6 Ikea Hacks: KURA Children’s beds

DesignJoyBlog 6 DIY Ikea KURA Hacks

It’s so difficult to find good and creative furniture for kid’s and all of the nice ones are so expensive!! I think it’s pretty fair to say that most families end up having one of these at home, no? KURA beds are not only affordable but they are very versatile. Here are some lovely hacks and with a little creativity and some tools you can transform your child’s room from the boring ikea look to a fabulous childhood wonderland.

Happy weekend!

1. Such a wonderful little forest house via Ikea Hackers

2. Here’s a proper little wooden cabin via Ikea Hackers

3. A fire station via The Share Space

4. This cute modern cabin via Vintery Mintery

5. Wich would love to have their own ball pit? via Rusta Upp

6. And the easiest of the all using stickers from StikkiPix

DIY Throw Blankets

DesignJoyBlog_6 DIY Throw Blankets

Although the spring is only a month away, the weather has been so cold this past week here. Beautiful, fluffy and lovely these throw blankets will help to keep you warm for these last few days of winter.

Happy weekend!

1. A cozy flannel throw to keep you warm by Let’s Go Sunning

2. This lovely blanket of love from A Beautiful Mess 

3. Let’s not forget the boys with a lovely Gentleman’s Fleece Throw via In Honor of Design

4. For the little ones, this colourful knitted treasure via The Purl Bee

5. As spring is coming… via Design Mom

6. Super fluffy Faux Fur and Flannel via A Beautiful Mess

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

8 DIY Ikea hacks: VITTSJÖ

Ikea Hack Vittsjo

Nice and easy, sometimes with just a little change of color or different shelves, these simple metal and tempered glass Ikea Vittsjö tables and bookshelves can go from mass produced cheap to high-end unique pieces. I love how simple and effective these hacks can be! 

Happy weekend!

1. Oh such a beautiful color in this Bar Cart via Style Me Pretty

2. Your bookshelf is now made of Gold via Honey Sweet Home

3. From big nesting tables into chic smaller… Nesting Tables! via Project Palermo

4. And an elegant Cocktail Ottoman via Melodrama

5. Colourful vintage charm with enamel chalk paint via  Brittany Makes

6. The most beautiful Marble + Copper Side table via Style Me Pretty

7 & 8. And to create a more industrial look replacing the glass shelves with wooden ones for bookshelves via Yellow Brick Home and a laptop table via Storefront Life

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.

Luxury and Northern Lights in Iceland : The Ion Hotel by Minarc

Ever since I watched The Secret Life of Walter Mitty a couple of weeks ago, for some reason I’ve been very interested in Iceland. In the film the main character, Walter Mitty, embarks on an amazing adventure that includes a tour of Iceland. While the script is nothing out of the ordinary, the photography is something else entirely… the stunning views of the Icelandic countryside leave you wondering if a place can really be that beautiful. Ok, Stuart Dryburgh is certainly a very talented cinematographer, no doubt, but surely the natural allure of the place plays an important part as well. DesignJoyBlog The Ion Hotel by Minarc main Apart from a live volcano with a name that no one non-Icelandic can pronounce, Eyjafjallajökull, and freezing cold weather for most of the year, Iceland is a culturally rich and incredibly beautiful country making it a wonderful place to travel to. As I was looking up hotels, I stumbled upon the new Ion Hotel and, at first, I found it remarkably similar do another hotel I wrote about a while back The Fogo Island Inn. Although I’m still not sure if it’s just the pillars or the stunningly rough surroundings that make these two hotels look alike… But they do look similar, don’t they?

Designed by Icelandic Architects Tryggvi Thorsteinsson and Erla Dögg Ingjaldsdóttir from the California based Studio Minarc, this precious little hideaway is located an hour away from Reykjavik literally in the middle of nowhere. The Ion Luxury Adventure Hotel & Spa, as it’s called, provides luxurious accommodations for the most adventurous travelers who go to that regain for it’s incredible list of outdoors activities, from fly-fishing to touring a glacier. Not to mention the wonderful spectacle of the Northern Lights, well, if you’re lucky enough to be there at the right time of the year.

In addition, the Hotel has a Spa, a Bar and Restaurant providing guests an isle of comfort amidst the harsh, but beautiful, volcanic rocks surroundings. Coherent to its location near Thingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Ion is also eco-friendly and was recently granted the Boutique Hotel Awards in the sustainability category.

