gorgeous holiday rental in the heart of the Alps!

Posted by sol in globe-trotting, I wanted to be an architect, life

It’s been a year since our plans of going abroad for a year were made and then brutally crushed together with knee ligaments and life threatening health issues. But we persisted, and now it’s really happening. I’ll be doing a master’s degree at the University of Reading starting in October, but we’re leaving in July to settle in and enjoy the English summer. It’s going to be amazing and it’s also going to be crazy expensive, so we have decided to put our place up for rent on AirBnB.

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Gingerbread house 2012

Posted by sol in craftulence, I wanted to be an architect, images

The lengthy celebration of Jesus’s birthday at our house starts traditionally on the second Sunday of December with the waste of otherwise perfectly good ingredients in the shape of a too-hard-to-chew cookie house.

This year I went to town and tried to replicate our actual house in gingerbread. Of course, the key word here is simplification.

With the remaining dough I made also some regular houses,

and invited some friends to help decorate and help eat the candy.

happy Christmas!






Posted by sol in craftulence, designer, I wanted to be an architect

I know it is insane to nourish feelings of love towards an inanimate object, but this sofa does exactly that to me. I’m not sure if it was the simplicity of the frame, or the fact that it’s soft without being blobby, but I think it’s an amazing design. (It’s such a shame that it costs what a worker makes in a year. I think the Bouroullec Bros or Vitra or both just lost their marbles.)

Anyway, for technologies class (if you think it’s my favourite class ever, you guessed right) I’m making a little… replica? It’s just a case study, don’t sue me. Today I made a version of the love seat on a scale of 1:10. It’s my new baby:

I used Quicksteel to put the frame together. I also drew a 3D version and I’ll threedeeprint it tomorrow.

I used light foam rubber and a 1€ ikea fleece blanket to sew the cushions and walls.

The zippers that hold the walls together are a great touch and I wanted to keep it in my model so I.wentout.and.bought.two.tiny.zippers.

I can’t wait to make an actual love seat like this for the boys’ room. They saw this tiny one and Damiano approved.



IKEA PS 2012 collection @ Salone del Mobile Milano

Posted by sol in designer, I wanted to be an architect, images, reviews

Yesterday I drove to Milan to see my set of wine glasses on display at the Salone del Mobile. Danese has shown interest in them and included them in their exhibition in the Fuori Salone. There was a lovely brunch with the well-to-do Milano folk. After that, I dashed to Ventura Lambrate where amongst many design schools in Europe, the best designs of My University were showcased. In that same part of town was the IKEA pavilion and after I stopped hyperventilating, I went right in. This is what I saw:

This chest of drawers is as fun as it looks. It is actually two: the square set on top is sold separately, and would make a good bedside table. I can see it with cooler knobs and a lick of paint. It’s in my wishlist.


The collection has a bunch of things targeted for children’s rooms and it’s fresh and fun.


The textiles are understated and pretty. I love these polka dots with a bit of ghosting.

This set of 3 nesting tables is very clever: the outer ones are made of powder coated sheet iron, the middle one is made of wood. When stacked, the middle one disappears in between the other two.

My love of chairs was tickled by this one. The form reminds of a swedish country chair, but it’s plastic. Light, sturdy plastic. I love plastic. It’s a shame I don’t have at least a second house to decorate, sigh. The lamps overhead are nice, too. Everything has a very geometric feel about it.


This bookshelf looks very pretty, but the door is one-piece so it’s not very practical, especially since the front is slightly slanted. In any case, judging by the amount of people drawn to it while I tried to snap this shot, they might have a winner.



The rugs are interesting, especially the laser cut felt ones. These bamboo nesting boxes with matching plastic drawers are really fresh and look very nice when hung up on a wall.

There’s plenty more, and also some things I cannot wrap my head around, like that horrible tutu lamp, but hey, de gustibus non disputandum est.

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chair p0rn

Posted by sol in art, designer, I wanted to be an architect

a bit of chair porn from my last week trip to London:





multicolored child size thonet chairs. Enough said.

At the Design Museum, a series of chairs most of which designed by Sir Terence Conran for his restaurants.

want want want



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little by little

Posted by sol in craftulence, I wanted to be an architect, I'm not proud

Please never lose your faith in me. I am a mess in all my undertakings, always too many and almost all at once. But it’s just because I’m slow and I have some attention deficit issues. But, sooner or later, I deliver. Here you go, three years after the first step in this strenuous project, and one and a half years after the second, the three back cushions of my sofa in their new covers. Less than a week after the completion of the much put off sewing, they’re already smeared with chocolate and other unknown substances, but it’s fine, you know why? because they’re finally brown.


