EL Journal

FROM EXCLUSIVE PROFILES TO UP-CLOSE-AND-PERSONAL INTERVIEWS WITH MOVERS AND SHAKERS FROM THE DESIGN WORLD, DISCOVER THE ESENSUAL LIVING COMMUNITY THROUGH THE ONE-AND-ONLY EL JOURNAL, BROUGHT TO YOU BY OUR EXCLUSIVE TEAM OF LEADING DESIGN AND LIFESTYLE JOURNALISTS.
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Green Living, Portraits of Style Visionaries

Our “Green Issue” style visionaries are exemplary individuals whose eco-effective design values and holistic vision span both work and lifestyle. Reflective of Esensual Living’s own “green attitude” and our resolve to support those actively involved in ethical and eco-conscious projects, widely promoting and using organic materials – for instance Lissoy, Libeco, AAVA to name a few - our styles visionaries are pioneers in their respective fields, investing in our collective future through intelligent and innovative design and ethical choices.

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In responding to our four questions, they share with us how their holistic creative vision has become an integral part of their design philosophy and demonstrate ways to minimise the impact that our lives have on our environment, energy resources, and our global society as a whole. From preserving tropical reefs, employing local artisans, to incorporating technology that promotes energy efficiency and zero waste, our visionaries remind us that we can all make a difference.

 

1. How important is it to you to combine design aesthetics and sustainability within your work?


2. When designing a project, what environmental aspects do you endeavor to incorporate and respect?


3. In what ways do you promote a more ecologically conscious way of life, both in your home and at work?


4. Do you have a personal “green” ritual? 

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LISSOY, Functional Yet Ultra Elegant Bed Linens

Intelligent inventions often evolve from attempts to solve everyday challenges. Take for instance French textile brand Lissoy’s Easyclip duvet cover, an innovative product, which offers a practical solution to a stylish and unique product, and in doing so, marks the end of battling with duvets and duvet covers forever…

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Terunobu Fujimori’s Tokyo

Terunobu Fujimori is one of Japan’s most influential architects and has charmed the world with his playful tree houses and tea huts. A longtime resident of Tokyo, he cherishes the mega-city’s traditional neighbourhoods, which remind him of village life in the countryside where he grew up. With new projects on the way in Japan, Europe and Taiwan, the former Tokyo University professor recently finished “Storkhouse” – a micro-hotel in Raiding, Austria, the birthplace of composer Franz Liszt.

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In Tokyo’s concrete-fuelled construction world Fujimori has no enemies, no competitors, no envious colleagues. And why should he? His creations are made of wood, earth, plants and stones, and often sit on top of trees. Sometimes he builds houses with his own hands, or “together with friends,” as he emphasises. His sense of humour and humble approach to his profession are legendary and have drawn to him environmentalists, writers, artists, Buddhist priests, philosophers and luminaries like Morihiro Hosokawa. Hosokawa, the former Prime Minister of Japan, who now devotes his life to pottery making, and recently ran for the office of governor of Tokyo, asked Fujimori to build his studio and an adjacent teahouse in a tree. “My work is all about keeping the fun of childhood alive,” says Fujimori.” I guess that’s why people can relate to my work instantaneously.

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NINA RICCI Grows Lifestyle Under Peter Copping

From Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers to a G & T, nothing beats a great double act. And the early success of veteran Parisian fashion label, Nina Ricci, came down to just that.

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Urban Living, Portraits of Style Visionaries

At Esensual Living, we are inspired by how architects and interior designers are innovatively redefining how we live and relate to our city lives. Big cities have evolved to become architectural and design wonders, a melding of contemporary creations and reinterpreted historical sites. From skyline apartments to old factories and warehouses converted into spacious lofts, this creative process couldn’t happen without the talent and foresight of our Style Visionaries who, forever resourceful and original, are committed to bringing a new dynamic to urban lifestyle.

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Responding to our four key questions, this month’s Style Visionaries invite us into their own city dwellings and unveil some of their exceptional realisations, demonstrating how design challenges regenerate big cities.

 

1. What is your design ethos for a unique urban space?


2. Do you have any preferred urban home textiles that you favour using for your residential projects?


3. What is your idea of an urban (big city) heavenly space?


4. Which part of a city’s cultural history inspires your work?

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Louisa Guinness’s Dublin

The Louisa Guinness Gallery is unique in that it is dedicated to jewellery made by famous contemporary artists and sculptors. Commissioning custom-made pieces from the likes of Anish Kapoor, Gavin Turk, Antony Gormley, Lucio Fontana, Sophia Vari, Marc Quinn, Jeff Koons, Pol Bury and Ross Lovegrove, each piece is a rarity, a mini sculpture, rendering them highly collectible pieces of wearable art. Entirely handmade in London’s Hatton Garden or Artist’s Studio, many of the pieces are one-offs or from limited edition batches.