And here’s the description from Minarc:

The vision for the Ion Luxury Adventure Hotel was truly holistic, requiring a design that reflects the natural beauty of the region with clarity and simplicity, in a manner that is environmentally considerate, while appealing to the desire for luxury that attracts the upscale adventurer—a desire that has been redefined by expressions of luxury that are smaller, more personal and intimate, and eco-responsive. Knowing this, and understanding that a built environment often has a profound impact on the natural environment, our approach was to create a hotel experience as dramatic and otherworldly as the natural Icelandic surroundings, where the built and natural environments can coexist, integrate, even synergize. The hotel property features one of Iceland’s most breathtaking natural settings. Near Thingvellir National Park, it is beautifully situated on the multicolored slopes of Mt. Hengill, with a dramatic view of Lake Thingvallavatn and the mountains surrounding the lake. With respect for nature, the hotel incorporates innovative materials, sustainable practices, and the natural features of Iceland into its design—an understated design that allows the extraordinary landscape to take center stage. The Ion Hotel emerges from the moss covered mountain base like an enormous post pile wrapped in a sheath of hardened lava. The mnmMOD prefabricated, panelized building system used for both the new extension and original structure achieves both aesthetic and environmental objectives. Beneath its stark appearance, which could easily be mistaken for part of the evolving landscape, is a high-performance system that maximizes energy efficiency with a reduced carbon footprint. An abundance of natural hot springs surrounding the hotel provide guest rooms with clean, energy-efficient geothermal heating and hot water. The extensive use of oversized windows throughout the hotel captures the natural daylight, reducing the need for artificial lighting, while providing unobstructed views of the natural wonders beyond. An attention to details and finishing touches, inspired by the environmental surroundings, culture and traditions of Iceland, completes the picture. An extensive use of recycled and repurposed materials—driftwood, lava, recycled rubber—is felt throughout the hotel, reflecting the commitment to environmental simplicity. Adding to the overall ambiance are Icelandic references—glacial waterfalls, an arctic fox, the brown trout—adorning the walls. You can enjoy the undercurrent of contemporary and traditional Icelandic music throughout the property, or while enjoying a selection of Icelandic beer at the Northern Lights lounge. Fair Trade certified products, such as linens, blankets, towels, and bathrobes, are used when local Icelandic items are not available. The project has responded to a new era of luxury with a hotel for the affluent adventurer who has become increasingly less comfortable with conspicuous consumption, and more environmentally aware. A traveler who doesn’t want his creature comforts interrupting the experience of, in this case, Iceland’s otherworldly natural wonders: lava flows, drifting continental shelves, the Northern Lights, glaciers, waterfalls, and hot springs.

Architects: Minarc

Location: Iceland

Design Team: Tryggvi Thorsteinsson, Erla Dögg Ingjaldsdóttir

Year: 2013

Photographs: Art Gray, Ragnar Th. Sigurdsson, Torfi Agnarrson, Kristbjorg Sigurjonsdottir via ArchDaily

Slim Aarons Collection by Surface View

I get so excited when I see good art made popular that it’s actually quite funny!

Slim Aarons Collection by Surface View // Mara Lane at the Sands

This time is Surface View, a UK based Interior Design company that prints incredibly beautiful images in various supports, from prints & canvases to home decor items such as lamp shades and window films. You can chose from various collections, presenting a wide range of carefully curated images in 5 categories: Galleries & Museums, Photography, Classic Graphic Arts, Designers & Collaborators and, my personal favorite, Vintage Archives. I’ve worked with them a couple of times and I was very pleased with the quality of the prints and the excellent customer service.

Slim Aarons Collection by Surface View // Gallery 2Slim Aarons Collection by Surface View // Gallery 1 Slim Aarons Collection by Surface View // Gallery 3

Their newest addition is the work of American Photographer Slim Aarons, best known for his photographs of jet-setters and socialites. This amazing collection of twentieth century luxury images includes gems such as the portrait of Louis Armstrong chomping down some spaghetti, Italian mafioso Lucky Luciano having a coffee in Brooklyn and many many more brilliant pictures of garden parties and ski holidays of the rich and famous. Definitely worth checking it out!