Barcelona beauty of creativity
11 September 2014

For years I wanted to see the metropolitan city Barcelona and for a mystery guest assignment, I had to go there. It became a double business travel because I spent all my free time to be inspired for my blog.

My first impression was my arrival on the “Placa de Catalunya”. I was totally disorientated because I couldn’t see which side the sea and the mountains were. The square was full of tourist and the heat and dirty smell came to me. After asking how I was located on the map, I finally found my hotel. I was dying for a shower and food. I run into the first restaurant and set down at the bar. I love the habit in Spain is that you can eat at the bar alone without eating alone! I got into a conversation with my neighbour a businessman from Paris. He was surprised to find me there because it was a very popular local place he got to know from years working in Barcelona. After diner he showed me around and I got to know about the different areas and the must see of the city.

The following days I took as little as possible the tourist places. I walked miles all over the city from “Eiample” to the sea, up to the mountain of “Parc Güell” and back threw the little streets of “Sant Gervasi”. As much as possible I took the side roads instead of the full touristic “Ramblas” and I even followed local people who paved their way trough the city.

Every morning I enjoined my coffee, sweet bread and newspaper between local people before they started to work. In the afternoon I took a dive into the sea and drunk a soda at my favourite square “Placa Reial”.
Barcelona is beautiful (without the tourist) and full of creative people! Surf and alternative culture is seen everywhere. Lots of young people from all over the world are living in this city. Unfortunately lots of them are living on the streets and I actually saw one woman creating her own living room outside. The city is one big toilet used by men and dogs.

The city is a mix of old and new creativity, inside and outside on the streets. Gaudi versus creative locals versus design. People use plants and trees to provides more nature and cool places on the stone streets and squares.
Little creative ideas like hanging plants in pots outside are also used in a more stylish and surprising way. Creativity is seen in stores, windows, museums but also outside on walls, markets and the way people are dressed.

I think Barcelona is one of the leader of interior design because little creative ideas develop into design. In the earlier years Gaudi had a huge impact by creating his dream world in real architecture and interior design. Those days the young creative people are the future.

Nice breathtaking colours
11 August 2014

Because of a mystery guest assignment for a Flight Society, I travelled to Nice at the Cote d’Azur. My French friend invited me in her home so I took the possibility to explore the city and be inspired. My other purpose was to feel like a Frenchwomen. We started the day with a fresh swim in the Mediterranean Sea, drank coffee on a terrace, took an ‘apéritive’ on the rooftop of a hotel at twilight and finished at a popular beach-party.

I knew the city by earlier visits and therefore I avoided the tourist places and was inspired on the street.
The weather was changing all the time and therefore the lightning and the clouds were beautiful especially in the night. All the buildings have different colours which become very bright with the sun shining on it. Because of this lightning artist like Matisse, Dali and Picasso moved to Nice.

I saw many decorative balconies and lamps which give the streets atmosphere. The French culture is visible by the little terraces and shops.
There is a lot of Italian influence because of shops with Italian clothes, coffeebars and restaurants. On the streets I saw some Italian design from ‘Kartell’. This isn’t strange when you know that Nice belonged to Italy 150 years ago.

The most interesting art was the ‘Trompe l’oeil’ painted mostly by women on the sides of buidings. It’s really amazing how beautiful a wall becomes! I heard it’s very expensive but big business. The other thing which really got my attention was the water art made in the park and mostly used by children or overheated tourists.

I enjoyed Nice because it’s a city with a mix of cultures, the clear blue sea is beautiful, the old city is very atmospheric and the architecture is breathtaking because of the colours.

Inspiration from windows in Milan – February 2012
18 September 2012

On my 40th birthday I treated myself to a weekend in Milan to get inspired. Milan is the city of design, and that’s on every street corner visble. A beautiful combination of old buildings and modern design. The whole city is full of big billboards, striking shop windows, well dressed people and breathes creativity.

I would like to show you some pictures of windows which attracted my attention in the field of fashion and interior. Milan is the city where new trends are coming from. These are showed or exhibited at the ”Milan Fashion Week” (every spring and autumn) and the ”Milan Design Week” (every spring). My experience is that these trends are coming to Holland about one year later. Companies are spreading trends faster because they expand internationally and want an unanimous appearance. Finally trends are copied by different companies making them available in every class.