With the same spirit, I finally managed to finish the curtains in our studio. This was probably the most unexpected project for me to finish, because a series of technical issues that seemed just unsurmountable (think ripping 24 meters of stupid seams) kept me even from thinking of tackling the job. I couldn’t have done it without Patricia’s visit, which constrained me to finally clean the craphole it had turned into. And thanks to my awesome mother-in-law, who helped me clean and purge the mountains of stuff I had buried in there, and upon finding the material for said curtains, offered to help. She managed in one hour what I hadn’t in a year or two. And then I just did some math and sewed some pleats. ta-daaaaaa

for these I bought two pairs of Ikea Lenda curtains  (back in the day when I got them , they cost 25 euros, and they were available in light blue) which are meant to hang vertically. I took off the tabs, sewed the pleats, and hung them horizontally. All in all it was a breeze because the size was purrrr-fect. The material is a lovely indian cotton with the right translucency. 50 euros and 20 months: perfection.

Next up, getting rid of the hot pink wall, painting it a very dark aubergine. Perhaps this weekend.

Oh, and let me brag about my new found working space. I was so buried in shit that not even Schliemann would’ve found it. Now it’s all nice!

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what’s in here?

Posted by sol in I wanted to be an architect

I so seldom clean up that when I do, my home seems worthy to be photographed.

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Gingerbread town 2010

Posted by sol in craftulence, cuisine or at least food on the plate, I wanted to be an architect, images, my sons are smarter than me

I’ll try to get over my blogger’s block (AKA lack of time) and will share these pretty things:

Santi’s been all snotty and coughing and generally miserable, but boy did he enjoy nicking my table with that pizza wheel.

Damiano is growing so fast, and he loves rolling dough.

Of course, his mommy wanted to be an architect.

If only it were as easy….

Or she could’ve been a mason.

A nice little Stepford.

Katie and the girls came to help with the decoration…

And Damiano decorated his with passion.

Santi watched, moaned and groaned, and ate a mountain of gummibears.

Lisi was very proud of her house. It was “hard work”, she said.

My boy’s super creative. With those edible pens he drew something very much like green snot on the facade.

Now we just need a hammer.



2010 Advent Calendar

Posted by sol in craftulence, I wanted to be an architect

Yesterday I was feeling crafty and happy about things (elated at my professor’s reaction to my folding chair: he said it was awesome!), so to celebrate I made this year’s advent calendar. Besides, it was now or never because I start a new project today and it looks like it’s going to be even harder than the last one.

So here it goes: I bought this great wrapping paper which is silver on one side and golden on the other and I cut it into 20cm x 25cm rectangles (8″ x10″), which I shaped into cylinders and glued in place. Then I sewed one of the open ends with christmassy red thread.

I made 24 of these, 12 on the silver side and 12 on the golden side. Then I put in kick knacks for the boys: bricks of lego, rubber animals, a whistle, a tiny harmonica,  tiny maracas, a small plastic compass, you get the drift: The junk that will hunt me for the next 12 months.

And in 5 of them there are also gummibears. Sorry boys, no chocolate: the whole bunch of prisms goes on the mantelpiece…

I then sewed the other end folding the opening crosswise to the first row of stitching, with christmassy green thread.

Then I cut out numbers free hand with my KATA. Odd numbers in red for the golden prisms, Damiano’s, and even numbers in green for the silver prisms, Santiago’s. Glued them on.




a folding chair: a preview of my homework

Posted by sol in designer, I wanted to be an architect

(update: working model photos!)

and flat:

Imagine putting a chair and a wall in the mad mix machine in every designer’s head.

That’s what we did, right after trying many other combinations, like the swing chair, the rug chair, the window chair, the credenza chair, and the door chair (among others).

This folding chair is, in all honesty, the result of putting a hammock and a wall, together in one simple object.

And why is that?

The seat is a hammock and the chair, when folded flat, can be used as a room divider, (providing one owns 4 of these chairs).

It is so flat that it is also very environmentally friendly, because it takes so little space during shipping. It is clever because it minimizes the use of materials maximizing the resistance of them all. The weave of the seat is made of easily replaceable gift tape. The chair is also easily personalized by choosing the colors of the tape, and the hammock – seat is easily re-weaved.

It is extremely light and it gives a concrete and aesthetically pleasing answer to the need of a chair that is a chair only when strictly needed: because who needs a chair when one is not sitting on it?

In today’s cities, where space is the most coveted luxury, tiny apartments are the norm, the demand for intelligent space saving solutions is in full swing. This chair gives a twofold response to this need: yes, it is a chair. But when not in used, its function is most important: in small living spaces, where often the different living units are concentrated in one single volume, the need for privacy and retreat is often overlooked. Our chairs, when hung together, form a light and flexible wall, to create the impression of a more structured and organized space.

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