Friday, December 31, 2010


Happy weekend — and happy New Year's Eve! Have a wonderful evening, whatever you decide to do. We'll be having a quiet one together this year — something to be savoured after a busy holiday filled with travel and family. So, a little bottle of Veuve Cliquot champagne, some delectable nibbles, and watching the Times Square countdown are in order! How about you?

(lovely photo by neil mersh for elle decoration uk july 2004 via this is glamorous)

Remembrance of Things Past

Entering Silvia Petrocca's Buenos Aires apartment is to walk straight into a cabinet of wonders. An antiquarian, her home reflects her history — her father is Neapolitan, her mother Argentine — with its Italian antiques, terracotta, weathered marble statues, Venetian lace and hand painted wallpaper, punctuated with rich colour. And like the antiques that she collects and sells, her home in the historic San Telmo neighborhood took shape slowly — over twenty years, in fact. When Silvia first saw it, she fell in love at first sight, despite the fact that it was almost destroyed. But the fact that it had been neglected for so long was what saved it — in a country that is all about the new, the near ruins of the building hid the original architecture, designed for an important Italian family in the nineteenth century. Silvia discovered high ceilings decorated with coats of arms, bunches of grapes and wheat — all symbols of wealth — in what was left of the stucco. And then she learned about its troubled history — it had been used as a hotel for the beggars after its abandonment by the owners, when yellow fever raged in the district, part of the story of San Telmo. But Silvia and her husband went ahead and bought the apartment on the second floor and the shop space on the ground floor. They did all the restoration work themselves — Silvia, her husband, and their friend, the artist Gustavo Godoy, who taught Silvia how to recreate the original patina of the walls. Now the house revolves around a large semi-circular living room which gives access to all rooms, which in turn face onto the square outside. Her home is now a homage to the beauty in the passage of time. More (in Italian) here on Marie Claire Italia.

(photography by Virginia Del Giudice/ Ag. Blob CG)


Word. And may all your dreams come true in the new year, too.

(via all about audrey)

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Sweetness and Light

A good thing to keep in mind.

(photo elsk dit hjem by ranvita la cour via this is glamorous)


This week's links. Enjoy.

Lucky Foods for the New Year
All around the world, people enjoy special delicacies to bring good fortune for the year ahead — find out what they'll be eating in places such as Italy, Japan, Sweden, China and Germany.

Snow Day
Snowed in by the recent blizzards? Cheer yourself up with a look at this fun slide show from the New Yorker, featuring a selection of classic wintery cartoons from their archive.

Elegantly Old School
There's a nostalgia movement afoot — more and more people are looking for older, more refined ways of living in the modern world. NPR looks at three recent books on the topic.

Ghost Box
Haven't had a chance to check them out yet, but I'm really intrigued. Ghost Box is a record label for a group of artists who find inspiration in folklore, vintage electronics, library music, and haunted television soundtracks. Weekend listening for sure. Via things magazine.

2010 National Film Registry Picks
Since 1988 the National Film Preservation Board in the US has selected films to preserve for posterity. In order to qualify, titles must be at least 10 years old and must have had some form of theatrical release. Here's the 25 films chosen this year, bringing the total number up to 550 so far.

The Best Apps of 2010
Brain Pickings chooses the 10 most interesting, innovative and just plain useful apps launched in 2010.

Karl Lagerfeld's VW Commercial

Goodness — Karl Lagerfeld in a French Volkswagen commercial! Needless to say, it's full of Karl attitude.

The Big Cheese
Lovely article on Saveur about the classic Swiss fondue — with recipes, too.

(photo via VT Wonen)

Atelier: Catrin Welz-Stein

Check out this great interview with mixed media artist Catrin Welz-Stein, who creates extraordinary Surrealist-influenced collages. Prints of her amazing work are available here, too.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Moments of Beauty

Having an eye for beauty in unexpected places is, I think, the sign of a true artist.

