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Interior happiness

Interior happiness

A day in Antwerp

Hi Everyone,

It has been a long time, indeed.

What have you been up to?
Back to the pre-Covid-routine?

I must confess I find it hard. One of the advantages of the lockdown was the quiet weekends. And although I long to see a lot of friends again, I do not want to be pushed into crowded weekends again.

What great news here?
The website of Musa is finished!

You can have a look at www.musa-antwerp.com. Daughter’s boyfriend designed it. And my friend Marie took the photos. And… friends and family were used as models.

At the beginning of July we had a Dutch TV station (a program on travel) come to visit. Well, that was fun. I will show you some photos from behind the scenes:


The short movie will be shown at the end of October. Stay tuned ūüėČ

Last week two friends and I went to stay at Musa. We had a great visit, just enjoying the time at Musa, in our lovely Yala room.


But of course also tasting the great treasures of Antwerp: shopping, dining out, sightseeing…


We had a delicious – really, so good!!! – dinner at the Indian restaurant Mission Massala. They serve great cocktails too.

There are so many good restaurants in the area of Musa, just to name a few:
Tamo, Thai food
Mampoko, classical Belgian food
Ferrier 30, Italian cuisine
Bar Palmier, a wine bar that is linked to a quite original restaurant, L’√©picerie du cirque
Le John, a chic high level classic kitchen restaurant, serving biological wines.
Fiskebar, yummy fish dishes
Bananaleaf, less fancy but really good Indian food

Just ask if you want more info! I’ll gladly do some pre-tasting for you.

Would you like some nice spots for coffee? Here you go. We had afternoon coffee at Buchbar¬†(coffee and books, that’s my place) and breakfast at The Soul.


These are charming, too, plus in the neighborhood of Musa, and they all serve delicious coffee:
Charlie’s
Mirlo’s

So book your stay at Musa and enjoy the City of Fashion, and much more… Next time we’ll go to the Fashion Museum, and I will keep you posted.

Don’t forget you can also give me ideas and tips on a visit to Antwerp.

Cheers!

Sophia

Interior happiness

MUSA

How are you all?

Started this year in good spirits?

I hope you and your family and friends are in good health! About a year ago I was still planning a job fair for newcomers, that in the end was cancelled due to Covid. Since then I have been working in a totally different area.

What’s up?

What am I up to? Still pretty busy with getting that business started. Which one? Renovating a house in Antwerp and turning it into a cosy place to stay. It was a long process getting things changed and finding all the furniture and decoration material.

Oldest and his girlfriend are living in the house and will start a B&B somewhere in Spring.

Renovating, a pleasure or a nightmare

Indeed, we have had some bad luck.

  • the tiles fell of the walls in the bathrooms
  • we had to hire a contractor to renew the bathrooms totally
  • many leaks on all spots possible
  • we started painting in the beginning, and had to restart anew after the works
  • the wallpaper we ordered had different colors, solution: order at another company

Actually, nothing went right the first time.

But I enjoyed the decorating part, like choosing the tiles for the bathrooms and kitchen.


I made new curtains for the room at the second floor, dark green, it looks well. I am still looking for fabrics for the first floor. I was thinking of a velvet in terracotta or a pinkish color. What do you think?

But this will be another challenge, since the ceiling is over 3,5 meters high. This is on the planning the coming weeks. Luckily I have my ‘catsistants’ to help me in this chaos.

 

Musa, the name

The little yard has a tropical look, which we want to take into the house also. We have been moving the plants around, to find a perfect spot for each of them. Musa is the name for banana plant. It also means ‘Muse’, so yes, it is a hide-away, where you can find peace and inspiration.

You want to take a look?

Tropical vibes can be found throughout the house. But each floor has his own unique look. ¬†They aren’t totally finished yet, but here’s a sneak preview.

First floor


Second floor



The Studio





  

When to book?

Check our instagram, @Musa_Antwerp for the updates
We will open in April.

Love to see you in Antwerp soon,

Sophia

Interior happiness

Terrazzo

Hello dear readers,

How are you? Back to work?
Slowly getting into another rhythm again, after the lock-down?

We were lucky. After two years of looking for a new coffee-table, ours was eventually delivered a few weeks ago. I loved the design of terrazzo, but it was so hard to choose: colors, patterns. Last year we bought two new chairs – pink! – they’re called Little Tulip and my friend from Homepage helped me choose.

