A little tour of my new apartment, dynamic home buttons, a home in Tangier, negative spaces, HAAi, and a goth jellyfish
Moving into a new apartment is an ongoing process of transformation. The desire to reshape a space, in order to really make it your own, takes time, a heap of patience, and a desire to make smart choices for the long term. We’ve been living in Barcelona for a little over two months and it’s finally starting to really feel like our home. We still don’t have our belongings from LA quite yet, though we now have some very key elements to a proper living space.
Starting with the photo above we have our massive dining table. This was one of the first items we acquired as we wanted a table that would serve two main functions: give us a massive space for working comfortably, and the ability to host massive dinner parties. For those of you who have pixel vision like myself, you’re not crazy, the table isn’t a perfect rectangle. The side on the left is wider than the side on the right, a funny detail that really sold us on buying the table. We then found some vintage chairs from a couple of spots here in BCN. The natural wood ones with the cobalt blue fabric are by Swedish designer Bertil Fridhagen for Bodafors (I’m in love with how they match the floors), and the yellow ones are by Swiss designer Bruno Rey (I found out after buying the chairs that HAY relaunched these in some beautiful tones).
Adding to the very eclectic nature of the space is our custom Roche Bobois Mah Jong couch decked out in Missoni patterns, our one big splurge when we moved. I had been enamored with the couch, with it’s wild and vibrant patterns, I knew it would be a fantastic, clashing match with the hydraulic floor tiles. A couch like this is perfect for us and our more maximalist style and I couldn’t be happier with our fabric choices. How funny are our burled wood tables? We keep accumulating more and I’ve been joking that they’re becoming an archipelago of tables.
The final ingredient to our space was the plants that were sourced for us by Casa Protea. Jesús and Pancho did an incredible job finding the massive plants I craved, making the space feel like an indoor garden. The space now feels so much more alive, and I love how the plants they chose feel like living sculptures. When the breeze blows through the space they all gently move along, it’s so beautiful to be able to sit back and watch.
I’m so happy with how it’s all coming together and it’ll be even more incredible when we’re able to hang our art on the walls and bring in all of our silly tchotchkes. I hope it was fun to get a peak into our new home!
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🔤 Stop the Presses — Beasts of England has a brand new typeface called Newsagent which is delightfully swash-y and round and like it’s from another time in all the best ways. It’s got so much personality and that lowercase “g” is absolutely stunning.
⚫️ Thumb-stopping — There’s something so sensible about this dynamic home button concept as it would bring back the thumb reader (which we all agree was better, right?) and provides shortcuts that would be nearer to your thumbs vs all the way at the top of the screen. I would much prefer a camera/sensor forehead with a dynamic home button.
🔮 New Old School — There’s a sense of bourgeois wackiness that exudes from Pierre Gonalons’ work, who creates a beautiful range of home goods and furniture. His ability to harness refined materials and apply them in surprising and playful ways caught me by surprise. The Loggia armchair, constructed with a curving black and white marble frame, and his Montceaux table, made from glazed ceramics that come in colors like terracotta, tobacco, celadon, verdigris, and more, are iconic standouts.
🌴 A Bohemian Retreat — When I say “dream home” I imagine a place like Sarah Wheeler’s remodeled home in Tangier. Patterns everywhere, brightly colored walls and trims, completely surrounded plants, with an airy calm to the whole place. It’s imperfect in every way, which is why I love it so much.
🪨 Turning A Negative Into A Positive — More than a decade ago, I came across this incredibly clever idea from Swedish design group, Front. They were inspired by the space where a dog had trotted through deep snow, made a cast of the negative space, and transformed it into a vase. The resulting form was like seeing an x-ray of where an animal had stepped, transforming the ephemeral into something permanent. I’ve previously written about Studio Anne Holtrop who employs a similar technique, casting walls in sand to create completely unique wall surfaces. Now we’re starting to see this kind of technique taken even further.
Junya Ishigami and his team have created a home/restaurant that looks like a giant ants could have constructed it. Carefully digging deep holes into the ground, they then filled those spaces with concrete, letting it harden, to create the overall form. From there they excavated the site around the newly formed concrete structure, leaving a form that feels like an underground cavern. Such a fascinating idea, I really love how they incorporated the glass panes in order to create a series of seamless feeling interior spaces. I bet the structure and surrounding area will look even more incredible once the plants outside have more time to fill in the area.
🌿 Celebrating Life — Loving the colors and movement in the work of Richa Kashelkar, an artist from Goa. The color palette they primarily uses is a lot of greens and neutrals, with bright bursts of golds and blues every now and then, it’s a dreamy world they’ve created. I’m particularly fond of Dognap (boys and dogs) and Chosen Families (for it’s fluidity and tones).
👋 Oh, HAAi — I keep revisiting a mix HAAi did for Beats in Space a couple months ago because of how abstract it sounds. The first, like, 10 minutes area all over the place, some of it electronic, some of it beats that pop in then out. My brain loves the assortment of sounds, it’s like each change in sound or structure keeps my brain on my toes as I’m designing or writing. Maybe it’ll work the same for you?
💚 Perverse Banality — Last week was the Bottega Veneta Spring 2023 ready-to-wear collection and so far folks have been buzzing about it. I enjoyed it for two reasons: The first was the patterns and colors, which are stunning and very inspiring, especially toward the middle to end of the collection. Second, in the beginning of the collection you’ll see what appears to some standard khakis, a denim skirt, and then Kate Moss in a plaid shirt with jeans… except that these are all made from leather. Designer Matthieu Blazey describes it as “perverse banality” (such an incredible phrase) which absolutely shocked me when I read this twist.
🐙 Deep Sea Creatures — The Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute shared some incredible footage of a giant phantom jelly (Stygiomedusa gigantea) which is basically a massive, goth jellyfish (there is not jellyfish emoji, sorry). It looks like something out of an anime, it’s so wild!
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