Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Tuscan Paradise: Follonico

My boyfriend was visiting me in London, so we took a quick extended weekend trip to Tuscany, as you do when you live a 2-hour plane journey away from Italy. I had previously been to some of the main cities in Italy like Milan, Florence, Rome, Venice, but never the countryside. The Tuscan countryside was pretty much everything I expected and wanted it to be, and I wish we could have stayed longer. We stayed in two different farm houses, one near the town of Volterra and one near the village of Montefollonico, making my pastoral dreams came true. There are many farm houses and villas in Italy, but I would like to highlight Follonico, a farm house bed and breakfast we stayed at between the villages of Montefollonico and Montepuciano.

Follonico has only four suites and two rooms situated between the main farm house and the smaller out building. Each space has its own rustic charm and ambiance while still offering luxuries like high quality linens and modern bathrooms.

(Warning, *quality* nighttime iphone pictures ahead)

We arrived at night, when the ambiance of the suite was at its height, but nothing beat the beautiful view of morning mist rolling over the Tuscan hills and the sounds of chickens.

The story of Follonico is something I think many people, including myself, daydream about:

"Being tired of wasting our lives in commuting and city traffic, 10 years ago Suzanne (Dutch) and Fabio (Italian) felt it was time to give the right value to their lives and making FOLLONICO has been the right opportunity.

2 years of searching, more than 60 properties visited, 3 years of works to transform a ruin into FOLLONICO. There is only one word to describe your host (Us): PASSION!

Of course it wasn’t always so easy, highs and lows have been part of the journey and still are. But PASSION makes the difference, a huge difference.

Since the day we started this project most of the people we met on our way thought we were going in the wrong direction. The fact was that we were not following the stereotype of restoration that most of the people followed."

It's quite remarkable to see the "before" pictures of Follonico before the restoration began, considering what it looks like now.

The "after" pictures of the suites and rooms:

Our suite, called "Blu Notte"

Alba Chiara:

Verde Intenso:

Rosso Tramonto:

White Essential:

The breakfast served was excellent and full of local flavour and artisan touches (Pecorino cheese with drizzles of honey is my new favourite thing) and Follonico's hosts could not be more welcoming. I definitely want to return for a longer stay!

Reception rooms (my pictures):

Saturday, October 4, 2014

A Penthouse in NYC

Well, not just any penthouse, it's Robert de Niro's penthouse atop Greenwich Hotel, designed by Axel Vervoordt. In one word? Amazing. Another word? Heaven.

I love the use of reclaimed wood, Belgian linen, and concrete. A perfect mix to create a wabi-sabi and primitive look.

via Remodelista

Tuesday, June 10, 2014


These gorgeous petrol blue stained lace up chukka boots from Cherevichkiotvichki are on my wish list... I mean in addition to the white heeled boots I posted about here. Luckily Mona Moore is out of my size, because I can't stop thinking about them and my wallet is not pleased!

A great look and insight into Cherevichkiotvichki's Autumn/Winter 2014 collection can be seen at Le Paradox.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

What I've been reading lately

Two things I can't get enough of: museums and shoes. My favourite museum in London is the British Museum, but I headed over to the V&A last week to take a look and spotted this ironwork with two hounds. This will be perfect for my French chateau. It's available in the gift shop, right? I've also come to the realization that I have a shoe problem. I'm like the Little Mermaid. You'd think my collection is complete, but I want mooooorrrreeeeee!

Anyway, here's a few notable links to what I've been reading lately:

I'm not much into nail art unless it's for a laugh, but I love these black marble nails from Love Aesthetics. One day when I have enough patience I'll give them a go. [Love Aesthetics]

A neglected chateau in the south of France was purchased by an Australian family, who has started restoration and is blogging + instagramming the progress. This is pretty much my dream. [Chateau de Gudanes]

And along the same theme, check out this rustic stone mansion in Bourgogene, France. I mean that staircase. The furnishings are not all to my taste but I would love to live in a house with bones like that. [Desire to Inspire]

Check out Style Zeitgeist's picks from ICFF [Style Zeitgeist Blog]

The Metropolitan Museum of Art has released almost 400,000 high resolution images to the public, including these images of late 1800s Japan [Spoon and Tamago]

I love to hear stories about the revival of domestic production, like the Shinola leather factory in Detroit [Cool Hunting]

These donuts from London baker Justin Gellatly look amazing and I'm making it my mission to eat one (or possibly more than one). There's a recipe too, if you want to try and make them at home. [Design Sponge]

Amazing pictures of WWII and present Normandy superimposed. I love seeing images like this because it's exactly what I try to imagine when visiting places rich in history. [The Huffington Post]

Wednesday, June 4, 2014


Lately I've been feeling an itch. An itch for more tattoos. I suppose it doesn't help that I follow a few artists on instagram, so am constantly fed images that get me craving new ink. One of those is Maxime B├╝chi, who works from Sang Bleu London and East River Tattoo NYC (among other guest spots) He has been touted a Renaissance Man, with a career that crosses between tattooing, graphic + typeface design, fashion, and publishing. I won't bore you with paraphrasing other information, so let's just say he is an inspiring person.



I don't know if it's like this with other people who have tattoos, but I never really look at mine up close. While contemplating Maxime's work I took a closer inspection of my large upper arm tattoo and realized that it's become quite faded and blurry. I might even consider covering it up with some new work that I have more of a connection to. I'm not sure yet though, I only just got this idea a few days ago so I don't want to jump into anything, not to mention that I don't exactly have funds yet to start a tattoo saga. Plus there are a few other artists whose work I love so I'm not sure how to choose! More thinking to do...