If you’re a fan of new meets old when it comes to architecture and interiors then you’ll love this incredible space in Cologne, Germany. The recently unveiled QVEST Hotel was conceptualized by Michael Kaune, the owner of QVEST magazine, and combines Neo-Gothic architecture with contemporary art and design. Built in 1897, the building was formerly the home of the Historic Archive of Cologne. Today, the heritage site boasts 34 exquisitely designed hotel rooms furnished with pieces by Corbusier, Jacobsen, and other design greats. Guests can even shop similar pieces in a well-curated boutique on the premises. Can you imagine waking up to sun streaming in those spectacular windows…?! Adding Cologne to my travel wish list!
Have you ever wanted a replica Taj Mahal? How about an Eiffel Tower? Thanks to the Etsy shop, Paper Landmarks, now you can one of each. This clever boutique based in Latvia sells paper model kits and assembled models of the world’s most famous architectural landmarks. I love that you can buy them finished if you’re lazy (tempting!), or for those that are more crafty, assemble it yourself. Wouldn’t they be a great family project or gift for older kids? You can also “upgrade” your order by selecting a custom color (perhaps you desire a pink Arc de Triumph or blue Parthenon…). There are over 30 models to choose from and you can find them all here. I’m leaning toward the Taj Mahal, which would you choose? Would you order it pre-assembled or do-it-yourself?
After kicking off the morning with minimalist envy, I thought it would be fun to finish on a more traditional note. This converted barn by Emma Burns is straight out of my English countryside dreams. Originally published in the February 2014 issue of House & Garden, the converted space is a small gem on Emma’s country property. A senior director at iconic English decoration firm Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler, Ms. Burns renovated her shed to make room for all her books (a woman after my own heart!). The original barn doors were transformed into shutters and painted with a glossy coat of Farrow & Ball’s ‘Pigeon’ blue. The sitting room is flanked by bookshelves, a panel of which opens to reveal a secret bathroom. On one side of the room a ladder reaches up to a small study and on the opposite side a ladder gives access to a tiny bedroom. I’ll be dreaming of a weekend invite…
I love these striking residences designed by Oscar Properties based in Stockholm, Sweden. The apartments are all understatedly chic—modern with warm, livable touches. Combing through all the different properties in their portfolio was inspiring to say the least. I think the Lyceum above may be my favorite. Which would you choose…?
If you love London’s Sir John Soane’s Museum as much as I do, you’ll be thrilled to learn they’ve recently expanded. The second floor private apartment of the famous English architect is now on public view for the first time in 160 years. I can’t wait to see his blue and white china collection in person. Also on view is the special exhibition, “Inspired by Soane: I Found This And Thought of You,” which features postcards illustrated by prominent creatives such as Manolo Blahnik, Zaha Hadid, and Christopher Bailey of Burberry. That’s Bailey’s take on the museum above…charming, indeed. Book your tour of the Sir John Soane’s private residence here.
VISIT: Sir John Soane’s Museum, 13 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London, England
My fellow architecture lovers will appreciate these handsome sculptures by English company Chisel & Mouse. Founded in 2011 by brothers Robert and Gavin Paisley, the young workshop is based in the Ashdown Forest in East Sussex. Their lovely renderings are made of plaster using traditional sculpting, moulding and casting techniques combined with CAD and 3D printing. The substantial finished pieces can be used as decorative accents, bookends, or can even be framed in shadowboxes for wall display. I especially admire Frank Lloyd Wright’s iconic Guggenheim above, but there are countless charming options to choose from. Too early to begin my Christmas list…?