Behind the scenes at Iittala

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Kaasa candleholder designed by Ilkka Suppanen in 2015


ongtime readers of this blog may know that I love a good factory visit. I previously visited the Farrow & Ball factory, and had the chance to visit another truly inspiring company earlier this year when I was invited to take a peek behind the scenes at one of my favorite interior brands Iittala! Before the factory tour we learned a lot about Finland’s design icons who often worked closely with Iittala, like Alvar and Aina Aalto, Tapio Wirkkala and Kaj Frank, and then we got to see how these designs were actually made, brought to life by the skilled craftsmen and women at the factory.

Here you can witness the production of glass artefacts, as the artisans create glasses, plates, and vases as well as Oiva Toikka birds from molten glass. And I must say, watching these men and women at work is almost like a meditation. They are so focussed on the job, and they have to be, because the material they are handling is piping hot. The way they behave themselves is almost like visual poetry. Calming and soothing, or that’s the way they make it look.


Kastelhelmi plate, designed by Oiva Toikka in 1964

So I thought I’d share some striking facts from our visit here, as well as some images I’ve created to celebrate the beauty of some of the design objects. Here we go!

Fall living room update

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Hi guys! Hope you’ve had a lovely week. Mine has been great, since it was my birthday on sunday and I got to spend it in my favorite city, Barcelona!

But let’s circle back to our home, and more specifically, the living room. I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with this space. When we first moved in it was a bit of an underloved mish mash of things from our previous place because all of the renovation budget had gone to the reno. Since the changes in the living room went slowly, it has been a bit of a frustrating endeaver for me.

The Epic Guide to Helsinki

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The Epic Guide to Helsinki - Noglitternoglory.comA while ago, I got to visit Finland for the very first time on a press trip with Iittala. The main focus of our trip was our visit to the glass blowing factory to see where the wonderful items were being made, but more about that fascinating process later. Despite the fact that it was a pretty short visit, I got to see enough of Helsinki to share a few favorite spots!

The Epic Guide to Helsinki -

Design Profile: Arne Jacobsen

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Image source: Fritz Hansen

If a building becomes architecture, then it is art.


n one of her latest posts Patricia showed you 3 ways to style Arne Jacobsen’s Series 7 Chair. This time we circle back to Arne Jacobsen again, as I’m going to write more about his life and work as an icon of midcentury design. He was one of Denmark’s most influential 20th century architects and designers and is known for combining modernist ideals and his love for naturalism. In his work every detail is overthought and nothing has been left to coïncidence. This is a very functionalist thought.  

The architect’s first big success was designed in 1929 – House of the future. This house is very important for his future designs as it shows his affinity for geometric shapes for the first time. It also resulted in a lifelong partnership with Fritz Hansen, who still produce many of Arne Jacobsen’s designs today. While he viewed himself an architect first and foremost, he is mostly known by the public for his furniture. The Ant Chair, Swan, Egg and the Series 7 Chair, are examples of well known designs that show how much he loves to work with modern lines but also his inspiration from nature.

Designer profile Arne Jacobsen // Grey wood Ant chair - via noglitternoglory

Image source: Jens Bangsbo

Weekend links: on Blogging

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appy saturday folks! How have you been? These shots are from a slow morning last week, and oh how I love those. Belgium’s been cold but sunny lately, and that’s all you can ever wish for in winter over here, so I’ve been pretty pleased! (Edit: it just started snowing, lol.)

I think the thing I love most here in this shot (apart from the pictures Dieter and I took at our amazing hotel in Barcelona) is that cup of coffee. Made with my new coffee machine (I’ll show you later) and served in my new Vinga cups from Decovry (a perfect size for lattes). What better way to start the day?

5 x Droolworthy Terracotta

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ately I have been crushing hard on a colour that is so 90s I’d never thought I’d love it again: terracotta. Of course we’ve seen a lot of planters in terracotta over the past few years but the colour’s revival is just getting started… The key to styling terracotta the right way so it feels “new” is all in the use of other colours. Modern day terracotta works best with deep reds, blush pinks and berry colours. I’m sold, what about you? Would you consider painting your walls terracotta?
Continue Reading…

New Year New Goals // Spend more time in the kitchen

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ince it’s still the beginning of 2018, I thought I’d make a mini series about the goals I’ve set for myself this year. The past few years my new years resolutions were very brief and focussed mainly around being kind to myself and respecting my own health, but this year it’s all about clear goals.

The first one I wanted to talk about today? Spending more time in the kitchen. Fun fact: I’m not a bad cook, if I want to be. My dad’s a wonderful cook and I inherited his skill of whipping together a meal when there’s seemingly nothing in the fridge (and then being awfully smug about it). But when a busy schedule gets the better of me, I hate cooking and we end up ordering in way too much or eat junk food and waste money on stuff that’s not at all healthy for us. 

Kind Of OJ // Bruges

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KOOJ-11If you follow along on Instagram, you may have noticed that I spent a cosy weekend in Bruges last fall. For many Belgians it’s like an open air museum you visit once or a few times in your life, but now there is a new, very good reason to frequent Bruges more often…The recently opened Kind Of OJ, that serves not only as a B&B but also as an architect’s showroom and art space.

We headed to Bruges with a big group on what was the rainiest, windiest and grimmest weekend of fall, but it didn’t matter as we were quickly immersed in the Kind Of OJ spirit once the door behind us closed and we entered the world of interior designer Jo Hoeven and his family; his wife Eleonore, their daughter Tattou and their family dog Nelson.

My 5 favourite Home Rituals

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ou may have noticed on social media that I had a shoot with Rituals a few weeks ago. They asked me to share some of my favourite uses of their products and scents for Nest Magazine and I was happy to take part.

You see, for me, Rituals was the first brand that even made me come into contact with home scents. When I was a university student in Leuven, I’d spend some of my budget on their “under a fig tree” candle, and it always made my room feel like home. Plus, it felt like such a luxurious splurge that was at the same time well within reach of my student budget.

It’s the small, everyday things that help me structure my busy schedule.

Today I wanted to share some tips for balance if you’re a scatterbrain like me. As a freelancer, I have a very diverse schedule, which is fun but also difficult. One day I’m shooting photos on location, one day I’m stuck behind my desk. I’ve discovered that for me, it’s the small, everyday things that help me structure my busy schedule.

Not coincidentally, this is completely in line with Rituals’ core values. The brand is all about slowing down, taking a step back and enjoying the moment, whether it’s in your beauty or home routine. Finding comfort in everyday moments and making them more enjoyable.

I don’t always follow my own advice, like everything in life it’s been trial and error, but the things below help me to structure my days, so I thought they might help you too.