Tag Archives: Nature

Interior inspired by Jungle

Nature is a big inspiration for interior designers. Its patterns, prints and colors bring something beautiful into each home, they provide warmth and reunite people with nature. That is why designers love playing with natural colors and patterns and such trend that marked 2016 is still on top of the design lists. Jungle prints, with various animal patterns and colors is something that you should always opt for in your home if you like earthy undertones and calming atmosphere. So why not try this trend this year as well?

Introduce Plants

Just a few plants can greatly change the atmosphere in your home. If you add a few exotic plants, you will get the wild atmosphere with a few mesmerizing leafy accents in each room. Dining room is perfect place for introducing nature and you can start off with placing a bigger branch in some weird shape on the shelf. Also, tropical plants with big leafs will look great by the dining room window or in the corner of your living room. The best tropical plants for such decoration are TI plants, Alocasia, Colocasia, Philodendrons and other big leaf plants.

Clash of Exotic Colors

This trend brings a lot of bold, vibrant colors and various patterns with plenty of mixing of the different materials and fabrics. The colors that dominate are orange, purple and greens mixed with materials such as bamboo and wood in order to bring nature inside. Opt for heavy and dark furniture that make a great foundation for all the vibrant colors that you can incorporate through throw pillows, carpets and different seating. Also, decorating your walls with fabrics, setting up interesting paneled silk screens and various bold lanterns will bring the spirits of the wilderness into your home and make it more dynamic and homey.

Bring Rattan Back

Rattan has found its way back into our home décor, both on the inside and outside. This strong retro material is perfect for living room seating and it makes a nice decorative piece. Also, this material is eco-friendly and it can have many shapes and uses. Thus, you can try incorporating it into your interior design through furniture, lighting fixtures or turn it into a 3D art in some modern shapes or some more rustic, traditional styles. Nevertheless, a few chairs and a bench made of rattan and covered with some animal print throw pillow with provide the airiness and comfort your home needs.

Go Monochromatic

Some people just don’t like their homes to be packed with dynamics of vibrant colors. That is perfectly okay, but there is way to pay respect to this trend and still make your home minimalistic. Opt for a monochrome look that isn’t too boring. Choose color palettes in the shades of beige, cream, black and brown. Play with lighter and darker shades of these colors and preserve the elegance. Add a few pops with fabrics in animal print, but stay subtle. Also, if you have a favorite zebra print, use those colors on your walls, windows or flooring. The design will still be monochromatic, but it will have a fun little twist to break the monotony.


Animal Print Artwork

Artwork will make your home look more sophisticated, and if you do it with animal print, you will have mesmerizing elegance in the room. Introducing such artwork is perfect for people who fear that their home will look like an exaggerated African safari. What you have to do is keep the colors of your furniture and accessories in some neutral earthy colors, while your artwork can consist of various jungle patterns. Lay a few pictures above the sofa with fun animal prints, such as zebra, giraffe, tiger and leopard, and only add a few more hints of jungle through your plants or throw pillows. If you keep the rest of the colors in some neutral shades, this astonishing artwork will get all the attention while tying the whole design into a sophisticated look.

If classic modern looks are way to minimalistic for your personal preferences, you can always rely on nature. Introducing nature into our homes is a big trend of 2016 and jungles are a perfect inspiration for any professional or amateur designer. Don’t be afraid to mix, match and experiment with various prints and fabrics, and your home will have the dynamics of a forest, while preserving its comfortable atmosphere.

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10 Questions With… Matteo Thun

Cala Beach Club at Hotel Cala di Volpe in Porto Cervo on Sardinia. Photography courtesy of Matteo Thun & Partners.

A holistic approach to nature and wellness drives Matteo Thun’s built projects. The award-winning Italian architect and Interior Design Hall of Fame member co-founded the iconic Italian design and architecture collective the Memphis Group with Ettore Sottsass in 1981, before striking out on his own, forming Matteo Thun & Partners in 2001. Thun’s happiest designing something new, he admits, and his firm’s creative eye, honed out of a headquarters in Milan and an office in Shanghai, is behind a long list of high-profile hospitality and healthcare projects spanning the globe.

