Play with light

Good afternoon everyone!

Outside finally sunny and you can work until late only with the sunlight! Unless you happen to live in a place like … Scotland – astonishingly beautiful BUT dark. And cold. Been there, lived there, had an amazing time, but never in my life was so obsessed with light! Anyway, wherever you live, what brings light and warmth to our everyday lives is interior lighting, often overlooked by designers, and unjustly so.

Light changes interiors like nothing else, and it does so in an unnoticeable way (if you manage to nail it). The moment you enter a room and feel some sort of magic, but can’t tell what it is, I bet it’s the ambient lighting mixed with some cool accent lights. Light adds drama to interiors, it gives them vibe, a flavour.

What is super crucial when designing lighting for your room is blending different layers of light. There are three main kinds of light in all interiors: ambient light – main source of light in a room, often coming from recessed downlights (too common and modern as for me to be honest), task light – used to carry out certain activities at home, important especially in kitchens and bathrooms, and accent light – to highlight a piece of furniture or architecture features, for example table lamps. They should all overlap and blend, creating a warm and cohesive room, without boundaries, unless you want to divide your room of course, then you could use light to separate space by putting “light walls”.

This is what I mean by drama and magic in a room. Super warm and romantic.

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A cool industrial lamp in a restaurant/bar, mixing original brick walls with twisted pink and turquoise.

Check it out when visiting Warsaw: https://www.facebook.com/CheeseburgerSlowFood.

I would personally use this lamp in a loft-style flat as well. It perfectly fits the city and gives your space an urban edge. If you are more traditional, go for a crystal chandelier, like the ones below. Don’t be scared of oversized chandeliers/lamps. You can use them as an accent piece of furniture which will decide the atmosphere of everything around.

Finally, I’m a bit crazy here, but do not overestimate candles and … Christmas style lights. It’s such an easy and cheap way of warming up your house, not necessarily in Xmas season.

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Enjoy the rest of the week people!

camY

Go rustic – Tuscany inspired

Hello back interior lovers! Had a bit of no blog, no internet, no mobile time in Tuscany. A refreshing experience in the always-online social-media centered times. Highly recommendable! It’s been also an inspirational time. Rural Italy is a beautiful getaway and gives one plenty of ideas on how to make your home a bit rustic.

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Just to make you a bit jealous;). This is where I found those inspirations. By a glass of locally made chianti.

When you think rustic, you think warm, bright, natural and inviting, which to me sounds like a perfect description of a home. Of course not everyone lives in a villa in Tuscany or Provence with a vineyard in the back (what a pity though), so the trick is how to give that relaxed touch to your home, wherever that is, Soho London included.

If you happen to live in a house/apartment with such architectural features as wooden beams or stone work, try to bring it out, adapt your interior to highlight their natural beauty. The easiest way is to light them up by creating little pools of light around them, preferably dimmed, so it gives a room a warm feeling instead of a hospital style super bright, almost white light, created by ceiling pendants. Put a desk lamp next to your favourite piece of furniture or Christmas style plain lights around your wooden desk.

Another tip is to celebrate those natural features by contrasting them with something modern in a high voltage tone, like electric blue or raspberry pink. Contrasts make interiors sophisticated. In order not to overdo it, you should mix it with earthy colours, which will also perfectly match wood and stone. In the end you want to surround yourself with intriguing but harmonious interiors.

Floors. In my humble opinion, the most important and so often neglected element of any interior. Panels are a mistake! They should be forbidden. Wooden or stone floors create magic, especially when old. Personally love it when an old wooden floor starts ‘talking’ to me when walking on it at night. It gives me an interior thrill! If you want a piece of countryside at home, go for wooden floors. If you want something rough and and are not obsessed with the sense of squishiness like me, dare to have a stone floor.

Finally, create layers. Mix wood and brick with soft fabrics, such as wool or silk (blankets, cushions, curtains), use different shades of light, don’t be scared of colours (go for rough and painted wood). That creates frictions, which in case of interiors are super cool. This is how you make the space around you iconic.

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 Rustic & modern

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The game of textures, fabrics, colours and light.

 Enjoy the rest of the week!

camY

A can of paint

Time for a late night post! A bit like a Nightcall by Kavinsky! At night we are truly and totally ourselves. Late night activity/creativity, whatever that is, shows the way we feel, it’s genuine and super emotional! But this is how we feel and should feel about interiors, EMOTIONAL, and personal, so here we go.

Colours. They transform interiors, they change everything, and they do it in an easy and rather cheap way.  So if you’re looking for a change of vibe of your room, change the colour and you won’t believe what effect it will have. Colours give our interiors depth and intimacy like nothing else. But only if you go for right hues. So forget about white walls. I’m sorry, but I don’t get the Scandic style in its purest form. I think it makes interiors flat and we want them to be Tantalising, we want them to draw us in, we want to go down the rabbit hole when we come back home after a long day, plonk down on a sofa with a glass of wine, wrapped by the squishiness of the living-room, while listening to … in my case Chopin.

Sooo, if you want to avoid one-dimensional spaces, play with colours, shades and hues. No rules here, except of one, which I will mention in one sec. Look around you for inspiration. What sort of colours will you find in your wardrobe or on your bedside? This is where your personal style lies. Gather a palette of your personal colours and then mix them. Try to mix neutral colours, such as beige, greish or even white with something strong and dazzling, like electric blue or intense pink. You will be literally bedazzled by the effect.

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Calm apple & rich raspberry

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Beige mixed with mature yellow & turquoise blue

Another advice is to go for unconventional, yet almost magical, in my humble opinion, hues, like the ones below from Abigail Ahern’s paint range. Simply COOL. They bring unbelievable luxury to every pad.

