Browsing Category

Home

Fresh Decor for the whole year

This living room shows a fresh decor that works perfectly throughout the year, from spring to winter. Behind the project: Victoria and Sylvia Melián, two sisters, master interior designers, who have been working together since 2006 under the label Melián Randolph.

As in all their projects, in this living room they have shown great personality, audacity and a unique chic touch. The result is a fresh decor based on the sum of different elements. This gorgeous mix is fruit of a laborious previous project and a special talent to harmonize all the elements.

A large rug anchors the living area which features two Kennedy sofas by Blasco & Blasco, with green velvet cushions. The area is completed with two steel poufs, designed by Sylvia Melián. and two garden chairs of the 50s found in Youtopia.

fresh decorIn the living room there are many vegetable motifs that contribute to a fresh decoration: photographs, green moss velvet, natural flowers, antique garden chairs and, especially, the great oil painting by Patricio Cabrera. 

A Liberty chaise longue by Blasco & Blasco has been placed between the living and the dining area. The back wall has been highlighted with an anthracite gray color. The touches of green energize the black and white scheme. The dining chairs are from Miss in Demeure.

This living room appeared on the cover of Nuevo Estilo Magazine in 2012, but its fresh decor continues to be trendy.

 

Decorating with antiques a modern apartment

After its renovation, this modern apartment should become the perfect backdrop for a decoration with antiques, as the owners had a collection of old paintings, sculptures and tapestries.

A mobile sculpture in iron, by José Onieva, leads to a second living area. In the foreground, a sofa with covers made with a Serendipity Fabrics linen. Behind, an antique chaise longue and a Belgian tapestry from the 17th century. In charge of this project has been María de la Osa.

The large windows are dressed with linen blinds that let the light through. The pair of identical sofas are from Blasco & Blasco. The flowerpots were acquired at an auction and the Persian carpet is a piece of family heritage.

Painting by Jordi Alcaraz acquired in Anmoder. The legacy armchair has been re-upholstered with an animal print fabric. Modern architecture enhances the decor with antiques as this two interesting Carlos III consoles.

More photos by clicking aquí.

Sophisticated but simple decoration

In one of the most representative streets of Barcelona’s Eixample we find this stately apartment, whose renovation was commissioned by Circular Studio.

The sophisticated but simple decoration reflects many of the wabisabi principles, like natural woods, few but chosen decorative elements, earth colors, natural fabrics… all combined with a great selection of iconic furniture and accessories from the 20th century design.

In the living room, a pair of Brigitte sofás from Blasco & Blasco, both with linen covers. Neutral tones dominate the decoration with touches in black. Alanda coffee table is a design by Paolo Piva. Carpets by Nani Marquina.

In this working área, also with a simple decoration but full of interest, highlights a BKF chair (or Butterfly chair). Throughout the house we can see a wonderfull collection of designer chairs.

In this angle of the living room, we can see the care taken in the selection of lamps. On the wall two lamps 265 designed by Paolo Rizzatto for Flos. On the sides of the sofa, Cesta lamp on the table and TMM floor lamp, both by Miguel Milá, edited by Santa & Cole.

In the living room, another icon of modern design. Lounge Chair with matching Ottoman, a creation of Charles and Ray Eames in the 50’s, manufactured by Vitra.

Photos: Eugeni Pons

 

 

Decorating with velvet fabric (I)

Velvet is a versatile option when decorating because it works equally well in any style: classic, contemporary, retro, romantic, boho… Just use it sparingly, because if you keep it under control velvet will give a luxurious touch to your home, but if you exceed it will produce a “boudoir effect”. Here are the keys to decorating with velvet fabric:

The exact dose of velvet is always a success. In this living room decorated by Melián Randolph velvet has been used in cushions and some upholstery. Sofas by Blasco & Blasco.

Tough guy. The complex velvet weaving process makes it more durable and resistant than many other fabrics. If you take good care of it, velvet can last for generations. Always keep in mind this fabric is produced from very different fibers, as we told in an earlier post, so you can find velvet in different qualities and prices.

Generally, the shorter and denser the pile is, the more resilient the fabric will be. Deeper pile velvet looks more luxurious but is more difficult to care for.

Classic, boho, contemporary … Velvet is an extremely versatile fabric. Via: Pampa Australia

Like all upholstery fabrics, velvet is tested to determine how much abrasion it supports before showing wear or color loss. In the case of velvet fabric is recommended a value from 40.000 Martindale cycles. Depending on the use, you can choose a thinner velvet (for example, for cushions or curtains) or more resistant (in the case of upholstery for sofas or armchairs).

