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Category: Interior

Beautiful chaos.

Graanmarkt 13 is a boutique which houses stylish high-end fashion, curious design objects and collectibles. Items that inspire and feel like coming home, carefully selected by Graanmarkt 13, run by old mutual friends of mine, Tim and Ilse.

Graamarkt 13 also houses a restaurant run by Seppe Nobels who learned his trade in the kitchens of top chefs such as Gianni Brunelli (Osteria le Logge, Siena) and Wout Bru (Chez Bru, Eygalières). He takes the honest, regional cuisine to a higher level and was voted ‘best junior chef in Belgium’ in 2005.

In collaboration with Bart Belmans, Seppe turned all available space of Graanmarkt 13’s garden and rooftops into a genuine city garden. Turning it into a small-scale nursery-garden growing herbs, wild plants and forgotten vegetables.

Vegetables grow happily in the garden of Graanmarkt 13 while herbs stretch towards the light on the roof terrace. Their own bees provide heavenly honey and the optimal pollination of their kitchen garden. What they can’t grow themselves, they get from close by: fish from the North Sea, meat from carefully selected farmers in the local area. Their farmers raise their animals outdoors with a commitment for high quality and healthy foods.

In fact the city-garden barely qualifies for the term since its agricultural area encompasses as much as 40 m2. At first sight, this does not seem much, but it is sufficient to harvest part of the season’s herbs and vegetables for Seppe’s dishes.
In it you’ll even find several themes: a Mediterranean garden, a sea-garden, a vegetable- and fruit-garden, and onion-garden and a shadow-garden. Go for a three course lunch while shopping!

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Hide and seek.

During one of my recurring work trips I happened to end up in Antwerp, Belgium for an overnight stay. Instead of rushing back to Amsterdam my boyfriend and I decided to stay for a romantic evening in Antwerp. And so I happend to end up spending a night in one of the most charming bed & breakfast’s of Antwerp Boulevard Leopold .

A beautiful house dating from the 19th century in the middle of the Jewish quarter of Antwerp. Owned by Bert Verschueren and Vincent Defontainers, Boulevard Leopold is located between the Albert Park and the City Park; the owners say their aim in the interiors was to create a sense of “forgotten glory.”

With three regular rooms for rent and two larger apartments available on longer terms, the B&B, built in 1890, features a mix of intact antique and contemporary design Hardware from that period throughout the entire B&B.

One fine line comes up while staying there “the eye sees only what the mind is prepared to comprehend.” Henri Bergson (French Philosopher, 1927 Nobel Prize in Literature, 1859-1941)

Some special things you should look out for when staying there:

A tabletop adorned with cloche-covered hydrangeas and black candles in crystal.

A black-stained cabinet of curiosities covered with a mix of old books, antique crucifixes, and animal specimen.

A bathroom with tiles from 1900 in one of the two apartments available for long-term lease.

And last but not least the jungle-like dining room where the B&B serves residents breakfast; for those not staying at Boulevard Leopold, breakfast is still available for €10. When staying there I would really recommend room number 01!

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Explorers.

THE EXPLORERS CLUB NEW YORK CITY FOR THE SELBY BOOK

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Solar cells.

Imagine if every object worked as a solar cell?

Marjan van Aubel created a collection of everyday objects that absorb energy from daylight!

This solar glassware gathers energy from the light around it. Whether you are drinking from your glass or have left it on the side, it is constantly working to gather energy.

The solar cells are completely integrated into the objects themselves, a unique self-sufficient system. When you put the glass away, the specially designed cabinet itself collects and stores this energy; it’s a way to gather and harvest energy all within one room. The cabinet works as a battery; this power can be adapted in many ways, from charging your phone to powering a light source.

Within each glass is a photovoltaic layer of dye Synthesized Solar Cell. This means that the properties of colour are being used to create an electrical current. This technology was invented by Michael Graetzel at EPFL. It is a technique based on the process of photosynthesis in plants. Like the green chlorophyll which absorbs light energy, the colours in these cells collect energy.

Graetzel uses a porous Titanium dioxide layer soaked with photosensitive dye – a natural pigment extracted from the juice of blueberries or spinach. He discovered that the dye that gives the red or blue colour to berries, gives off an electron when light strikes it. One side of the glass is positive, the other negative and when the cell is exposed to light, the dye transmits its electrons to the titanium dioxide and releases an electronic current.

The glassware uses sunlight as a sustainable source of energy, but can also work under diffused light. This makes them much more efficient for use inside the home compared to standard solar panels, which only work in direct sunlight and are not suitable for indoor use.

Different colours mean different properties. Each colour has a unique wavelength and collects different currents. For example, blueberries and raspberries have their own voltages and levels of efficiency according to the colour spectrum.

How cool is this?

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