The Room Mate Aitana Hotel in Amsterdam

Opened in 2013, the brand new hotel of the Spanish Room Mate hotel chain is located on the IJ Dock, an artificial Island in the heart of Amsterdam. The thirteen story glass building was designed by the Dutch Architect Jan Bakers and Spanish interior designer Tomas Alia. The location on the water as well as many architectural features give me the impression of a cruise ship anchored on this island. The design of the hotel is colorful and modern with strong colors such as green, red and blue used throughout the hotel in combination with geometric shapes and Scandinavian inspired furniture. The rooms have floor to ceiling windows offering unique views on the cityscape.

Emerald Green Interiors Room Mate Aitana Amsterdam 1Emerald Green Interiors Room Mate Aitana Amsterdam 3Emerald Green Interiors Room Mate Aitana Amsterdam 4I love the effective way color blocking is used to create impact in the rooms and that someone through of using rugs that weren’t simply rectangular. I think that it adds a lot to the design. The variously shaped side tables in the main lobby paired with the over sized floor lamps, the blue and white mural and those beautiful colored glass pendants create a unique setting with a quirky note to it.

Emerald Green Interiors Room Mate Aitana Amsterdam 5Emerald Green Interiors Room Mate Aitana Amsterdam 2

Emerald Green Interiors Room Mate Aitana Amsterdam 6Have you ever stayed in a hotel whose decoration inspired you to try out something new at home? I certainly love to stay in places that have distinctive decoration styles that are not always my own. It’s like with food, I like to experiment new design ideas: it’s not like I have to stay forever in a hotel room so it’s a risk I gladly take; Sometimes I even end up adopting an idea or detail I liked.

* Pictures courtesy of Aitana Room Mate Hotels.

Discovering Toledo’s colors

This past Sunday we enjoyed the great weather and took off on Sunday for a day in Toledo, a gorgeous city  declared UNESCO world heritage site only an hour away from Madrid. The historic city is concentrated on a hill surrounded on three sides by the Tage river and everything is easily accessible on foot and with a stroller. We had no established plan and with our book guide just strolled through the small streets discovering one site after the next. Along the way we visited the Synagogue of El Transito, The El Greco museum and the Monasterio de San Juan de los Reyes. The Cathedral was closed in the morning and when we came back in the evening on our way to the car, we were just too tired. This is how you find good reasons to come back.

Emerald Green Interiors Toledo 1Emerald Green Interiors Toledo 2Emerald Green Interiors Toledo 3

Emerald Green Interiors Toledo 4I loved finding colors unexpectedly in the city: green plants sprucing out of century old walls at the cathedral, colorful flags hanging in a street of the old Jewish area, plants in colorful containers on balconies, classic Arabic tiles at the El Greco house, the ripes oranges on the tree in the monasterio garden, or classical painted houses adorned by plants and cacti.
Those pictures alone are a complete file for the “Urban Jungle Bloggers” series.

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What have you been up to this weekend? Did you by any chance discover a new place? I always find it fascinating and in Spain there is certainly much for us to discover with a fascinating culture and history as background. I wish you all an inspiring week.

* Photography by Corinne Kowal

How much fun for you and your family to discover new towns. I love how every inch of space is used and the injections of green, especially the orange tree. I love Spain! Mel x

Yes, we are really lucky Mel. Although I have traveled quite a bit in Europe and spent much time near the Spanish border I actually don’t know the country at all which makes it even more exciting. And the cultural heritage left by the mix of cultures in the middle ages is just uniquely beautiful. Have a great day!

Wonderful images and colors and textures. Yes, you are fortunate indeed to discover so many new things. Do you all speak Spanish? (I’m sure your sons will pick it up in no time, right?) And to have it warm right now: what a treat!

Dear Libby, no we don’t and it’s to say the least quite frustrating. We are learning but it does take time. I guess it will be the easiest for the boys. Yes we did have great weather (16°C) but the weather is actually quite cool/cold during the winter time in Madrid as the city is situated at almost 700 meters above sea level. Have a wonderful day.

Five Headboard Styles to help you find yours

By now you must know that we moved a couple of months back and that I am searching like a madwomen to make out our new house a new home. Part of this project involves the design of our bedroom. Our move was the perfect excuse to upgrade our bed size-wise as we needed a bed for our guest room. Our velvet classic French headboard made it there and I am now on the lookout for a new headboard for our larger than life new bed.

While browsing the internet for ideas, I was thrown aback by the numerous shapes and styles that headboards come in. It can feel really overwhelming, so I thought that narrowing down the selection into a handful of styles could help you choose the style that will work for you. This is my selection of favorites and of course isn’t exhaustive as you can find many more options, but it’s a pretty good start to begin with.

The Simple Headboard doesn’t like to show off. It comes in a straight rectangular shape and showcases a pretty fabric with an interesting small-scaled design. It’s only excesses can be to have slightly rounded corners and fabric piping around the edges. The piping can be contrasting for more visual interest and eventually even be repeated ten or fifteen centimeters from the edge. This gal is just lovely. It’s just like the preppy version of a headboard.

Emerald Green Interiors simple headboards

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The Floral Headboard isn’t your average Joe headboard, oh no! It is colorful, brimming with personality and boasts a large scale floral/botanical themed print (duh!) which might even accommodate a few tropical birds or other good looking animals. Its shape will play hand in hand with its fabric design and be elaborate. I mean since you are using such a fabulous fabric, which you probably paid a fortune,  you might as well go for the show stopper shape. This headboard is creative!