When you buy furniture or complements in velvet, or you want to reupholster with this fabric, check the composition and the martindale indicated by the manufacturer. Find out what type is the most advisable for the use you want to give it, its pros and cons. Remember that there are many types of velvet fabric.

Velvet is a very resistant fabric but at the same time is supple, perfect for upholstering sinuous furniture.

Patina. Before deciding on velvet it is necessary to know it well. As it is easily marked, it is not recommended for those who suffer from short-term imperfections. If you expect the velvet to remain unchanged like the first day, you’d better choose another fabric. When you sit or lean something on velvet furniture, the pile will often ruffle. Depending on the type of velvet, some more than others. These bruises can mostly be steamed out. But at the end these bruises will create a patina that should be understood as part of the natural life of velvet.

 

The Essential Guide to Velvet

Just a couple of years ago, to say “velvet” in decoration was synonymus of outdated decor. But the sum of the cocooning trends and the love for retro style have made velvet a new object of desire.

Velvet has a bit of bad reputation (“it´s expensive”, “delicate”, “complicated”…), which is totally unfair. In this first post dedicated to velvet, we are going to know it better.

A blue velvet sofa, like this one by Blasco & Blasco with Keystone velvet, becomes the center of attention of any living room.

What is: It may be easier to define velvet by what it is not. Velvet is not a fiber, neither natural nor synthetic. The term refers to the result of a complex weaving process to obtain a soft fabric, with short and thick pile, with a uniform distribution of the loops. To create it is used a special loom that weaves two pieces at the time. Although the technique has been made cheaper with industrial looms, the process is still very complex.

Types. Velvet can be made with natural fibers, such as cotton, wool, linen, silk or mohair, with synthetic fibers, such as polyester, rayon or viscose, or mixing natural and synthetic fibers.

  • 100% silk velvet has a super luxurious touch. Today it is very rare and costs more than 400 euros per yard.
  • Cotton velvet looks less glossy, but is soft, affordable and sturdy. In addition, it dyes very well, so it is available in a variety of wonderful colors.
  • Linen velvet, with a characteristic striped texture, is the most masculine and has good resistance to the marks of use. Nowadays it is practically impossible to find linen velvet.
  • Synthetic and mixed velvets imitate perfectly the sheen of silk velvet and are competitively priced.

Color samples of Blasco & Blasco velvet Retiro II, mix of viscose and cotton.

Look. The velvet looks luxurious and shiny because the pile on its surface reflects the light at multiple angles. It is usually dyed in very vivid and dark colors that enhance its characteristic shine.

History. Without a clear origin, it seems that the ancient Egyptians made fabrics similar to velvet. From the East came to Italy around the thirteenth century. Florence and Venice were major producers. In the sixteenth century Flanders became the great exporter of European velvet. In Spain we find excellent velvet weavers from the seventeenth century, some of which continue working until today. Before the industrial revolution, velvet was an unattainable fabric, symbol of power, luxury and wealth. Today, in Europe is produced an exquisite velvet, designed mainly for Haute Couture.

Velvet is also used for bedding. This quilt from de Zara Home combines linen and velvet.

Decoration. In general, all types of velvet are good to upholster, make curtains, cushions or plaids, regardless of the fibres used for weaving the fabric. There is also velvet with anti-allergic, anti-bacteria, anti-fungus or anti-stain treatments, which do not affect its brightness or soft touch.

Hygge Tips for a Happy Home (II)

Have you tried our five first hygge tips for a happy home? Here you have five more keys:

  1. Surround yourself with things that make you happy. The hygge culture is about creating an environment that make us happy at home. And one way to do it is to surround yourself with things that remind you of good times. It can be a photo gallery of your trips. Or maybe an inherited closet with wood smell that carries you to your grandmother’s house every time you open it.
  2. Don´t spend money without thinking. The Danes aren´t wasteful. They usually save to buy good furniture or design pieces, rather than buying something that does not really fascinate them just because it is cheap or has a discount.
  3. House in order. An organized house not only improves the physical space, it also improves our inner space, our mind. How are you going to be happy if you lose 10 minutes each morning looking for the keys before you leave? The first step to achieving a tidy and happy home is to “edit” our belongings. Only objects that make us happy or are useful should be left. The second step is to invest in good storage solutions. So you can have everything organized and get a quiet space by removing from sight those things that create visual mess.

A large shelf helps keep everything in order, a key to hygge. Via: The Style Files

  1. Create at least one hyggekrog (a special corner where you feel happy) in your home. For some people it will be a comfortable armchair next to the fireplace where to read quietly. But for other people, the hyggekrog will be a walk-in closet where organize clothes and accessories, a wall with family photos or a perfectly organized desk to work from home in front of a window.
  2. Find time for your tribe… Good company is the essence of hygge and a happy home. Leave the cell phone aside and turn off the TV, to enjoy a nice evening with popcorn and movie with your children. Or gather your friends to share a delicious dinner and a good chat.