As you know by now, I have a bad allergy for boring interiors – and since I am making confessions here anyway, I might as well tell you I’m allergic to boring people as well. Don’t feel offended, I do not mean you, you wouldn’t be reading my blog if you were boring ūüėČ

Sorry! Still have a hard time to focus (yes, yes, if I was a child now, I would be labelled with ADD) So, back to interior choices. Colors make me happy, flowers too. I like the design of terrazzo a lot. First I wanted more pink in it, but that would have been too much with the chairs. So this type has so many different shades of green, terracotta-pinkish and the base is off-white. It matches perfectly with the rest of our interior. It was a good choice!  The foot is lacquered white. The table is designed by my niece.

We all are very happy with the result. The table matches perfectly with the rest of the interior, a mix of colors, materials and of course all the plants. The living room is finished, cosy and comfy. Decorating is what I love to do.

What do you think?

But! I am not finished with decorating, nono. One of the most fun things to do these past months in lockdown, was scrolling and searching online for ideas and putting them on the Pinterest board of our new project. What is it about? It is again in the tourism business, but here in Belgium. I will do the decorating part, with the help of the family. To be continued ūüėČ

So long, Sophie

PS: a sneak preview


Interior happiness

Architecture in Paris

Hi there,

Best wishes for 2020!

Did you celebrate well?
What are your resolutions? If you have any, tell me!
Do you want to know mine?

Well, be happy of course. Be happy with small things and precious moments with friends & family. Meet other people, or maybe really see and get to know people and treasure them for who they are. Listen. Embrace the uniqueness and try to not to focus too much on the differences that are upsetting. Be good and be patient. But not too tolerant, no, not tolerant for injustice. See the humor of awkward situations. Laugh a lot, laugh out loud, with tears if necessary. Be grateful.

I started this blogpost at the beginning of December. And then time just faded away. We left for Mexico in the middle of December, to visit Oldest and his girlfriend. X-mas was wonderful, our family gathered on the beach.

In November we went to Paris, my two sisters and I. It was a late present for my sister, whose birthday party was half a year ago.

Image result for charlotte perriandSo I want to take you to Paris! I won’t go in to everything we did, but I’ll just focus on the most special visit, to the exhibition of Charlotte Perriand, at the foundation Louis Vuitton, located in an impressive silvery artwork. It lasts until February 24th.¬† Go if you are interested in interior design, or just art in general, a really must-see exhibition!

Walking up there, in the Bois the Bologne, and seeing this magnificent building was a treat for the eye. The architect is Frank Gehry, also the designer of the Guggenheim in Bilbao among many others. The interior is huge and unique.  Upstairs you can go outside and have splendid views from the different terraces.




So who’s Charlotte Perriand? One of the biggest and inventive architects from the past century. She worked with and for Le Corbusier and was a specialist in designing interiors for small apartments. She was so far ahead of her time in seeing the necessity of living in limited square meters. Also her engagement in society is shown in the expo.¬† It was her wish that all natural resources and cultural heritage be available to all people:

Laisserons nous perdre cet héritage!
Il faut continuer la tradition
en allant de l’avant
Libérer les richesses naturelles
et culturelles au profit de
tous les hommes

Chaise longue and Fauteuil grand confort

A scale model of an apartment

Small apartments and student dorms, meticulously designed to fit everything in 

A kind of cubicle, prefabricated

The exhibition is large and elaborate. Charlotte’s life was long and she kept on working in so many areas. She lived in Japan and Brazil for some time and mingled that inspiration in to her work.

Of Japanese influence

She loved to wander on the beach and collect stones and other natural material she found and use their shapes into her own creations.

Equally as important, other works of contemporary artists are shown in this exhibition.¬† To name a few: Georges Braque, Alexander Calder, Fernand L√©ger, Le Corbusier (of course), Pablo Picasso, Joan Mir√≥…

Fernand Léger

Alexander Calder

Le
Corbusier

taking a rest in le fauteuil grand confort ūüėČ

And what else did we do? Just walk under the blue autumn sky.

In the Musée des Arts Décoratifs we found two other interesting exhibitions: Marche et démarche, about the history of the shoes and Affiches Cubaines, on graphic design in Cuba.

