October 29, 2009

Shopping in Venice: VENETIA STUDIUM

In the heart of Venice you might come across a little shop that has beautiful silk lamps, handbags and scarf, elegant velvet cushion covers and table runners in modern and oriental style. The shop windows always magically attracts me and my husband. And you can read the magic Roman letters : VENETIA STVDIVM - which is the Venetia Studium company that has several showrooms all near San Marco square.

Fortuny silk lamp "Cesendello" on the rod and silk scarves.
We like the style of the lamp, that is influenced like all the Venetia Studium products by the "history of Venice and its links to the Byzantium and the East".  However, we have no idea (yet) where to use it. Actually we look at this lamp as long as we visit Venice together, since over 13 years!

Scarves, shawls, handbags and cushion covers made of silk or velvet - and the elaborated glass lamp Saraceno.

Another Venetia Studium shop with similar window display ...

... and another shop specialised in cushion covers and table runners
Here my friend from Bangkok needs to shop for a friend in Thailand (that's why I saw all the shops!)

Little detail: I especially liked the typical Venetian terrazzo floor
(and the interesting Italian shoes of an Italian male)

PS: Venetia Studium has a showroom in London and selected products can be ordered online

October 27, 2009

Window Shopping in Venice

Window shopping is something I like to do - it is ispiring and joyful - and it does not cost much. Do you like to join me for a window shopping trip to Venice ?

Here we go :

illuminted lighting shop in Venice
See, the gondolier is waiting for us in the background ...

Venetian chandeliers made of Murano glass by Zanetti

a fancy shop at the end of Piazza San Marco
Can you see the red Murano glas chandelier ? (click on pic to enlarge)

Murano glass chandelier with a modern touch by Venini

Venini has a long history (since 1921 in Murano) and is famous for its modern classic style and great craftmen's skills

This shop in Mestre has more affordable products, and they are not less pretty

The pinkish Venetian chandelier is seducing, but ...

... these "Balon Venexian" caught my eyes - simply charming and affordable.
Maybe for the guestappartment's entrance that leads to the vaulted cellar?

And this artist shop caught my eyes too - love these baloons made of Murano glass !
Livio de Marchi is a Venetian artis who is famous for his carved sculptures.

Ferrari red pops up among grey and attracts the male shopper

A chair and a vase at Dolce& Gabbana ...
.... can't tell what I like better - the big stone vase with the tiny cactus is quiet interesting (having my terrace in mind)

Christmas decoration at D&G (12/2008) 
including reflections of Gucci 2m across the aley

Window shopping can be exhausting. I recommend an expresso or prosecco (anytime), cappuccino (before 11am), hot chocolat (in winter) or an aperitivo (before lunch or dinner) at Caffe Florian or Caffè Quadri, Piazza San Marco. If you feel you do not have to sit down, take your order at the bar and save some Euros. However, after a window shopping tour we can afford to sit down, right ?! Salute !

(Photo source: Palazzo Pizzo blog, all rights reserved)

Thanks to Anita from 1richtungsblog who featured photos of our renovation project and an interview with me last week, I have received many more readers from Germany than usually. To welcome them and also just for fun I wrote a post in German language, my mother tongue. This was just a one time experiment as I do not want to loose any subscribers !!! And my German readers seem to not mind English. - Welcome back !

October 23, 2009

Experiment: post auf Deutsch - Rote Sitzmoebel

Gruess Gott, Guten Tag und Servus auf diesem Blog !

Ich heisse alle deutsch sprachigen Leser herzlich willkommen, die diesen blog post gefunden haben und vorallem diejenigen, die aufgrund der beiden 1richtungsblog posts, hier und hier, heruebergekommen sind.

Wie gestern versprochen, blogge ich heute mal auf  Deutsch, um zu sehen, wie sich das anfuehlt. Lockere Sprache ist auf Englisch ja voellig normal. Aber auf Deutsch ? Vielleicht muss ich mich da erst eingewoehnen ? Zeitungsdeutsch hat auf blogs wenig zu suchen. Zumindest nicht unbedingt in der Katergorie Haus&Garten.

