Sunday, January 16, 2011

Designer Maria Calderara's home - white punctuated with colors

Jewellery and fashion designer, Maria Calderara renovated a fifteenth-century house in the Lake Garda region, half way between Brescia, where she lives with her family, and Milan, where she works.
What strikes the most is the harmony of the place. So soothing, calm, that one just feels like relaxing in those gigantic pillows throughout the house. White and light grey walls, luminosity, color punctuation, art wall, some vintage furniture and that's it.
Maria chose a colorful shaggy rug for her office and a stunning tribal moroccan rug (Azilal) for the hall that leads to her bedroom.
A perfect dosage of personality and elegance. I were to choose an old farm in the La Dordogne region, I would be inspired by her project...
Via Marie Claire Italia - photo Gianni Basso

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Upcycling churches! - Part II

Even more daring than converting a church into a retail space is converting a church into a... residence! Not the first time someone does it, but it seems that Zecc Architecten got it right with this project. Minimalist, white on white paint with its classic ceilling, stained-glasses, windows, crosses. What a holy loft!
The project is a day living space, but I would consider it as an residential option provided heating, hot water and other utilities are available. But, here it comes real life: heating this massive building is both costly and not compatible with conscious living...


Upcycling churches! Part I

Would you shop in a former house of worship, let's say a church? Dine? Live?

Maybe you've already heard of Church of the Hole Communion - a 19th century building - in Chelsea, NY, where Limelight nightclub was once established.
Limelight, said to have caused so much suffering for the neighbors for its drug-suffused reputation, close in 2001, leaving place for other clubs that alternate in the space until 2007.
Upstairs runs a modern cafe with Philippe Starck chairs and wine list if you need a break from your diggings. Shops are cool and original.
After major investment, the church has being now turned into a stylish retail complex, with retro floor and lots of black, with, pink, silver.
Pics from Librado Romero for NYTimes; also some of my own attempts to capture its atmosphere. The pics are not great, but give a flavor...

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