Category: Design (Page 1 of 11)

The gorgeous production design for the Queen’s Gambit

We just finished watching The Queen’s Gambit in Netflix and I was so impressed by the cinematography, costumes, sets and the overall impeccable production design and styling. The last time a series’ art direction and design made such an impression on me was when I watched Mad Men.

The show is situated in the 1950s and ’60s as the story’s fictional heroine Elizabeth Harmon (Anya Taylor-Joy) — a brilliant yet self-destructive chess prodigy raised in an orphanage — rises to international fame.

The show’s production designer Uli Hanisch is behind the sets, whether it’s the orphanage, or the traditional mid-century-modern home, or the glamorous chess-tournament events hosted in Las Vegas, Paris and Mexico City. Everything is palette-matched and perfect. Special mention will have to go to the full-pattern and colourful wallpapers inside the Wheatley home.

It is interesting that, while the story spans the globe, most of The Queen’s Gambit was shot in Berlin, even the Aztec Hotel chess tournament which is supposedly based in Mexico City.

Designed by Gabriele Binder, costumes for The Queen’s Gambit reflect the growing sophistication and self-assurance of the main character, often incorporating structural lines and black-and-white patterns, taking inspiration by chess colours, while paying homage to Pierre Cardin, Courrèges and the Mod style of the era.

A very interesting (virtual) exhibition of the costumes included in the series is presented in “The Queen and The Crown” by the Brooklyn Museum.

Satisfying cakes by Tortik Annushka

Oh my God these cakes! These amazing elegant creations are made by Tortik Annushka, a Moscow-based designer cake studio. Founded by siblings Madina and Tortik Yavorskaya, the family-run pastry company creates an impressive selection of colorful cakes. Madina is trained in fine arts and Tortik’s background is in architecture so the cakes are clearly inspired by their backgrounds.

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Covering: Ganache Inspired by @josielewisart

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You are enough by Jessica Hische

This post by Jessica Hische connected with me as a mom of 3 girls: She had a heartbreaking conversation with her daughter who told her that sometimes she looks in the mirror and wishes she had a different and more beautiful face… That inspired Hische to create this beautiful mirror with the message “You Are Enough”. You can pre-order it here.

Tribute to Milton Glaser

Milton Glaser, one of my graphic design heroes has passed away at 91.

His iconic “I ❤︎ NY” logo was designed in 1976 in the back of a taxi and was drawn with red crayon on scrap paper. While the original drawing is part of MOMA museum, the logo was used since 1977 to promote tourism in New York.

Visiting the Fondazione Prada

We were two days in Milan last week and we had the opportunity to visit the beautiful Fondazione Prada. Co-chaired by Miuccia Prada and her husband Patrizio Bertelli, Fondazione Prada is an institution dedicated to contemporary art and culture. It has venues in Venice and in 2015 it opened a new, permanent facility in Milan. The amazing Milanese venue conceived by Rem Koolhaas, combines existing buildings with new structures. It is the result of the transformation of a distillery dating back to the 1910’s.

(Foto Bas Princen)
The golden building!

First we visited the permanent exhibition and from everything we saw, the following made a big impression to me: The artwork ‘Tulips’ (1995-2004) by Jeff Koons is a massive art installation, perfectly executed.

Carsten Holler’s amazing ‘Upside Down Mushroom Room’ is a dreamy installation that reminds you of Alice in Wonderland.

And last but not least, ‘The Last Judgement’ (2002) by Damien Hirst, which is a huge artwork consisted of real flies glued with resin on canvas.

We also saw a temporary exhibition project curated by Wes Anderson, one of my favorite directors, together with illustrator, designer and writer Juman Malouf. The exhibition is called ‘Il sarcofago di Spitzmaus e altri tesori’ (meaning Spitzmaus Mummy in a Coffin and Other Treasures). Organized in collaboration with two Austrian museums, the exhibition features 538 artworks and objects selected by the two curators, from collections of the Art History Museum and the Natural History Museum in Vienna. The exhibition is organized in a very interesting way by groups of works: from green objects to portraits of children, from miniatures to timepieces, from boxes to wooden objects, from portraits of noblemen and common people to natural subjects like meteorites and animals. All items are mixed and combined, with no regard to chronological order or art movement, with unexpected but very interesting results.

In the end, we enjoyed a great espresso at the Bar Luce, the Fondazione cafe. It was designed by Wes Anderson himself in 2015, recreating the atmosphere of a typical Milanese cafe. The colors, the formica furniture, the seats, the floor, and the wood wall panels are inspired by Italian popular culture and aesthetics from the 1950s and 1960s.

My best planners for 2019

Perfect planner 2019

I love beautiful stationery and I thought it may be worth writing a post about my research for the perfect planner for 2019.

You see, I am old-school when it comes to stationery and I still use an analog planner for my everyday planning of my endless lists. For years, I used Filofax personal organizers, where I wrote my to-do lists and when I carried out my tasks, I took a certain pleasure in crossing them off with a black marker. In the end of each year I just discarded my old and used planner to replace it with a new one.


That is until I stumbled upon the concept of bullet journals and at the same time I discovered South Korean stationery! The whole idea was that the information entered in the planners could be organized better, while it could also look much better. As a result I could keep these beautiful planners as keepsakes. Of course, bullet journals were maybe too much for me, but I liked the idea of trying to make my planners more presentable and not a bunch of crossed-out lists.

Bullet journal examples

Examples of bullet journals

Examples of bullet journals


A South Korean stationery online shop


How it all started

My research started in a South Korean stationery shop called Fallindesign. They have hundreds of beautiful journals, diaries and planners, with monthly, weekly or daily schedulers, either dated or undated. They come with cute stickers for grownups, which you can use to label each task accordingly. The only downside is that, they are not cheap and delivery takes a long time from S. Korea.

planner 2019

planners 2019

Stickers for planners

cute stickers

cute stickers

Go with the Flow

I was specifically looking for a well-designed weekly planner, but with extra space for notes. Another great product (in the South Korean style) that met my specifications is the Flow diary 2019. Great design, beautiful illustrations and hand-lettering, together with special stickers. But unfortunately it doesn’t have enough space for my lists.

Flow diary 2019

Flow diary inside


Flow diary week spread

More minimal maybe

After I selected a few items as a short list, I decided to look for planners with a more minimal design. I ended up with two very similar items.

One is the LEUCHTTURM1917 weekly planner and notebook, that features great colour choices for the cover and has a week shown on one page with an extra ruled notebook page on the other.

LEUCHTTURM1917 weekly planner

LEUCHTTURM1917 weekly planner

The other very similar planner is the Moleskine 12 Months Planner Weekly Notebook. It is conveniently formatted to show the week’s appointments on the left and a ruled page for notes on the right, but was soon rejected as a little boring.

Moleskine weekly planner 2019

The best choice for me

In the end, I found my “perfect” planner amongst the choices of the excellent Busy B online shop. The Perfect Planner Diary 2019 shows one week to a spread, with space for notes, and is also a great size, not too big and not too small. It has great design and paper quality with many-many extra little details (four pockets, tear-out reminder lists, great-looking stickers and a removable notepad). Τhe good price and the very fast delivery are extra bonuses.

Perfect Planner Diary 2019  Perfect Planner Diary week spread Perfect Planner Diary stickers

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