Tag Archives: Magic places

THE COQUI COQUI EMPIRE OF SENSES

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Necessity is the mother of invention – illustrated through the fact that Francesca Bonato and her business partner Jacopo Janniello Ravagnan‘s accessories line: ”Hacienda Montaecristo” was born of necessity when Francesca and her husband, Nicolas Malleville, a contemporary landscape architect and perfumer, opened their first Coqui Coqui boutique hotel on the Yucatán Peninsula in Southeastern Mexico.

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”We all needed to supply our homes, the hotels, the boutiques, so we started working with local artisans and weavers to create these pieces. I started collecting the traditional Mexican shawl called rebozo.” Francesca Bonato

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It was back in 2003 when the couple opened their first bohemian chic boutique hotel in TULUM near a former hippie outpost which has today become one of the most stylish and high-end beach destinations in Mexico. With the never ending coconut trees and white sandy beaches, nothing else but nature’s pure resources, are the inspiration behind the Coqui Coqui experience.

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The jungle, the Caribbean Sea, the ruins, and the local architecture are the backdrop and magnificent canvas to this bohemian chic contemporary designed hotel – where pure, elegant, stylish, and rustic are just a few of the feelings which the hotel exudes.

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Unified in a tranquil beachfront environment, they provide guests with a truly majestic and extraordinary hospitality.

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Today, a decade later, this peaceful and relaxing sanctuary has definitely become an integrated part of the Yucatán Peninsula, both in charm and in culture.

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In addition to the two smaller properties that followed in VALLADOLID and COBA, in September 2011, the couple turned a turn-of-the-century building in MÉRIDA’s historical center into another Coqui Coqui guest house which stands next door to the second Perfumeria after its flagship sibling in Valladolid.

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The youngest residence next to the Perfumeria in Mérida is the latest addition to the Coqui Coqui Empire, complete with its Venetian plaster walls, marble baths, red velvet settees and original ornate tile work. Its design reflects the metropolis’ vibrant life whilst keeping its elegant and sophisticated époque design intact.

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Inspired by the synchronicity of local and colonial traditions, the romanticism of the past and Mexican culture, the Coqui Coqui Empire embodies the owners’ passion and love for culture and tradition. And that is what makes it so unique, something definitely worth seeing, staying in, smelling and ultimately, wearing.

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http://www.yatzer.com/coqui-coqui

NAPA WALLEY RANCH

A cinder block fireplace, shag carpet, and “babyshit blue” colored walls were a few of the daunting details in the 1950s Napa Valley ranch house that Dione Carston and her husband, Ham, faced when they moved in several years ago. Dione, an avid equestrian and interior designer, stylist, and owner of Steed Fine Hoarding & Tack in St. Helena, has filled her own home with her far-flung collections and groupings of high and low objects, antiques, and flea finds.

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Above: The large wingback chair with elephant ears was from an estate sale; Dione recovered it in vintage Kubo cloth with hemp fringe and zebra print cow hide (a vintage bear throw is draped on top). On the wall are two museum-quality hippopotamus shields from the Arussi tribe in Africa.

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Above: The mahogany veneered paneled walls and lights are original to the house. Dione painted the “asylum pink” cinder block fireplace in Benjamin Moore Black Bean Soup.

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Above: Crystal decanters sourced at thrift stores sit atop an R & Y Augousti tray from Paris. The reproduction drop leaf table is a consignment shop find; the Swedish Demi Lune Chairs are from Restoration Hardware. On the wall is a collection of Ham’s oil paintings, an over-sized clock from Target, and a vintage stuffed pheasant.

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Above: Dione took the doors off the cupboards in the kitchen to create open shelving. The butcher block counter top came from Lumber Liquidators, with Ikea cabinets beneath (with rope for handles). The sink is also Ikea. The plate is a gift from a friend (for something similar, go to Vandalized Vintage by Trixie Delicious on Etsy), and the pendant lamp is an Alameda flea market find.

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Above: A collection of cleavers from a local flea market.

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Above: The side table in the bedroom was brought back from Mexico, while the chair is a consignment store score.

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Above: For Dione, “Bedrooms are for sleeping and loving—nothing else. They should be simple, serene and as restful as possible. No technology or televisions, just a place for the mind to rest.” She pulled out the inbuilt closet and placed a Moroccan carved headboard in its place; the walls are painted Benjamin Moore Linen White. Dione had the custom indigo dyed rabbit pellet bed spread made to order. The Philippine rosary is a thrift store find.

