juliette bates: fragile pieces of passing time

Juliette Bates is a photographer and artist based in Paris, France, she won several prizes and had many exhibitions. This week: my last winter post with some pieces of her surreal and mysterious series named Histoires Naturelles, a real fairy tale story about nature, the passing of time, the fragility of existence full of meaningful symbolism:


© all pictures Juliette Bates with kind permission

More about Juliette’s work here.

I hope spring is coming soon! Next time we will present some of my favourite pieces of my husband we live with at our flat. Living with art, having a glance at it every day, is so inspiring and rewarding. Take care dear followers! Yours, Melanie

A different Iceland by Tommaso Sartori

This week I want to share with you a surrealistic Iceland in a monochrome and dark colour palette with some red images in between. The photographer of this exceptional Iceland series is Tommaso Sartori, he kindly sent us his magic impressions of this spell bound landscape. Tommaso is an advertising and editorial photographer based in Paris with really interesting artwork in his portfolio. Some of his clients are HERMÈS, Patek Philippe, Sergio Rossi and Wallpaper. Let’s have a look:



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© all pictures Tommaso Sartori with kind permission

more of Tommaso’s portfolio here.

Here in the north I’m still enjoying the chilly air, love walking with our dog for ours. But it’s kind of a soft promise that it isn’t dark anymore in the mornings and evenings,  such a magic bluish atmosphere during these hours I love most, lately with a giant nearly yellow moon. Take good care of yourself dear readers! Yours, Melanie Kettner

Valerie Buess and her poetic creatures

My inspiration in these days: internationally renowned sculptor and photographer Valerie Buess and her subtle paper artwork. These objects are poetic creatures, seemingly from an unknown culture or of ancient times. They are alle made from recycled books and sometimes look like archaeological finds. I would love to have them around me to look at them again and again. I love the mysteriousness of the lettering and the different shades of white of all these items


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© all pictures Valerie Buess with kind permission


more about her stunning work here.

the harmony of periodic paradigm

I was looking for textile surfaces and walls for a while. I got to know RtmiS, a multidisciplinary design studio, based in Berlin,  providing design solutions for industrial, interior and graphic projects. I’m fascinated by their surfaces and can imagine them very well on walls or in the fashion industry. I would like to show you some of RtmiS inspiring projects:

»Yfasmatik« is a felt folding technique. The experimentation with different folds led to a creation of three-dimensional and symmetrical patterns. In some way displaying the Chaos theory and its harmony of periodic paradigm. A different profile for each side allows the combination of two different surface structures to integrate in one layer of material. »Yfasmatik« is flexible, yet stable, so that it can be used for interior and furniture design or as a material in the fashion industry. The collection got a Leinemann Foundation (HFBK) design award nomination and can be seen at  the MKG Hamburg – Museum for Arts and Crafts:

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Another project is called “Textilescapes” and tries to recreate beautiful landscapes of  memories….

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And here just a small preview of what RtmiS is working on right now. Some new felt 3d patterns are going to improve acoustic in the room and will make the space come alive…



© RtmiS

More about RtmiS and their fascinating work here. Their webpage will soon be updated. The project Yfasmatik will soon present new objects, new colours. A wonderful weekend dear readers, to focus on the beauty of things never is a fault. It can give you inner peace in troublesome times. Take care! Melanie Kettner

grayish inspirations….

I like the pure, clear colour palette of different gray tones in addition to white and black. We just painted some walls in our studio in a nearly bluish dark gray tone, it’s remarkable what gray does with your interior, especially with wooden items or art prints on the wall. And it is able to add a saturated deepness to a nordic interior I really cherish. An inspiring book for gray walls in Interiors is “Hans Blomquist: In the mood for colour”, by Ryland Peters & Small. More about the book here.

And here are some gray inspiration from Tine K: We ordered these plates of Tine K for Christmas dinner. They are amazingly beautiful, in a light gray tone, each of them one of a kind. You actually don’t need much further decoration, we just added rough and heavy linen table napkins in dark gray from Greengate. But back to Tine K, here are my favourite plates and some other Tine K items I adore:


Tine K sent me some kitchen towels with my gray plates and I must say I never had such a quality in my hands, you can’t stop touching them, a really heavy cotton, but it looks like precious linen. And I like this grey Cotton quilt, available in 260 x 260:


and this soft table cloth in dark grey:


© all pictures tinekhome

More information about these items here.

And here are some grayish inspirations from Nordal, they sent me an email lately and I thought some items and interior atmospheres might be of interest for you:


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© all pictures Nordal

You will find a list of Nordal dealers and webshops here.

A wonderful weekend my dear readers! It’s such a windy and rainy season at the moment, good time for rearranging interior settings at home.

Take good care of yourself! Melanie

Iceland by Jonathan Smith

Winter inspiration before Christmas break with Jonathan Smith and his wondrous images of Iceland- a truly magic land. He captures the colours and soft light that winter reveals in certain moments. Just let indulge without too much words:










13_neg0510 13_neg0436 © all pictures Jonathan Smith with kind permission

more about Jonathan here.

