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57 posts categorized "Face to Face"

9 questions with Anna Pirkola

Bloesem Living | 9 Interior styling questions with Anna Pirkola

Styling by Anna Pirkola, Photography by Juho Huttunen

Working on the latest Bloesem Gazette Volume 5 reminds us that we're so honoured to be able to get to know and collaborate with so many creative minds from all over the globe.. If you have read the Gazette, you would have seen that we have gotten the golden opportunity to gather wise words from the movers and shakers across all different mediums. In the styling category we invited Anna Pirkola to shed some light on some interior styling related questions.. it's always fun to hear what the pros have to say, don't you agree?

A designer and interior stylist, Anna Pirkola's style is simple and clean, but welcoming. She uses lots of white and light colours to bring out certain statement pieces, but at the same time she isn't afraid to stray and make use of dark tones too.

For us to all get to know her a bit better, we're sharing a little Q&A we did with the lovely Anna..

Bloesem Living | 9 Interior styling questions with Anna Pirkola

Photography by Juho Huttunen

Bloesem Living | 9 Interior styling questions with Anna Pirkola

Styling by Anna Pirkola, Photography by Katri Kapanen

Tell us about your most interesting piece of furniture in your living room. 

The old Skanno arm chair that we got from my mother in law. I upholstered it with the paper fabric I found from Artek. I found three layers of old fabrics that really told their story of the different decades. You know crazy 90's prints with bright colours and blueish fabric with really really small flowers printed on it?

Totally. So which would you say is your favourite furniture decade?

1950’s and 1960’s. Lots of design classics were made in those decades.

Bloesem Living | 9 Interior styling questions with Anna Pirkola

Styling by Anna Pirkola, Photography by Juho Huttunen

Which is your favourite corner in your home? Describe it and tell us why you love it!

I have to say our kitchen. I almost hated it when we moved in and it didn't take that long before my friend and I started to rip it down. It was one of the best decisions I've made. There's no walls between our kitchen and living room, so I could see the old and ugly kitchen even when I was sitting on the living room sofa. One thing I really like about our new kitchen is that we did it with a very low budget and because of that we used more imagination and thought through every option. With more money I guess we wouldn't have had the plywood level. That would have been such a shame. 

Agreed! Do you have any tips for decorating on a budget then?

The most important thing is to give it some time. The first solution could be quite expensive and if you think it through, you can find something else that is more wallet-friendly. The easy and cheap way is to paint a wall, or just a part of it. It can really change the whole atmosphere of the room even if you leave everything else as they were. What I really loved when I was a kid, was juts to reorganise furniture, shift things around and collect flowers from the backyard.

What would you say is your go-to colour scheme for your home?

There’s so much going on all the time, so I like to keep my home very simple, very calm, and in other words, pretty Scandinavian. Monochromatic colours like white and grey create the perfect canvas for furniture, bookshelves and everything else with more colours.. You can easily change the whole look and vibe by just making some changes to the furniture or even items on the bookshelves, but I like to keep the background simple.

Gotta agree on the white walls! They just go with everything. Now how about your dream home? Tell us some attributes of how it would be like. 

High ceilings, big windows, lots of light, use of pure natural materials, be close to the sea and a beautiful view to look at when I'm having a breakfast.

Bloesem Living | 9 Interior styling questions with Anna Pirkola

Styling by Anna Pirkola, Photography by Katri Kapanen

That sounds absolutely lovely.. What are some of your favourite decor magazines to get inspiration from?

Asun - it's a new Finnish magazine, Kinfolk- just so beautiful, Open House magazine, Apartemento, Milk-home.

And your favourite furniture brand? 

Artek - I think it has special place in every Finn's heart. Simple and modern designs that never go out of style.

Bloesem Living | 9 Interior styling questions with Anna Pirkola

Styling by Anna Pirkola, Photography by Katri Kapanen

What interior trends do you foresee in the coming 2016? 

White is not going anywhere, but there's going to be more shades of it. Lifestyle is coming more and more into focus. So the slow life is something to to think about. That means more arts, handcrafts, DIY, and environmental solutions..

