Barcelona living – USAME in use

18 Sep

Barcelona living showcases the home of USAME's Esther López Aguilar

For some time now, I have been wanting to share the work of USAME with you, and so I was delighted that in the past days I saw images  (featured in Spanish magazine Interiores) of their pieces, in use, at the home of one of its founders. Feast your eyes, dear friends!

Barcelona living showcases the home of USAME's Esther López Aguilar

Using simple and clean lines, USAME‘s Esther López Aguilar and Marisol González Nohra create furniture and other pieces with reclaimed wood, iron and other noble or natural materials, such as sack cloth. Examples of these pieces are the chair and coffee table above, in Esther’s very lovely lounge.

Barcelona living showcases the home of USAME's Esther López Aguilar

Simple lines are a good choice and work really well in such a beautiful apartment, which has colourful mosaic floors that are so typical in Barcelona modernist buildings.

Barcelona living showcases the home of USAME's Esther López Aguilar

The lamp in the right-hand corner (above) and the round table (below) are also USAME products. By the way, USAME means “use me”. A name well chosen, wouldn’t you agree?

Barcelona living showcases the home of USAME's Esther López Aguilar

The original decorative elements in this apartment are stunningly beautiful and were left intact, such as the impressive ceiling in the studio (below) and the mosaic floors throughout the apartment, with the exception of the kitchen and bathrooms, which were completely redone (not shown).

Barcelona living showcases the home of USAME's Esther López Aguilar

The bedroom is as bright as the rest of Esther’s home and also incorporates pieces by USAME: the head board and the very industrial bedside tables, made with reclaimed scaffolding, galvanised pipe and recycled sack cloth.

Barcelona living showcases the home of USAME's Esther López Aguilar

If you want to find out more about USAME, then check out their website and Facebook page.

nine and a half years

17 Sep

Vintage photographs of Barcelona (c) Barcelona Desapareguda

Hello everyone! Today is a special day. Noooo, not because I’m posting later than ever (sorry about that), but because today it is nine and a half years since I first settled here, in Barcelona. That calls for a bit of a celebration, right? So I thought today I’d share some vintage photographs of some favourite spots with you…

Ramblas + Port Vell © Barcelona Desapareguda

Spots which today look very different indeed, such as the flower stalls on La Rambla de les Flors (where I buy my flowers), the old port (backdrop to my efforts to keep fit) or the Rambla itself. In some cases for the sheer volume of people that populate these places today as opposed to the beginning of last century, and at others, just because they seemed so much more charming then.

Vintage photographs of Barcelona (c) Barcelona Desapareguda

At times the contrast between past and present is huge. Such as for example the beach attire at Platja de Sant Sebastià (my favourite beach in Barcelona) then and now. So very stylish in the image above, and so very bare these days, for it is now a nudist beach. Or the busty ladies going to do their groceries at La Boqueria (where I do mine too), with their shopping baskets in the crooks of their arms. Not quite the same as today’s hordes of tourists munching on plastic-wrapped fruit or cod dumplings on a stick! Nevertheless, I am very happy to call Barcelona my home, and so, with these images, wish to pay it homage in my own small way.

Vintage photographs of Barcelona (c) Barcelona Desapareguda

Hope you like the photos! They are courtesy of Barcelona Desapareguda – a delightful Facebook page that celebrates its first anniversary today and continually publishes wonderful images of Barcelona’s grand (and not so grand) past. All photos are sourced, curated and published by Giacomo Alessandro.

Slate beauties

16 Sep

Portraits etched in slate by JB Ravello

Some time ago, I spotted some incredibly gorgeous portraits on Facebook and was blown away by their incredible detail and artistry. They had been made by Jean-Briac Ravello (the stone mason I featured last year in this blogpost) on slate! Yes, that’s right, they have been carved into slate, and this particular portrait, of rapper Xzibit, looks like this:

Portraits etched in slate by JB Ravello

Quite stunning, isn’t it?

Portraits etched in slate by JB Ravello

After a while, I saw images of more portraits, of this old man and of the very handsome ram, below. Asking Jean-Briac why he had chosen to do these portraits, he replied (with his usual off-hand humility) that they were just studies in light and shadows.

Portraits etched in slate by JB Ravello

Apart from feeling quite green with envy at this level of artistry, I am also delighted that these slate beauties exist and will last, for they have been set in stone (well, in slate in this case) to do just that.

Jean-Briac Ravello will be exhibiting other pieces in Barcelona shortly. Meanwhile, check out his beautiful dishes and also an abstract sculpture at Siesta (Carrer Ferlandina 18, Barcelona) and his Facebook page and blog to keep up to date with his latest news.

Food for thought: simplify

13 Sep

Beautiful art, photographs and musings by Laarni Gedo

You know how sometimes you meet people who in the space of a few moments manage to impact you, even if it is in a subtle way? Well dear blog friends, that is what happened to me recently, when one of my guests caused a deep impression. She just mentioned that she painted and took photos (she also surfs and teaches), and gave me the link to her website, so I looked it up and bookmarked it for later viewing…

An then it happened. BAM! The word on her cover page: SIMPLIFY. It stirred something inside me, at a very deep level, and made me question what I am doing with my life and where I am going. Now during the week, I don’t have all that much time for such reflections, so I thought I’d save it for the weekend to digest this food for thought: simplify.