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Above: Dione had the shower curtain made from linen and leather remnants. On the floor is a durable coconut hair carpet (she copied the idea after spotting it in the lobby of a European hotel); she also has it on her kitchen floor.

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Above: An arrangement of dogwood branches on Dione’s dressing table. Dione, a onetime make up artist, is an avid horse rider. The blind is made from bamboo garden fencing that Dione cut to size and staple-gunned into the window frame. To wit, her collection of cowboy boots, which are reflected in the mirror (including Hermes boots found on eBay).

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Above: Dione hangs her necklaces from steel push pins.

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Above: “I put together a room like an outfit with layers of texture and color,” says Dione of her dressing room. The leather and steel body cast is a lamp and was a find from the Les Puces at Clignancourt in Paris. On the wall, is a bear with peacock boa and tiara for good measure with a vintage zebra rug on the floor.  On her taxidermy, Dione says, “! hate hunting and the killing of animals and only buy vintage taxidermy. I feel I am giving them a final resting place. It’s my bleeding heart part of me.”

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Above: On the porch off the kitchen is Dione’s “aviary real estate,” nests bought at Pier One that now house finches. The green table is an upside down cow’s watering trough. For shade, Dione installed a bamboo garden fence roof.

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Above: The entrance to the ranch house is nestled among a stand of trees; Dione also keeps stables for her horses.

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Above: The exterior of the nearby stables that Ham built for Dione’s two horses.

http://steedfinehoardingandtack.blogspot.it/

http://www.homedecorgroup.com/home-ideas/tough-glamor-at-home-with-a-napa-valley-designer/

http://laurejoliet.com/

http://www.remodelista.com/

ADD COLOR TO YOUR HOME

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Inspired by an innovative Sydney home here are some great ideas to help you add colour to your home!

Garden “We loved the colour and patina and wanted to use this as a garden backdrop,” says David of this back fence. “You can see this green wall as soon as you enter the front door.” The NSW Architecture Awards jury cited the “clever use” of the wall and its scene-setting presence in the garden when honouring the home in its 2012 Residential Architecture category. It evokes the area’s industrial past, too.

Tip: In an urban setting, opt for sculptural plants.

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 Artwork A love of art is key to this home’s build. “I needed maximum wall space for the artwork, so there are skylights and high windows,” says owner Courtney. “Every time architect David Boyle came to me with a new window in the design, I’d scowl and ask him for more wall space.” The deck’s 4.2m roof allows the thick-glazed windows to remain uncovered to maximise light.

Tip: Protect artworks from direct sunlight with UV frames and careful positioning.

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Books “Colour-coding books is entirely unoriginal and a bit design-nerd tragic,” admits Courtney. That said, it’s a system that works: “Now that I know which books are where, by dint of the colour of their spines, I can’t bring myself to go back to any other way of shelving them.”

Tip: Custom 2.5 metre-high storage maximises space and becomes a decorative feature

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 Bathroom “It’s like a folly and I love it,” says Courtney of the kids’ bathroom. “I decided to not only go the bright yellow, but to go all yellow. David liked the madness of the idea.” The tub was painted in Dulux’s Golden Marguerite and her “sparky” even found a yellow power point cover.

Tip: Opt for custom Laminex wall panels for a seamless look with minimal grout lines.

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Art A clever mix of ‘salon’ and ‘New York’ hangs gives a gallery sense to artwork displays throughout the home. In the master bedroom, pieces are applied straight into the wall.

Tip: “Have the discipline to leave tracts of blank wall,” says Courtney. “Otherwise it’d be like living inside the pages of a stamp album.”

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Clever storage “Storage was an important part of the brief,” says Courtney. And, though her home was completed in 2010, “the built-ins are still going in, even now!” David designed the daybed nook at the end of the built-in desk in her office, and his wife upholstered the seat using Courtney’s vintage fabric.

Tip: Tame open-storage chaos with patterned boxes, such as these red and blue polka dot patterned ones.

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Small spaces You can still decorate outdoors, even if you’re limited to weatherproof objects. Courtney has used sculptural baskets by Lorraine Connelly-Northey and seashells to create a comfortably jumbled look.