(lovely photo by Lisa Cohen)

A Cosy Loft

It was a chance advertisement that led Dolores, iconographer and tango dancer, to discover her current Paris home. After having always lived in quiet areas, she wanted to be somewhere that was more lively — though not noisy. It just took one visit for her to fall under the spell of this former lingerie factory, housed in a nineteenth century building located on a busy street. It had all the features beloved of loft dwellers — large windows, beams, concrete floors — but what was the clincher was the central courtyard, surrounded by the industrial premises. In short, it was a peaceful place in the heart of Paris. Dolores immediately bought the factory and asked the architect Valerie Mazerat to restructure the space for a home. Her only requirements — a wooden floor, a fireplace and a kitchen that was close beside the fireplace so that she didn't have to leave it at the last moment when preparing an impromptu dinner. With these three requirements in mind, Valerie divided the space into two distinct areas, defined by two existing walls. The first area is devoted to more private rooms (bedrooms, study and bathroom) while the second encorporates the living, kitchen and dining area — meant for entertaining. For decoration, Dolores has indulged her love of richly colored fabrics, various furniture styles plus an eclectic mix of paintings, photographs and kitsch objects, all reflecting the personality of its owner — generous and cheerful. More (in French) here at Marie Claire Maison.

(photography by Mai-Linh)

advertise on automatism

Thinking of advertising on automatism? There's still a couple of spots available for January — find out more here.

(photography by Hans Blomquist via here)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Simple Pleasures

The way the scent of clementine peel lingers for hours on your hands, like a delicate Proustian remembrance of Christmas.

(photo by karin a on flickr)

An Artful Home

For Bo Overton, it all started with a traditional landscape painting, painted by his good friend Bendt Schneevoigt. Not long after, Bo blew six months of savings on two works by the pop artist Azzopardi, purchased directly from the at Bayswater Market in London — Bo Overton still get Christmas cards from him every year. Fifteen years later, Bo's Copenhagen apartment is proof that his interest in art was not a passing phase — he's since amassed an impressive collection of modern contemporary art that covers all the walls and fills the corners of his home. Bo says that he's always been fascinated by the uniqueness of art — he loves to study the details and depth in the works, talking as well to the artists to understand their intentions. He describes it as buying a story. Bo's taste in art may be guided simply by what he likes, but it's consistent, too — his home, where art is mixed with classics of furniture design — is not a museum but a colourful one filled with happy energy. More photos here from Bo Bedre.

(photography by Andreas Mikkel Hansen)


A little inspiration. May your 2011 be a year filled with art, music, film, dance and all the other creative pursuits that make life rich and meaningful.

(via sweet + lovely things)

Monday, December 27, 2010


Christmas Day has come and gone, New Year's Eve is a few days away — this particular Monday is the perfect time to relax and truly savour the holiday season.

(photo by dreamy whites)

A New Appreciation

When Jacqueline and Conrad first discovered what is now their home in Bruges in the 1990s, not only was it by accident, but it puzzled their friends as well — at a time of minimalism in interior design, the ornate interiors dating from 1938-42 (when the building was first built), were thought eccentric at best. But Jacqueline and Conrad fell for the spacious rooms and beautiful natural light, and moved in. Initially, they had plans to do a little renovating to parts of the building, but ultimately, it never happened. Instead, they found that once they'd moved in, it immediately had a lived in and home-like atmosphere. Conrad, who studied painting and now restores historic interiors, notes that these days older houses often end up losing their personality when renovated — and what makes them interesting. So they left the original plasterwork and other details, finding it a sympathetic background for their extensive collections of art and objects gathered from all over the world. Now, of course, their friends love it as much as they do. More (in Dutch) here on Knack Weekend.

(photos by January Verlinde)

Sponsor Spotlight

Kareem of The Suitcase recently had a Christmas sale on a selection of prints — and though it may be (unfortunately) past now, do check out the new additions to his shop (at always very affordable prices)!

Ayse of Ayse Kozaci Jewelry has been adding some truly beautiful new items to her shop lately — such as these lovely Ancient Coin Earrings, a replica of an ancient Roman coin. Hand made in oxidized silver to give them an antique feel, the hammered sterling silver hoops are an additional perfect vintage touch. Available (on sale!) from her shop here.

Liza of Small Equals put on her photographer's hat recently, and the result is two beautiful and atmospheric 8 x 10 prints of vintage perfume bottles — plus a lovely story about how they came about, too. One of these would be so pretty framed and displayed over a dressing table! Purchase them from her shop here.
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