The Lloyd Hotel and Cultural Embassy, Amsterdam’s coolest hangout

If you’re looking for a cultural and historical experience as well as a comfortable place to stay in Amsterdam the Lloyd Hotel & Cultural Embassy is definitely the place for you. However strange it is to know that your room may have been occupied by prisoners, this building’s history is as appealing as its wonderfully creative interior design.

DesignJoyBlog // Lloyd Hotel Amsterdam 5 star room

Since its construction in the 1920s as a hotel for migrants waiting to board the ships of the Royal Dutch Lloyd, the Lloyd ‘lived’ the history of the 20th century. It served as a refugee camp for Jewish people in the late 30s, a German occupied detention center in the 40s and a youth prison for nearly 30 years from the 60s onwards and until 2001 it was a living and working space for local artists. Lucky for us, the brushstrokes of these artists have left as many marks in the interior of the building as the decades of being used as a prison.

DesignJoyBlog // Lloyd Hotel Amsterdam Facade Voorkant- door Allard van der Hoek

In order to restore the building to its original purpose as a hotel, the dutch architectural firm MVRDV was commissioned and in 2004, after major renovations, the Lloyd Hotel was successfully mutated from a youth prison to a ‘one to five star’ hotel and Cultural Embassy. The interior design of the common areas and suites was a collaborative effort of over 40 interior designers and artists, among others, Claudy Jongstra, Atelier van Lieshout, Christoph Seyferth, Ineke Hans, and Richard Hutten.

The Lloyd Hotel & Cultural Embassy was the first one-to-five star design hotel in the world offering a home to travellers of all classes. The rooms are rated according to design, size and comfort but the common areas are shared amongst all guests fostering a rich cultural experience.

In addition to being beautifully designed (they have Richard Hutten to blame for that), the Cafè-Restaurant has a great menu with simple, yet very well executed, french and southern european dishes. With friendly staff, affordable prices and a lovely Terrace during the summer this is one of Amsterdam’s nicest spots.

The Cultural Embassy promotes exhibitions, conferences and other events which are open to all guests and the local community. There is even a permanent exhibition ‘Lloyd History’ tells the story of past through old photographs, a 1928 video, documents and other objects. Even if you’re not a guest at the hotel, this place is definitely worth a visit!

All images courtesy of the Lloyd Hotel & Cultural Embassy. Link with love.

6 Cool things to do in Amsterdam

I’m so pleased to finally have some time to sit down and write a post! Although I’m very happy to be working (ridiculously hard) on some really fun projects at the moment, I miss the blog… but it’s all going to be better from now on, hahaha or, more realistically, here I am now!

Aside the fact that I somehow can’t even find time to do the laundry (true story, a couple of weeks ago we’ve reached the state of having to shop for new clothes so we wouldn’t have to wear pyjamas to work), my husband and I managed to go away on a little holiday in Amsterdam.

Design Joy // Amsterdam

I don’t know why for all these years I’ve been avoiding going to Amsterdam. I think it’s because when I was younger everyone kept talking about the ‘cafés’ and the ‘naked ladies’ everywhere, I just had this image in the back of my mind that the city would be full of potheads and perverts! Roaming around a decadent city drinking beer and looking at porn. Nothing further from the truth.

Design Joy // I amsterdam

Amsterdam is such an incredibly beautiful city and Dutch design is fantastic, particularly the interiors. We had the most wonderful time there so I’ve selected a few of my favorite places to write about, like a mini city guide. I’ll try to cover everything from a hotel to bars and restaurants, shopping, a bit of art and design, sometimes all mixed together, actually most times all mixed together, pretty much like the city itself.

I’ve added a little preview bellow… I’ll work through the list one by one. This should be fun!

Happy Weekend!

Design Joy Blog // Lloyd Hotel and Cultural Embassy

1. The Lloyd Hotel and Cultural Embassy

Design Joy // Felix & Foam

2. Felix & Foam

Design Joy // Straatjutter: An exceptionally Long Walk

3. Straatjutter: The beautiful work of Krista Peters

Design Joy // Lion Noir

4. Lion Noir

DesignJoyBlog_Le-Petit-Bistro-Sofitel

5. Bridges, Le Petit Bistro

Design Joy // Droog Flagship Store

6. Droog

Happy weekend!

Image credits:

1. Courtesy of The Lloyd Hotel

2. Foam

3. An exceptionally Long Walk, by Straatjutter

5. Elle Eten

6. Droog

All other images were taken by me.