 A happy home is shared with good friends. Via: The Jungalow

Is hygge the reason why the Danes are the happiest in the world? Surely they are surprised when they see that many foreigners try to copy their houses with candles, wool plaids and Nordic-style decorations, without understanding that hygge is much more. It´s a (good) lifestyle, a way to create a happy home and share it with others.

If you liked this post, surely you are interested in Decalogue of Wabi Sabi Decoration

Natural decor in Marrakech

This Marrakesh home, inspired by the traditional country houses in this area of ​​Morocco, combines tradition and comfort, with a very sophisticated result. Its luminous and natural decor is the work of Spanish interior designer Victoria Melián, from Estudio Melián Randolph.. Her project filled the house with color, always in soft tones, and provided it with comfortable furniture. Victoria Also included materials and crafts of the area.

The house is brand new and has been based on traditional Moroccan architecture. In the backyard porch, in front the pool, Point and Métiers d’Hier furniture. The green wooden pergola is designed by Victoria Melián.

Almost every room in the house has a fireplace. In the living room, Blasco & Blasco sofa and armchairs. On the wall, photograph by Hassan Hajjaj, in Larache Gallery.

natural decorA lot of sunlight and a natural decor are behind the success of this house. In the living area, African table by Lorenzo Queipo de Llano and sofas  by Blasco & Blasco.

All ceilings are different. In this room, the turquoise in the ceiling is repeated in furniture and complements. Tables from Ziya Designs. Bamboo chair, Objetology. Rug, Berbería.

In the master bedroom, the canopy has been made with a carpet by Berberia. Fireplace of tadelakt, a surface very bright and resistant made from lime plaster. All these elements achieve the comfortable, bright and natural decor that the owners wished.

Hygge Tips for a Happy Home (I)

“Happiness consists more in the small conveniences of pleasures that occur every day, than in great pieces of good fortune that happen but seldom to a man in the course of his life”, said Benjamin Franklin. So it is likely that happiness will find us at home, if we do our part to have a happy home …

The Danes use a word, “hygge”, difficult to translate, which means something like “happy people in a cozy home”. Hygge does not refer to a particular style of decoration, but to an attitude in and towards our house. To understand it, think of this: in the catalogs of the Swedish decoration giant, what exactly do you like: the furniture or the cozy staging, where we always see people enjoying their home?

Every happy home has a ‘hyggekrog’, a cozy area like this, with two Hilton armchairs. Via: El Mueble

Here are the hygge keys for a happy home:

  1. Make decoration important to you and your family. It is no coincidence that the Danes have exported to the world their style of decoration and their concept “hygge”. Although not all scandinavian homes are like those we see in magazines or catalogs, most families put a lot of interest in interior design and feel proud of their houses.
  1. Teach children to respect the home. We can not prevent children from being children and having toys, stories and a lot of things not always ordered. No problem while all that mess is left in their space and they do not conquer the whole house. A Swedish friend told me that she does not understand why many people fill the entire living room with toys. And she told me that she is even more surprised when this people say “This is a Nordic habit” … “In Sweden we try to teach our children that they should respect the home and the spaces of adults.”

Maximize natural light. Via: ELLE Decor.

  1. Maximize daylight. A bright house lift our mood. However, the Danes only have four sunshine hours per day during the winter. The trick? Maximize natural light as much as possible. The Scandinavian interior design, always luminous, rests on colors such as off-white or sand, that are warm whites, not too cold or gray. You can also use strategically placed mirrors, to maximize the views of a window or to put light into a dark corner.
  1. Pamper the little details. Since it’s the little details that make us happy, a happy home does not need to be a mansion. On the contrary, too much luxury does not help to “hygge”. Make the most of your house and take care of the details. If you don´t have a fireplace, use candles, a classic of the Scandinavian decor, because they fill the house with magic. Good music, warm light, fragrances for the home… Pamper your home and your home will pamper you.
  1. Make it green. Those with a green thumb surely have a lot of plants at home. If you do not have a green thumb, do not give up: try succulents or plants like ficus. And if your hand is black instead of green… fresh flowers are your thing. In any case, a little greenery makes a happy home and lift your mood.

Plants and flowers lift the mood. Chairs and footrests are by Blasco & Blasco. Via: Nuevo Estilo

Next week we´ll continue with more keys for a happy home.

