AD – Why my balcony looks like my living room now

Empty baroque frames are one of my favorite things to decorate with – they add a breath of history – the tension between negative space and scale gives just the right amount of drama to interiors. So let me tell you the story why my balcony looks like my living room now.

DIY trellis for my clematis - painted with All White from Farrow & Ball
DIY trellis for my clematis – painted with All White from Farrow & Ball
white clematis
white clematis

I live in a 1960s bungalow, with the balcony facing the south. Sounds like a dream, except that up until this spring our balcony was hidden from the sun – by a large tree that was growing right next to the balcony. This year, for various reasons, we had to cut the tree and instantly the balcony turned into a light-flooded and sun kissed area.

cutting the tree in front of our balcony
cutting the tree in front of our balcony

As a huge flower lover you can imagine my excitement as I started to dream of all the possible and impossible options to grow sun loving flowers on my balcony. And like in every fairy tale, of course there was a huge obstacle! Because of the rather shadowy situation of the past, the balcony was not the prettiest corner to hang out. So now I decided to go with the light and underline the bright atmosphere. Two years ago I painted the bedroom with Farrow&Ball paint and I am still in awe when I enter the room. Because the balcony faces in the same direction as the bedroom, there was no doubt, that I wanted to use the gorgeous colors of Farrow&Ball again!

this is how the balcony looked before
this is how the balcony looked before
this is how the antique frame looked before I painted it with the outdoor paint 'ALL WHITE' from Farrow & Ball
this is how the antique frame looked before I painted it with the outdoor paint ‘ALL WHITE’ from Farrow & Ball

This April, on my trip to Milan, I had discovered the most wonderful outdoor furniture at Rossana Orlandi – one of the most influential design gallerists of the world. The climax of this story is, that I right after my return from Milan, I discovered almost the exact same furniture at an antique market and instantly knew that I wanted to transform the balcony into a white oasis. Its either because I was lacking light for so long on this balcony or simply because I wanted to experiment with white climbing flowers and create a mood of stillness and calm.

first I had to decide what colors to use - as they are all pretty from Farrow & Ball
first I had to decide what colors to use – as they are all pretty from Farrow & Ball

This outdoor furniture was love at first sight and I wanted to keep the vintage look with all the bruises, scratches and defects the white surface was showing. To underline the history and subtle beauty of the furniture I started looking at all the different hues of white colors for the surrounding walls… and had to go with ‚All White‘ – simply because of it’s sophisticated and subtle look! I wanted the vintage furniture to play the leading part and this naturally fresh white was the perfect partner to support this look!

shadow play from my new vintage outdoor furniture on a floor also painted with 'All White' from Farrow and Ball
shadow play from my new vintage outdoor furniture on a floor also painted with ‘All White’ from Farrow and Ball
DIY trellis for my clematis - painted with All White from Farrow & Ball
DIY trellis for my clematis – painted with All White from Farrow & Ball

To complement the All White look I decided to add some white accessories to the balcony and painted a wooden box and an antique metal frame. The paint is so good, that it easily covered the green color the box had before, not to mention the pink color the frame had before 😉
Of course there are conventional trellis on the market, but I wanted my clematis to climb up and grown in style, so I decided to divert the frame from the intended use and bring a little vintage flair to my now sunny oasis.

DIY trellis for my clematis - painted with All White from Farrow & Ball
DIY trellis for my clematis – painted with All White from Farrow & Ball

Now I can spend more time outside without compromising my love for antiques and vintage – I am still tremendously enamored by vintage interiors and and let me tell you, now I can take this love outside.

I hope you can also start to enjoy the first rays of sun, happy outdoor gardening!

A. XO

moody spring arrangement – with home grown fritillaria persica


Summer is approaching in big steps – today is the hottest day of this year so far – and I would love to share a gorgeous moody bouquet with you. Those are all home grown flowers and I couldn’t be happier to be able to gather those beauties.
One of the main flowers of this arrangement is the ‘fritillaria persica’ I grew from a  large bulb I got at a flower show last year. It turned out so big and gorgeous, I would really love to get a few more of them for next year now… I hope the bulb will grow and surprise me with more than one flower next spring!