Tip: Use found objects to create inspired and personal displays.

http://www.homelife.com.au/homes/galleries/11+ways+to+add+colour+to+your+home,23745?pos=9

 

BOUGAINVILLEA HOUSE

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It looks like a slice of meringue cake with cream and strawberries.

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When I found this wonderful German typewriter on a dusty and messy shelf of a Bargain Corner shop in Swakopmund, I was excited. I thought it could be a perfect happy birthday present for my husband.

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This smart, deeply black metal office mechanical typewriter is an “Ideal C” model, manufactured by Seidel & Neumann in Dresen – Germany, 1917 circa. The typewriter has a universal keyboard with four rows. A lever on the left of the keyboard operated the carriage return and line spacing. The serial number 661786 is located under the carriage. My Ideal is still writing perfectly with its black ink tape.

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Karl Robert Bruno Naumann (below) was born 10 October 1844 in Dresden. He was a skilled and highly trained engineer travelling around Germany as a young 16yr old repair journeyman. He has improved his engineering skills along the way, even with clockmakers. Bruno founded his own company around 1868 in Dresden, Germany on a shoestring. At first, Bruno was concentrated like many small engineering firms on mechanical repairs and small manufacturing but later, he saw the huge potential in sewing machines and bicycles. By the turn of the century, the company decided to invest in the production of motorcycles and typewriters.

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After the phenomenal success of their “Ideal” model, which had four upgrades and their folding “Erika” typewriter, they also invented “Erika Picht” typewriter by Oscar Picht for blind people.

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The Seidel & Naumann Ideal typewriter had four model changes. Their folding Erika typewriter, named after Bruno Naumann’s granddaughter, was still a best seller. The Erika No1 was the first folding typewriter in the world. Other typewriters followed like the Bijou in 1925, the Electric and the Gloria.

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The Seidel & Naumann machines were used by the German Military in the 1930’s including the dreaded SS with a custom – made key which featured the “SS” symbol on the key number three. They say Hitler used a Seidel & Neumann typewriter. In addition to that, for many years Nazis hiding from justice used the number 18 in their clandestine communications. It was a code for Adolph Hitler. In the alphabet A=1 and H=8.

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This is a picture of the factory before its destruction in the Dresden bombings and firestorm.

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Above: this is the only copy of the giant Hamburg – Seidel & Neumann factory, that I have found. The chimneys burned black day and night producing thousands of machines 24 hours a day.

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Above: the Erika portable typewriter. Here you can see just how portable the small machine was even aboard ship. Circa 1910 – 1930.

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A vintage French advertising poster for Ideal typewriters.

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Above: “Bargain Corner” shop in Swakopmund that is where I bought the “Ideal C” typewriter. This place had a very particular atmosphere. It was a sort of a local Flea Market selling cheap African junk and memorabilia.

 

PERFECT ARCHITECTURES

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Weaver birds nest – Namibia.

Weaver birds get their name because of their elaborately woven nests (the most elaborate of any birds). The nests vary in size, shape, material used, and construction techniques from species to species. Materials used for building nests include fine leaf-fibers, grass, and twigs. Many species weave very fine nests using thin strands of leaf fiber, though some, like the buffalo-weavers, form massive untidy stick nests in their colonies, which may have spherical woven nests within. The sparrow weavers of Africa build apartment-house nests, in which 100 to 300 pairs have separate flask-shaped chambers entered by tubes at the bottom. Most species weave nests that have narrow entrances, facing downward.

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Sociable weaver (Philetairus socius) nest in a quiver tree (Aloe dichotoma), Fish River Canyon, Namibia.
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SOUTH AFRICAN DESIGNERS WEAVE A TREE HOUSE FOR ADULTS
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Maybe we’re crazy, but we’ve always wondered what life as a little baby bird would be like, all safe and cozy in your handmade nest. Which makes this new “Organic Lounger” designed by Animal Farm, a Cape Town design firm, so fantastic.

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Inspired by a weaver-bird’s nest, the cubby has a steel frame, and walls made of woven branches. It can hold two adults and a small child, and you access it through the bottom, via a rope ladder.

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The chief designer, who really does insist on being called Porky Hefer, says he’s currently working on a larger nest that’ll seat four lucky adults.

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http://inhabitat.com/animal-farms-cozy-human-nests-hang-from-the-treetops/

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A SPECIAL GUEST

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