Author Archives: Danielle

BEAUTIFUL HAND-MADE LITTLE FORREST CREATURES

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Aren’t these stuffed animals the cutest?! In Etsy shop Lesne you will find magical woodland creatures which are born in a magic village called Radzewice. This place’s got a big river running through it and it is surrounded by old trees, lots of bouncing deers, happy singing birds and of course the enchanted red fox. All animals are hand-made, production time is 2-3 weeks. I will be ordering Robin the Fox (top image) for my son!

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THE TRAVEL FILES: PENSAO AGRICOLA IN PORTUGAL

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Pensão Agrícola is a small rural hotel(only six rooms) located between the historic town of Tavira and Cacela Velha, a picturesque clifftop fishing village in Portugal. The original farmhouse was built in 1920 as a wedding present to the owners’ only daughter and it remained a working farm until 1970. After 40 years of neglect, the memories of those more prosperous times have been preserved and incorporated into the current architectural project by Atelier Rua. On the shady terrace next to the farmhouse, guests can enjoy a delicious, generous breakfast, or take other light meals by the plunge pool. Thanks to the owners’ eye for detail and care to preserve precious curiosities, each room is a minimal delight, with carefully considered details such as industrial lamps from the 1940 and 50s, and pieces by local artists including Joana Astolfi and Márcio Vilela.

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A CONTEMPORARY OASIS IN THE MIDDLE OF MARAKECH

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This beautiful home, owned by Australian Cassandra Karinsky, is located in Marrakech but it doesn’t scream Moroccan. The interior design with its white walls and floors looks more Scandinavian to me. In the dining room various styles and materials are mixed. The leathers chairs and the pendant lights from the 50s are flea market finds. In contrast to the otherwise bright apartment, the kitchen is decorated in dark colors, with black tiles and gray walls. On the open shelves are colorful ceramics from local artisans.

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AN 18TH CENTURY HISTORICAL HOME IN HUDSON VALLEY, USA

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This beautiful historical home in Hudson Valley (USA) oozes character and personality with its original features such as the wide-planked floors, exposed beams and original built-in cabinets. The owners, a young Brooklyn-based couple, hired Tara Mangini and Percy Bright of Jersey Ice Cream Co for the interior design. They did a great job y modernizing the home without losing losing the original charm and historic character of the building. Such a beautiful and warm home!

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THE FASHION FILES: OFF-WHITE FOR SUMMER

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I love off-white for summer, especially when combined with brown leather sandals and gold and/or turquoise accessories. Above: cotton striped dress by Isabel Marant

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cardigan by Isabel Marant (now 30% off) // cotton striped dress by Isabel Marant // turquoise and leather bracelet (now 40% off) // K Jacques St Tropez’s sandals // handmade Greek white leather sandals // classic tennis shoe style sneaker by Isabel Marant // gold-plated turquoise earrings // artisan made straw clutch // straw hat

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A RUSTIC CHIC HOLIDAY RENTAL ON IBIZA, SPAIN

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This beautiful villa is a luxurious vacation rental located in Ibiza, isolated on more than 10,000 square meters of land, with a spectacular view of the sea. From here you can watch the sun set every day of the year. Even in the summer, when the island tends to get more crowded, this is still a rather quiet and peaceful place, perfect to calm down and relax. The building, which is about 150 years old, had been abandoned for 40 years. It had no ceiling and the walls were crumbling and there was no electrical wiring. Renovations took about five years. However, the first two years were spent gathering permissions and getting all paperwork in order. The house is protected due to its location close to the sea as well as its age. The owner about the interior design: “We wanted to respect the building and the land, the simplicity of the place, so we kept all the aspects the house had 150 years ago, creating a dialogue between the past and the present. Therefore, the rooms were kept the same and the house was decorated in a simple and discreet manner with simple wooden furniture, kilims and individual pieces we collected throughout our travels.”

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TESTED: THE DYSON CINETIC BIG BALL VACUUM CLEANER

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I am not into gadgets or appliances: I don’t need to have the newest iPhone or iPad. And my 5-year-old desktop computer works just fine so there is no need to buy a faster, newer, slicker version. But there is one electrical product that I do get excited about. And that’s … a good vacuum cleaner! With a dog and kids running around the house a powerful vacuum cleaner can be a game changer. I discovered this a few years ago when I decided to spend a bit more money and bought a more expensive, better vacuum cleaner. But after a year of intensive use it got broken and unfortunately that particular model was no longer available. I never managed to find a vacuum that was equally powerful. I did look at Dyson vacuum cleaners as they get raving reviews but I was hesitant to actually buy one because I was not sure if it was worth the price tag.

So I got very excited (really!) when I got to test the new Dyson Cinetic Big Ball vacuum. This new model is the only vacuum that self-rights when toppled. Dyson engineers made this possible by assembling the vacuum’s components in a spherical array, with the heaviest nearest to the floor. Placing them inside a curved body with a low centre of gravity means that whenever the vacuum is displaced, gravitational forces will automatically return it to its upright resting position. Handy!

Another important feature of the Dyson Cinetic Big Ball is that it does not use bags or filters. Usually vacuums get less powerful with time as the filter needs to be cleaned or changed after a couple of loads (most of us tend to forget this including me). Also, bagged vacuums lose suction because the bags’ pores clog, blocking airflow. And most bagless vacuums use inefficient cyclones to separate dirt and dust from the air. Dust that isn’t captured passes onto the filter – clogging it. Dyson claims that because of the Dyson Cinetic technology the machine will maintain strong suction power for its working life. I was curious to see whether the Dyson would maintain its strong power even after weeks of intensive use. And I pleased to say that it did! After four loads (which is when usually a vacuum with filter loses strength as the filter needs to be cleaned) the suction power remained the same with the Dyson picking up the tiniest bits of crumbs and dust.

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