Easy Spring Arrangement with Cherryblossoms

AD – A while ago I had a great conversation on how photography is influenced by seasons and personal circumstances. Looking back at pictures that I took over the course of the past months, I must say it seems, like I have fell for moody photography. I do love to play with what the seasons have to offer and the black&white preferences seem to be a very seasonal thing to me. Now, with the return of spring I can say that the variety of colors, forms and textures has finally returned to my world of photography… and I could not be more thrilled! Imagine my excitement walking the sunny streets, seeing all of the pink pompoms hanging from the trees – to me there is no better way to start the blooming season! After some cold & dark months nature seems to spoil us with such lavish views. Now that the floral season has officially started you can expect a big change in my photography again, and this time I have teamed up with the gorgeous team of tollwasblumenmachen to honor the beauty of spring – come join me in the celebration of nature and it’s colors, forms and textures!

pink cherry blossoms
pink cherry blossoms

You know, I love to celebrate the seasons by bringing nature into our home and I simply had to start celebrating spring by bringing home a few branches with my favorite pink pompoms! Not only do they look great outside, but it is also very easy to decorate with them at home! I have summed up a few of my favorite tips for an easy spring arrangement…

pink cherry blossoms
pink cherry blossoms
Cherry Blossom spring arrangement
Cherry Blossom spring arrangement
Cherry Blossom spring arrangement
Cherry Blossom spring arrangement

1. I always make sure to use clean vases, sharp scissors and fresh water when working with flowers. Bacteria is their biggest enemy and only by providing the best from the very beginning, they will last longer!
2. This next step is also one of the most important ones, when working with woody branches: I clip their stems in half. By dividing the stems, they can drink more water and will last for a whole week!
3. Braches of cherry blossoms might be a little bit heavy, so I try to find a stable vase.
4. To give the arrangement more stability, I add a ball of chickenwire to the inside of the vase. This ball gets simply fixed with a tape, after that I add the water to the pot. After you have added the flowers, you won’t see the chickenwire and the tape anymore as the abundance of flowers will cover it completely.

Cherry Blossom spring arrangement
Cherry Blossom spring arrangement
Cherry Blossom spring arrangement
Processed with VSCO with oc Cherry Blossom spring arrangement

5. To add even more stability to the arrangement I start by arranging the biggest & heaviest branches first and make sure that the branches are spread equally. Due to their sculptural form, the arrangement will immediately gain a very interesting look!
6. After all of the cherry blossoms were placed, I start by adding the smaller and more colorful flowers to the arrangement. For this special arrangement I tried to stay in one color family and added gorgeous gerbera and fluffy ranunculus. If you care to read more about the maintenance of gerbera, the team of tollwasblumenmachen has summed up a few interesting tips for you here!
7. Before I finish the arrangement, I step back to look at it from all angles and make sure to fill the empty spots with a few of the remaining flowers.
8. Once you are happy with the final result, there is one last tip I found really handy: you might want to change the water after a few days – but you don’t have to take all of the flowers out of the vase in order to do so! Just place the whole arrangement under running water and wait until it is replaced.

I couldn’t be happier with my tone-on-tone spring arrangement and I would love to see your flowers around this time of the year… Please share and feel free to add some more of your favorite tips when it comes to cherry blossoms!

Cherry Blossom spring arrangement
Cherry Blossom spring arrangement
Cherry Blossom spring arrangement
Cherry Blossom spring arrangement
pink cherry blossoms
pink cherry blossoms

Es gibt so viele Gründe, warum Kirschblütenzweige einen ganz besonderen Platz in meinem Herzen haben! Es beginnt damit, dass dies die ersten, wirklich üppigen Blütenzweige nach einem langen, kargen Winter sind. Ich dekoriere sehr gerne saisonal und versuche mich auch im Winter daran zu halten. Natürlich hat der Winter auch seine Vorteile und man kann mit nackten, skulptural anmutenden Ästen und Moos viel erreichen aber als wirklich großer Blumenliebhaber raubt es mir im Frühjahr jedes Mal den Atem, wenn ich die ersten pinken PomPoms an den Bäumen sehe! Denn, nachdem man sich im Winter schon fast daran gewöhnt hat, mit kahlen Zweigen zu dekorieren, kommen jetzt Formen und Farben ins Spiel, die man schon fast vergessen hat! Man muss nur ein paar Kirschblütenzweige nehmen, ein paar kleinere Farbakzente mit Ranunkeln und Gerbera setzen und fertig ist ein eindrucksvolles, fast schon sommerliches Bouquet! Abschließend muss ich auch noch hinzufügen: ich habe bisher noch niemanden getroffen, den Kirschblüten kalt lassen: es gibt weltweit so viele Kirschblütenfeste und selbst die Teppiche der abgefallenen Blüten sehen märchenhaft aus! Wenn man die Zweige an der Schnittstelle zusätzlich mit einem scharfen Messer in zwei Hälften teilt (um den Wasserkanal freizulegen), und die Blüten so viel besser Wasser aufnehmen können, kann man sehr lange die Schönheit der Kirschblüten geniessen!

