Daniel and Chris always give us a professional high-quality service giving good advice as to what can be achieved. Original Double-Glazed supplies beautiful windows that have enhanced all our projects and Studio 29 has continued to use their services as they are reliable, helpful, consistent and nothing is too much trouble.
My Italian summer started in Gressoney, a tiny village high in the Alps at the foot of the Monte Rosa.
Gressoney is one of the few Walser communities in Europe. The Walser people, originary from Switzerland, abandoned their homeland, the canton of Valais, and between the X and the XIII century settled in various locations in Switzerland, France, Italy and Austria.
The Walser heritage is still very much alive in Gressoney, in the unique language spoken by the inhabitants, called Titsch (a German Walser dialect), in the architecture of the traditional houses and in the beautiful red, black and gold dresses worn by the women on important occasions.
The style of the typical Walser houses has been determined by the very cold Alpine weather, by the building materials available on site (stone and timber) and by the local economy based mainly on high mountain agriculture and cheese and butter manufacturing.
Usually the houses have a ground floor built in stone and upper floors in timber. The timber logs are squared and notched to form a square self supporting structure. Traditionally moss and resin were used to fill the gaps between the logs. The roof structure is in timber and is covered with stone tiles. The building date is usually carved on the main beam. Often the house has balconies, traditionally used to dry crops.
During my Italian holidays we stayed with friends at their house on the hills above Bonassola, a picture perfect sea-side village in Liguria.
The house is a beautifully restored typical old Ligurian house, with green shutters, airy rooms and breath-taking views of Mediterranean beauty and is set in a terraced garden complete with olive trees, a glorious kitchen garden and a pizza area with wood fire oven and the biggest Carrara marble traditional sink that doubles as pizza kneading bench.
My friend asked me tips to furnish her favourite spot with garden furniture, a small terrace away from the house and with a view on the gulf below.
I put together 3 “tips” for garden furniture.
First tip: Timeless & Classic. I adore Milanese historic brand Azucena and their Nogaro range is perfect for timeless understated elegant outdoor furniture, which can be brought in in winter and will look perfect with my friend’s Gervasoni sofas.
Second tip: Glamorous and Comfy. None can beat Dedon for dreamy, whimsical garden furniture. Their Rest Nest and Swing Rest are little masterpieces. For a more feminine style, B&BItalia’s Canasta round sofas are a beautiful option which I would couple with one or two Crinoline chairs.
Third tip: Just Wow! Moroso M’Afrique range has been one of my favourite since it came out. I love each individual piece, the colours and the technique and I love how they look in a natural setting. A treat for the eye.
If I were to tell a tourist in London to visit one place, it would be without doubt the Barbican Centre. I love this place. The Barbican complex has ideals that a student of architecture would only dream of, after years of studying Le Corbusier and Frank Lloyd Wright who designed and tried to introduce new ways of living, this place is the reality of such a dream. The collection of rough concrete buildings connects through long passageways, occasionally with views cut out to show glimpses of the sky, water or other blocks around the centre. The complex has been softened by introducing circular shaped blocks, detailed timber shutters, large white arched windows, hanging green foliage and bright bunches of flowers that the residents have planted at the fringes of their terraces. As a whole the buildings and facilities are equivalent to a small city within the big city. It can have a strange feeling as given it’s very central location, it is still so quiet that some people find it eery. My counterpart had never been to such a place before and it was interesting to see his reaction, but the dominant feeling is that you don’t feel that you’re in London at all. We sat there quite relaxed watching a photo shooting that was happening in front of us. The high level of the Barbican apartments command a magnificent view across London as well as across the central lake and water gardens. It all has an incredible theatrical atmosphere as everyone can watch everyone watching them! If you haven’t manage to get there yet I can highly recommend it.