His work consists of large scale, highly nuanced color photographs of the natural and breathtaking beauty of landscapes. He has been the recipient of a number of awards for his work that appeared in the Smithsonian and View magazines, PDN, Art and Architecture and The Royal Photographic Society Magazine. Thanks Jonathan for the cooperation with NORTHLETTERS!

A wonderful Christmas time dear followers, I am already looking forward to this peaceful season with long walks in still dark mornings, some chilly barbecue at the dawn, snow, ice flow on the sea and icicle on the roofs. I like all the lights outside, illuminated gardens and balconies in the darkness. It is my favorite time of the year because it is so dreamy and cozy and the air is fresh and cold…take good care of yourself and see you in January! Yours, Melanie Kettner

“The stuff of life” by Hilary Robertson

For This weekend I want to share with you “The stuff of life” by Hilary Robertson, published by Ryland Peters & Small. The way persons display objects in their homes reveals a lot about themselves. It is a little bit kind of magic how certain people arrange items, like Hilary Robertson does. She names this way of creating arrangements at home “personal altars”. These spots tell a story about journeys, memories or dreams. I think a lot about shapes and forms of objects to arrange at home. Nothing is more inspiring for me than a book like Hilary’s, showing the work of creatives displaying items in a way that magic occurs: Poetic still lifes, collections of vintage, salvaged and recycled objects or charming curiosities. The arrangements are always surprising, fresh, different in thinking and feeling. I love exactly this combination in interior styling. Let’s have a peek inside the book:

The Stuff of Life by Hilary Robertson (Ryland Peters & Small, £25) Photography by Anna Williams
The Stuff of Life by Hilary Robertson (Ryland Peters & Small, £25) Photography by Anna Williams
The Stuff of Life by Hilary Robertson (Ryland Peters & Small, £25) Photography by Anna Williams
The Stuff of Life by Hilary Robertson (Ryland Peters & Small, £25) Photography by Anna Williams

She describes how she and her husband built up a collection in New York, how they started trawling markets together. At home they display useful or unuseful things in eclectic compositions. One chapter is named ” stories told by real homes” and deals with “neatniks”, per definition persons who are extremely neat about surroundings. I suppose I am little bit a neatnik. Hilary describes so well in this chapter, how you can be a neatnik and nonetheless have some collections and a breathing and living home.

The Stuff of Life by Hilary Robertson (Ryland Peters & Small, £25) Photography by Anna Williams
The Stuff of Life by Hilary Robertson (Ryland Peters & Small, £25) Photography by Anna Williams

In the introduction Hilay writes: ” For me, making a home really was about the layers of things that are acquired over time; things that have stories and remind you of places and people and a feeling of discovery. It’s always a way of showing the world who you are: the museum of me; a key to your personality. I think that all ‘stuff ‘, even the most quotidian, can be beautiful if it is arranged as if it is important. And beauty (whatever beauty is to you) is balm for the soul.”

The Stuff of Life by Hilary Robertson (Ryland Peters & Small, £25) Photography by Anna Williams

So, if you need a book, which is a pure delight to watch and read and which surely will lead you through your home with a complete different sight on every angle, than Hilary’s book is a the perfect choice.

Thanks so much Hilary and Ryland Peters & Small!

You can order your copy of the book here.

A wonderful weekend for you, dear followers! Hope you are all well! In two weeks I will publish my last article here before Christmas holidays with stunning and poetic pics of Iceland. Take good care of yourself and a peaceful and calm Advent season! Melanie Kettner

The VIPP kitchen….

Recently we were looking for a functional industrial kitchen and again I came across this one:  The black kitchen of VIPP, a Danish company standing for product design with a strong focus on quality materials and mechanics. This is reflected in their kitchen, where all choices concerning aesthetics and technical details have already been made in advance. Thus the kitchen appears with a coherent design all the way trough. The functionality is industrial: Fronts are made of stainless steel, the sink and countertop are made in one seamless piece. The back of the handles and the inside of the drawers are lined with soft rubber that is pleasant to touch. All these details guarantee durability, functionality without sacrifying aesthetics.


VIPP considered the question: what would a Chef value: ” A solid grip when opening drawers and turning the gas button. A kitchen raised on legs for easy access to clean the floor. A steel table top that can handle hot pots and pants.Our inspiration is taken from the professional market, where a kitchen is a tool and not decoration. We bring this philosophy in the private home.” Let’s have a look how this stunning kitchen surprisingly fits in very different surroundings:




Vipp was born out of a need for functional tools in the professional market. Just like Holger Nielsen, who crafted the famous VIPP bin for Danish clinics, the company considers itself as ‘tool builders’: “Our driving ambition is to bring functional principles found in the professional market into the private home with genuine, industrial design objects. Our ambition is a world with fewer but better products.”




The company: “We only make one type of each product. Because once you have captured the essence of a product and done your utmost in its conception, what else is there to achieve? Therefore, you will never see a younger model of an existing Vipp product.”