1. Mein allererster Schritt ist es, auf sauberes Werkzeug & Gefäße und frisches Wasser für die Blumen zu achten, so haben Bakterien keine Chance.
2. Wie oben bereits erwähnt, sollte man bei stark verholzten Stellen den Zweig in der Mitte teilen, damit die Pflanze ungehindert viel trinken kann
3. Weil die Zweige ein wenig schwerer sind, als handelsübliche Frühjahrsblumen, sollte man darauf achten, dass das Gefäß stabil ist und selbst kein Leichtgewicht ist.
4. Um der ganzen Konstruktion Halt zu geben, fülle ich eine Vase (in diesem Fall ist es sogar ein Blumentopf) mit Kaninchendraht. Ich forme den Draht zu einer Kugel, so, dass er den gesamten Topf ausfüllt und fixiere diesen dann mit Tape am Topfrand. Danach fülle ich erst das Wasser in den Topf und stecke nach und nach die frisch präparierten Zweige zwischen die Drahtaussparungen.
5. Beim Stecken achte ich darauf, zuerst die größten und schwersten Zweige zu platzieren, das gibt dem Gebilde zusäztlichen Halt und es kann nichts mehr umkippen. Gerne stecke ich die Zweige auch in einer asymmetrischen Anordnung zusammen, denn das gibt dem Strauß einen schönen unerwarteten Charakter.
6. Nachdem ich die größten Zweige gesetzt habe, platziere ich kleinere Blumen wie Ranunkeln und Gerbera, das schafft spannende Farbakzente. Dabei achte ich immer darauf, wie der Strauß später ausgerichtet ist: steht der Strauß mit der einen Seite zur Wand, dann achte ich immer darauf, die Blüten mit den hübschesten Köpfchen nach vorne zu stecken. Ist es wiederum ein Gesteck für eine große Tafel, achte ich darauf, dass der Strauss von allen Seiten Highlights aufweist.
7. Bevor ich alle Blumen endgültig gesetzt habe, schaue ich mir den Strauss von allen Seiten an und fülle leere Stellen mit kleineren Blüten, das schafft ein harmonischeres Bild
8. Wenn man länger Freude an seinem Strauß haben möchte, ist es immer ratsam regelmäßig das Wasser zu wechseln. Da es bei dem üppigen Strauß nicht ganz so einfach ist, gibt es da einen einfachen Tip: das Gefäß einfach in einem schrägen Winkel unter den laufenden Wasserhahn halten und warten, bis das gesamte Wasser ausgewechselt ist – so muss man den Strauß noch nicht mal aus der Vase nehmen.

DDN Blog Safari at Salone del Mobile

A week has passed since I returned from Milan and I am still overwhelmed with all of the impressions from Salone del Mobile. This has been an unforgettable week and from now on I will be planning my travels around this special week in Italy! Hopefully I won’t miss a single Salone for the rest of my life!

Never ever have I experienced a week so full of mind-blowing inventions and alluring designs! Driven by the impulse that kept me looking for new trends, I was so excited to spend a week in Milan. I have been a dedicated follower of everything connected with the Salone and for years I have been observing every single story that my friends uploaded during this most important design week! Little did I know – it was much better than I expected it to be!

I am still paving my way through hundreds of pictures that I would love to share with you, but let me start with one of the first events that I attended at the Salone – The DDN Blog Safari – organized by one of the most influential design magazines in Italy!

During the tour, a group of international bloggers was given the chance to take a peek behind the scenes of a few major italian interior brands and also speak to their designers. I am very honored that I was given the opportunity to be part of this tour! Being an artist myself I am always very interested in the creative process every designer experiences.

classic details at Gianfranco Ferre
classic details at Gianfranco Ferre

The visit to the different designers allowed me to keep my eyes open for a look that transcends all styles, and let’s begin with one of the most exuberant styles: Gianfranco Ferré and Roberto Cavalli. Both do evoke a luxurious and an elegant atmosphere, each one of them in a slightly different way. You know, I am a big fan of classic details in interiors and these snapshots prove that it is been a fest for me to swoon over their elegant details like antique plastering, soft velvet drapery or lavish prints of plants!

velvet drapery at Gianfranco Ferre
velvet drapery at Gianfranco Ferre
lush prints at Roberto Cavalli Home
lush prints at Roberto Cavalli Home

It was very interesting to be able to listen about the design process of Gallotti & Radice and to get to know that they cooperate with some of the very best young designers like Studio Pepe. It’s like I told you, I am not only still going through the hundreds of images from Milano, but I am also ‘going through’ my memories and talking to some of my friends from Milano made me realize, that I was not the only one who discovered the big presence of gorgeously colored mirrors.

