowers via Pinterest
And we’ll finish with more flowers, in pink/red hues this time another loving color for Indian people. And mine. Lotus flower is also very appreciated and very beautiful.
- Pink Harajuku Tokyo lotus by Natalie Robin Design 2. Pink flowers in light blue via Pinterest 3. Pink peonies in red by Tatsushi Eto 4. Flowers via Patterns&Prints 5. Warm flower wallpaper via Patternatic
Check the other post about Patterns from India here.
I’m at last so happy to present you my first pattern collection with Indian theme! From the time I came back I dived in to working and that’s why it took me so long to prepare it. Another reason though was that I found a completely new world of patterns when I started my research. Because of that I decided to make 3 different posts with Indian themed patterns, separated by subject, to be possible to unwind this amazing new world. I hope you’ll be on board with this and enjoy them as I did!
This group of patterns is about nature of India: the magical jungle, animals that impressed me and delicious fruits!
1.Palm trees via Pinterest, 2. India poster via The Messes of Men, 3. Green leaves via ModernVintageInterior, 4. Leaves in yellow by Tas Lima, 5. Blue jungle via google images, 6. Light green jungle by BN Wallcoverings, 7. Lead elephant-Arjuna by ranganath krishnamani, 8. Pink palm trees via Pinterest, 9. Singita jungle by Cole&Son
So we started with the jungle…so many trees and plants, India is very rich in nature! Palm trees, teak forests and a bunch of so many others I don’t know!
Of course, among them, in the jungle but not only you meet a lot of exotic (for us) animals. Tigers, crocodiles, a lot of monkeys, peacocks, wild boar, deer etc…We saw all of them there but here I have only some.
Then, I couldn’t miss the elephants! They deserve a group by themselves because I could say it’s the 2nd national animal of India, you see it everywhere! It’s supposed to bring you luck and depending on the elephant’s trunk direction it’s a blessing or welcoming message etc. Don’t forget that they have also a god with elephant’s figure, Ganesh, but this will follow on the second part!
1.Grey elephants pattern by Marie Gardeski, 2. Suzani elephant caravan via eQuilter, 3. Decorated elephants print via society6, 4. Mehndi elephant print via etsy, 5. Indian elephants by tabularosi, 6. Elephant with flowers by Bethan Janine
However, the most characteristic animal of India is of course the holy cow. Along with monkeys are the most common animals you run into your stay there. They are almost everywhere!! At first you feel quite surprised but after some days MAYBE you stop photographing them!
For closure I have some yummy fruits for you! Mangos, pineapples, papayas, coconuts and bananas are only some of them. Especially when we visited India it was mango season and there were selling tents every 10m on the roads. Delicious exotic fruits every day, what a treat!
An interesting fact is that coconut is very important to them, almost holy, they offer it to their gods, representing the desirable situation of being a better person. Cracking their ego and finding their inner truth exactly as the sweet, nurturing coconut. ♥
1.Bold Papayas by Bouffants&Broken hearts, 2. Mangos via society6, 3. Coconut pattern by Megatronster, 4. Tropical fruits via Pinterest, 5. Yellow bananas by Laura Manfre, 6. Frozen bananas via Redbubble, 7. Pink bananas by Lizzy Dee Studio
It’s been a while I’m trying to post something in the blog and can never find the time to do it! I’ve been very busy with work in general, but the last week I was in small vacations for pleasant projects. I’ve been to Ikaria and Chalkidiki for different reasons but I’m gonna write about it another time…because I have big news to announce..!!
I’m about to travel to a place I’ve always wanted and never believe I would! Eventually, I’m very thrilled to tell you that I’m going to India for 10 days next week!!! I’m so happy, I’m afraid I’ll jinx it! So, as you can imagine I’m going to tell you everything after I come back! The truth is I’d like to use any hints you have to offer me, any propositions or warnings for India, from you you live there or you’ve already visited. I’m going to stay around New Delhi, Jaipur, Varanasi, Agra and Khajuraho. I can’t wait!!!
The photo is from a collection of vintage travel posters for India.
The third part of the Salone del Mobile posts is ready for your eyes at last! And this time it’s all about workplaces! It was a special section this year with Euroluce. As in our studio we have a lot of projects about office renovations imagine our enthusiasm when we found it out…It was very very interesting and we left with a lot of extra knowledge, company contacts and inspiration.
The sad thing is that in Greece now it’s quite difficult to apply or even propose(!) that avant-garde of technology but even though it’s more than good to know all these stuff.
So, at the first group of photos I have 2 big companies, Fantoni and La Palma, that impressed as a lot. With Vitra (that I missed to take photos unfortunately) had the most minimal and with elegance design without leaving out the technology and funcionality. I saw desks that you can load your preferences (from high, chair settings, lighting brightness, temperature and I don’t remember what else!) and customize them as you like, so when you change working place you can load all of them to another desk and feel like yours immediately!
Also, there is a photo from the installation A Joyful sense at work. Its purpose is to breathe new life into the theory of office and workplace design by setting its sights squarely on people, in terms of their needs, emotions and experiences.
