Minna Parikka's Home, Helsinki Finland

"There are seven months of gloomy weather in Helsinki. But in the world of Minna Parikka, the shoe designer behind those playful bunny trainers you've seen on the feet of celebs like Cara Delevingne and Kylie Jenner, grey doesn't have a place. Parikka's home might be right in the heart of her home city, but stepping inside is like being transported to a universe uniquely Minna — and that was exactly her intent. "I wanted to create a home that looks 100% like me and that does not follow the usual Nordic home design. I wanted it to be fresh, fun, and adventurous, but still comfortable and functional," says Parikka. "I love creating worlds that are filled with fantasy and escape from the mundane."Parikka's design skills know no bounds: she designed all the interiors herself with the same childlike wonder and practical functionality as her shoe designs. "There is nothing worse than a beautiful shoe that is impossible to wear or a unique home that makes every day more difficult," she says. The apartment's fluid layout is what attracted her to it in the first place; she could see it seamlessly accommodating her lifestyle. "I was immediately drawn to the high thatched ceiling of the upstairs open-plan living room and kitchen area and the tranquil downstairs bedroom and workspace," Parikka says.While there's no lack of color and pattern, Parikka means it when she says her home is hyper-functional. In typical Finnish fashion, there is virtually no clutter and everything is there for a purpose. "One of my favorite details is the TV cabinet that is masqueraded as a piece of art. The illustration of Ziggy Stardust by the fabulous NY-London based illustrator duo Craig & Karl," she says.Although picking a favorite spot is near-impossible, the pink monochromatic bedroom definitely tops her list. "The furniture is made to order: the bed and the padded leather headboard wall, fitted closets, bedside tables and the window shutters. Not to mention the pink carpet or even the ceiling," says Parikka. "The inspiration for the bedroom came from the totally pink Sketch restaurant in London."While there's not much about the apartment that pays tribute to traditional Finnish design, there's one thing that she couldn't forgo: "I love a sauna. It is the best way to relax after a long flight or day at work. It is common to have one in Finnish houses. It is the luxury of everyday life," she says of the bathroom's sleek built-in sauna.While switching from shoes to interiors is never an easy transition, Parikka wouldn't make a single change to her renovation. "I love designing interiors. I wish to keep the house as it is. It resembles my taste now and everything has its place. I don't need to buy even one more object for it." Hey, if the shoe fits." - elle decor / minna parikka

Alessandro Mendini Home, Italy

"Alessandro Mendini has a confession to make: “I never created furniture for a house of my own.” The 86-year-old Italian architect has long separated work and home, filling his humble Milan apartment—just upstairs from his atelier—with only simple, functional basics. But 12 years ago, as Mendini looked for a vacation home outside the city to share with his two grown daughters, Fulvia and Elisa, a photo-graph of a beauty in the Stile Liberty mode (Italy’s term for Art Nouveau) caught his eye in a real-estate agent’s office. “I immediately loved it,” he recalls. A private residence that served for a time as a summer camp for children managed by nuns, it sat snugly in the mountains of Olda, a village north of San Pellegrino Terme. Soon, keys in hand, Mendini felt something change: “I put my own furniture on display as if it were a museum and positioned them next to Liberty-style antiques.” The house makes me think, links me to the past, and detaches me for a few days from the speed of life and work. With a wildly prolific career of more than 50 years and counting, there was a lot of material to choose from. Mendini’s affinity for environments began earlier than most. Born prematurely in Milan in 1931, he and his twin sister were placed along with a couple of hot-water bottles in a large, zigzag-patterned armchair designed by Piero Portaluppi (who also decorated the family house) and left to incubate. From that improvised cradle, an infant Mendini gazed up at the Annunciation, a Surrealistic artwork by Alberto Savinio. “That was my first habitat,” he once wrote. “A Tyrolean Futurist arm-chair and a metaphysical painting.” After he graduated from architecture school at Milan Polytechnic, Mendini’s career took off in wild and unprecedented directions. Critical of bourgeois culture, he moved within the late-1960s anti-design Italian Radical movement, from which he went on to cofound (along with luminary Ettore Sottsass) Studio Alchimia and later designed for Memphis (founded by Sottsass). All the while, he built buildings, penned books, and served as the editor of Domus and Casabella. Discerning as he is, he created not only objects of contemplation, but also ones for practical use—corkscrews for Alessi, watches for Swatch, and plastic stools for Kartell, among countless others—that tirelessly deliver his cheerful wit to the masses. Of his new home, Mendini says, “It allows me to experiment, especially with color.” Sweet pastels—calamine-pink; pistachio-green—splash the rooms, which are filled with Technicolor furnishings. Like so much of Mendini’s work, the juxtapositions are improbable, even jarring. As design dealer Didier Krzentowski of Paris’s Galerie Kreo, a longtime collaborator with the designer, puts it: “He will never do something that is not himself. He really has his own world.” The star player of that world, of course, is Mendini’s unforgettable 1978 ode to French writer Marcel Proust: a baroque seat hand-painted with thousands of Pointillist brushstrokes. One of the limited-edition versions shares a sitting room with Fulvia. Two green plastic models produced by Magis—the design has been reimagined in dozens of materials ranging from marble to cast bronze—sit downstairs in the belvedere, and Pointillist spots sprinkle headboards, mirrors, and rugs all over the house. Mendini’s own works (rare prototypes, wild cabinets, and charming rugs) mingle with those of his friends, such as a gelatinous vase by Gaetano Pesce and circus-like poufs by Anna Gili, as well as a table that she designed for the Memphis Group. And all that vibrant modernity sits with the Stile Liberty antiques that came with the house and a cache of other venerables—small tables, lamps by Émile Gallé and Tiffany, a few bronze sculptures—purchased at an auction of decorations from the nearby Grand Hotel." - architectural digest / alessandro mendini

