Tag Archives: Outdoor

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

 

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/

KOLMANSKOP “THE GHOST TOWN”

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So you build a small town in the desert and bring in 300 Germans. Of course you need a bar.

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Kolmanskop had its own ice factory so in the bar you could get cold drinks like soda water and lemonade.

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Already in those days a Dry Martini was a classic drink……like a Manhattan or a Tom Collins.

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But most probably the poor bartender just kept on handing over a beer. Even the Jägermeister wasn’t introduced until 1935…

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Kolmanskop ice factory just next to the shop owners house. Imagine this. A desert a hundred years ago with an ice factory…

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Electrical panel.

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In this room here below Hr Zirkler, the butcher, was hanging his meat.

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The butchery was one of the shops in the “Shopping Street”

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and it was neighbor to…

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…the bakery, Hr Brechlin was the baker. Once upon a time this house smelled of German baked bread…

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Here below the Kolmanskop Hospital. When you enter the hospital the feeling is strange and unmistakable.

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It was a very modern hospital for those times, in fact it had the first x-ray machine of the southern hemisphere. The acquisition of an x-ray machine was not only motivated by concern of the people living in Kolmanskop but was also used to detect the smuggling of diamonds.

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When Kolmanskop finally was abandoned the machine was sent as a gift to Ovamboland who did all the hard work mining diamonds.

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The Casino today is in a good shape and the visit to Kolmanskop starts here. The entrance hall is beautiful and from it you can go left into a tourist shop where even diamonds are sold. This is the only place where you can buy diamonds direct from Namdeb.

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The bowling alley looks almost the same and it is occasionally used even today.

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The Namdeb management sometimes comes here for a game and then the bar opens up as well.

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http://www.flickr.com/photos/tea_explore/5337351492/in/photostream/lightbox/

KOLMANSKOP I

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In April 1908, August Stauch (here above), the railway station master at Grasplatz registered a 6 month prospecting claim of 10 km wide along a 24 km stretch of the Lüderitzbucht-Keetmanshoop railway line.

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In May 1908, Zacharia Lewala, who had formerly worked as a coachman in Cape Town and/or on the Kimberley mines picked up a diamond on a stretch of the railway line on which he was working.  He reported it to his supervisor and the news was conveyed to Stauch –  (Here below Zacharia Lewala).

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In September 1908 the German Colonial Government proclaimed the “Sperrgebiet” making a large territory along the coastline from the Oranje River all the way to 26 S and 1oo km from the coastline “Forbidden Land”.

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Rough diamonds.

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A diamond rush followed. In 1909 Stauch found the Idatal (named after Stauchs wife Ida), a valley where the desert winds made the diamonds visible. In the moonlight men were on their knees and hands picking diamonds from the surface. (Above local miners).

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In 1909 mining also started at Kolmannskuppe. The place was named after a British transport driver, called Colman.

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During a desert storm he managed to survive but had to abandon his ox wagon. His wagon, standing on a hill (kuppe) became a landmark, named Colmans Hill (Kolmannskuppe) and when a town was built next to the mine the old name was kept although it is actually built on another hill opposite the original Colmans Hill.

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Kolmanskop was built in this gem-rich land, in German colonial style, complete with all modern facilities, including a hospital, ballroom, casino, ice factory and sports center. Its tram and x-ray machine were the first in Africa, funded by the diamond wealth.

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The Kasino. It was built in 1927 as the last building in the centre of Kolmanskop. It was used for many things. It was a big restaurant, it was a church, a theatre, a sports hall and many other activities took place hear.

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The main hall was a sports hall and a theatre among other activities.

“The theatre sponsored visits of shows and operettas from overseas and a 8 – piece orchestra that played for all the formal dances as well as tea dances on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. All the ladies turned up in the latest fashions. The club served tea, coffee, beer and spirits while the orchestra played sweet music. Some couples did the tango or one step. The brave ones tried the Charleston”.  (Marianne Coleman, daughter of Ou Kat Coleman foreman at Kolmanskop)

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This was the residence of the mining engineer Leonhard Kolle who stayed here with his family until 1935 when they moved to Oranjemund. A beautiful house with a huge veranda along the whole building. On the right hand side you see trees. This was not common in a desert town.

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Of course there had to be a hospital in a wealthy and organised town such as Kolmanskop. The picture above shows the first hospital in Kolmanskop.

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Some of the equipment used is shown in a small room in the ”Old Shop”.

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Later on the hospital was enlarged to what it is today.

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There were some 40 children in Kolmanskop. Of those 25-30 attended a school in Kolmanskop with classes up to grade 4. The picture above is from 1926. The teacher was Mrs Hussmann. She lived in a nice little house between the architect and the quarter master.

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The shopping street – ”Kolmanskuppe Ladenstrasse”.

The town declined after World War I when the diamond-field slowly exhausted and was ultimately abandoned in 1954. The geological forces of the desert mean that tourists now walk through houses knee-deep in sand. Kolmanskop is popular with photographers and filmmakers for its settings of the desert sands’ reclaiming this once-thriving town.

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Dust Devil is a 1993 horror film written and directed by Richard Stanley. The film was described as being like “Tarkovsky on acid” by Steve Beard of The Face.

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The King Is Alive (2000) is the fourth film to be done according to the Dogme95 rules. It is directed by Kristian Levring. It was screened in the Un Certain Regard section at the 2000 Cannes Film Festival.

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Samsara is a 2011 non-narrative documentary film, directed by Ron Fricke and produced by Mark Magidson. Samsara was filmed over four years in 25 countries around the world. It was shot in 70 mm format and output to digital format. The film premiered at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival and received a limited release in August 2012.

http://on-the-rand.co.uk/Diamond%20Grounds/Sperrgebiet.htm

http://stories.namibiatourism.com.na/blog/bid/270034/Kolmanskop-Swallowed-by-the-Dunes#Comments

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LIKE BIRDS

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