Golden geometric details - a collaboration of Gallotti & Radice with Studio Pepe
Golden geometric details – a collaboration of Gallotti & Radice with Studio Pepe
colored mirrors by Gallotti&Radice, Copyright Gallotti& Radice
colored mirrors by Gallotti&Radice, Copyright Gallotti& Radice

Artemide left me speechless! Maybe it was my personal background, because we are working on our home and still are in need of gorgeous lighting, but Artemide’s lamps were pieces of art with slight interpretations of details from the age of Art Nouveau. For me, a never ending love affair! ❤

Spectacular lighting at Artemide
Spectacular lighting at Artemide
Spectacular fringe lighting at Artemide
Spectacular fringe lighting at Artemide

One of the very raw and minimalistic approaches was JCP – by using materials like metal wires, leatherstraps, stones in a very unique way, I truly loved their quote on their way of seeing design:  “JCP is an imaginative universe that transforms our normality by encouraging us to reflect on our own way of life, here on Earth.”

fine details from JCP interiors
fine details from JCP interiors
JCP stand at Saloni der Mobile, copyright JCP
JCP stand at Saloni der Mobile, copyright JCP

Also, love at first sight was the stand of Artflex. Lots of velvet with moody hues mixed with fresh splashes of yellow.. The striking lamps left a great impression – simply because they look like art installations on the wall! ❤

Colorful details at Artflex
Colorful details at Artflex
Colorful, moody details at Artflex
Colorful, moody details at Artflex

Kartell does not need to be introduced to interior design fans, but still, let me tell you, the product display alone left us speechless! Design fairs tend to be challenging when it comes to photography, and some photos do not do justice to the installations and objects. Still, I am trying to translate all the beauty of Kartell at Salone in only a few images – challenging to make images as vivid as reality but just take a look at this colorful looks:

Colorful details at Kartell
Colorful details at Kartell
Colorful details at Kartell, copyright Kartell
Colorful details at Kartell, copyright Kartell

And here goes an incredible fun fact – when you see Mr. Berlusconi himself hanging at the very same stand, as you do, you simply KNOW you are experiencing one go THE MOST important designers of the fair! Thank you, Poliform and Natuzzi!

moody details at Poliform
moody details at Poliform
Poliform Desk at Salone del Mobile, photocredit: Poliform
Poliform Desk at Salone del Mobile, photocredit: Poliform

Talking about the creative process of the designers, it was truly interesting to experience the history behind the creative sketches of Claudio Bellini for MDF  !

sketches by Claudio Bellini for MDF, Copyright MDF
sketches by Claudio Bellini for MDF, Copyright MDF
sign filo sedia design by MDF, copyright MDF
sign filo sedia design by MDF, copyright MDF

If you need gorgeous shelving ideas, you can find them here at Annibale Colombo – here is a wonderful example for all kinds of interiors:

Mettitutto Stefano Boeri for Annibale Colombo, Copyright Annibale Colombo
Mettitutto Stefano Boeri for Annibale Colombo, Copyright Annibale Colombo

Usually, interior fairs do take a lot of energy but this time I came back as energized, as I have never been before! Ok, and the LA DOLCE VITA didn’t hurt either;-)

Thank you for this gorgeous opportunity DDN – and for all of you, if you like to see the video of the tour, you can take a sneak peek here...

White blossom spring arrangement

Finally, it’s here… The special time of the year when I can start foraging and making wild arrangements again! These gorgeous white blossoms were the first ones to bloom outside so I decided to gather a few and decorated the kitchen! I am so deeply thankful for spring, so get prepared to see more of blooming wonders like these…

White blossom spring arrangement
White blossom spring arrangement
White blossom spring arrangement
White blossom spring arrangement
White blossom spring arrangement
White blossom spring arrangement
White blossom spring arrangement
White blossom spring arrangement
White blossom spring arrangement
White blossom spring arrangement

Kein Jahreszeitenwechsel, ohne große Veränderungen! Ich bin so dankbar, dass sich die ersten Blüten zeigen… Diese weißen Lieblinge haben bei uns als erstes geblüht und das ist auch der Grund, warum ich diese als erstes, größeres, Blumenarrangement zeige… Sind sie nicht wunderschön?

Ich wünsche einen sagenhaft schönen Frühlingsanfang und bis ganz bald mit vielen neuen Blumensträußen!

A. XO