Thanks so much for your time Anna, and for your amazing contribution to our latest Bloesem Gazette yet!

.. Anna Pirkola
.
Bloesem Gazette Volume 5

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Meeting Anna Lenti

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It was such an honour for Bloesem to have the opportunity to interview and meet co-founder of Paola Lenti, Anna Lenti, last week in the DREAM showroom. Sitting on a Paola Lenti piece and being surrounded by many other designs in their collection, it was too surreal. We did have to pinch ourselves to believe it. If you have ever visited the DREAM showroom along River Valley road, you might have noticed the room to the right where the high ceiling and large windows let all the sunlight in. It was the perfect setting to be sitting on outdoor furniture and talking to the one of the founders of the company that created them.

Having been fans of the brand for years, Bloesem last featured Paola Lenti during their exhibition at the 2012 Milan Fair, little did we know that 3 years later, we would be sitting on the same couch as Anna Lenti. We took the opportunity to talk to her about how the company has changed over the years and what sets them apart from their competition.

Bloesem: As a relatively young company, it's impressive what Paola Lenti has achieved. What did you and your sister foresee at the start of the company and did you imagine achieving this much in such a short period of time?

Anna Lenti: Probably not at the beginning. But since the beginning I think we had a very clear idea on what we would like to do, and especially how we would like to do. We have always tried to do something that doesn't exist in the market and that's why we really started doing the outdoor collection...

The interview continues after the cut..

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A: .. And I think it's really the outdoor collection that gave a push to the company because when we started in 2001, there didn't exist anything like our outdoor [collection]. These things take a little bit of time to be recognised in the market, because the market was not ready at that moment. That makes the company really, really grow. What is important is that since the beginning we knew how we would like to do things. We were always keeping to this direction, we have never changed our mind, we have never changed our way to see things. That I think is very important.

B: Could you tell us more about the dreams, passions and vision for the future for Paola Lenti?

A: I think that's a bit difficult [laughs] What we really wanted to see for the future is that the way that we have started. Not to work on a single concept or a single product but to work on more of a lifestyle. We have started with the outdoor, where we have introduced the Cabanne system. Not only what's inside but also the container for the product. Then we have again introduced with the indoors, where we started with the rugs but we are also looking indoors. So maybe next step would be Paola Lenti Complete Home. [laughs]

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B: Where do you and your sister find inspiration for new collections?

A: You can find from everything. You can find from nature and outdoor. Any original piece object. You can find it in everyday life. A lot from tradition, history, old Italian art - this is a great inspiration.

B: Since you do all these furniture, how is your own homes, the outdoor spaces, how does it look like?

A: I don't have an outdoor space, because Paola and I, we live in an apartment. So we don't have an outdoor space.

B: That's interesting!

A: Our house is very simple. Of course we have some of our products but for the moment not an outdoor space.

B: Soon, hopefully. [laughs]

A: In my home for example, I love living on the rug - sit on the rug, using the poof as a little table.

B: If you can use three words to sum up Paola Lenti's designs, what would you use?

A: I say simple, colours, and tradition.

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Paola Lenti swatches at the DREAM showroom.

B: What are some of the most memorable projects for you in the history of Paola Lenti? And maybe a project that really pushed you guys into the limelight?

A: I think the first outdoor of the Island Collection that we have introduced. It is something that we will always remember because it was the line that really pushed us to grow. And then probably when we have introduced a few years ago, the concept of In The Key of Colour,
because in the beginning we were very limited in the number of colour selections. But with this idea we have started mixing the colours of our materials together so we have introduced a range of 200 different colours. This was another big step of the company. And of course, I think 2 years ago, when we started with this thing called the Simply Indoors, when we started producing fabric for the indoors.

B: So what would you say makes Paola Lenti pieces stand out from other outdoor pieces?

