Retrouvius Take On Alpine Interiors

It’s not really the season for snow but here are some pictures of the Retrouvius design team’s transformation of a cosy chalet tucked away in the Swiss alps. They wanted to achieve a stylish and modern look while retaining some of the original rustic charm of traditional alpine architecture.

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The combination of old wooden planks and familiar soft fabrics work perfectly to create a warm colourful interior.

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The contrast of tweeds and wools used alongside a range of elegant and unsuspecting zesty greens, needlepoint tapestries and silks, add a subtle vibrancy to the home. The use of wood works to ease the impact of differing styles and textures, bringing them together through its natural tones.

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The planks also varied the panelling being highly wire brushed, while the parquet had undergone a slightly more controlled and chic treatment. Nevertheless the neutral colouring of the wood served to unify the range of styles present in the chalet, allowing a mix of modern and bright styles to exist alongside more traditional colours and patterns.

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Street Art Cartagena

Colombia is a very colourful country – in every sense of the word – and this is reflected in the street art that decorates the walls of many inner city buildings. This painting was on an old door in a small square in Cartagena’s old town, a few minutes walk from the walled city. The bright colours and strong defining lines make this image all the more powerful.

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Photo courtesy of Natasha Mellersh

 

Smooth, Reused and Recycled: Marc Sparfel’s Delicate Animal Sculptures

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At first glance Marc Sparfel’s elegant sculptures may not initially look like they fit our recycled theme, however these beautifully crafted animals have been shaped by discarded materials.

Victory of Samothrace

French born Sparfel spent his childhood in the countryside in Brittany, surrounded by nature and animals. He was particularly fascinated by horses and cows, a theme that is evident in his work.

Petite Antilope

After moving to Barcelona in 1999 he was immediately intrigued by the amount of furniture abandoned in the street and decided to do something with it.

Petit Lion

Gradually he began to incorporate these materials in his sculptures, first in a long series of masks, inspired by tribal African artwork, and later he also used these in animals of all types and sizes applying his own unique style.

Homme Femme

He describes how he began accumulating more and more discarded objects “Initially, I found the furnishings by chance during my walks, but later realized that in every neighborhood there is a set day to leave large items in the street. So I started walking around the old town according to the “furniture days” of each neighborhood to recover the material bit by bit. Over time, the neighbors began to leave me chairs in front of my workshop …”

Grand Cheval

He uses the deconstruction of the found furniture to trigger an idea and to gain inspiration “The first step is the design of the piece, the second is its construction. I draw my inspiration directly from the forms I find when dismantling the furniture.”

Girafe

Admittedly this process does not always have the desired outcome and being a perfectionist he is sometimes unable to finish a piece “Sometimes I have the beginning of an idea, and can envision the head, horns, and legs, but some piece that should complete the sculpture is missing, which makes the design process longer. I have used some pieces of furniture many years after recovering them in the street.”

Elephant Mask

However when he does finish a sculpture, the result is an exquisite work of art.

Elephant couple

These delicate, smooth and complex sculptures prove that reused materials can take on many forms, whether it is obvious or not.

Bird

Sparfel currently resides in Spain and his work is exhibited in galleries in Spain, France and Germany, and will soon be shown in the United States.

Anubis couple

Chaumont sur Loire Garden Festival

With summer gradually approaching and luscious green landscapes thriving with blossoming flowers and trees, many are heading to the annual garden festival in the stunning French Loire valley.

The festival is held in the grounds of the magnificent Château de Chaumont sur Loire. The extensive grounds host a wide range of creative and innovative gardening and design ideas with new creations appearing every year.

The colourful structures and plants are a great source of inspiration for both keep gardeners and those with urban lifestyles who may have limited outside space.

The exhibits range from large structures fitting for communal gardens and public spaces, to vegetable patches or simple quirky backyards.

The styles vary from modern contemporary or traditional to just plain strange.

Some pieces appear more like works of art than gardens.

The use of sustainable materials and watering systems is particularly impressive as landscape architects become more sophisticated and resourceful with their designs. Below is a garden named sculptillonnage, it is made up of sculptures that show gardeners the spaces for biodiversity while being elegant and beautiful in shape. These sculptures are also used as an animal shelters, providing food and drink and being compatible for the creatures that inhabit the garden.

Click here for more information