Category Archives: Design, designers and online finds

Sleep in a suspended bed on the island of Sicily

Monaci Delle Terre Nere is a boutique country hotel set amidst a Sicilian Estate in the foothills of Mount Etna. This Sicilian retreat is deliberately small and discreet, providing an unpretentious hideaway tucked away from hurly burly of life”.

Thus claims the website of what indeed looks like the perfect getaway! Owner Guido Coffa stumbled upon this old Villa and decided, more or less on the spot, that he’d own it and restore it back to the glory it once had. And he succeeded. 

One of the eight rooms, the one with suspended bed, in the Monaci delle Terre Nere boutique hotel on the Italian island of Sicily.

Photograph through Wallpaper/ Monaci delle Terre Nere

With the smallest 3D printer you can draw in the air!

This is amazing! Launched just yesterday on Kickstarter, this little gem of a pen, the LIX, is the new deal in 3D printing!

3D objects created with the LIX pen

A Spanish holiday retreat made by a cow!

This is amazing! Design company Ensamble Studio brought in help of a special talent to build this neat little holiday studio; a cow. They covered stacked hay bales in concrete, buried this, and once hardened, allowed Paulina, the said cow, to eat away the hay inside. This took about a year, she took her time I guess, but the result was very much worth the wait! They call it The Truffle.

The Truffle by Ensamble Studio

The Truffle by Ensamble Studio

The Truffle by Ensamble Studio

Yeah, I can see myself taking a breaker there….

Source: Worthytoshare

Photography: Ensamble Studio

Breton stripes. Nothing adds more timeless elegance to a home

So simple, yet so chic and effective. In both fashion and home-deco, nothing oozes timeless elegance more than a Breton stripe. For as long as I remember I have owned at least one Breton jumper. Perfect for when a wool v-neck has gotten too warm, and short sleeves are too chilly. In the home it works year round. It adds to the warm and cosy feel in autumn and winter when combined with checks, warm fires, (faux) furs and candles. And in spring and summer it matches with the green of plants in full bloom, wooden patio furniture, cool drinks in elegant glass ware and flowers. Try using it not just in patterns on throws and cushions, but also on walls (horizontal!) and even ceilings or floors.

Floor, ceiling and walls. Both horizontal and vertical. Jean Paul Gaultier meets Versace meets Chanel……

Kate Collins cushion – Breton Stripes

Again used horizontally on walls – Breton Stripes

A wide, horizontal stripe adds drama – Breton Stripes

Amazing use of outside space – Breton Stripes

There’s a reason some of the greatest creative minds love them 😉

Andy Warhol loved them – Breton Stripes

Picasso (by Robert Doisneau) in Breton Stripes

Coco Chanel, Audrey Hepburn and James Dean – all in Breton Stripes

Jean Paul Gaultier turned them into ART!

For me Breton stripes bring back memories to holidays in France with my parents and brother and sister. Throw in a pair of espadrilles and a baguette with Nutella and it’s all coming back!

New Zara Home collection

Is it me or did Zara miss the boat a bit with their new home collection? Shells, corals and coral textures, glass domes, bohemian wool patterns… I don’t know. It’s very much a ‘seen that before’ experience. It’s nice, and safe, but I am used to a bit more wow from them.

Zara Home new look book. Shells, corals, sands and earthy tones

Zara Home new collection. Not sure I am a fan.

This candle creates a new one as it melts

How cool is this! Candle wax is great for recycling, but it tend to be hard to melt, pour and set to dry without clogging up your sink or ruining your pottery. This The Rekindle candlestick holder by designer Benjamin Shine makes it easy, very easy. The wax melts back into the holder, creating a new candle on the spot. All you have to do is insert a new wick, and it looks as if even that is taken care of!

The Rekindle by Benjamin Shine




Cool office redesign for storage provider City Box

City Box has undergone a considerable transformation. The Dutch branch of the supplier of storage space wanted to position itself as a quality brand and this meant its image of price fighter had to go. This called for a broad approach in which this vision had to be translated into concrete and tangible design ideas and implementations. The logo, pay-off, interior and exterior of the head office; work wear, signage of the branches, as well as the interior and exterior of the pilot branch in Den Bosch have been dealt with. Amsterdam based Studio Babette Porcelijn was hired for this extensive operation.

Sketch for City Box office redesign by Babette Porcelijn

Sketch for City Box office redesign by Babette Porcelijn

The client first
From the first moment customers connect with City Box, usually through the website or at one of the branches, they should feel welcome and that City Box is thinking along with them. In consultation with Babette, City Box’s Online Product Manager and external experts improved the website. The site addresses its visitors directly and offers them the possibility to arrange most things online. This functionality will be gradually extended in the near future. Not only the website, but also the reception area of the branches were improved. Before, clients had to ring the bell so an employee could let them in. Now, the door automatically opens. Babette designed a coffee corner for the pilot branch in Den Bosch where customers and employees can have a quiet conversation, or customers that are in the middle of moving house can recover their breath.

Coffee Corner in one of City Box's branches. Photography - Babette Porcelijn for City Box

Coffee Corner in one of City Box’s branches. Photography – Babette Porcelijn for City Box


Recycled materials in the interior design

The customer experience plays an important role in the new service centre that Babette equipped. Next to high-end materials Babette also used second hand products, building materials, and cardboard in the design of the interior. A counter made from stacked up removal boxes, different types of chairs all spray-painted in one colour, lamps made from porcelain cups or cardboard, a table top featuring old record sleeves, and Persian rugs; they all refer to the world of moving house, renovating or storing dear personal items.

Old record sleeves and unicolour painted vintage furniture recreate the world of storage and personal belongings. Photography: Babette Porcelijn for City Box


Use of vintage finds, recycled materials and hints to the world of storage and personal belonings in City Box service center interior. Photography: Babette Porcelijn for City Box

Use of vintage finds, recycled materials and hints to the world of storage and personal belonings in City Box service center interior. Photography: Babette Porcelijn for City Box

Babette: “It was fantastic to be able to create an overall concept like this. I got a chance to use all my skills and knowledge. From translating City Box’s vision into a brand strategy, to the design and realization of concrete solutions. To make all this happen I worked with various experts from my network and external companies that City Box does business with. I also received a lot of help from City Box’s own employees. Together we were able to deliver the quality that you can see today.’

Babette has a degree in Industrial Design Engineering at the TU in Delft. She spent ten years working for design agencies as a communication designer. Her clients included Sara Lee, Heineken International, KLM, and E.ON, but also for small and medium sized enterprises. Since 2011 Babette has been working as an independent strategic designer. She develops the strategy, design, and content of communication means. She works cross-media, creating interior design, graphic design and interactive design. Among her clients are ‘dienst Noord/Zuidlijn’, Griph law & tax, KWPS, Urban Resort and Pit4Business.