Thursday, January 26, 2012

Mad for Mint

Mint in herb form has been my beloved go-to tea leaf for as long as I can remember. Mint in color form, on the other hand, has never gotten much of my attention. I never considered it as much of a wardrobe option, nor as a potential wall color. It was usually waved off as one of those 'pastel baby colors', or worse, reminiscent of toothpaste and dentists. Yet now, suddenly, I can't get enough. Mint has managed to sneak its way into my consciousness, spawning a full-blown infatuation with all things minty (including its siblings, sage and turquoise). Maybe it's a longing for real crisp winter weather, or maybe it's a memory of azure waters in the Virgin Islands which I visited a few weeks ago. 

Either way, Mint is surely proving to have great potential as a decorative element, adding both freshness and serenity to a room or an outfit. 

Minty home
Images from House to Home, clockwise from upper left : 1 / 2 / 3 / 4

Minty decor, including a lovely paper cut-out from Poland (lower right)
Images clockwise from upper left : domesticcharm / anthropologie / bialakura / dahlhaus via room6 

Dressing for chilly weather
Images from Anthropologie : 1 / 2

 Or for warm weather (ps: if you haven't noticed, mint gets along well with red and coral)
Images Clockwise from left : Doo.Ri spring 2012 rtw via / Dariami / Anthropologie

Mint is surprisingly versatile. It's lovely with warm tones, like light wood or shades of red, but also complements a cool gray or slate. It is at once both wintry and summery, soothing and stimulating.
And if that still isn't enough... go get yourself a bowl of mint chocolate chip ice cream. Yum.

Friday, January 20, 2012


A rustic country breakfast with Neëst:
Images : Neëst

Or a modern city breakfast with Analogue Life:
Images : Analogue Life

Both simple and cozy, each in their own way.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Origami decor

Ever since watching Between The Folds, I've been subconsciously on the lookout for origami-like trends in design. 

Although there is no shortage of paper-based products out there, I was impressed by the scrappy use of cardboard waste in the case of 'pupa', created by Liam Hopkins of Lazerian Installed inside the London offices of Bloomberg, the structure was made entirely of the company's cardboard waste - including the tabletop. Even the chairs were made from recycled wood and leather pieces from Bloomberg's storage. 

Doesn't it look warm and inviting compared to the surrounding office space? I'd just add a few fluffy rugs and settle right in with my laptop.

Images : Liam Hopkins via designboom

These shapely seats, by the same designer, definitely fit the theme. They look surprisingly robust, though I'd imagine leaning back might be risky...
Images: Liam Hopkins and Richard Sweeney via designboom

On the more intricate end of the origami-design spectrum are some incredible works by artists like Ingrid Siliakus or Valérie Buess:

Images : © ingrid siliakus via designboom

Images : valérie buess via designboom

These would certainly make for very dramatic if delicate decor pieces, to hang on a wall or from the ceiling.

But I'm thinking the magic moment happens when paper or cardboard is lit up in the right way, especially from behind or within - i.e. the appeal of paper lanterns. I can only imagine how fantastic a structure like the 'pupa' office cave would look at night, lit up only on the inside, maybe with some small perforations in the surface. Or a lantern version of Ingrid's paper city casting patterns onto a nearby wall.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

A new beginning.

Hello! Welcome to my very first blog post. I'm Justyna. 

My story:   I've spent the last decade or so of my life specializing in science (Biomedical Engineering and Neuroimaging), but recently I decided to get serious about pursuing my lifelong love of design. So, I am currently transitioning into the vast exciting world of interior design and architecture. And goodness, is there a lot to see and learn!

My hope in starting this blog is to filter and organize all the wonderful things I come across on my venture, and in so doing to develop my own style and aesthetic. Since I'm a bit of a newb, I'd love any feedback or tips from you, dear reader / fellow blogger. 

Why Cozy City?   I've lived in many cities during my life, mostly within the United States. Currently I'm living and working in the San Francisco Bay Area, which is a very fun place especially for an outdoorsy type like myself. But no matter how many exciting and charming cities I see, I'm always drawn back to my original home:  Krakow, Poland.  Both my memories and ongoing experiences of Krakow continue to be a huge source of inspiration... in fact, I'm planning to spend a lot more time in Krakow in the near future, so it'll definitely be getting more of the spotlight in my future writings. Stay tuned! 

In the meantime, I'll post more generally on the topic of design and things/places that give a cozy and inviting feeling.

To kick things off, here are a few personal favorites, things that I'm irresistibly drawn to:

1. Wooden interiors - there's just something so warm and practical about them.
Image : Muuuz

2. Warm socks - these are my current favorites, from Smartwool. Very comfy and pretty, too (no offense to my other wool socks from REI)
Image : Smartwool

3. Well-lit kitchens - this one is part of the Tasting Table Test Kitchen & Dining Room in NYC. Lovely design job, also tapping into my weakness for wooden accents. And check out those lamps. and floor tiles. Sigh
Image : Tasting Table

4. Baked goods - What can I say, I'm a simple dark-chocolate-cake kind of girl.
Image : La Tartine Gourmande
5. A good cappuccino - which means a lot of things, from fresh beans to correct proportions to the perfect microfoamy steamed milk. Leafy pattern = bonus.
Image : my Instagram, username miaoufaitil

6. Scarves!!! It's an addiction.
Photos of me by Paul Dabrowski

7. Yarn - not just as an accessory for humans, but knit around everyday objects. Who doesn't love a little yarn vandalism?
Images left to right: ferm living  /   yarnbombing in Oakland!  / my instagram, miaoufaitil


That's all for today. Thanks for checking in and see you again soon!