Jetzt aber die Frage an Euch Leser : wuerdet Ihr diesen blog lieber auf Deutsch haben ? Oder macht es nichts aus, dass ich auf Englisch schreibe ?  Englisch versteht doch fast jeder. Zumindest meinen begrenzten Wortschatz, oder setze ich da zuviel voraus ? Ausserdem, wer liest schon all die Artikel Wort fuer Wort -  wenn doch die Bilder schoen sind ? Zugegeben, ich ueberfliege sehr oft, auch in Zeitschriften. Daher also die Frage: Wie haetten'S denn gern ?

Und nun schnell 'was Buntes bzw. Rotes - 3 x rote Sitzmoebel - passend zur kalten Jahreszeit :

Sofa Alcove, Design: Ronan und Erwan Bouroullec, 2006 fuer vitra

Ei Sessel, Design: Arne Jacobsen, 1958 Daenemark

Ameise Stuhl,  Design: Arne Jacobsen, 1952 Daenemark
(mit Filzauflage auch im Winter gemuetlich!)

Das Bildmaterial kommt von cairo, einem deutschen Design-Versandhaus, das auch schoene Kataloge versendet. Die Bestellung vom Katalog geht online und ist kostenlos (wahrscheinlich  nur innerhalb Deutschlands). Um Produkte bei Cairo zu bestellen, muss man nicht unbedingt - wie angegeben - Freiberufler, Dienstleister, Gewerbe oder Handel sein. Man muss auch gar nichts bestellen -  nur schmoekern ist auch erlaubt!

Und bitte sagt Bescheid, ob Euch dieser Artikel (post) auf Deutsch gefallen hat. Und, ob Ihr wieder kommt, wenn ich auf Englisch blogge. Entschuldigt auch, dass ich keine Umlaute kann mit meinem Computer aus China, wo ich drei Jahre lebte und hier bloggte.

Auf Wiedersehen (bzw. -lesen) und schoenes Wochenende !

October 22, 2009

Palazzo Pizzo featured in German "1richtungsblog"

Today this blog is featured in 1richtungsblog written in German language by Anita.  Her American experience of 7 years in Dallas definately brings a fresh spirit into her daily updated blog.  Style Spion a leading German blog calls her the "German Decor8".

She frequently features private homes, fellow bloggers and artist. And I am happy to see that the German blog scene has developped. All the German language blogs in her blogroll are inspiring as well. And I am happy for the very friendly feature - in German language of course - about our renovation project in Italy.

Maybe you wonder, why I am writing in English language and not in German, as I am not only born in Germany but also at the moment based in Germany.

So, here is my explanation, why blogging in English :

When I started blogging - almost three years ago (!) - I wrote my first posts in German language :

My very first post on December 31, 2006 :  Ein Abenteuer beginnt
Then, January 7, 2007: Haus am Meer gesucht
The third and last in German language on February 7, 2007:  Der Grundriss
(not sure where the pictures have gone)

Okay, I am admitting that one post per month was not enough to attract a crowd of readers and commentators, but I felt that the German blog scene was somehow boring - at that time. I could not find anything interesting or inspiring I would have liked to link to.

And then my absolute favorite blogger of that time - Maryam - left a comment on my blog :  I wish I could read your blog:-(

That were the magic words that made me start writing in English.

I do really enjoy the English writing group that blogs about interior design, home & garden and all inspiring beautiful things. However, I am open to meet the German scene as well.

And that's why I am going to greet them in my mother tongue :

Hallo und willkommen auf meinem blog !!!!  Schaut Euch um, fuehlt Euch wie zu Hause. Mehr auf Deutsch spaeter ...

cool products for bathrooms

Shower Pluvia by Rapsel

Recently I came across this fancy shower. The wall mounted shower's spiral column not only ends in a rainshower head but also functions as shower curtain rail ! (diameter about 80 cm). - It seems like a space saving solution.