A: First of all, I think it's the quality. To do outdoor pieces is not easy. Now I think almost all the companies is coming to the outdoor. But to produce outdoor pieces, it's not easy. For us, it took 3 years to arrive at the proper materials. We did a lot of research to get to there with the supplier that produce the fibres and we always aim to improve the materials. So this is one thing. It's easy to say this is for outdoor, but sometimes it's not really for outdoors. 

And the other thing is that we were the first to introduce the outdoor pieces that really had the same concept and construction as the indoor pieces. So comfort, and style, same materials so that there are no borders between the indoor and the outdoor. So I think it's plus this factor. Nobody has the combination of material and colour that we have, due to the fact that we produce the colours. So we produce the furniture, but we also produce the fabrics of the furniture. This is something very difficult, because we always say that we are two companies - one produces fabric and one produces furniture. So I think it makes a big difference.

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B: What does 'Made in Italy' mean to you?

A: I think Italy has a long tradition of manufacturing, and all the different aspects. So for us it's very very important to keep the production in Italy for many reasons. Firstly, we like to maintain this tradition. For example, the weaving, all the kind of weaving you see are produced in Italy. This tradition is very old, but it started not to be very exploited anymore because most of the brand are going to produce in Asia cause it's cheaper. So we are proud to say that we are now creating again this culture and work flow because our supplier is starting to get young people to teach them the way of weaving so this I think this is something we want to do. 

Another thing that is very important to keep the production in Italy is that in today's world, we have to try to be ecological. So the system, to send back and forth the materials, the transportation, for us is something not very ethical. So we are trying to avoid it as much as possible.

B: I think that's things people don't really take into consideration when you test a piece and you need to send it back.

A: Yeah. In Italy there's the tradition of doing this kind of craftsmanship. So it's good that we keep these in Italy. Our aim is also to create a school, to teach young people to do these. Something in the future we would love to do.

B: So with the humidity in Singapore, is there an emphasis in the materials like through research and development, do how do you focus on the materials to make sure that it's suitable for a lot of different climates?

A: We have to take into consideration all of the aspect of the outdoors. One of course is the sun. We have to test the material to make sure that it doesn't change in the sunlight. In the same time you have to take into account the humidity. So the test we do on the material, we develop together with the lamps because there is no real specification for outdoor. We have always set to combine humidity with sunlight with salt water because we work a lot with the sea and the yacht, with the chlorine water for swimming. So you have to take into account all these single aspect. The fibre we choose is very durable in the point of view of humidity so it really doesn't absorb the humidity very much.

B: Do you believe that the people in Asia are able to enjoy the designs similar to people in Europe? We think in Singapore, it's not so common for people to go outside and sit in the sun for a long time because you'll start to perspire.

A: But I think why not, really? We also work with other countries that are very hot, very humid like the Central America, South America, Middle East also, maybe it's not so humid but it's very hot there. If you look at the fashion in Asia, you have such a nice and beautiful taste so I see a lot of things in common with the taste also.. it's universal.

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Anna lenti and Gian Rizzi (Export Manager) at the DREAM showroom.

Anna was so down to earth and sweet, we are so glad to have gotten the chance to meet her. A big thanks to the DREAM team for this wonderful opportunity!

Image credits: Paola Lenti (top 3 images)

.. DREAM
.. Paola Lenti
.. DREAM facebook
.. DREAM instagram 

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Carmen Von Trueba

Bloesem living | Get to face to face with designer Carmen Von Trueba

Early last year, we started seeing alot of amazing poster and prints online and we even shared one such collection. Remember the Veggie collection by Von Trueba? Yes the ones with the amazing leaves that have been a hit everywhere.. people are really loving the leaves nowadays. Of course flowers are classic but leaves are a nice change.. but before we get too carried away.. we thought we'd introduce you to the young talent behind the Von Trueba prints, Carmen. 

Hi Carmen, tell us a little about yourself.

I was born in Murcia (Spain), and after years drawing and traveling I decided that Architecture could be my thing. I graduated from the Polytechnic University of Valencia, where I also won awards and prizes for design, art, and innovation.