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Most recently, summer saw the reassembly of Thun’s temporary beach structure, Cala Beach Club on the breathtaking Emerald Coast of the Italian island of Sardinia. Situated at Hotel Cala di Volpe in Costa Smeralda, a playground for the rich and, at times, famous—many of them yachting enthusiasts—Cala Beach Club is an environmentally sensitive structure only accessible by foot or boat. In summer it hums with private parties, with clientele seduced by the stunning natural landscape. Interior Design sat down with Thun to hear more about the Cala Beach Club, what toy kicked off his imagination at a young age, and which project reachable solely by cable car he considers a career turning point.

Interior Design: What was your overall design goal for Cala Beach Club?

Matteo Thun: Cala di Volpe is a beautiful beach in Sardinia. We wanted to create a shady oasis just between the woods and the sea. Restaurant, bar, and treatment rooms have been designed to melt within the landscape, to respect the charm of this special place.

ID: What was particularly challenging about this project?

MT: This property is reachable only by boat or on a path through nature. Since it serves only for the season, we designed a removable structure that is easily to assemble and dismantle.

Cala Beach Club at Hotel Cala di Volpe in Porto Cervo on Sardinia. Photography courtesy of Matteo Thun & Partners.

ID: What materials did you use and why?

MT: The structure unites with the beach vegetation, terraces value the inclination of the land, and views are open to the sea. We only used natural materials that integrate with the surroundings, such as chestnut wood and bamboo. All colors are natural and warm.

ID: What else have you completed recently?

MT: We like to bring nature inside and believe in concepts that emphasize an overall healthy lifestyle as a main approach. Healthy architecture and interior design guarantees physical and mental well being, allowing a relationship between humans and the environment. In Obbürgen, Switzerland, the Waldhotel at Bürgenstock Hotels & Resort, which opened at the end of last year, is a space for wellness and medical services. It’s made from local stone and wood, and nature will take over in a few years so that the building will melt with the mountain. As with most of our projects, we also designed the entire interior.

Another recent project is the new headquarters for Davines, an Italian beauty company dedicated to sustainability and based in Parma, Italy. Here, we grouped traditional rural shapes and innovative volumes around a greenhouse that serves as a restaurant for the employees. Maximum architectural transparency with a minimum amount of masonry elements provides every working station with a view of the green areas.

The Waldhotel at Bürgenstock Hotels & Resort in Obbürgen, Switzerland by Matteo Thun & Partners. Photography by Andrea Garuti, courtesy of Matteo Thun & Partners.

ID: What’s upcoming for you?

MT: The Evangelisches Waldkrankenhaus Spandau in Berlin at the largest university orthopedic center in Europe. Waldkrankenhaus means ‘hospital in the forest’ in German, and the new hospital building and rehab building connected to it will transform the hospital campus into a health center with a hotel character. This project represents our idea of a healing environment, an architectural and organizational structure that helps the patient and his relatives endure stressful situations caused by illness, operations, treatments, and sometimes pain.

Another hospitality project, a health bathing spa with medical treatments and maximum comfort, is underway in Bavaria, at Tegernsee, a resort town on the banks of Germany’s Tegernsee Lake. Nature is also the point of departure here and was key to the project. The landscape design integrates the existing flora and references the natural presence of water, allowing a direct communication with nature without interfering with the privacy of the patients.

The Evangelisches Waldkrankenhaus Spandau in Berlin by Matteo Thun & Partners. Photography courtesy of Matteo Thun & Partners.

ID: Is there a project in your history that you feel was particularly significant to your career?

MT: I designed the Vigilius Mountain Resort in South Tirol more than 15 years ago. It was one of the first design hotels, made from local larch wood and reachable only by cable car. The owner and I shared the same vision: to create a hotel that fuses with its surroundings, a place where you can breathe and relax instantly. Now, after all these years, the wood has a beautiful patina and the hotel a constant influx of international clientele.

ID: What are you reading?

MT: I very much like to read books in parallel: such as German philosopher Martin Heidegger with a novel or short story by Italian journalist and writer Italo Calvino

The Vigilius Mountain Resort by Matteo Thun & Partners. Photography by Serge Brison, courtesy of Matteo Thun & Partners.

ID: How do you think your childhood influenced your design thinking?

MT: My parents took me regularly to the Venice Biennale, so I became familiar with art and architecture at quite a young age. I grew up in nature, in the mountains near Bolzano, Italy, where my mother worked with pottery. She gave me clay to play with—so I had to use my imagination to have fun with it. I was always very close to material and materiality.

ID: How do think the Italian design culture influences your overall approach?