Luminous Decor in the North of Spain

To receive the spring we have chosen the living room, dining room and porch of a house in Gijón (Asturias), decorated by the interior designerRafael Sitges, founder of Et In Arcadia Ego Study.

The house seems like it has been there for a long time, but actually it´s a brand new villa. The key lies in a balanced and luminous decor, the use of soft tones and the coexistence of pieces of various styles.

Three large Windows, with white wooden blinds and courtains, create a link with the garden. Artwork by Pablo Fernández Pujol.

luminous decorOutdoors is present in the living room and helps to enhance the luminous decor. Blasco & Blasco armchairs are upholstered in linen. The dragon head is a Chinese sculpture from the 18th-century.

Furniture was chosen in pairs, such as the Anmoder lamps, the side tables, and the two pairs of Blasco & Blasco Juliette armchairs. A contemporary Salvador Moltó painting hangs in the wall.

On the covered porch, lamps, tables and sofas were also chosen in pairs to achieve a perfect balance. On the sofas have been placed cushions in linen and silk embroidered with marine animals.

luminous decorIn the dining room the designer paired an antique Chinese table with Louis XV chairs. In the corners, old tribal shields. The sunlight coming in through the window enhance the luminous decor.

Click here to see more about this house with a luminous decor.

How to Prolong the Life of the Upholstery

In this post we have put together a series of tips to care an upholstered sofa and some tricks to keep it as the first day for a long time. To begin with, we have to do justice to the grandmothers who did not let eat in the living room, especially chocolate or cheese sandwiches. Some stains can be very difficult (or expensive) to remove from the upholstery.

Blasco & Blasco velvet sofa. Via: El Mueble

Vacuum: the sofa’s best friend

If you are one of those who lose the small brushes of the vacuum two days after buying it or those who recycle it with its accessories as new as the first day, you are damaging your sofa. Accumulated dust creates friction and gradually wears away the fibers. To prolong the life of your sofa and keeps it fresh for a long time, vacuum it weekly. The small brush of the vacuum cleaner serves to remove dust from the surface of the sofa, while the angle-tipped crevice tool reaches the most difficult areas where more dirt accumulates.

Remember to vacuum the sofa before applying it any specific cleaning treatment. If you do not remove dirt and dust before treatment, the upholstery may end up dirtier than it was.

Vacuum the sofa every week. With pets, use a special tool to remove hair. Via: Serendipity Fabrics

First-aid for spills

The best advice to prevent a stain is to act quickly, before it has time to stick to the fabric. When an accident occurs, do not panic, stay calm. The first thing to do is absorb the spilled substance. To do this, use a white cotton cloth, clean and dry. Do not rub! If you rub, the stain will become larger.

When the cloth has absorbed everything possible, you must act according to the upholstery. Keep in mind that each fabric needs different products or treatments. What works for one fabric can be disastrous for another. Always check the manufacturer’s care label. If you do not have it, be very prudent, there are fabrics that can only be dry cleaned by professionals, others admit water-based or solvent-based solutions.

Before applying a treatment in a visible area of ​​the upholstery, test it in a discrete part.  Fabrics can be damaged by improper cleaning. If your upholstery has received some anti-stain treatment, keep in mind that it will probably change the recommended method of cleaning.

Keep and respect the manufacturer’s care label. Via: Blasco & Blasco

Care of seat cushions and backrest

The best way to care for the seat and down back cushions is to rotate them from time to time, to evenly distribute wear. It is also important to take cushions outside once a month and beat them by hand to remove the dust from the fibers.

A common (and unsightly) problem is that color differences can appear between the cushion covers and the fixed parts of the upholstery. To prevent it and maintain a uniform tone throughout the sofa, if your fabric supports cleaning with specific upholstery products, every time you clean the covers also clean the fixed parts.

If the cushion covers can be removed and machine washed (remember: check the instructions label), turn them in reverse, wash in cold water and dry them in the shade to avoid fading. Always all them at once. If you have been shrunk a little by washing, iron the damp cloth in the direction you have shrunk by gently stretching.

In case the upholstery is dry clean only, take all covers at the same time, not only those that are soiled. This will ensure the color stays uniform in all of them.

Professional cleaning companies can treat the sofa and armchairs in full, so the tone will remain uniform on both cushions and fixed parts. A deep clean is highly recommended every twelve to eighteen months.

Once a year the upholstery requires a deep clean. Via: Chango & Co

When a great “catastrophe” occurs and a lot of liquid is spilled on the upholstery, professional cleaning is recommended. The stain in the filling may be three or four times bigger than you see on the surface.

Finally, even though it might sound odd coming from an Internet post, be very careful with home tricks that appear on Internet. Remember: always follow the manufacturer’s care label, act wisely and go to professionals when necessary.