Did you know that foot binding Рlotus feet Р in China had also a sexual purpose?

Cuban art

Remember poor Marie Antoinette? Picture by Erwin Olaf

She was an inspiration for art, fashion and of course the movie industry. We visited her last residence, before she was guided to the guillotine. The exhibition “Marie Antoinette, metamorphosis of an image” is held in the prison where she spent her last weeks. Vive la r√©publique!

Just one last minute tip, to satisfy our culinary aspirations. Two great restaurants (need to book upfront!): Fluctuat and Ca√Įus.

It was just two days, in one of the loveliest cities of course, and being immersed in art, I can happily end by these words of Charlotte:

Synthèse des Arts:
Elle joue à travers le temps, les continents.
Harmonie de m√™me origine, mettant l’homme en √©tat d’euphorie.
Elle enrichit son regard sur les choses,
elle le rend libre.

A la prochaine! Sophie

Interior happiness

Dalì and Magritte


A day in Brussels.

Have you visited this exposition already? Were you impressed?

For me visiting a museum is a good way to relax. A good way to be inspired, set my mind on other things.

Dalì and Magritte are both phenomenal artists. All their works combined in one expo is fabulous. I loved it.

Surrealism is destructive, but it destroys only what it considers to be shackles limiting our vision.
Salvador Dalì

The works are hung together by connecting subjects, for instance “dream x hallucination,” “Georgette x Gala,” and “softness x desire.”

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor gala in Dali's paintingsImage result for photo gala and salvador"Gala was¬†Dal√¨’s muse and lifelong partner after they met in 1929.¬†Gala has long been considered equal part muse and monster. She was first married to the poet Paul Eluard.¬†The couple had an open marriage, and √Čluard took pleasure in introducing Gala to new lovers, including Max Ernst who left his wife to join the couple in a sometimes fraught m√©nage √† trois (did you see the Netflix series You Me Her?¬† Well they must have been inspired by Gala). Over the decades Dal√≠ painted her repeatedly ‚Äď as a giant head smiling serenely in a barren landscape, with a lamb chop resting on her shoulder like a military epaulette, as a fractured Raphaelesque Madonna, or calmly opening her shirt to reveal her left breast.

Magritte’s muse was his wife Georgette, a middle-class catholic woman. They married in 1922. She appeared often in the paintings but is only occasionally named, mostly in private portraits. ¬†Georgette was a far more modest woman than Gala.
Did you know Paul Simon wrote a song about René and Georgette Magritte?
Georgette et René .jpg
Image result for georgette magritte painting"
Above,¬†Ren√©¬†and Georgette, Georgette painted by¬†Ren√©. Under ‘The Enigma of Desire’ by Dal√¨

My friend Leen and I talked about how much you can see in Dal√¨’s paintings. They are indeed often as an image of a dream, where people, places, memories and desires come together in a weird way.

The work of Sigmund Freud was profoundly influential for Surrealists, particularly his book, The Interpretation of Dreams (1899). Freud legitimized the importance of dreams and the unconscious as valid revelations of human emotion and desires; his exposure of the complex and repressed inner worlds of sexuality, desire, and violence provided a theoretical basis for much of Surrealism.

Dal√¨ and Magritte met in the spring of 1929, in Paris. In the summer of that year, Magritte traveled to Spain, to Dal√¨’s house.¬†Gala and Paul √Čluard joined the party, and Dal√≠ began an affair with Gala.

There sure was a rivalry between the two artists. Dal√¨ was financially successful from the early years, in contrast to Magritte who needed to take commercial work to survive. Magritte only received a decent income from his art in the 50’s. They also were very different on a political level. Magritte followed the Belgian communist party and¬†Dal√¨ supported the facists and falangists. It was more a sentimental political favoritism than an ideological one.

If you want to know more, I found a deep analysis on this blog by Alexander Adams.

Image result for rene magritte graphic design"After having seen the expo, we also went to the permanent Magritte museum, which has many works of Magritte and also goes deeper into his personal life. Magritte did a lot of graphic design in the beginning.

But if you are intrigued, do visit this beautiful exhibition, it is open till February 9, 2020.

And if you have seen it, let me know how you felt!

Ciao, Sophie