MT: In Italy, architecture is approached holistically. Let me quote Italian architect and writer Ernesto Rogers: ‘From spoon to city.’ This means working on a chair, on a lighting product, and on a house at the same time. We’ve worked like this in my office since the beginning, and the different teams of architects, interior designers, and product designers perform across disciplines.

Another big strength is Italian craftsmanship. At Salone del Mobile 2019, we launched a wood chair collection produced by F.lli Levaggi, a small manufacturer in Liguria, Italy, and work regularly with the glassblowers from Murano, such as Venini, Barovier & Toso, and Seguso. We very much believe in ‘Made in Italy.’

The Vigilius Mountain Resort by Matteo Thun & Partners. Photography by Vigilius Mountain Resort, courtesy of Matteo Thun & Partners.

ID: Is there a person in the industry that you particularly admire?

MT: Ettore Sottsass, chief designer of Olivetti. I first worked for him as an assistant, then we formed Sottsass Associati and in 1981 we co-founded Italian design and architecture collective Memphis Group. Memphis had an important formative influence on my career, and provided a platform to experiment with the challenges of constant innovation. Ettore designed the first Italian computer—in the late 1950s.

Keep scrolling for more images of projects by Matteo Thun >

The Vigilius Mountain Resort by Matteo Thun & Partners. Photography by Florian Andergassen, courtesy of Matteo Thun & Partners.
The Waldhotel at Bürgenstock Hotels & Resort in Obbürgen, Switzerland by Matteo Thun & Partners. Photography by Andrea Garuti, courtesy of Matteo Thun & Partners.
The alpine suite at the Waldhotel at Bürgenstock Hotels & Resort in Obbürgen, Switzerland by Matteo Thun & Partners. Photography by Waldhotel, courtesy of Matteo Thun & Partners.
The pool at the Waldhotel at Bürgenstock Hotels & Resort in Obbürgen, Switzerland by Matteo Thun & Partners. Photography by Waldhotel, courtesy of Matteo Thun & Partners
The Davines headquarters in Parma, Italy by Matteo Thun & Partners. Photography by Andrea Garuti, courtesy of Matteo Thun & Partners.
The Nudes seating collection by Matteo Thun, launched at Salone del Mobile 2019. Photography by Marco Bertolini, courtesy of Matteo Thun & Partners.

Read more: 10 Questions With… Gert Wingardh

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May Online Focus: Access To Nature/Biophilia

by Jennifer Silvis | May 1, 2018

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Digital Tools Bring Botanicals to Life in Architectural Glass

Nature has been a source of artistic inspiration for millennia. Beginning with classical architecture and continuing into the contemporary era, elements of the natural world have found their way into our dwellings and public spaces. Modern design trends like biomimicry and wellness are today’s iteration of this longstanding fascination with the organic. Designers can use architectural glass to bring verdant images of nature into interior spaces, transforming sterile spaces into healthy ones for occupants and visitors.  

Flower Field used for a partition wall in a hospitality setting. Photography courtesy of Forms+Surfaces.

Forms+Surfaces’ Zoom Digital Darkroom and Zoom Image Library are intuitive options for architects and designers looking to bring a touch of the outdoors inside. The Digital Darkroom is an interactive design tool, housed on Forms+Surfaces’ website, that allows users to create highly customized architectural glass designs for the company’s ViviSpectra Zoom glass. Designers can crop and further customize the roughly 90 images in the image library, a collection of large-scale, high-resolution nature photographs. Everything from sweeping panoramic vistas to captivating close-ups can be manipulated in order to design true-to-life or abstract feature and partition walls.

Ginger Plant in a hospitality lobby setting. Photography courtesy of Forms+Surfaces.

The library recently expanded with the Winter 2018 collection. The nine new images depict florals, cabbages, Romanesco broccoli, succulents, ginger plants, and more.

Cabbage, Romanesco, and Citrus in a restaurant setting. Photography courtesy of Forms+Surfaces.
Carnations used for a feature wall. Photography courtesy of Forms + Surfaces.

Continue reading Digital Tools Bring Botanicals to Life in Architectural Glass

This Is Why Switzerland Is the Most Exciting Art-Centric Destination Right Now

Although St. Moritz, Gstaad, and other Alpine slopes have long lured ski enthusiasts, there’s yet another lofty reason to head to Switzerland this season. The country is packed with not-to-miss art museums and galleries. For those who can’t hop a jet soon, armchair travelers who love art should also take note.