I do not have experienced the above shower, but I am a very lucky girl to have this one at my home (in Germany):

It is a steam shower ! It is the Wellbox Easy by megius

We love it. Especially in these cold days, after sport or just to relax and get a nice skin. Of course you can also use the shower function alone without the steam funtion. It is an Italian brand (sure, nice design!) and you can choose among different versions (size, colour, finish). We have a white one (125cm x 90cm) with wooden floor and wooden chair.

steam shower Wellbox by megius

We got the idea from our friends who are renovating an entire house and they were telling us about getting a steamshower and all its advantages. - When you get a built in one, it could be more expensive then a ready box.
The same friends told us that they are going to get a Turkish toilet. What is that ? we asked ...
Since I spent a weekend in Istanbul I know that all toilets in Turkey - whether in five star hotels, night clubs, museums or simple restaurants - all have it - the bidet funtion. It is two in one !
"shower" toilet by Temtasi

Since we have one in our newly renovated bathroom (in Germany) we are very happy. Italians always have bidets in their bathrooms, however sometimes you just do not have enough space.

"shower" toilet Tuana with bidet funtion by Temtasi
(this seems the best looking model)

And to finish my post about fancy bath equipment I would like to share my favorite sink :

sink Gran Kanal by Rapsel

I posted it before - I love it because it is the smallest double sink that we could find. It is only 111 cm long and is big enough for two people to use at the same time. It is space saving and has an aesthetical modern look. (The Vero serie by Duravit is similar and less expensive.)

PS: I hope you like me sharing some of my favorite bathroom equipments. Sometimes when I want to make up my mind about products, I like to read customers comments. (I am not getting paid for that post.).
Update: I want to mention another post of mine where I am praising some less fancy and cheap DIY bathroom ideas.  

October 19, 2009

How time flies - with capers

Over the weekend I checked my photo files about our palazzo. That means I had to go through summer holiday files of four years ! And we do not have just one summer holiday file per year. It was quiet a lot ... but of course very enjoyable. Not only to see the progress (the slow progress!) of our renovation project but also to see our child grow.

I found these funny photos below, that we apparently took every year. I call the serie "capers harvest on our terrace" (capers = caperi).

caperi August 11, 2006
This picture was taken when we saw the house for the very first time.

My Italian mother-in-law - always having space in her handbag - is collecting capers with our son.
This is still at the very first visit to the house in August 2006.

One year later: July 2007
Meanwhile the house is ours.
But we have not started the renovation yet.
Still harvesting capers ...

... and enjoying the view (summer 2007)

March 2008: renovation in progress
The terrace is the roof of the second floor and needs sealing.
The caper plant was taken out and the balustrade paint plastered.

Tow years later, August 2008 : uups ! A tiny caper plant popped up again !
The roots must be very stong and resistant.
Not good for roof and walls underneath. Water could infiltrate. Special treatment is necessary.

Three years later, August 2009 : Done !
No more capers. New tiles and security grid.

Although the tiles are beautiful and the iron grid is necessary - I still can't stop thinking that I like the charme of the old dilapidated condition - more? This is one of the difficulties, I think, when renovating. How to stop dilapidation without changing the character of a building or interior too much.

To get a broader picture, I am posting the sea side facade before and after:

August 2006, not our house yet

Sea side facade March 2008

August 2009
The palazzo from the sea, 54 meters above sea level

Some readers might know my sea side pictures. But since I am posting for almost three years and the renovation progress is so slow, some of you might have forgotten about the "look". Here are some more before and after posts.

October 17, 2009

Happy Weekend with my background photo

Wishing you a happy weekend with my computer screen background photo of our house - photo from January 2008

October 16, 2009

10 Simple Actions to contribute to save the Planet

Today is Blog Action Day and I am participating because our planet is in danger. Every human being that is able to think should be aware about how much our planet is threatened by climate change, global warming and shortness of resources, to name some environmental problems which again cause social unbalance that can result in poverty, terror and war. It is a very complex subject. Our children and grandchildren will face tough times.

But where to start and who to start ?
Today, blog action day is focusing on the environmental problem "climate change".
Please take a minute and read the following what you could do today and maybe next week and more and more often :

10 simple actions to contribute for a better Planet :

1) Replace a regular light bulb with an energy saving light bulb

2) Move your radiator down one degree in winter (and the aircon up 1 degree in summer)

3) Use less hot water (it costs energy to heat water)

4) Air dry your clothes instead of using a dryer as often as possible

5) Only run your dishwasher when there’s a full load and use the energy-saving setting

6) Unplug electronics from the wall when you’re not using them (even when turned off, cell phone chargers and televisions use energy. The energy used to keep display clocks lit and memory chips working may account for 5 % of total domestic energy consumption !)