Big billboard got the attention at Piazza del Duomo.
Light from the back of the window causes class and that's what Dior for stands.
Contrasted colors and lines to attrect attention to some products in a big window.
Obvious products and colors which are in good balance.
Nice and big decoration with class caught the attention for the brand instead of decorate the products.
Nice way to present something little with a big value for Valentine's day.
Watch placed on a wall from the same material and therefor a little product gets more attention also because it's against the window.
While finding a place for lunch I found this restaurant with remarkable walldecoration and authentic paintings. I found it very cozy and warm.
Decoration is also made outside the window because the curtains go trough and there is also lighting.
Chair made from round curves and soft colors of pastel makes it very lovely also because it has ruffles.
Modern chair in tricky colors and glossy material. Lighting in the same style causes a surreal image.
Simple way to get attention to the products and specially to attrack men.
Nice combination of round and square design in one of my favorite combination of colors.
Combination from organic and plastic materials and design which have unit natural colors.
I like this window very much because there's a funny combination of a vintage vacuum cleaner and a modern couch in the same style.
A lovely creative window in which 2 chairs became a peace of art.
Billboards as big as buildings decorate the filthy streets of Milan.
Traditional way to present products on pillars. By using the rose of the products in the decoration, makes the window funny also because of the line "per te".
Creative but laborious window. Personally I think the product doesn't show off.
The furniture creates lot of space to show all the product in the same style. The pumps contrast favourably because of the bright color.
I love stripes, especially when there is made from a creative chair. Nice contrast with the white blouse and the tacking-thread can indicate that they sell customized clothes.
And then it was time for a cappucino and overlook the Piazza del Duomo.
Good example how to get a street in the sign of a brand.
Why a cheap sale window when it can also made with class?
This futuristic window is in good combination with the design of the coffee-set.
With a visit to Milan belongs a hotel in style. My eye fell on the modern design, warm colors and the romantic flowers on the wall.
Here you can see very well how the beautiful styling continues too the bed, seating and bathroom.
Ending of my travel of inspiration by visiting my favorite spot of Milan by night.

In the city of Milan, 22th of April
27 June 2012

Today I will go in to the city to see as many exhibitions as possible. The exhibitors are coming from all over the world and rent rooms or sheds. There are also organizers who invite designers to expose in large groups in museums or galleries for example. I understand why the exhibitions are there for almost a week because there are so many and it takes time to go from one to the other area.
Last evening I came in touch with a German interior designer and she gave me good tips of which areas I have to see. She even told me that during her first time, she went to visit the exhibitions in a focused way. Now she just rents a bike and seeks for the less commercial areas and she skips the fair.
I decide to start in the ‘Tortona’ area and it immediately noticed that the visitors are less commercial but more trendy and creative. When I’ve visited some exhibitions, the breeze of creativity strikes me. It feels like I’m back in my student time and surrounded by young and new designers. Here you’ll not find the big exhibitors but the non-commercial designers and they provide the new creative ideas and therefore the trends of interior design.

A good presentation is all about good lighting and composition.
Futurist design in a big pilot.
Getting the attention by an unusual presentation.
Combination from different materials, soft and hard.
Different kind of wood and design is very visible because of the large and light pilot.
Presentation from chairs with colourfull knittwear in an old museum. Combination from old and new handcraft. an old museum
Modern wardrobe against old wall causes a beautiful combination.
These lampes made of feather are special, striking and have a lot of atmosphere.
The trend:"bringing nature in the home,"is used here literally as a joke.

Milan at the fair, 20th of April 2012
21 June 2012

I would like to take you on a journey for inspiration in Milan, Italy. Every year in April there is the largest Home Fair of the world which is called ‘Saloni di Milano’. There are also exhibitions throughout the city. Milan is devoted to everything in the field of interior design.
I travel from the airport directly to the fair on the other side of the city. Once arrived, I’m overwhelmed by the large and bustle of the fair. I hear all languages around me and for a moment Milan is the main hotspot of the world.
Essential items: camera, flat shoes, large empty bag (preferably on wheels) and business cards….but first a ‘café macchiato’ !
The fair ‘fiera’ consists of endless halls filled with the latest chairs, tables and other furniture, especially from large companies. Because I don’t know where to begin, I decide to visit the halls systematically and let my eyes do the work and continue to look at what inspires me.

In modern interior causes Chesterfield sofa for warmth.
Putting your books on colour and when you do the same with the decoration, causes tranquility.n
This stand is completly made of soft carpet and that's why the design strikes,also because of the use of different materials.
Big simple decoration strengthen the use of color natural material in the bathroom.
It isn't necessary to full the vase because it's already beautifull and it strikes you.
Very full presentation but uniformity of colors and mirrows on the walls causes space and balance.
The colour of the flowers suits very well in the interior especially because there isn't no green.
Beautiful way to attract attention tempory on a corner.a temporary
The turquoise color causes freshness in the warm classic interior..
Use of decoration in one color causes uniformity.
Presentation by color and use of cubics with light, causes tranquility and a focal point.
Art-Deco decoration and lightning floor and wall strengths the design.
Large vases on a high pillar looks very luxury.
Risky but well-matched interior design from Roberto Cavalli.