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Entries in travel (24)

Thursday
Oct152009

inspiration: puerto rico

donna and daughter

We worked with textile designer Donna Gorman years ago while she was with Marimekko, and we were thrilled for her when she told us she was building a minimalist retreat in Puerto Rico.

The low, U-shaped house has only 3 main rooms—the open floor plan encourages guests to spend time together and the two bedrooms are identical in size with basic amenities.

Designed by John Hix and set on a picturesque lot, the house is constructed of low maintenance and hurricane-proof concrete. Its cooling, both visually and physically, in contrast with the warm tropical setting and we love the mix of raw concrete with sculptural bright whites and bold colors.

living dining room cropped

The cast concrete and concrete-plaster create an earthy backdrop to sleek furniture and graphic textiles. The edited use of these key elements maintains a modern focus and creates a casual and relaxed mood—perfect for Vieques.

Electricity can be difficult and expensive to acquire there, but the locale is exceptional for a solar-powered house, so they’re off the grid. Photovoltaic panels are mounted on the roof and tilted specifically to maximize the energy of abundant sunshine. The house also faces south to take advantage of the cooling Caribbean breezes—there’s no A/C—and an expansive view from the open air construction is filled with lush scenery.

P1010514

Accessories are crisp and elemental, such as clear peekaboo nesting tables, glass cylinder vases and white porcelain plates.

CylinderVasesAV1S9 WhitePorclnSqRepImageF9R

Overall, it’s an organized carefree retreat with the focus on the landscape, the architecture, and Donna’s playful photography and textiles. Congratulations Donna!

Can you tell we’re jealous?

kitchen

On site photos courtesy of Donna Gorman

Wednesday
Oct072009

what goes around

taxi and mop shop DSC08540to market DSC09538best loaded DSC08993
Traffic as we know it is a mix of motorcycles, cars, trucks and buses. In India, it’s all that and more including tractors, camel drawn carts, auto rickshaws, pedestrians and sacred animals.

Here bicycles are a vital tool to fulfill ones’ livelihood—an elemental, low-tech solution to a myriad of needs. Literally thousands of bikes share the road with  all of the above transporting workers to work, foods to markets, or materials and goods to factories.

It was inspirational to see bicycles transporting recyclables and a sistern to collect rain water. The mindset of the culture is amazingly resourceful so just about everything gets reused—or used sparingly.

Some of these very bicycle tires have been selected and repurposed as spoke mirrors for CB2. Each is one of a kind and the iconic engineering mixes great with old or new interiors.

recycling
Sistern DSC09120

Wednesday
Sep302009

one of a finds: madhubani painting

madhubani painting

The naive art form of Madhubani painting has been passed down from mother to daughter, generation to generation, exclusively by the Hindu women in the remote Mithila region of northern India. For centuries, paintings were created on the walls and floors of village homes to designate auspicious spaces for festivals and rituals. After this agricultural region suffered a severe drought in the 1960s, the women began selling their paintings on paper to provide food, clothing and education for their children.

This one of a find is a limited edition of 440 original paintings by artist Lalita Devi. Lalita grew up painting at her mother’s side but has been paralyzed for the past 19 years. With the help of family members who steady her hand, she continues to work her craft and share her vision.

In this piece it’s of a jungle where prey and predator live together in harmony. The brilliant colors are made from natural spices, leaves, flowers and soot, and are applied with a cotton-wrapped stick.

It wasn’t easy choosing just one from so many wonderful pieces, but each time we view the painting we’re awestruck knowing there’s so much more to the story depicted and we’re thrilled to share it.

Thursday
Sep032009

inspiration: barcelona

This summer, I took the opportunity to visit Barcelona since I’d been wanting to go for years. For four sun-filled beautiful days I swam in the sea, walked the streets, admired the architecture, devoured the fish, and left with lasting impressions.

The two most outstanding? First, everyone was incredibly gracious and seemed to possess a sense of peace and happiness along with a modest pride in their homeland’s culture and language. Second, the architecture is absolutely amazing.

 

All the works by Antoni Gaudi are wonderful in their whimsy and define unique. Gothic and Modern are equally prevalent—and quite often they’re mixed with sheer genius.

Much like home it’s a very bike friendly city—for both tourists and locals—and the transit system is efficient and easy. While wandering the neighborhoods I found modern hotels in the industrial area, and storefront windows of thick glass flush to the weathered walls that make up the winding streets of the Gothic quarter.

A few favorite spots: Parc Guell for its Gaudi architecture, colorful mosaics and expansive views of the city and sea. Mil for their vintage storefront and exceptional millinery for men and women. La Vinya del Senyor at Placa Santa Maria—a wonderful spot for wine tastings and tapas—just outside the Santa Maria del Mar. Do see the Gothic cathedral, the beauty is in its architecture, age and grit.

And lastly, Salero for lunch. Tucked in La Ribera, their mix of vintage with modern—of worn wood tables and white chairs, of mirrors and lighting—topped by delicious cuisine served on simple tablewares, altogether the experience was a highlight. 

Photo: Restaurante Salero

The trip was very refreshing and inspirational. I bought a stack of music to recall the mood and took hundreds of photos. Isn’t this the perfect mix of old and new?

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