Architect: yes and no. How to choose the right professional.

Ten years ago, we moved our atelier from Italy to Switzerland. Soon we learned that the Swiss are very much attracted by Italian art, much more than we had had the chance to see previously as visitors. We could see the interest of the most requiring among our would-be clients. However, when they look for guidance and support in creating an environment that represents them, making sure it brings all the comfort they desire, owners of luxury real estate turn to consultants such as architects and interior designers. Continue reading "Architect: yes and no. How to choose the right professional."

Covering Irregular Surfaces Is a Headache: How to Make It Go Away

Lately we have been called by an architect with a somewhat unusual request by one of his clients. While discussing the renovation of his villa – a luxurious building with some retro flavour, on the shore of a lake – the client pulled out a catalogue of whirlpool tubs, with a wide choice of models, such as we are now used to see in most specialised shops. The architect told us that the master bath in the villa is itself some kind of a monument to luxury: as big as your average drawing room, sporting four windows on three sides, it looks upon the garden of the villa, and the lake just beyond. Continue reading "Covering Irregular Surfaces Is a Headache: How to Make It Go Away"

Making mosaic with broken tiles is always a bad idea: here is why

We are often asked the same question by people who approach art mosaic for the first time: "Can you make me a mosaic with the leftover tiles, with the tiles I recovered, or that were given to me?" Our answer is always invariably the same: "No". In this post we shall explain the reasons why what appears to many as a good idea, is in fact a very bad one. Continue reading "Making mosaic with broken tiles is always a bad idea: here is why"

Do not let anybody choose your coatings. Hunt away boredom, and avoid the most common mistakes!

After the divorce, Mrs Adriana lived on her own. She worked full-time in her own perfumery, which was well on its way, and allowed her an easy, carefree life. Every evening, upon coming home, she relaxed by filling the bathtub and spending some twenty minutes in the water. Night after night, Adriana was having enough of staring at the same boring white wall. It had been her ex-husband's choice. Once again Adriana wondered why had she married a man so devoid of imagination. Yet she loved elegant, exclusive things; things he was totally incapable of understanding. Along the years, some of the tiles had come off; and where they had been replaced, you could tell the difference. How ugly, such a nameless wall ...but it wasn't her fault, Adriana thought; she shouldn't have let her husband in charge of everything. Had she had her way, there would be...0009-1-venere Yes! This is what I need, thought Adriana. I am still young and good-looking, she said to herself resolutely. I want the wall of my bathroom to carry a reproduction of the most beautiful lady, in the most beautiful bath setting of them all! This is what Mrs Adriana was thinking, as she called us to order a mosaic for her bathroom. Upon her request we designed Botticelli's «Venus», with the goddess of beauty being born from the foam of the waves of the sea. Continue reading "Do not let anybody choose your coatings. Hunt away boredom, and avoid the most common mistakes!"

Coatings for the Elite

New aesthetic trends in residential buildings are revolutionising the way in which house owners think and achieve the decoration of the living spaces. Even here in Switzerland, the times of the "grey boxes" are over: they are going out of fashion. The customer of a new building wants it to express his character. This leads to a growing interest in mosaic. Continue reading "Coatings for the Elite"

How to turn your ordinary bathroom in an exclusive wellness environment: The Stones that Heal

by Stefano Toria and Luciano Bonzini I am always happy to return to Liguria, the land in which my wife was born, and where I feel at home, as if I had been adopted. It has not to do only with the sea; the Ligurian land lives half way between reality and fantasy. A land with hard-working people and dreamlike landscapes, with whitewashed walls crawling all the way down to the sea besides the flagstone-paved «crêuze». Town centres with their typical endless «carruggi» full of perfumes beckoning you to go discover, or again colourful and tasteful foods with strong-sounding names: fugàssa, gianchetti, fainà, pignêu. IMG_3489 copia One walks round a dark corner at the border of a square, and is blinded by a dazzling light, with the strong scent of the sea at hand. One more corner, and under one’s feet is a «rissêu», of breath-taking beauty. Continue reading "How to turn your ordinary bathroom in an exclusive wellness environment: The Stones that Heal"

Exclusive Art

Each of us has an individual relationship with art. In the past it has been a pleasure for the few; along the twentieth century, artistic movements have emerged with an agenda of opposing to this elitist idea of art. One such movement has been the pop art of the 1950s in the UK, and mostly of the 1960s in the US. Artists the likes of Robert Rauschenberg or Jasper Johns have started the movement, and world-famous people like Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol have taken it to be known by the public. Indeed this was the point of the movement, the “popular art”. Works such as Warhol’s Campbell Soup tins, or Lichtenstein’s Happy Tears, have been reproduced in millions of copies and are appreciated by art lovers of all kinds; many have them hanging from the walls at home, making them into “popular” art strictly speaking. Almost in contrast to this extreme divulgation, a completely opposite way of conceiving art has developed at the same time. We might say it “revived”, because in a way it is like going back to the source. I’m talking of exclusive art. cappella_sistina   Continue reading "Exclusive Art"

Investing in art; choosing an artwork

At the present time, the art market is particularly lively. Investors diversify their investments: besides real estate and stock capital, they are also interested in works of art, seeking the advice of experts. Normally the investment consists of buying an art object by an established, well-known author; or else, the collector follows his own taste or aesthetic requirement. However, it can happen that one specific artwork is bought, without knowing its lastingness. What happens to the investment in such case? Will the artwork stay reasonably unaltered in time? and consequently, will the investment keep its value? HODR2343 Continue reading "Investing in art; choosing an artwork"

Which Colour? Five Secret Tips for a Correct Choice

Combining colours is an art. Some fail completely at it, while others find shelter in black and white, just to go safe; genarations of Italian children remember their mothers' shouts, "Go and get changed! You cannot go out with a red anorak on orange trousers!!"

When it comes to choosing artworks to be combined with the furniture in your home, you have the same problem--if not worse. Because if you wear the wrong coat, all you need to do is go back home and get another one; but if you fail the combination of colours in the decoration of your home, you've got to keep it the way it is (or spend more money to change).

So let's see the five secrets you need to know to make the right choice of colours, so that you don't have to give up an aesthetic experience for fear of going wrong. Continue reading "Which Colour? Five Secret Tips for a Correct Choice"