FRAGMENTS_ a road trip through Jordan

FRAGMENTS_ a road trip through Jordan

It’s been only a few weeks since my friend Simon and I boarded a plane to Jordan with an open mind, five rolls of film and a lot of enthusiasm to make a road trip through this  country.  Before a good friend of mine moved to Amman, I never even thought about visiting Jordan, but I was curious to find out what made him pack his bags and move to a country that’s so different from our Western world.  Of course I already knew about Greening the Camps, the non-profit organization he founded in Amman with two friends.  (They design, develop, build and maintain rooftop gardens in Palestinian refugee camps.  While the Palestinian people have a thousand year history as farmers, the refugee camps leave little to no place for agriculture.  By building rooftop gardens, Greening the Camps wants to reconnect local communities with their cultural heritage of farming while growing their own food.  You can have a look at their website for more info or to support them.)

Even though I’d already seen images of Jordan’s beautiful landscapes, I wasn’t prepared for how they’d just keep coming, one after the other and how breathtaking they’d be in real life. It took us only three days to realize that five rolls of film was a grave underestimation of how enthusiastically we’d be snapping away at all those mesmerizing sights.  Apparently smartphones are all the rage while shooting film is considered very old fashioned in Jordan, so unfortunately we weren’t able to buy more. Otherwise, this post would have been at least twice as long…

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FRAGMENTS_ Lisbon in pastel

Fragments_lisbon in pastel - Hannelore Veelaert for aupaysdesmerveillesblog.be

A few weeks ago, I showed you some of Lisbon’s brutalist architecture, but today I want to share a few snaps that capture why I fell in love with the Portugese capital all over again during my last visit. Light blue, soft yellow, blush pink and that wonderful, wonderful light… my favorite city has it all.  If this wonderful weather that we’ve been having lately hasn’t catapulted you into a holiday state of mind, this pastel colored glimpse of Lisbon might just do the trick.  Oh, don’t forget: if you’re planning a trip to Lisbon – I’ve collected all the good stuff here.  In the meantime I’m off enjoying the sun again in our little Belgium. Até já!

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EXPLORED_ Santa Clara 1728 in Lisbon

Explored_ Santa Clara 1728 in Lisbon - Hannelore Veelaert for au pays des merveilles

It’s early in the afternoon when I cross Campo Clara, a square which is home to the famous flee market Feira da Ladra twice a week.  When I lived in Lisbon a few years ago, I spent many hours wandering this market, looking for second hand treasures, but today I have a different goal.  I’m heading to Santa Clara 1728, a hotel hidden in an old convent on the often busy plaza.  Once I step foot inside the majestic entrance hall, the lively city couldn’t seem further away though.  

Santa Clara 1728 - Campo de Santa Clara 128, 1100-473 Lisbon - website - facebook - instagram 

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COLLECTION_ Wonderplants 2

Collection-wonderplants 2 by au pays des merveilles

This week, Irene Schampaert and Judith Baehner launched Wonderplants 2, another book filled with urban jungle interiors and tips on how to keep those plants alive.  As I’m a big fan of both beautiful books and luscious plants, I couldn’t resist rounding up some Wonderplants inspiration in a COLLECTION blogpost.  You’ll discover a few that are also featured in the book, two interiors that are part of my INSIGHTS series and lots of inspiration from the world wide web.  Can’t get enough of these green interiors?  Get the Wonderplants 2 book here!

  1. Bathroom garden styled by Bianca Sotelo and photographed by Ashley Batz.  More images here.
  2. Architect Anouk Taeymans‘ lovely interior, shot by Jan Verlinde, is also featured in the book.  Get a sneak peek here and stop by her open days and stock sale next weekend if you like her style.  (I know I do…)
  3. Wonderful livingroom.  (source unknown, please tell me if you know the author of this image)
  4. The home of fashion designer Paloma Lana (from the appropriately named label Paloma Wool) is another interior that is featured in the Wonderplants 2 book.  Find a sneak peek of her home, shot by Cesar Degarra, here.
  5. Sofie Vertongen introduced the air plants in Belgium with her webshop Phyt and runs a very successful plant shop called The Plant Corner.  I featured her interior on the blog a few years ago, you can find it here.
  6. Clapton Tram is a plant filled film & photography daylight studio, based in a Victorian historic tram depot in London.  Shot by Haarkon here.
  7. Lovely dining room shot by Caro Langton & Rose Ray, see more here.
  8. Snapshot from Jeannie Phan‘s beautiful studio.  Find the full size image here.
  9. Plantlovers Miguel and Lisa’s apartment in Brussels, get all the insights here.
Lannoo kindly gifted me a copy of Wonderplants 2.  However, all opinions are 100% my own.  Thank you for supporting partners that allow me to provide you with new content!

FRAGMENTS_ brutalism in Lisbon

FRAGMENTS_ brutalism in Lisbon - Hannelore Veelaert for au pays des merveilles

The city of Lisbon might be known for its colorful facades and picturesque street views, that’s not all it has to offer when it comes to architecture.  Because I can never resist brutalist architecture with its geometric shapes and intriguing use of materials, I did a little research on brutalism in Lisbon before my last trip to my favorite city.  A google search led me to the Palácio da Justiça, the courthouse of Lisbon which was designed by Januário Godinho & João Andresen in the sixties.  This mastodont of a building ticks all the brutalist boxes, so if you’re a lover of all things architectural, it is definitely worth a detour from your average tour of the Portugese capital. In that case, don’t forget to checkout my Lisbon city guide for more must visits!