Nowadays I am based in London, and have several platforms where I show my designs (inspired by geometry and materials), and illustrations.

Could you share with us 3 of your favourite spots in your city?

 My favourite spots in London are: Shoreditch, Southbank and Kensington gardens.

Are there any design hangouts or places you can go to meet other creates where you live?

Here in London it is rare not to always have something to do or somewhere to go to. You have to be tuned in because there is always something going on, sometimes is stressful because I dont want to miss anything.

More about Carmen after the cut..

Bloesem living | Get to face to face with designer Carmen Von Trueba

Bloesem living | Get to face to face with designer Carmen Von Trueba

What is one important lesson you have learnt on your creative journey?

Trust yourself, at the end, everything that comes out from you in a natural way is good, you have to trust, and do not ever think about whether people are going to like it.

Is there a piece of advice you would share with budding designers who are still in school or thinking of quiting their day job?

The same as I told you before. Everyone has something to offer, and that is the best part. Trust your feelings and your creations, let them be. 

Do you remember the moment you decided you wanted to do what you are doing now?

Not really. I think I have always loved to "create". No matter if it is a building, a print or a store window. Design has always driven me happy.

Where do you find inspiration? Perhaps a favourite blog or website?

 I find inspiration in nature, in geometric forms, pure forms. I love nordic design, textures.

Finish this sentence -- "if i could, i would..."

If I could, I would ALWAYS.

Bloesem living | Get to face to face with designer Carmen Von Trueba

Bloesem3

Bloesem living | Get to face to face with designer Carmen Von Trueba

All images courtesy of Von Trueba.

.. Von Trueba

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Jujumade

Bloesem Living | Jujumade designer interview

Bloesem Living | Jujumade designer interview

You should know by now that we, at Bloesem love all things ceramic..so we were so thrilled to discover Juliana Hung,  the creator behind Los Angeles-based Jujumade, and her lovely line of hand sculpted ceramic and leather accessories. Simple yet unexpected is how we would like to describe Julie's designs. We love the simplicity in them and how she never fails to add a playful touch to each of her designs. We are dreaming of wearing all of them! 

P.s. please do not be confused with Studio JuJu which we are also big fans of! 
 
Bloesem Living | Jujumade designer interviewJuliana hard at work in her studio.

Bloesem Living | Jujumade designer interview

A short description of yourself and what you do.

My name is Juliana Hung, but everyone calls me something different! Nicknames range from Julie, Jules, juju, ju, jujubee, ju bear- the list goes on and on, but the prefix always stuck. I started the jujumade blog about 2 years ago and eventually this lead me to creating my own line. I wanted to document all the things that I found interesting, and things that I was making. Mainly it was a way for me to keep track of everything inspirational and creative. I was working full time as an industrial designer, and that required me to be very precise and technical. So after work when I was free from that, all I wanted to do was work with my hands and be completely outside of computers and machines! Working with ceramic and leather are the perfect fit - I can morph things into shape with clay, and sew flat sheets of leather into something wearable! What I create is inspired by the potential of the material I am working with.

The motivation behind jujumade is to create something unexpected, playful, yet completely wearable. The collection ranges from bags, bangles, necklaces, earrings, and newly added hand woven straw hats - a little something for everybody!

Bloesem Living | Jujumade designer interview

Bloesem Living | Jujumade designer interviewPieces from the Jujumade Spring/Summer 2015 collection.

Could you share with us 3 of your favorite spots in your city?

1. South Pasadena Farmers market - it is small but full of great stuff
2. Huge Tree Pastry - this is where I get my taiwanese breakfast fix!
3. Fiore Market Cafe - Best roast chicken sandwich! 

Are there any design hangouts or places you can go to meet other creatives where you live?

I do some of my work at a communal ceramic studio, and it is always so fun and inspiring to see what people are working on! You also get motivated by what people set out to do. I also have great friends that also have their own design ventures and that is also a great resource to bounce ideas off of. 

Bloesem Living | Jujumade designer interview

What is one important lesson you have learnt on your creative journey?