Link with Love x

Le Caveau, Lausanne | Restaurant and Bar Design Awards Nominee

So… I figured it was about time I put my own work on the line here for a change. And I am so pleased because, for the second consecutive year, one of my projects has been nominated for the Restaurant and Bar Design Awards. This year my little project made it as one of 43 European Bars, right next to Karim Hashid, Minarc (The Northern Lights Bar I wrote about just yesterday!!!) and last year’s winner, Sandra Tarruella Interioristas. Talk about playing with the big boys! DesignJoyBlog_Julia_Christ_caveau_bellini_web_6 This project is very dear to me as it was quite a challenge in terms of time and budget, which pretty much determined the style and the design process. The first step was just gathering all the elements we had at hand, like the gorgeous bar stools, copper lamps, and the hotel sign. From there pretty much the only option was to go full on bohemian style! Though I have to admit I was very stressed about choosing this particular color palette. Instinctively I knew the dark tones was the right choice, but I just feel so much more comfortable working with pastels and lighter tones. The fact that it’s a bar and a cellar (no windows) made me go for the more ‘risky’ choice and it paid off. The dark tones work really well and the reflections of light on the vaulted ceiling creates a nice texture but without attracting a lot of attention to it, which is what I wanted. If a while back someone had asked me if I’d paint an entire room in metallic taupe I’d probably have laughed…

And here’s a brief description by the designer, a.k.a. yours truly: 

Located in the basement of an 18th century building in the centre of Lausanne, Switzerland, Le Caveau is the wine bar of local italian restaurant Caffè Bellini. The owners wanted to transform this space, which had been used for storage for many years, into an intimate bar and dining area to be used mainly during the winter months.

The biggest challenge was renovating a very old cellar on a budget. The floors were recuperated but unfortunately the vaulted ceilings could not be brought back to stone, instead they were simply re-plastered and painted in a dark reflective tone and different light sources to create texture. We also worked mainly with repurposed materials – such as the wood paneling for the bar and old oak for the big tables – mirrors, colourful patterns, murals and a mix of affordable furniture and more expensive vintage design pieces.

With an eclectic bohemian vibe, cheerful murals, dark tones and soft lights, the space has a unique ambiance that is reminiscent of an old school members-only club. Complemented by colourful vintage design pieces, the big comfortable sofas create intimate spaces for small gatherings, while the more convivial wooden tables and benches are ideal for bigger groups.

Frame’s store opens this week at Felix & Foam | Design News

Dutch Interior Design magazine Frame, working in collaboration with Felix & Foam and Foyer, opens its first store this week. Frame_Store_01 Located in the historic 18th century building Felix Meritis along Amsterdam’s canals, this creative venture spreads out throughout 2 floors and, according to the magazine, will be Frame’s 3D version. The Interior Design was done by Dutch studio i29 who conceived the space with mirror partition walls to complement the grandeur of the historic building.

From Frame:

Experience the magazine in three dimensions and become immersed into the creative and innovative design world. Celebrate beauty, functionality and accessibility through timeless products. Becoming a hub for presenting new talent, products and brands from diverse genres, the space will host fashion, art and design alongside media, beauty and food throughout its six month presence.

This new creative platform will open its doors on 17 April, enlivening the monumental Felix Meritis residence at 324 Keizersgracht in Amsterdam. All are welcome to attend the festive opening which begins at 6pm. —

Where Architects Live: 2014 Salone’s Special Exhibition – Milan Design Week

We normally see the work architects do for other people, but how about their own homes? To answer that question this year’s Salone del Mobile‘s curator, Francesca Molteni, organized the event’s special exhibition entitled Where Architects Live to give us a peek into the lives of some of the greatest Architects of our times, such as David Chipperfield, Zarah Hadid, higeru Ban, Mario Bellini, Marcio Kogan, Massimiliano and Doriana Fuksas, Daniel Libeskind and Studio Mumbai/Bijoy Jain.

The interactive exhibition space invites visitors to experience the Architect’s private space’s through real-life videos, images, sounds, comments and reconstructions. While normally visiting the Milan Fair can get hot and noisy with thousands of people everywhere, the special exhibitions are my favorite thing every year. For those who are also braving their way into the Italian capital of Design for next week’s mega event, this exhibition promises a little (generally well deserved) “pause” during the visit.

From the organizers: 

“Where Architects Live” is an original installation, inspired by leading contemporary architects’ own concepts of the domestic space, conceived as a cultural accompaniment to the Salone del Mobile.
The exhibition has been specially devised for the Salone, providing an exclusive glimpse into “rooms” designed by eight of the world’s most respected architectsShigeru BanMario BelliniDavid ChipperfieldMassimiliano and Doriana FuksasZaha HadidMarcio KoganDaniel Libeskind and Studio Mumbai/Bijoy Jain.

We use to see only the work architects do for other people and for other people’s lives. But where do architects live, or rather, what are their homes like and in what way? Exact reflections of their distinctive design styles or complete one-offs? Or something else entirely? “Where Architects Live” is a response to these questions and to natural curiosity, but it also aims to broaden the vision of domestic architecture itself.
The concept underlying the event rests in the conviction that, of all design disciplines, domestic architecture is the most predisposed to evolution and the most suited to experimentation, given its capacity to conjugate architecture and design.