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WHERE TO GO IN LISBON

where to go in lisbon After living in this city for five months and countless city trips to Portugal’s capital ever since, I had to compile all my favorite hangouts in one handy city guide.  So, if you’re wondering how a semi-local twenty-something spends her time in Lisbon, this is it!

At the end of this post you can find a google map with all my tips, that you can open on your smart phone while you’re traveling.  On that map, you’ll find even more tips that I’ve collected from my most trustworthy sources, and intend to try out myself in the future.    Have fun!

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EXPLORED_ The Bunkers in Knokke-Heist

B&B The Bunkers Knokke-Heist - Hannelore Veelaert for au pays des merveilles

When driving through the polders in Knokke-Heist, it’s Jonas Van Put’s Observer emerging above the horizon that confirms we’ve almost reached our destination.  Amidst the meadows, sprinkled with bunker ruins dating back to 1785 and the occasional flock of sheep or herd of cows, The Bunkers has found its place in a former barn that has been beautifully renovated by architects Govaerts and Vanhoutte.  While this historical site’s architecture is remarkable, the true protagonist of the experience is the wide view over the luscious green polders, only occasionally disturbed by a few trees or bunker ruins, one of which is now serving as a sheep stable.  Upon our arrival, it’s immediately clear: partner in crime Lies and I have sucessfully managed to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and our daily lives.

The Bunkers - Burkeldijk 18, 8300 Knokke-Heist - website - facebook - instagram - twitter

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FRAGMENTS_ my living room

my living room with parentesi lamp by flos - hannelore veelaert for aupaysdesmerveillesblog

After living here for 6 months, it’s about time I shared a little peek into my new apartment.    First up?  The living room.  While most rooms still need some work, this is the one room that feels the most finished.  A good thing, since it doubles as my entryway (yay for good first impressions) and it’s the one room where I spend the most time, whether it’s in company of my friends or relaxing with a good book or some Netflix on my own.

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COLLECTION_ interior inspiration

 

Since I moved from Leuven to Antwerp, five years ago, I’ve changed houses quite a few times.  First I lived in this room, in a house I shared with 4 others in the lovely Zurenborg neighborhood.  After two years, I felt the need to live on my own and moved into a small studio in the same neighborhood.    Less than a year later, my landlord decided to renovate the building and I was yet again in need of a new home.  I ended up in the lively neighborhood of Borgerhout, in  a slightly bigger apartment, with high ceilings and marble mantelpieces.  I loved this apartment, but it felt a little bit small for my interior experiments and I couldn’t get over the vinyl flooring with a fake hardwood print, a feature I decided to overlook since I was in need of a new home urgently.   That’s until my neighbors from across the hall let me know they were moving out of their apartment.  When I had a look around, I fell head over heels in love.  This place had the same high ceilings and marble mantelpieces that I loved so much, mixed up with hardwood floors, rooms that were much more spacious, an extra room that I could use as an office and an adorable balcony.   At a fairly reasonable price, the decision to move across the hall was made in a heartbeat.

So, a few months ago I moved into this new apartment and since then I’ve been collecting interior inspiration, moving things around and eyeing new pieces.   In my previous, smaller apartments, I had to choose furniture carefully, letting some pieces shine while others blended in, in order for the result to be balanced.  In my current home, it’s an entirely different story.   It’ll take a little while before I can show you the entire apartment as some rooms are more finished than others, but if you would like to see more images of my previous apartment in the meantime, let me know in the comments!  For the time being, I’ll keep moving things around, saving money for new furniture and daydreaming of this collection of interiors, where interesting pieces of furniture take the center stage.

  1. Designer Antonio Sciortino‘s home photographed by Serge Anton for, more images here.
  2. Interior designer Sally Breer‘s loft in Los Angles, photographed by Brigitte Sire.  See more here.
  3. Kitchen in Penthouse S Westkaai, designed by Hans Verstuyft.  See more of his work here.
  4. Art collector and gallerist Miquel Alzueta‘s home, photographed by Jonas Ingerstedt.  Discover the rest of his interior here.
  5. Stylist Thomas Lingsell‘s bedroom shot by Andy Liffner, see more of it here.
  6. The apartment of architect duo Festen, shot by Helenio Barbetta.  See the rest of their home here.
  7.  Source unknown, please let me know if you know where I can find more info about this gorgeous space!  View the full image here.
  8. Architect Ricardo Bofill‘s home and studio, also known as The Factory. (Photo courtesy of Ricardo Bofill.)  See more of his work here and discover the rest of The Factory here.
  9. Berlin apartment of Emmanuel De Bayser, owner of The Corner Berlin fashion boutique, shot by Manolo Yllera.  See more here.

FRAGMENTS_ Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian

Fragments_ Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian in Lisbon - Hannelore Veelaert for au pays des merveilles

The combination of plants and rough concrete is one that is always a win in my book and Lisbon‘s Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian proves my point with conviction.  This brutalist museum houses the art collection of the foundation named after businessman and philanthropist Calouste Gulbenkian.  While the ancient and modern art collection is supposed to be impressive (I have to admit I only ever visited the library), it’s the surrounding gardens that truly make my heart beat faster.  The fragments I’m sharing in this blogpost should give you an impression, but why not plan a trip to Lisbon and visit the Gulbenkian yourself?  In case you do: boredom won’t be an option because I’ve updated my Lisbon city guide

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