I think it is so important to be constantly be exploring new ideas, I think this keeps me going and keeps things interesting. I don't put everything I make into my collection, but everything I've worked on helps push me forward one way or another. 

If you can learn any tips on how to run your own business, absorb it, learn it, ask for it. I never really learned how to run a small business, I'm learning as I go but it is definitely the hardest part.

Is there a piece of advice you would share with budding designers who are still in school or thinking of quitting their day job?

Just go with it! I figured, if we don't try while we can, then there will always be regret. 

Do you remember the moment you decided you wanted to do what you are doing now?

I always knew I wanted to start something of my own, but after graduating from Art Center College of Design, I just didn't know how or where to start. While working after graduating, I started experimenting with different crafts and also took several different classes. Everything really came together when I starting picking up clay again, and somehow the idea of mixing clay and other materials really interested me. I found that what I created seemed special to me, different and I could call it my own.

Bloesem Living | Jujumade designer interview

Bloesem Living | Jujumade designer interview

Where do you find inspiration? Perhaps a favourite blog or website?

When I was working full time as a industrial designer, I remember always looking at blogs every morning before I started working (it was like a morning ritual) and admiring the makers. Some day! I said to myself. I don't read blogs as much anymore but I love I'm Revolting, she is a good friend and has such a great eye.

Inspiration comes from everywhere! I was playing with my friend's baby girl, and her puzzles inspired me to create some necklace pieces that you can shift around. I've always like the idea making things adjustable, customizable - so all the necklaces are adjustable in some way- you can play with the spacing of the beads, shorten or length to what ever you like!

Bloesem Living | Jujumade designer interview

Finish this sentence -- "if we could, we would..."

if we could, we would surf and eat donuts all day! 

.. Jujumade

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Face to Face: Interview with Present and Correct

Bloesem Living | Face to Face: Interview with Present and Correct

If you are a stationery lover (like us!), you will seriously fall in love Present and Correct, an independent stationery store, home to carefully curated supplies that evoke a certain classic vibe. In the recent issue of the Bloesem Gazette, we spoke with its founder, Neal Whittington, about the emotions he hopes to bring to customers through his products.

If you could choose a type of stationery to describe yourself, which would you choose and why?

Definitely some kind of paperclip, because it attaches itself to ideas and clings on.

How do you constantly keep yourselves inspired to create such fun stationery?

We are big fans of the internet! There is so much good stuff online, particularly old design archives, full of things to inspire. Also other people making stationery inspires in that it spurs you on to do your own thing. Travelling to markets and collecting as we go is another great source of inspiration. We have a drawer full of old ephemera, which we always look through for ideas.

Bloesem Living | Face to Face: Interview with Present and Correct

 More about Present and Correct after the cut..

Bloesem Living | Face to Face: Interview with Present and Correct

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Looking through your collection brings us back to the times in school. What kind of emotions do you hope your products bring out in your customers?

That’s good to know, we love old educational supplies. I think a feeling of nostalgia is nice but also a feeling of being organised. A sense that you are ready to get stuff done! Also if the things we supply bring a very basic sense of pleasure then that is great. 

We find it hard to keep track of my activities sometimes. What products do you use to keep your life organised?

A good paper diary beats any kind of digital version. A notebook and a pen on your person will always mean you are ready and also a nice watch helps too.

Bloesem Living | Face to Face: Interview with Present and Correct

Bloesem Living | Face to Face: Interview with Present and Correct

With the shift online, so many people are using online calendars and other apps to replace physical notebooks and stationery, how do you keep your products relevant?

We like to think that a well designed product will always be relevant because it looks and feels good. Also humans are cyclical in that when a way of life swings so much one way it is almost an instinct to claim back the opposite. The antithesis of all that digital paraphernalia is a notebook and a pen. I do wonder whether younger people will feel the same at our age though, as they grow up in a schooling system with more and more technology.

Which Present and Correct product is a hot item and how does this influence your design and purchasing?