Ohh, I almost forgot about the one and only rule when it comes to mixing colours. That is limit yourself to a few, for example 4. If you overdose, you will lose the effect, if you’re too restrained, it will be flat.

Good night all the interior lovers! Sweet dreams.

camY

dispel and ditch Scandic

Quite brave as for the very first post, but here I am, challenging the unquestionable, the most popular and glorifed by everyone and everywhere interior style – Scandinavian style. At this moment, probably even my dearest friends will decide to unfriend me, as they are also under the spell.

Scandic is commonly described as minimalist and functional. I would say simple bright formal and … cold. Fine for an office, less for a living space.

After all what is it about these white soulless walls, white gloss kitchen, white rugs on the floor, white chairs and tables etc.? Add a bit of wood and there you go with a bright clean sterile perfect Scandic interior. BUT do you really want to live in a spotless cold and uptight, as I believe it is, space? Would you call it your home, so a WARM inviting cosy and chilled-out place where you are supposed to get your little escape from the outside hassle?

I don’t even mention the fact that we are all creative individuals and creativity lies where our imagination can go wild instead of following everyone else. I’m not sure where room for imagination in a Scandic room is…

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via abigailahern.wordpress.com

Look at these two. I have little problem choosing my home;).

Follow Abigail Ahern for further inspirations!

Speak later,

camY

Local coffeehouses

Good morning everyone! Hope you’re having a great weekend. I spend most of my weekends in cafes, everywhere around the world. I have my very personal favourite cafe in most of the European capitals. This is where I absorb local culture, observe people and discover their habits. It gives you an amazing and unique insight into the way people live!

There has been a lot of discussion about chain versus local cafes. I personally don’t like the milky oversweetened as calorific as lunch drinks, do not even consider them to be coffees, at the place called S… and the like. And if I have choice, I always go for a little cafe around the corner, because it gives me the vibe of the city and coffee is usually of better quality as well. One of the things I’m absolutely addicted to and will never ever ditch the habit of having it everyday is Coffee! ❤ Pure unconditional love. Out of all the cafes I’ve ever visited and, trust me, I’ve seen many, I particularly like hanging out in the super old ones with a feel of history and original interior. Below a couple of pics from the oldest cafe in Warsaw. Established in 1895. One of the guests was Frederic Chopin.

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Simple, minimalist but warm and perfect for studying! (especially espanol as in my case).

And here something more modern from the city of canals, Amsterdam, full of around-the corner cafe-bakeries, serious competition for Vienna with its Kaffeehaus Kultur! One of the features of the city which I keep falling in love with are also little vintage boutiques and cafes in one. That’s a cool way of making your shopping a real pleasure.

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Enjoy fresh bread at De Bakkerswinkel.

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Mix of all the different styles, but this is exactly what we want and expect of local cafes – DIVERSITY, which enriches our lives, and a cup of cappuccino:). Goes perfectly well with a caramel tart! Try le pain quotidien when in Amsterdam!

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Enjoy your chilled-out coffee-flavoured weekend!

camY

Atelier-like home

Hello lovely people! Today I had an exceptionally nice afternoon thanks to an American couple, whom I met in one of the art galleries in the city and started talking to them about art and … politics. It turned out that they came to Warsaw from Washington DC only to buy a few pieces of art. And that inspired me to share my view on the exposition of art at home, specifically paintings.

The way people traditionally expose art at home is by hanging it on a wall at eye level, usually in the centre. A bit like in a museum, don’t you think? Personally, it makes me feel a bit uptight and gives a rather not homely cosy feeling. And it’s just boring.

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Not a bad interior, but not very creative.

What I would do, unless it was an original Da Vinci (not a big fan though), would be to put different pieces on the floor in a row, like below, or, if hang them, then super high, for example above the door, or in a place like … a bathroom. Weird, no? Yes, but so much more intriguing and chilled-out at the same time. Needles to say that not every painting would look cool in a bathroom, so it’s a tricky art (literally) to show art in an artistic, yet original way, but, as someone once said, “if you are unwilling to risk the usual, you will have to settle for the ordinary”, so there you go!

And here you have a little unintended example of presenting art without all the airs and graces. This is an art gallery (http://galeriaart.pl/), but I would do it exactly the same at home.

A bit like here.

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Below a couple of really cool pieces for an atelier-like home. The first one is from the gallery above.

Art is beauty. Enjoy it your way. Accessible. Easy. Cool.

camY

industrial cafes

Good afternoon! (for me it’s actually still morning, not really an early bird)

Today it’s about industrial cafes! Industrial style has been a hot (even though it actually gives a rather cold feeling) design idea for some time now. Everyone wants to live in a loft these days, especially nouveau riche society class. Urban areas for urban people. An old factory or a power station, adapted to living needs, is a perfect creative and full of its own life setting. Prices of studio apartments in Battersea Power Station in London start at £800,00, but you can also get something bigger for even £4 million! So, yeah, there’s demand for rough open spaces with metal and wood.

Industrial is also making a foray into cafes’ and bakeries’ interiors! Look down to get an idea of the trend.

But what I find even cooler than adapting a not necessarily originally industrial space into a cafe is simply using a real old industrial building for that purpose, without changing anything, except of just putting a coffee machine and some chairs in there . Such a natural and effortless way of giving a cafe or a restaurant a raw twist. It’s REAL and we want real stuff in this superficial world, no?

And, yes, you can be sure that your favourite cafe will be a unique one, because there are not too many naturally industrial interiors around you, at least not too many left.

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Modern Art Museum Cafe in Warsaw. An inspiring city. Naturally industrial because of its Communist history, glorifying industry.

Speak later,

camY