Beautiful art, photographs and musings by Laarni Gedo

And while I checked her website, and also her Tumblr, I came across her beautiful paintings (this one here is my favourite), her gorgeous photos, and her wonderfully inspiring musings. Wow! I find them really thought-provoking and beautiful.

Beautiful art, photographs and musings by Laarni Gedo

The one that accompanies this beautiful black and white photo goes: “Woman trust nothing but your heart and what it says — you will be ok.”

Beautiful art, photographs and musings by Laarni Gedo

And the caption for this photo: “Love, in all the right places… this one made me smile and stay awhile on my way to rushing and hurrying to get somewhere, as if to say, “slow down, love a little”.”

Maybe these ‘messages’ stir just me, and others lie in waiting for you, so why don’t you check out Laarni Gedo’s website and her Tumblr blog and see what it offers you? Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Beautiful art, photographs and musings by Laarni Gedo

All photographs in this post are by Laarni Gedo.

BCN @ Home: Ferenz + Hernán

12 Sep

At home with Ferenz and Hernan in Barcelona

After all the hullabaloo of yesterday’s demonstrations and effusive displays of Catalanism sentiments on the streets of Barcelona, today it is time to head indoors. We’ve been invited to take a peek inside the home of Ferenz  (journalist) and Hernán (graphic designer), two super nice guys who are from the Netherlands and Argentina respectively and have been living in Barcelona for a considerable time.

So, are you coming? Let’s go! BCN @ Home: Ferenz + Hernan’s 

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Funky tiles

11 Sep

Funky tiles in Barcelona

It is a public holiday here, so just a quick and short post today. Some time ago I spotted some funky tiles on a street in the Sant Antoni area.

Funky tiles in Barcelona

Their indented decorative elements caught my eye for their simple and playful nature.

Funky tiles in Barcelona

I could see myself having tiles like this in my home. Perhaps in a matte version, in shades of black, greige or white…

Funky tiles in Barcelona

Don’t miss tomorrow’s post, for it’s a new installment in the BCN at home series, and I will take you to a cool pad in the Eixample.

Funky tiles in Barcelona

Art at the entrance

10 Sep

Street artists Kram & Owen paint building entrance in Barcelona

It’s quite common to spot painted cars at the entrance of residential buildings, in Barcelona, indicating where the entry to the car park is. But none are quite like the ones I am sharing with you today.

At a building on Carrer Manso, the walls at the entrance have been given a generous dose of marvelousness by street artists Kram & Owen.  Delightful colours, a multitude of circles and spheres, all with generous pops of red, a postman and a swanky vintage car… not a bad thing to come home to art at the entrance every day, right?

Street artists Kram & Owen paint building entrance in Barcelona

Room Service

9 Sep

Great design at Room Service Gallery Barcelona

Hello all! Quite a bit later than usual, but here I am, kicking off a new week with some images from Room Service, a design gallery that showcases some really cool stuff, and can be found on Carrer Àngels 16, here in Barcelona.

Great design at Room Service Gallery Barcelona

Representing several Dutch designers, such as Piet Hein Eek and Maarten Bas (as well as others), and also some Spanish ones like for example López y Rivera, Room Service offers its customers a very healthy platter of what is hot in product and furniture design at the moment.

Great design at Room Service Gallery Barcelona Great design at Room Service Gallery Barcelona

I’m in love with these beautiful baskets, designed by Piet Hein Eek and produced following Fair Trade Principles. Good looks and good ethics; what’s not to like?!

Room Service also regularly showcases products by FRESH*, the result of a collaboration between O|CULTS and Room Service Design, and which are designed by young Spanish designers

Great design at Room Service Gallery Barcelona

If you happen to pop in, make sure to check out what’s on offer at Room Service, for there is something for everyone (with a well filled purse), and don’t forget to check out the photographs that line the walls also, for they tend to be pretty gorgeous.

Great design at Room Service Gallery Barcelona

For more info and updates, check out the Room Service website and Facebook page.

Happy Friday!

6 Sep

The Cute Suite on Pinterest

As you all probably have experienced, the internet is a place that can suck you in and get you spending hours scrolling, linking and searching… but it’s a great place to find all sorts of inspiration, so finally, after much humming and harring, and debating with myself if I need another time-sucker in my life, I decided to join Pinterest. I haven’t done much with it quite yet, but I’m getting the hang of pinning and really like what I see on the general board, so I suspect I’ll be thoroughly hooked before too long.

I’d love to see what my readers are doing on this virtual meeting spot, so please let me know who you are and where I can find you. And if you’d like to follow me, then check out my (as yet very few) pins over here

Have a great weekend, everyone!

The Cute Suite on Pinterest

C215 is going strong

5 Sep

C215 street art in Barcelona

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’ll have seen several posts about the work by street art artist C215. And that’s really not very surprising, because he visits Barcelona quite frequently, is very good, and is very prolific.

C215 street art in Barcelona

He is star at portraiture and his work reflects the faces of both young and old people he cares deeply about (friends and family) or those that live a precarious life on the streets. Additionally, he also loves to portray cats, and does so with incredible detail and (as with all his work) a great sense of colour. What you might not know, is that he has been doing a lot of large scale work this year, both in his native France and elsewhere. Unfortunately, we don’t have one of his huge pieces (for example such as this one) in Barcelona yet, so Christian Guémy, if you read this… you know what to do! ;)

C215 street art in Barcelona

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