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“Designing cufflinks, necklaces and rings presents a unique opportunity for artists to express their creativity in a different medium,” says the gallery’s founder, Louisa Guinness, who is present every step of the way. “Each new project is an artistic challenge. I invest myself totally in the creative process from the first sketch to the final object,” she adds.

The London gallery has also amassed an impressive collection of historic jewellery by the modern masters such as Pablo Picasso and Max Ernst. “I first discovered Picasso, Braque and Niki de Saint Phalle jewellery in my mother in law’s private collection, then on the fingers and around the necks of friends,” she explains.

The launch of her gallery 10 years ago was a radical but logical career move for Louisa who worked as a stockbroker for over a decade. The entrepreneur grew up surrounded by art and design and had always been a collector of art, design and photography. Initially she began showing pieces by the modern masters, before venturing further and working directly with her contemporaries. Marking the gallery’s 10th anniversary, Louisa has opened a beautifully designed space by Maybank and Matthews in Mayfair. Clearly following in the footsteps of her inventive and entrepreneurial Irish ancestors, who better than Louisa to take us back to her roots and lead us through the streets of Dublin in this month’s City Barometer?

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Mountain Living, Portraits of Style Visionaries

At Esensual Living, we love how innovative architects and designers are creating stylish contemporary alpine interiors and hotels where the WOW factor is not just the view outside! Whether in Courchevel with Joseph Dirand's upcoming opening of l'Apogée or in St Moritz with Gilles et Boissier for Moncler's President Remo Ruffino or in Aspen with Caroline Sarkozy or in Gstaad with Thierry Lemaire - Mountain Style has taken a new direction.

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Designers are mixing contemporary design with traditional elements, creating strong, open spaces decorated with noble materials like stone, wood and metal, alongside natural fabrics such as wool, linen and cashmere. We’ve come along way from the humble ski hut but it’s not been entirely forgotten... In answering our three questions, this month’s Style Visionaries unveil their choice of Mountain Style and share their views on how it has evolved over the years towards a more understated and livable luxury.

 

1. Describe your ideal ski chalet or alpine interior – which architectural style or design most resonates with you?


2. Which home textiles are a must to create your perfect mountain or chalet atmosphere?


3. After an adventurous day in the snow, what are your favorite wellbeing rituals?

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Federica Palacios’s Geneva

Designer Federica Palacios is known for juxtaposing natural, contrasting textures to create tactile, sensual and luxurious interiors. Based out of Geneva, Frederica is one of today’s most talented decorators leading the way in redefining mountain chic, where the interior elements reference the alpine environment in a strong salute to the traditional ski hut. 

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Frederica’s own history is equally as varied; born in Argentina, she has a Swedish/French mother, has lived in London and calls Geneva her home. Excellent credentials it seems to join us as Esensual Living’s guide to Geneva in this month’s City Barometer. Federica knows Geneva inside out, from the roof top apartments she has transformed to the banks of Lac Léman.

Before hitting the slopes of her beloved Gstaad for the holidays, where she revamps hotels and private chalets, Frederica takes us on her exclusive tour of Geneva, the city she not only describes as the threshold to the world’s greatest mountain resorts, but also the “centre of the world”.

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LIBECO, Dream Linens For All Seasons

“Libeco’s mission is to strongly endorse the sustainable fiber of flax, the craftsmanship of our artisans and the timelessness of our refined home products.”

Libeco CEO Raymond Libeert

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Pierre Marcolini’s Brussels

“Each day, my ‘raison d’être’ is to offer my customers a dream.” 

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No festive season is complete without the world’s favourite treat: chocolate. Man’s love affair with the dark stuff stretches back over three millennia, exchanged as royal gifts by the Mayan And Aztec civilisations and offered by priests to the deities during religious ceremonies. The first European contact with chocolate was through Emperor Montezuma who introduced Spanish conquistador Hernan Cortes to “Xocolatl” in the form of a bitter beverage in the 16th century. Today, the new king who reigns over the chocolate realm is none other than Belgian chef Pierre Marcolini who has revolutionised the world’s approach to the precious bean.

 

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