Posts in People
Marbled Wood Flooring By Snedker Studio

I came across some magical wood flooring (and decorative wood for walls too!) last week and still days later, I can't stop thinking about it. This is always a sign that I have to share with all of you! I feel like I could write a glorious intro but the photos so beautifully speak for themselves that I'm not sure I could do better in words. All I can say is that this is wood and these floors and walls make me so deliriously happy. Snedker_05

Designed by Pernille Snedker Hansen of , these surfaces definitely satisfy my love of interesting floors which is why I adore decorative tile so much. She is both an artist and designer who loves to explore color and patterns and is fascinated by the traditional craft of marbling, a technique she has brought to her wooden surface designs. Her work reminds me a lot of (floating ink) marbling, a Japanese technique that was practiced in the 12th century long before it landed in western cultures.

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In 2012, Pernille won the Wallpaper Design Award and currently exhibits her work in conjunction with the Danish Crafts Council. Beginning today, she is also exhibiting in Copenhagen as part of at , so go and check that out if you can.

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When it comes to surfaces, I love the tile work that I've seen during my travels to North Africa, Turkey and Mexico. Even cities like Lisbon and Berlin have some of the best tiles; and old German tile from the turn of the century is gorgeous. But seeing decorative wooden floors is quite another thing, and it's inspiring because wood is so warm and has a different feel underfoot. It's also not as common to see patterned wood, is it? I've seen some that has had stencils applied to it, or given different washed treatments, but marbled? That's a whole new level of innovation and craftsmanship.

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"The floor is the largest wooden surface in Scandinavian homes. Marbelous Wood reinterprets this classic domestic feature with vibrating colours across its surface. In Marbelous Wood – Refraction, both the form of the parquet floor and the applied pattern are inspired by the refraction of light through a prism, a graduating colour scale from one colour to the next. Its highly organic yet graphic patterning creates an optical experience as your feet move across the floor. The transparent marbling pattern merges with the wood, entering into a dialogue with the inherent ornamentation of wood. Marbelous Wood tells a story about time. Each print captures a unique frozen moment within the process. Produced one drop of colour after another, ring by ring, the pattern is constructed on the water surface. The final result is a reflection of the annual rings of wood."

I enjoyed watching from 2013 showing her process and hearing her comment on what's involved in making these floors (she speaks Danish but their are English subtitles). It's both fascinating and fills you with loads of respect for the thought and work involved. The video was made by in connection with the exhibition MINDCRAFT13.

I'm so happy that I stumbled upon this flooring, it really made me smile and feel super inspired! Hope it did the same for you. And thank you dear Pernille for working with me to run this story on cattledogs. And all the best with your new baby, Pernille. And remember dear readers, if you plan to be in Copenhagen for , definitely seek out the exhibition and look for Pernille and tell her hello for me. ;)

(Photographs with permission from Snedker Studio)

Parisian Handmade Flowers Laurence Aguerre

Our trip to Paris yielded so many good experiences and memories, beyond words, really. From meeting (and lunch!) with Artistic Director Daniel Rozensztroch of to hanging out with the delightful Cécile Figuette of , making flowers with shopowner and author Adeline Klam... It was all so fascinating... Oh and did I tell you that we were treated to a beautiful lunch and dessert at ? We were indeed. We also visited the much envied children's online store  in their first new storefront. Oh, and there was the great hotel that treated us so nicely, , with a bathtub I could have slept in... It was a beautiful week. But there's more... I got to meet a fan of my blog who is also an exquisite artist, a textile designer with the hand of a magician, who transforms delicate fabrics into blooms that you simply have to see to believe. Her name is . Morten Toni Vinther for cattledogs

We spent time with Laurence chatting in mostly French (thank God I had my friend with me to help!) in her tiny, sunny studio that is part of a collaborative artists' space where you have to win a lottery to get your own atelier (or not) there. The  35 ateliers are located in a large building in central Paris called , which is known as a incubator of creativity or as the French would say, "L'incubateur des métiers de création."