According to it, the workplace of the future will be adaptive, unfinished, vibrant and evolutionary, tailored to reality and capable of accommodating the comings and goings and needs of the workers and the way in which they use it. It will be smart, fast-paced, flexible, evolutionary and contemporary: human beings will be the key focus in a fast-changing environment. It will be happy, nourishing, fertile and sustainable – both environmentally and ethically, in terms of respect for people’s feelings, history, culture, diversity and rights.
Continuing with seating! In this area you can have countless choices…our favorite is Quinti and arper, with which we collaborate already and we are super happy. We love them and you can see why! Also, Andreu World had a very interesting booth design. I loved the velvet fabrics of Quinti, and even more in these dark colors, and the minimal design and elegance of arper.
We saw a lot of interesting alternatives of beautiful and contemporary workstations and shared break areas. Workplaces are cooler than ever! Some of the companies I distinguished were True, Estel, Nowy Styl Group. Sound absorbing separators, cable management, technologies, flexible break areas, organisation of working surface are some of the features that made you wanna work there! (Give me some work to do!…ok almost…)
Another characteristic was greenery! As a decorative element or as a recycling result on furniture and surfaces. As people spend more and more time at offices it’s necessary to bring nature inside and go on board with a more earth friendly style. Also I noticed a trend to offer workplaces beyond the ordinary, always have something to intrigue your imagination. Officine Tamborino, Sesta are two of them.
Last but not least, 3 companies that caught my attention: Montana, Florim and Unifor. For their design, for their products and their booths. Montana had a retro feeling and something that an architect could relate I think. Florim had a very interesting booth, with impressive xlarge surfaces that could cover anything. And very nice decoration with their materials as stationery. Unifor, on the other hand was something else. Their booth almost confusing, but with cool neon phrases on top of the walls and very very impressive tables. Super minimal workstations, desks and meeting tables with the minimum leg support, so that you couldn’t stay untouched.
I’m not sure anyone on this blog would be interested in workplaces but I thought it was mind opening to be there so I wanted to present them all to you! And, of course there were so many more companies that had a lot to say but here we have just a glimpse of the whole of it! Salone del Mobile was a huge experience in general and I hope I can make it again in the future, I hope you enjoyed these posts!
All photos taken by me and Ira Papadaki
The second big sector of Salone del Mobile this year was Euroluce. To tell you the truth I didn’t believe I’d be so impressed! To begin with, I saw Michael Anastassiades’ creations by my own eyes…only this could be enough. Except him though, the whole visit at Euroluce was a big experience! I felt deeply inside that lighting can be a piece of art and really move you.
Some pavilions were very imposing, with the best of all (I could say best of all at the Salone) the pavilion of Flos. Words can’t describe how amazing it was. At first, it covered a whole block, roughly 10,000-square-foot, it had 2 floors (2nd only for vip members), with its perimeter closed, leaving only some narrow slots to have a sneak peak and raise your curiosity…and the texture of the facade was folding here and there like a concrete cloth. Beautiful! An architecture work only by itself.
So you entered the pavilion from one point and started a root very well organized, like you were in a museum. Starting from the exterior lighting fixtures, with greenery everywhere, like you were in a garden at night and continuing with several rooms that in every each of them you had something magical to discover.
Below you can see some of the creations of Michael Anastassiades that impressed me the most. He uncovered there his new collection of “arrangements”, a modular system of geometric light elements that could be combined in different ways, creating multiple compositions as individual chandeliers. Each unit simply attaches onto the previous one as if resting, balancing perfectly as part of a glowing chain’, explains the designer. I was totally fascinated by them! Check more about this series here.
At the following group of photos you can see some really interesting creations like Philippe Starck’s, in a room full of mirrors and lighting elliptical frames to create an eternal inception environment, in the name “Plus Belle”. You can see me and my friend P. posing in some of them, it was our hobby there! Other designers are Formafantasma, mobile chandeliers by M.Anastassiades in his own booth and some of the exterior lighting environment from which I don’t remember the designers.
Overcoming the sock by Flos, we continue with another apocalypse, the booth of Vibia. Beautiful design of the booth itself, beautiful lighting creations! I loved almost everything there, unfortunately it was very crowded when we visited it that I have only few photos to present. The hanging lighting spheres in combination with greenery was just amazing!
On the next group of photos I have some of Foscarini with the really impressive set up of their booth, a very cool interactive lighting system that you could change the brightness by moving your hand-not touching, unfortunately I don’t remember the designer, and [sygns] with neon installations.
You thought you’ve seen enough? Not yet!!! Below I have another apocalypse that amazed me at Euroluce: Davide Groppi. His linear creations were just fantastic! So minimal, almost imperceptible, presented the essence of light.
Also, I have some shots from Kundalini‘s booth that I liked a lot, and from Servomuto‘s booth that was very very interesting. If you want check them here, here and here.
Continuing, I have various shots by several big names such as Artemide, Panzeri, Louis Poulsen and more.
To sum up, I could say that minimal design, linear and discreet yet with such and intensity, making a big impression, the trends in lighting world got me full on board!
If you want more of the Salone del Mobile expo check the other post I’ve made here!
All photos by me and Ira Papadaki