In Gstaad, Gagosian has installed the Arte Povera artist Giuseppe Penone’s iconic Idee di Pietra, comprising two towering bronze tree sculptures right next to the chic Hotel Le Grand Chalet. Telling of its importance, there’s even a site-specific one at the newly opened Louvre Abu Dhabi. Meanwhile, the gallery’s Geneva outpost is preparing to mount a Penone exhibition as well, and both the show as well as the installation are on view until March.


Gagosian Gallery’s installation of Giuseppe Penone’s Idee di Pietra in Gstaad.

Photo: Marcus Veith / Work by Giuseppe Penone / Courtesy of Gagosian

For such a relatively small town, St. Moritz is chock-a-block with major-league galleries. The Vito Schnabel Gallery is currently featuring “Dan Flavin, to Lucie Rie and Hans Coper, master potters,” which happens to be the first exhibition ever to present their oeuvre together. Flavin collected the work of Rie and Coper, two radical ceramic artists, and the examples on view are from his own personal collection, along with sculptures he made in tribute to them. The show features 18 light works and 15 ceramic works.


“Dan Flavin, to Lucie Rie and Hans Coper, master potters” at the Vito Schnabel Gallery in St. Moritz.

Photo: Stefan Altenburger Photography Zürich / Courtesy of Vito Schnabel Gallery

“It has always been a dream for me to show Dan Flavin’s work. I was exposed to it at a pretty early age, when I was around 10 or 11 years old,” says Schnabel. “So the opportunity to now work with the Flavin estate is a true honor.”


Galerie Gmurzynska St. Moritz’s Diana Widmaier Picasso and Yves Klein exhibition.

Photo: Courtesy of Galerie Gmurzynska

Galerie Gmurzynska, which boasts four galleries, is a longtime stalwart of Art Basel and Art Basel Miami Beach, as well as TEFAF both here and in Holland. Now on view in St. Moritz is the work of Diana Widmaier Picasso as well as Yves Klein, and their Zurich gallery happens to be the last interior exhibition architecture designed by the late architect Zaha Hadid.


Galerie Gmurzynska Zurich’s gallery interior designed by Zaha Hadid.

Photo: CarloVannini / Courtesy of Galerie Gmurzynska Zurich

The Cologne Galerie Karsten Greve was a pioneer in the St. Moritz gallery scene. “When I opened in San Moritz, we were the first international gallery there,” says Greve. “Now it is still one of the most beautiful mountain areas in the world but a destination for an ever-growing number of collectors.” Check out their current show comprising masterworks by Cy Twombly, John Chamberlain, and Joel Shapiro.


The Cologne Galerie Karsten Greve in St. Moritz.

Photo: Courtesy of Cologne Galerie Karsten Greve

There’s even a veritable artwork on the move through the Swiss Alps; Sarah Morris has emblazoned an entire railway train with her signature bold graphic designs.


Sarah Morris train artwork.

Photo: © Sarah Morris / Courtesy of the artist and Petzel, New York

Virtually everyone who treks over to Art Basel knows about the storied Fondation Beyeler. Yes, the Renzo Piano building is a stunner, but what’s inside is also tip-top. A major Baselitz show opens on January 21, but check out their permanent collection, too. There’s a bevy of masterpieces by Henri Rousseau, Richard Serra, and Gerhard Richter.

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Another iconic Renzo Piano–designed museum is the Zentrum Paul Klee in Bern, currently featuring “Klee in Wartime.” On hand are a staggering 4,000 works.

Then the Karma gallery in Zurich has just expanded and Surrealist fans are in for a treat, as Swiss artist Méret Oppenheim takes center stage. No less than the London and Zurich–based Caruso St John architectural firm, which designed the Tate Britain, Millbank, has transformed the Karma gallery.


Kunsthaus Zürich’s Impressionist collection includes works by Monet and Rodin.

Photo: Courtesy of Kunsthaus Zürich

The Kunsthaus Zürich, the city’s modern-art museum, boasts a staggering 150 sculptures and 20 paintings by Alberto Giacometti. Plus, the ahead-of-the-curve museum has been collecting video art since 1979. Switzerland’s oldest museum, the Kunstmuseum Bern, includes a permanent collection boasting first-rate works by Paul Klee and Pablo Picasso.

If ever there were a good time to head for the hills, it’s now.

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