Ballantyne Street, Melbourne Australia - Foomann Architects

"The client’s brief was for a sustainable home that they intend on living in forever. The design was approached in this context; to be no bigger than required and enduring. This resonated strongly with our practice; every decision weighing up cost, longevity and environmental impact. Connection was a theme that encompassed planning and detail. A new informal side entry brings inhabitants and friends directly into the kitchen from the street. The living area joins the parents and kids zones. The expanse of glazing and detailing mitigates the distinction between indoors and out. Exposed composite timber columns and beams form the structure, unifying decorative element and planning device. The frames are integrated with joinery and relate to the furniture layout. They span from the street, across rooms and outdoor spaces; creating connection." - Foonmann Architects

The Drifter Hotel, New Orleans US - Nicola Cota Studio

"In New Orleans, a 1956 motel – a brick pile complete with period signage and typical low-rise architecture – underwent a refurbishment that retains the nostalgic feel of the structure while at the same time infusing it with modern tastes. “The overall vision of The Drifter is to provide a well-designed sanctuary space for open and like-minded locals as well as global explorers”, says co-founder of The Drifter Hotel, Jayson Seidman. Its location in an emerging neighbourhood may very well have something to do with that. Typically described as a ‘melting’ pot, New Orleans is a place full of lively sounds and delectable aromas. The city’s authenticity derives from its cultural legacy, in terms of music, food and libertarianism, and The Drifter positions itself as a hospitality concept for those who “are looking to seek out and discover some of the best kept secrets of any city”, according to Seidman. The Drifter boasts a private swimming pool, a pool bar with wooden and white tile accents, and a private courtyard space. Greenery is ample and lush thanks to New Orleans’ subtropical climate. Inside, the tiling recurs in different guises – on poles, patterned – while the terrazzo flooring and furniture is cozy and modern in muted tones. The guestrooms continue with the theme of pristine white tiles and bedding in combination with wooden details. “From a design perspective, I had a strong interest in respecting the late 1950s motel architecture”, says Nicole Cota, the founder of the eponymous studio which oversaw the project’s interior design. The Drifter certainly invites its patrons to kick about at their leisure. There’s a café with specialty coffee from La Colombe and baked goods, food trucks and pop-ups come round on a regular basis, and there’s also much for the eye to behold. With plans for a packed event calendar as well as exhibits, The Drifter on Tulane Avenue promises to be New Orleans’ new people-magnet." - yatzer / nicole cota studio

Treves & Hyde, Whitechapel London UK - Grzywinski+Pons

"Treves & Hyde is a new restaurant and bar that we designed near Whitechapel in East London. The environment is intended to accommodate both formal and casual occupation, staying open for interstitial use between meal service. It was also important to us and our client that the space could function without compromise from early morning through late night while maintaining its functional variability. So we provided ample and flexible seating, power points and areas geared equally towards both privacy and the happenstance run-ins increasingly found in modern workspaces or a cafe. We postulated that while guests might feel comfortable working or socializing in a space seemingly appropriate for dining, they could feel less at ease dining in an environment geared towards co-working. Accordingly the aesthetic typology is unabashedly that of a restaurant. The space is heavily glazed and washed in sunlight throughout the day so we were conscious of creating texture and relief in many of the surfaces while mixing materials with a sheen or luster and those that were soft and matte to augment the kinetic quality of the light while providing comfort. We designed the restaurant to be as warm, welcoming and happy (and even appetizing) at night as it is during the day, and created the joinery and furnishings to look better with some wear and tear after heavy use. Natural stone, ceramic, brass, timber, concrete and blackened steel feature heavily in a bold but limited palette and we designed in a lot of room to accommodate generous amounts of vegetation in aged terra cotta. Whether enjoying a casual solo breakfast over a laptop, having a cocktail at the bar, or dining formally in a party of eight, our design decisions for Treves & Hyde were predicated on inclusivity and flexibility without concession." - grzywinski+pons

