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Archive for December, 2011

Sneak peek into 2012

December 28th, 2011


I was sixteen and visiting the British Museum during a school trip to London. I sat down with one of my best friends to contemplate the Greek Temple from Xanthos. I pondered: “Wouldn’t it be great if you could have your bed right there…you would wake up every morning surrounded by so much beauty.” She didn’t laugh or look at me in a funny way. She agreed with full enthusiasm. She just immediately understood what I was talking about. That’s why we were then and still are today really close friends…and this event was probably a sign we would both end up studying architecture.

I call this my first aesthetic experience. The temple exuded harmony. I could look at it and keep on looking and not get tired of what I saw. All I wanted was to be there and stay there. The moment to last forever. That’s to which extend my surroundings can affect me, to be completely absorbed and mesmerized by them. On a rare occasion I have experience the same intensity yet those moments have been few and far between (but i must admit there are still so many places to visit and to be discovered). Luckily some places do catch my attention. An eye for detail, a collection of objects, carefully curated materials and texture make you stop and really look at what you are seeing. Those aesthetic shelters are a bit an escape, from the daily monotony, from the wall I’ve been meaning  to repaint but never get around to, from the curtains i wanted to replace since the first day we moved into our apartment but after 4 years are still hanging strong.  All places i love to visit and hang out at, whether those are shops or friends apartments. Expected many of those shelter on this blog in 2012. All the best wishes for the next year!

Flea market finds

December 22nd, 2011


There is no escaping Christmas is almost upon us. I must admit I am not that big of a fan. The fuzz, the drama, the lights. Don’t get me wrong, i love spending that day with my family; watching my nieces and nephew unwrapping their presents is priceless. Yet I always experience a sense of relief once we are January  when things get back to normal, the days become longer and spring is just a couple of months away. So for me a hint of sarcasm and a smile is never really far away this time of the year. When last month i found this Fair Isle knitted jumper my hart skipped a beat. It was just perfect; perfectly over the top! Slightly reminiscent  of Colin Firth’s lovely reindeer jumper in Bridget Jones. I had to have it.

My boyfriend was not that convinced: Are you going to buy that?! The look on his face gave away a mixture of disbelieve and disgust. A classic man-repeller moment (thank god for Leandra Medine her oh so funny blog). All I need is a scarlet red lipstick to top of the look and i’m good to attend any Chirstmas dinner.

 pictures by elisabeth for aestheticshelter

First time

December 20th, 2011


While doing my last internship I was working in a bar on weekends. At one point my boss planned a day off leaving me in charge for the next day. So far so good, i had been in charge before, until he announced I had to make soup! Me, preparing a warm meal for customers to eat…not just friends or family, but for real paying customers??? Terrified I took a piece of paper and wrote down his instructions. The next day I came in early and started cooking (and calling my boss just to double check if I did everything right). Eventually the first customers came ordering the soup of the day. I played it cool, told them we were serving a lovely zucchini soup but kept a close eye  while they took there first bite. To my surprise I saw a smile on the woman’s face and when i checked if everything was ok they both said everything was great. I was stunned…

The recipe is as simple as can be (to think i once had to write this down). Since then I have never had ready made soup from the supermarket ever again (which I used to have on a weekly basis, convincing myself i was eating something healthy in strong contrast to my regular pasta and cornlfakes routine).

Last weekend was a rather lazy one so an easy recipe like this came in handy. This time I made pumpkin soup.

Serve 4:

  • 1 large onion, chopped in small pieces
  • 1/2 large pumpkin cut in big chunks: I used a Kabocha pumpkin.They are still available in the supermarket so late in the season and they really do taste sweeter than any other variety
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • olive oil

Take  a large cooking pot, place it on low to medium heat and add a generous spoon of olive oil. Toss in your chopped onions. Stir till they become translucent (about 10 -15 minutes). Add your pumpkin and stir for 5 more minutes. Disolve your stock cube in 1 liter of boiled water. Add the stock to your vegetables and keep on a medium heat for 40 -45 minutes…mix…and that’s it.

In the picture I topped the soup with some fresh oregano. It’s hard to get your hands on in regular supermarket but so worth buying if you manage to find some. The flavor matches the sweetness of the pumpkin beautifully. But again, this basic recipe works with many vegetables, zucchini, carrots, leek…the choice it yours.

PS: The lovely golden brown home made croutons are just day old bread fried in olive oil with some freshly ground sea salt.

pictures by elisabeth for aestheticshelter

A rinho, a bulldog and an ugly stool

December 19th, 2011


It was a good start of the week! I scratched many things of my  ever expanding to do list. Instant gratification. So let’s continue in that same good spirit and talk home inspiration.

The  New York apartment of Lauren Santo Domingo, co-founder of Moda Operandi, has been featured in the Home section of a while ago. It’s been on my mind ever since. There is a lot to love even to covet (that beautiful coffee table…sigh) but what i appreciate the most is that she managed to create an beautiful overall look of rich tones and texture  infused with a serious sense of humour. Splaches of apparently ‘odd’ colours in the mix with some wildlife. About the pink stool she explains: “Every house should have a wrath, or really ugly piece”. I can not make any sense why, but the thought alone makes me smile. For the full feature of her apartment click here.