The current hot items are the desk caddy and also our paperclip chart and some pencil cases from Delfonics. They have been doing very well this festive period. Our purchasing strategy does not change ever. If we like it then it is in. The shop is our taste, objects we would want to have on our desk.

Bloesem Living | Face to Face: Interview with Present and Correct

Bloesem Living | Face to Face: Interview with Present and Correct

What’s in store for Present and Correct in 2015?

There are always dreams and lists of things we would like to do. A book would be great, we have one in the works but it is not about stationery as such. It would be great to make some more products next year and also think about a new or another space. We have filled our current shop already! And the website will get an overhaul too. The main thing really is that we keep enjoying what we do and other people enjoy it as well. 

Bloesem Living | Face to Face: Interview with Present and Correct

Images courtesy of Present and Correct.

.. Present and Correct
.. Read the Bloesem Gazette " The Conversation Issue"

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First or Second

Bloesem Living | Face to Face: Interview with April and May

Being avid fans of April and May blog, we were delighted to speak with the authors this interior design blog, Jantine Vaartjes and Vivian Hoebe, on their newest endeavour. Just last year, they opened a physical concept store, First or Second, in The Netherlands featuring beautiful furniture and even a cafe. It was clearly visible that the concept of the store was closely related to their online blog and greatly fitted the April and May feeling. We jumped in and got some insights into their inspirations behind the stunning store in our latest issue of the Bloesem Gazette

Why a store? and why now?

In the beginning of 2014 we were asked if we were interested in working on a new store concept for an existing store in the city, Alkmaar. The owner of the store wanted a new and different concept and a completely different atmosphere. We decided to create a new concept for the store and added a new collection of brands and products to the existing collection. Not only did the interior change, but also the name and branding changed into First or Second (design choices). The project was a challenge because of the size of the store with approximately 2000 square meters and the time issue where we had to finish the concept, restyling and new collection within 4 months. But we managed and the result is a completely new store that breathes a totally different atmosphere and experience.

What is your inspiration behind 1 or 2 Store? How does the blog translate into the store?

We wanted to create more than just a store, somewhere you can experience products and brands in a different way. A place where first experiences lead to second moments. A combination of design, vintage design and products (first or second). We divided the store into different areas with a 1or2 cafe, 1or2 villa, 1or2 art and 1or2 kids spread over almost 3 levels. With the 1or2 villa you can experience products in a real villa and be inspired to use them in your own home. We have a kitchen in the villa that is used for cooking sessions and workshops. Just like with our blog, we wanted people to get inspired in a different way compared to how stores usually present their collections.

Bloesem Living | Face to Face: Interview with April and May

 More about First or Second Store after the cut..

Bloesem Living | Face to Face: Interview with April and May

Bloesem Living | Face to Face: Interview with April and May

Can you tell us about your favourite product in the store?

Jantine: I personally like everything in the gallery (1or2 art) where you can find great graphic prints, posters, cards and stationery. One of my favourites are the prints by Studio Esinam.

Vivian: All the products from the MENU section in the store. Beautiful products that fit perfectly in the entire space located next to the 1or2 cafe, designed by Norm Architects.

1 or 2 is so much more than a store, it even has a beautiful cafe. What are your favourite aspects of the entire business?

For the cafe, we worked together with Norm Architects. We visited them in March 2014 and told them about the concept we were working on with plans for a cafe where we wanted to use and present the products from the brand MENU. They were excited about this idea and created the design for this cafe. In the cafe, you can experience all of the products from MENU, you can even enjoy a nice cup of coffee or tea and buy your favourite products.

Bloesem Living | Face to Face: Interview with April and May

Bloesem Living | Face to Face: Interview with April and May

What’s in store for April and May in 2015?

We have been working very hard on this new store concept in 2014 and have finished this project with a great result and we are really proud of the result. For 2015, we will be working on a new look and feel for April and May with a new branding and logo, new blog style and a changed look and feel for our online store byAprilandMay. 

Images courtesy of April and May.

.. April and May
.. First or Second Store
.. Read the Bloesem Gazette " The Conversation Issue"

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