An iconic and paradigmatic reading of the architects’ “rooms,” within the context of the home as a theme, will trigger crosscutting reflection on the modes, experiences and trends of contemporary living.
The curator of the event, Francesca Molteni – who curated “Design Dance” with Michela Marelli (2012) and “A celestial bathroom” (2010) – has been privy to the private homes of eight of the greatest exponents of the architectural world, filming the exteriors and domestic spaces and recording an interview with each of them on the visions, triggers and decisions that have steered their design and professional careers. She and the architect and scenographer Davide Pizzigoni, who has been exploring representational space and working with leading international opera theatres, have devised a project thatrecreates the private “rooms” of Shigeru Ban, Mario Bellini, David Chipperfield, Massimiliano and Doriana Fuksas, Zaha Hadid, Marcio Kogan, Daniel Libeskind and Studio Mumbai/Bijoy Jain by means of real-life videosimagessounds, comments and reconstructions. The result is an interactive exhibition space that unveils the architects’ visions of living, their choices and their obsessions.

8- 13 April
Opening hours: 9.30am – 6.30pm
Milan Fairgrounds, Rho
pavilion 9
Entrance with trade fair pass

Via Cosmit Press Room

Images via Dwell 

5 + 1 Offer from Vitra | Design News

Vitra just launched this great offer for the Summer: buy 5 chairs, get one for free!

Vitra_Mixed_S-Chairs_Newsletter_7p

Bring the colours of summer to your table: When you purchase five chairs from the modelsJillHALEames Wire ChairEames Plastic Chair DSWTip Ton or Basel Chair between 1 April and 31 August 2014, you will receive the sixth chair as a free gift at selected dealers.

From Vitra:

The dining room table is the heart of every home: old and young, family and friends all gather around the table to eat, play, have coffee and cake, do homework, talk, celebrate birthdays, do handicrafts, work or come together for festive occasions. As a family table, it is a place of enjoyment and relaxation. It also facilitates communication. Many important daily social interactions take place at dining room tables – across all cultures, regardless of what differences may exist.

And that is why dining tables and their chairs deserve some special attention. How big should the table be? What material is preferred? What colour? And what chairs match both one’s taste and the table?

Vitra offers a wide range of dining table chairs and dining tables in an array of materials and colours. Many additional fresh versions are also now available – and since they are all part of the new Vitra colour library and feature complementary colours, they can be mixed and matched. And this means that just the right combination can be found for all kinds of dining rooms.

Via Vitra

Nude Interiors

The days of saving the soft tones and textures for nurseries and dollhouses are long gone. Fresh and sweet, these beautiful interiors are filled with happy pastel tones, light colored woods and a lot of white.

Nude_Interiors_1

 – images via –

1/2 , 3456/7891011 & 12

Nude_Interiors_styling_tips Get the look 

1. The Butterfly chair, designed in 1938 by Jorge Ferrari-Hardoy, also known as the BKF and the Hardoy chair, is an absolute design classic, it goes well inside as well as outside. Available is a wide range of colors and prices, this leather one is from  Weinbaum.

2. Country Road has a beautiful selection of pastel toned home accessories and pillows and throws and, although they are in Australia, they deliver worldwide.

3. Wonderful bedding from Oyoy.

4. The charming Nerd chairs by Muuto are available in a range of beautiful tones.

Etsy is always a good option when it comes to choosing home accessories:

5. Kitchen accessoires from Wind and Willow

6. Hanging lamps by Iumi designs

7. Plants stands from no other than Ferm Living

8. Designed by Danish studio BRDR Kruger, this clever little table is also available in a variety of beautiful soft tones.

Nordic Interiors and Black & White prints

With all these beautiful pictures of scandinavian interiors going around these days, I find it nearly impossible not to dream of living in one of those homes.

Nordic Charm: B&W Prints

Nordic interiors are the happy place where graphic design meets art, in a fusion of typography and poetry, a lot of black & white, delicate lines and geometric patterns. While this sharp and elegant, yet borderline cold, look may not be for everyone, it is certainly beautiful to look at and here are some lovely examples to be inspired by.

Get the look!

I’ve just recently discovered this great website some of you might have already heard about, and even have your work there, called Society 6. It’s a fantastic online shop where artists can upload their work and sell it in high quality prints or printed on t-shirts, cellphone covers, onesies and different home accessories. It’s a great way for new artists to get their work out there and it’s an even better way to buy great artwork at very attractive prices. I’ve ordered a few things from there, but I haven’t received it yet so I don’t really know about the quality of the materials and the printing, but it looks ok and very affordable. Here is a selection of some of my favorite black and white bold prints to give any home a Nordic Charm:

 

 

Images via 1/2/3&4.