Emerald Green Interiors floral headboards

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The Classic Headboard is all about elegance. It’s for those of us who want a beautiful headboard without taking too much design risk and that’s perfectly OK. Your bedroom is after all like a sanctuary of tranquility and maybe not the first place one should experiment with funky design ideas. This is the headboard you want to use a beautiful textured solid fabric on, or alternatively a beautiful small scaled monochromatic pattern. Highlight its classic shape with brass nails or tone on tone piping. You can’t go wrong with it and chances are you’ll still love in ten years.

Emerald Green Interiors classic headboards

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The Velvet Headboard is certainly one of my favorites. If you are not aware that I love velvet for upholstery purposes then let me say it again out loud: “I LOVE VELVET”. Velvet comes in any color imaginable, is soft and its texture evokes unequivocally luxury. It doesn’t need much adornment and I much prefer to see it used on headboards with simple clean lines. You don’t want to end with a kitsch headboard do you? I love the velvet headboard in moody colors, tone on tone with the wall colors of the bedroom like in the examples I chose. Those bedrooms just look comfortable, relaxing and cozy which are terms that sit pretty well with a bedroom’s function.

Emerald Green Interiors velvet headboards

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The Tufted Headboard is certainly a classic one can’t bypass when looking at headboard. If you choose a tufted headboard make sure to keep its lines very clean and simple. The tufting is really all you need in terms of interest otherwise you’ll end up with a serious case of visual overload. Since pattern is not an option because of the tufting choose a solid fabric in an unexpected color and keep the rest of the room in neutral colors or tone on tone. Make it the focal point of the room, yes just like this.

Emerald Green Interiors tufted headboards

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I hope that this small selection will help you see clearer through the endless options available in terms of headboards. Maybe you already have a favorite? What is it? For our current bedroom I am still hesitating between the simple and the velvet headboard. It will have clean lines and no tufting that I am sure of.

Oh and before finishing this post just a few words about the sizing of the headboards. I often find that the headboards I see online are too high and out of proportions. For a straight headboard a height of 125-135 cm ( 49″-52″) is enough to sit down and lean again it, and I doubt that most of you are taller than me so just believe me. Of courses if your headboard is all curvy and much higher in the middle it can go above that size. For the width take either exactly your mattress width or add a few extra centimeters or an inch on each side.

This said have a lovely day!

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Urban Jungle Bloggers – Green Social Inspiration

Hello and happy Monday to you. I hope that you had a relaxing weekend. I am starting the week with this month’s Urban Jungle Bloggers series. Last month’s theme was to create a green festive vignette. To kick off the new year Judith and Igor suggested to share our green social inspiration, meaning the blogs, pinterest boards or instagram users each of us follows to get more green inspiration in our daily lives. Here are my favorites:

On Pinterest:

Dona Novack’s FloraLeaves and Patterns in Nature

Caroline Paynter’s Floral Styling

Most of Ingrid Henningsson‘s boards

Coco Lapine’s Plants

Emerald Green Interiors Urban Jungle Bloggers Jan

On Instagram:

Laurie Wheeler‘s feed is full of poesy and passing seasons

Poppies Flowers is a flower shop in Adelaide, Australia

2h flowers is another flower shop, in NYC

Jane Planet Joy shares the lovely blooms that grow in her garden

Blogs (I actually don’t follow many nature/flower blogs):

Madame Love shares her lovely bouquets freshly picked from the market and styled by her

Studio Abloom was launched last year and was off to a beautiful start. I don’t know what has happened since but Laurie, please get back to it!

As you can see this selection is more flower oriented than plant driven. I guess that this has to do with the amazing color combinations that are obtained by mixing flowers. I can’t seem to get away from colors, and why would I? There is really no nicer way to add color to your house than we a gorgeous bouquet of fresh flowers.

Have a lovely week!

Thank you for sharing so many green sources, Corinne! Can’t wait to check them all out! So happy that you’re part of our UJB series! xx

Thank you Judith. I am loving it and am so happy to be part of it :)

Great sources, Corinne!! Thanks for joining us!

Yes, I love Laurie’s work, her colors and textures and everything… It’s a treat to see on Instagram!

Thank you for the mention madame. Bisous
Elodie

[…] painted houses adorned by plants and cacti. Those pictures alone are a complete file for the “Urban Jungle Bloggers” […]

The Chartreuse and Grey Trend

While searching for inspiration images to create our house mood boards, I realized that there was really a trend going as images of interiors mixing grey with greens, from chartreuse to olive, kept coming up. Chartreuse is the grown up, more mature version of lime. Whereas lime is a vibrant light green obtained by mixing yellow with blue, chartreuse is a toned down version of yellow. I still remember vividly being a fashion design student working on color studies, and realizing that olive green and chartreuse were simply obtained by adding black to yellow. It really was one of those “Ah Ahhhh” defining moments in my, already then, color loving student life.

Emerald Green Interiors Olive grey

Why is chartreuse so often mixed with grey will you ask me. Apart from the fact that grey is THE neutral color on trend right now, I would suggest that it is because the outcome is elegant, calm, with just the dash of color people seem to be comfortable with. I have certainly seen some fabulous examples of chartreuse being paired with hot pink, orange or with eggplant, yet those are not your mainstream options.

Emerald Green Interiors Olive grey 2

This is definitely a color combination that I love. Maybe because it triggered the memory of a Danish sofa and armchairs upholstered in chartreuse/olive green velvet seen in an interior design magazine years back, and which left me at the time with the resolution that one day I would own one just like it.

Have a beautiful weekend.

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[…] my recent search for Chartreuse inspiration I stumbled upon the picture below which got me swooning because as much as I like the bare Nordic […]