Laurence was such a joy to meet and as sweet and calm as the flowers she creates. Clearly passionate about textiles and production, it is one of her dreams to see her work in the window at a store like because she wants to touch many more outside of her native France. After working for two decades in fashion, she furthered her education by returning to university to study textile design and today, she's doing installations and creating things from fabric, wire, beads and string that are quite impressive.

Morten Toni Vinther for cattledogs

Morten Toni Vinther for cattledogs

Holly Becker for cattledogs

Morten Toni Vinther for cattledogs

Morten Toni Vinther for cattledogs

Holly Becker for cattledogs

Morten Toni Vinther for cattledogs

Holly Becker for cattledogs

Holly Becker for cattledogs

Her love for nature, particularly flowers and plants, inspired her recent work to make poetic, dancing flowers that are peeking out of a wood board while others are mounted in raw cement holders. And they do indeed dance. When you pass by, or open a window, they sway magically just as they would in nature. These light and airy blossoms captivated me and I only wish I had been able to spend more time with Laurence to examine each more carefully. Yet the time I was able to observe her creations was so inspirational to me because, upon close inspection, each flower is so meticulously made that you really couldn't walk away without enormous respect for the time that must have went into crafting each bud and blossom.

Thank you Laurence for having us and a special note of thanks to dear Amelie for setting up this special visit for us, and to Toni for the translation and the beautiful photographs. I would be no where without the wonderful people I work with and the fantastic chances I get to meet such special artists. Merci!

(Text: Holly Becker)

Conversation With Daniel Rozensztroch at Merci Paris

I just returned from a beautiful trip to Paris, then London, so I have a great deal to share with you but first, the highlight. My day at in Paris with Artistic Director Daniel Rozensztroch. First, it was a dream come true to meet with him, not just for an interview, but for a store tour, lunch together and frequent chats throughout the day. He is such a creative man, a true artist, and I loved learning more about his life and travels which I’m thrilled to share with you now through my words and photographs.

Holly Becker for cattledogs

Holly Becker for cattledogs

As Artistic Director, he is solely responsible for the overall image of this famed concept store which is a major design influencer in not only France but worldwide. Before coming to Merci, he was with top French interiors magazine, , for 22 years as Editorial Advisor (Conseiller de la redaction). Now with Merci for 8 years as Artistic Director (Directeur artistique), it’s clear his attention to the brand, the customer, what’s happening globally in design and his own inner radar for what’s appealing fills his mind constantly and is something in which he possesses endless passion.

Holly Becker for cattledogs

Holly Becker for cattledogs

(One of the cafes in Merci, the Used Book Cafe, with walls of books to peruse while sipping espresso. This was born from Daniel's creative imagination.)

Daniel combs the globe for inspiration and products to take under his wing and bring into the store but additionally, he organizes and curates massive installations in-store that frequently change, all based around themes which range from microtrends (he has the power to set them) and rising trends in either design, fashion, lifestyle, cooking or movements in thinking. He’s always watching the news to see how current events may influence or shape ideas for upcoming shows at the store. He likes to bring awareness to particular themes while also inspiring Merci customers. He likes to make people think. It’s not all about selling product to him, his passion reaches much farther than the wallet – he wishes to inspire collective consciousness to motivate people to consider their lives and the everyday decisions that they make to move towards greater positivity and joy. And products can certainly help aid in that, if you are shown the right ones, which is something he believes in as well – the power of the object and its ability to bring harmony to life.

Holly Becker for cattledogs

Holly Becker for cattledogs

The current theme, for instance, is sports and wellness and is called . Clearly an important topic as cities globally are expanding awareness on the topic and more juice bars, sports clubs and fitness apparel shops are bursting open. Paris is currently experiencing a great awareness around health and fitness too. I observed this clearly as I saw about 50% less smokers than in times past when I had visited the city.

Holly Becker for cattledogs

Holly Becker for cattledogs

(We loved the and walked away with one of the )

After the fitness theme, he gave me an insider’s tip that he’s worked with a team of talented people to develop a monochromatic theme based around African prints, patterns and design, which I cannot wait to see because I only think of saturated color when I think of most African textiles and furnishings.