Another Venice, Venice Italy - Marcante + Testa

"The latest project by Andrea Marcante and Adelaide Testa is in the most decorated city in the world, where an extraordinary architectural past struggles to absorb contemporary developments: a project for the renovation of a 19th-century building facing a small canal in Sestiere San Marco. The project involved both the communal areas, like the entrance hall and the vertical access, and the residential interiors, of which this is the first completed apartment. Prior to the project the building was completely without decorative-architectural features appropriate to its character. The design work thus began with a reinterpretation of the “inside/outside” relationship, starting with the vertical circulation, where the graphic design of the new paneling surrounding the staircase alludes to the image of the exterior facades, while the “inhabited” landing foreshadows the intimacy of the apartments. The project for this apartment develops through diaphragm-dividers with structures in painted metal and brass, infill elements in green glass and wooden panels treated with Venetian stucco: inspired by the intervention of Carlo Scarpa at Ca’ Foscari, the dividers conserve natural lighting even in the areas without windows. An initial partition creates a relationship between the entrance with the living room and its openings to the outside, on the one hand, and a new corridor crossing the studio, on the other, keeping the original design of the parquet flooring with inlaid “squares”; a second partition separates the bedroom from the adjacent bathroom, functioning not only as the bathroom entrance but also as a closet/dressing room for the bedroom. Inside the rooms, the relationship between the windows and the Venetian landscape is reinforced by a system of brass frames with gilded curtains of metal screen, that act to determine precisely revised openings towards the outside in a sort of continuous ribbon window through all the spaces. A new horizontal view perspective that is also seen in the support structure of the lamps in Murano glass in the living area, whose hues evoke the reflection of the city in its canals at twilight. Through the glass of the lamps, the wallpapers with a shaded effect, the colors of the walls, all the way to the choice of the furnishings (like the glass tables or the iridescent carpet), the project sets out to interpret and incorporate the Venetian landscape, the lagoon and its colors. A project that on every scale, from the definition of the architectural elements to the choice of lights and furniture (many of which are by Carlo Scarpa and his son Tobia) and the furnishing complements (such as the bedspreads made with Rubelli fabrics, capable of suggesting the Venetian tradition of terrazzo floors), sets out to narrate “another” Venice. While for Proust the garments of Mme de Guermantes designed by Mariano Fortuny and steeped in Venetian history gave that woman a truly extraordinary mien, a work of interior architecture in this city, more than elsewhere, cannot help but address the relationship with its history (even the most recent history) and the context."

Blushhh! Secret Shop, Kyiv Ukraine - AKZ Architectura

"Blushhh! secret shop, which is our new project, is an example of a bright concept put at the heart of a minimalist interior.  To land the main focus on retail, we designed a perimeter-wise path starting with the entrance on its right-hand side and aided by rails and steps with the assortment on them. Being a two-level solution, they have clothes on their upper and accessories and footwear on the lower level. Augmenting the whole spatial composition, the consumer area is equally divided into levels to sell accessories. The dynamic rhythm of lighting is reflected in the metal wall decor, making the inside seem more spacious." - AKZ architectura

Mr Hyde, Madrid Spain - Casa Josephine

"Between mathematics and metaphysics, that is the ground on which Casa Josephine has moved in her latest project, the headquarters of the advertising agency Mr. Hyde in Madrid. "It's a corner corner of a protected building from the beginning of the twentieth that, after many lives -from a bar to a motorcycle workshop-, little remained of its original appearance", explains Íñigo Aragón, founder of the studio with Pablo López. With the help of the brother of the first, the architect Rodrigo Aragón, they went to the Archive of the Villa to rescue the plans and discovered that the windows were wider, and that there were even two blinds to a patio. "We got a clear and bright space with a meeting room, another work presided over by an enormous maple table designed by Espacio Brut , another for presentations, an office and bathrooms", says Rodrigo. All this covered by a visual game of mosaic tiles , and separated by metallic curtains and walls. "We were inspired by the 80s but updating them, with postmodern arcs, primary colors, geometries ...", says Pablo. To this style they added his filias: the classic Italy, the pictures of Giorgio de Chirico and the surrealism. "With the hydraulics we composed a canvas on the floor that unites and separates the areas, and on the walls we draw trompe-l'oeil windows with shadows, so present in the works of the painter," they point out. The rest is completed with domestic touches, such as lamps of the seventies and new invoice created by them, midcentury ceramics, contemporary cabinetry or chairs by Achille Castiglioni ... It is proven, aesthetics favors creativity." - casa josephine / ad spain

Little Stories, Valencia Spain - Clap

"In March 2017, two partners came to CLAP with the desire to create a Shoes Concept Store exclusively for children. We started with a clear name, “Little Stories”, and the need to create a strong corporate identity, graphically, to create an interior design in accordance with it. After several workshops with the client, we came up with three key points that reflected the essence of Little Stories: game, simplicity and adaptability. For the creation of the corporate image we chose a friendly and simple sans serif typography. The corporate image was completed with a system of lines that helps to represent, articulate and express brand identity in different formats. CLAP’s goal was to create an experience for little ones. Every detail is designed to encourage imagination and play but at the same time to highlight the products on display. The interior of 70 square meters is an open space with large windows that make the interior feel like an enormous shopfront. The product exhibition is completely adaptable and allows a change of distribution thanks to the small movable stands on the floor and the magnetic metal plates on the walls. The corporate image of Little Stories accompanies the user from the exterior of the space to the interior, creating a constant game for the little ones and clearing the space for the products to be proudly showcased." - clap