Saturday, April 17, 2010

the ice hotel

Mr Piggy and I made a trip to JukkasjÀrvi, Sweden in 2007. It is 200kms above the Arctic Circle. We stayed at The Ice Hotel- which is a hotel made entirely of ice. It melts and is re-built every year - redesigned each time by some fabulous sculptors and artists.

The doors are covered in reindeer skins.

Am I planning on building my home out of ice - no. But I think our personal photos are a fabulous source of inspiration for making something unique, breath taking and creative, out of something so simple. They have taken ice to a new level - taken some risks and come out on the other end with a concept so original, people flock from around the world. Minus 5 ice bars have been popping up in homage, such as the one in Sydney.

I would completely recommend for everyone to experience The Ice Hotel. Its a once in a lifetime experience. The photos simply do not do it justice!

The main hall - do you see Mr Piggy's hand poking out from behind the chair? This picture is my favourite!
Yes the chandelier is made out of ice!

The Ice Chapel. P.S. you can get married there

The hallway

The Designer Rooms

This was as fairly a classic room as you can find - except, it was entirely made out of ice!! The fire in the fireplace was carved ice!!

This was the side of one room. Water appeared to be cascading into a pool - but it was all ice of course!

This extra large, deluxe room even has its own sitting area for guests!

You wouldn't want the ice to touch bare skin on the way into bed!

The little hallway and door led into this room

This room was so simple, it looked amazing. It looking like water droplets were hitting the wall and the large ice you can see rising from the floor, was like the response of the water droplet. Amazing.

Very Arab-esque - like a bathhouse or something

This room scared us a little bit. The sculpture on the wall was a cross between a dark angel and Madonna (her boobs were pointy!)

The Snow Rooms

The Hallway

The Snow Rooms were cheaper than the Designer Rooms (but you still got to have a peek at the designer rooms! The snow rooms were a basic ice room with your own little ice carved sculpture!

FYI you sleep in extra warm thermal sleeping bags (you can even get double size for couples). It is placed on top of the reindeer skins, as the reindeer skins keep the cold away from under you. Your door is a little archway with a curtain for privacy.

The Ice Bar

The Ice Bar that started it all...
You drink out of cups made of ice of course!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

not shabby chic...SHABBY chic

The Rough Luxe Hotel in Regency Terrace in London's Kings Cross is redefining luxury with SHABBY chic! Ok, maybe they aren't calling it shabby chic - but I am! Once an area of shady characters, the buildings have quite a past - so instead of remodeling from scratch, they have embraced the past in this boutique hotel.

The walls are distressed and stripped back, leaving traces of paint and god knows what else. The stairs aren't pristine polished timber, but show traces of time gone by.

Would I want my house to look like this - well no. But I appreciate the uniqueness and raw quality of this design. You could go modern or classic with it quite easily and it really embraces the past. Some homes are very dated - and not in a good way - but instead of adding new layers to an old place, this really inspires me to buff things back and see what I find!

You know, the more I look at these images, the more I am drawn to them. The buffed back walls remind me of a time gone by - they remind me of my Nanna's house as I was growing up. The room looks neat and clean, but there is a quality that I cannot quite pinpoint. Its a unique beauty, somewhere between a remodelling stage and the final product - time standing still.

Antlers becoming a chandelier? Priceless!

I have to thank the Life and Leisure Luxury magazine for this image.
LOVE that magazine. Thanks Fairfax! 2009, issue 7.

Painted bricks and stencils work. It doesn't have to be perfect...

I have to thank the Life and Leisure Luxury magazine for this image on the left.
LOVE that magazine. Thanks Fairfax! 2009, issue 7.
website pic on the right

A more modern touch... and still with the shabby walls...genius!
Red in a bathroom... not my first choice but it looks fab


This is one of my favourite rooms! The colours of the walls have so much character and they work so perfectly with the furniture! They are made for each other!

I have to thank the Life and Leisure Luxury magazine for this image.
LOVE that magazine. Thanks Fairfax! 2009, issue 7.

So old world, warm and cozy...

website pic on top.
I have to thank the Life and Leisure Luxury magazine for this image on bottom.
LOVE that magazine. Thanks Fairfax! 2009, issue 7.

The finer details...

I am not sure if this is a wall or the floor...

So crazily easy to do D.I.Y!

All I have to say to this is... "ha!" Its ok to have a sense of humour in design...

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

served with grey goose vodka?

Who would have thought a patio could be so monotone, but so preddy!

Note to self:
  • rustic looking stones = recycled materials = cheap!
  • you don't need flowers and colour just because its a garden!
  • AND this means - water restrictions won't hurt your garden and our drought stricken country will thank you!
Thought to self...why do we so commonly think of English gardens? I think I need to look into some inspiration for gardens around the world! Just as long as it isn't those over-the-top Thailand gardens with elephants and Buddha! Don't get me wrong - Buddha is great, but I would rather concentrate on texture, light and shadow in a garden! And make it comfortable of course!

I can't build a wall, but I am thinking paving, garden edges - Indian gardens swathed in white fabric, shading you on a hot afternoon...

it's hot!

This bathroom feels so warm and cozy... and why not? It has it's own FIREPLACE! And a snazzy one at that! I love how the fireplace seperates the bedroom from the bathroom! No doors to clutter- and the fireplace can be shared!

The drop-in bathtub is a great way to have a bath that doesn't need to be up against a wall. I love the dark wood.