7) Plant a tree - or think twice before cutting down a tree ! (a single tree will absorb one ton of carbon dioxide over its lifetime. Shade provided by trees can also reduce your air conditioning bill by 10 to 15%.)

8) Buy locally grown food (transportation is polluting and consumes energy) - and buy fresh food instead of frozen (frozen food uses 10 times more energy to produce).

9) Eat less meat !!! (The production of 1 kg of beef consumes about 13,000 liter of water !!! And methane is the second most significant greenhouse gas and cows are one of the greatest methane emitters. Their grassy diet and multiple stomachs cause them to produce methane, which they exhale with every breath.)

10)  Drive less ! Walk, bike or use public transportation !

(source: Al Gore's Inconvenient Truth)

Today I will buy fresh food at the local farmer's market, eat no meet and use public transportation ! (easy in't it ?! But every little contribution of every human being counts !)

What is your contribution or tip ?!

Follow these links for more information about saving the planet (who is thinking, what to do and how to contribute) :

Club of Rome
Global Marshall Plan
An inconvenience truth

I would like to recommend the following posts on CLIMAT CHANGE

If you have another interesting post let us all know with a comment !
To check the other 13 thousand something participating blogs go to --> blog action day 2009

Remark: I had to change the publishing time, delay 2 hours in order to have this post appear on Oct. 15, blog action day. Now my two posts on Oct. 15 just appear in a different order. That's all. Sorry for confusion.

October 15, 2009

Blog Action Day in your shower

A cute little reminder to save water and energy !
Shower shorter - and less hot !

Please read my related post for blog action day : 10 actions to contribute for a better planet

October 11, 2009

Modern Furniture in Rough Rooms

Recently I came across the photographer Michael Himpel via Lumas Gallery and his shots of beautiful old interiors, all with that fascinating dilapidated but luxe feel, all empty and all belonging to historic villas in Havanna, Cuba.

Only little later I saw an advertising campaign of German furniture manufacturer WK Wohnen in print media (February 2008). - And I recognised the rooms! Single modern pieces were placed into these old villas in Havanna for shooting the campaign - in November 2007 with photographer Michael Himpel and Creative Director Christian Follert. The rooms usually are not empty. For the shooting the owner's furniture was taken out. I wonder how these interiors normally look?

See here the photographs with and without furniture :

Villa Eulalia, Havanna by Michael Himpel via Lumas

"the charme of past times is present in Havanna ..." via pmi publishing

Villa La Guarida by Michael Himpel via Lumas
What a ballroom !

Villa Carlos, Havanna by Michael Himpel via Lumas
What a ceiling lamp ?!

via Eulalia, Havanna by Michael Himpel via Lumas
What a flooring !! Love the tiles !!

And when writing about advertising modern / luxe furniture in rough / shabby rooms, I want to post two more samples :

red sofa (Charles) above by B&B Italia ...

... in the same room that I  posted it in Feb. 2007 !

However the above picture is not taken from an advertising. If I remember well it was the furnishing of a house in Italy. The style was called "neo-shabby chic" by the magazine it was featured in (Casa International, Beijing).
I do love the fresco !

This is clearly advertising for an Italian divano - the location looks like an abandoned church , similar feeling to the other two pics before.

While the German advertising campaign was this year, I am not sure about the Italian ones. The last (mantelassi) is from about 2 or 3 years ago. However, I do not care if a style is in or not. It has to fit. This shabby chic or rough luxe style just fits to old historic buildings that have a past to tell and to preserve. I hope that I can preserve some interior walls and ceilings in our palazzo in Italy that are testimonies from so many years.

My next post should show some dilapidated walls, ceilings and fresci of our Palazzo Pizzo ...

To round up my recent posts about rough luxe - or shabby chic - I want to provide a few links to some similar content, posted recently or a bit ago, here for the interested reader :

Rough luxe and the new antiquarians by The Architectural Antique Review (09/2009)
Rough Luxe by Wall Street Journal (WSJ, 09/2009)
Rough Luxe Hotel by Designers Block (03/2009)
Cote de Texas about Belgian Design (01/2009)
A description of Boho Modern by Decor8 (01/2008)