Kimono's, geisha's, zen gardens... No one can deny Japan has something fascinating. Luckily you don't need to fly 9.000 km to get a taste of the Land of the Rising Sun. The beautiful city of Hasselt not only offers culture, gastronomy and fashion, it also has many assets with a Japanese touch and 2017 is the most perfect year to experience all of it. To celebrate the 25th birthday of the Japanese Garden in Hasselt, they organize the Yokoso Festival (Japanese for 'welcome') with lots of special events. High time to plan a 48h city trip to the Belgian Capital of Taste!
Did you know there are over 100 places in the world called Waterloo? And they all got their name from the Belgian location where Napoleon was defeated in 1815. The memorial dedicated to the historical battle that would change Europe's destiny is reason enough to visit this city in the Walloon Brabant, but there's more to it. Its commercial center is really pleasant and home to a few great spots that I gladly share with you. Follow me!
I guess it's very clear by now I have a thing for tropical plants and architecture. So what if I told you there is a place where these two loves come together in the most splendid way? The Royal Greenhouses of Laeken form a magnificent complex of glass and steel and house some true botanical gems. This Belgian landmark is only open for 3 weeks a year for people who aren't royals so take out those agendas and write this down.
You've had a taste of iconic central Manhattan, you've experienced the 'small-scale' neighborhoods, so now it's time to discover the Southern end of the island and venture into the adjacent borough that is Brooklyn. Along the way you'll encounter many buildings that testify of the industrial past of these areas and you'll enjoy some major scenic views that are at their best when accompanied by clear blue skies!
After spending the first few days in central Manhattan looking for the major New York landmarks, you are ready to discover the 'alternative' part of the City. A little more to the South, you'll find the arty and fashionable neighborhoods which I loved even more. I guess this is where you'll experience real NY life: chilling in small parks, discovering trendy lunch spots, doing a little shopping and most importantly pretending to be Carrie Bradshaw in Perry Street!
Fifth Avenue, the Chrysler Building, the Brooklyn Bridge... Not only are these quintessential New York landmarks, they're also Sex and the City icons, the relationship narrative centered around Carrie Bradshaw (also known as my hero) that is responsible for my fascination of the City. For years I've been fantasizing about the Big Apple from my couch and now I finally got to experience it myself and it was exactly the way I imagined it! Let me take you on a fabulous 8-day journey, starting with Midtown and the Upper East Side.
I guess the living room is the most important room in your home. Not only because you're spending most of your time in it, but also because it should reflect who you are. Of course there are things that are a given, such as the light, the space and the materials. Still you're the one in charge when it comes to what the room will be saying, through your choices of furniture and decoration. Again our inspiration was mostly Scandinavian, with just a few elements that are pure 'Gerrit'.
A big hallway can be perceived as a curse. After all, it is space you lose for the other rooms. But you can easily turn it into a blessing by making it a room you feel happy coming home to. Again, Pinterest was a major source of inspiration. I realized the perfect hallway involves two things: a sideboard and a large round mirror. And the rest comes fairly easily. Come on in!
The best part about moving in together in a new apartment with your boyfriend, apart from the fact that you're living together of course, is the part where you get to decorate. I've been living with Jérémy for some weeks now but I've actually been busy collecting interior items for months. Fueled by Pinterest and its countless Scandinavian interior pictures, I started "cheating on fashion with furniture" like Carrie Bradshaw before me. And then finally all those pieces we bought online came together in real life and they did so in the most perfect way. For this first "Cocooning" post, let me walk you through the bedroom, or as I like to call it, our cozy little jungle.