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All pictures © VIPP. Photographer: Anders Hviid

A wonderful relaxed weekend dear followers with lots of inspiration for your kitchen design. We just ordered two new black bins, black and white kitchen towels and the durable black dish washing brush of VIPP with a replaceable head. It is really pleasant to work with. Surprising how new “accessories” kann give your kitchen a new appearance.

The VIPP kitchen collection can be seen here and the dish washing brush here.

Take good care of yourself! Yours, Melanie Kettner

The Cycles of Fäviken

Remarkable this in many ways secret place: Restaurant Fäviken Magasinet in northern Sweden located in complete solitude, shortly before nowhere land, 600 km north of Stockholm. If you want to have dinner here, like in a fairy tale you have to make a long trip first. Chef Magnus Nilsson acclaimed two Michelin stars, his restaurant is fully booked several months in advance, he cooks for max. 16 persons. His food philosophy deserves attention:




Being tired of his life in Pairs, he decided to stop cooking and went back to where he comes from. By accident he returned to the kitchen in an apparently inhostible area: Faviken stands on a 20,000-acre hunting estate and nature reserve in Jamtland with long white winters. The challenge Magnus Nilsson imposes on himself and his team is: the surrounding nature decides what comes on the table and this even in winter. Incredible how this task elicits Magnus Nilsson’s creativity in his own little universe, impressive the many different methods of conserving food in summer he developed for the long winter months. Magnus cooks for just a few people about 30 courses in the evening.



At Fäviken they do things as they have always been done at Jämtland, they follow seasonal variations and traditions. During summer and autumn, they harvest what grows on their land and prepare it using rediscovered rich traditions, or with methods they have created through their own research to maintain the highest quality of the end product. Magnus Nilsson: “We build up our stores ahead of the dark winter months. We dry, salt, jelly, pickle and bottle. The hunting season starts after the harvest and is an important time, when we take advantage of the exceptional bounty with which the mountains provide us. By the time spring and summer return to Jämtland, the cupboard is bare and the cycle begins again.”

Magnus Nilsson

© all pictures: Erik Olsson with kind permission

Magnus Nilsson saves nearly lost and secret recipes and  transforms them in something new. His important message for us all: Magnus Nilsson is following his own path, always seeking development. I bought his new cookbook lately with the title  “The Nordic Cookbook”. It seems like an outstanding and very giant bible of northern cooking with stunning images, wonderfully written, and it really is a kind of bible. What I like most of this book is that Magnus Nilsson reflects the cultural background of the recipes and poses the historical question of how a recipe develops this way and not another one. It is not an idealization of a dreamed nordic kitchen, he documents things as they are. He started with a collection of recipes people all over the nordic region sent to him and so this book has a historic and cultural character. Then he started traveling meeting the people of the recipes, eating with them and saving the recipes. This huge book is a beautiful Christmas gift, as you may guess, for interested persons in this subject. I love this book and gave it as a birthday present to my husband. It’s such a  treasure to learn from day by day….

Thanks Magnus Nilsson & Fäviken for the kind cooperation!

More about an adventurous dinner at Fäviken & booking information here.


A wonderful week and weekend  dear followers! See you here in about two weeks! Take good care of yourself!

Melanie Kettner

To resist the appeal of distraction….

Inspiration for the weekend: “Less is more” to apply to daily life with the aim to acquire more tranquillity, even if it may mean to resist media entanglement and the appeal of distraction. At home and in our agency we try to live accordingly f.e. by arranging some kind of blankness, with every item having its own place with not to much around. Our long white table for lunch, dinner and meetings for example has always to be blank in between, so that one can sit there with a scratch book and order one’s thoughts. It’s important to integrate isles of calmness in the sometimes hectic world of work, in our case film and photography, as often as one can and on different levels. Not an easy task. Therefore we cook and have lunch together with our team everyday.

The awesome pictures are from Dominik Tabaranski, conceptual fashion photographer based in New York, shot for Kinfolk. They show the principle Less is more in a beautiful and playful way.






© Dominik Tabaranski for Kinfolk with kind permission

Inspiration for the weekend therefore: “Voluntary simplicity means going to fewer places in one day rather than more, seeing less so I can see more, doing less so I can do more, acquiring less so I can have more.”- Jon Kabat Zinn.

That means: To accept some kind of voidness to find some other sort of enlightenment, to withdraw from the fast, superficial aspects of life and to look for the tranquillity and imagination daily life offers when our mind is not distracted from too much visual and auditive noise around us. Dominik too believes that less is more. His work has been shown in more than 30 exhibitions worldwide, he is represented by Marek & Associates. More about his work  on www.tarabanski.com

Thanks Kinfolk and Dominik for for sharing their pictures with NORTHLETTERS!

Take good care my dear followers and see you here in about two weeks and meet the Swedish Chef de Cuisine of Fäviken Magnus Nilsson! Yours, Melanie Kettner