Current Inspiration #7
It's been quiet on our newsletter front, as we took time to assess and understand our own journey within the shift of a global pandemic and a revolution of social justice. Digesting it all one day at a time, one thing that we never stopped appreciating and observing are the things that continue to inspire us, despite the times (or because of the times). Here are some of the things that have been occupying our own headspace lately:
Bemz me up!
Surpassing the initial hype and buzz surrounding Ikea hacks, this option has become the proven method in customizing these practical pieces of modern design. The concept is simple: purchase an Ikea structure that serves as a base, then apply modifications by investing in quality crafted materials, accessories and finishes to create unique pieces. Not only have Ikea hacks become common in custom kitchen design, but they have extended to other rooms of the house. Don't miss the opportunity to play with creating a custom sofa for the living room. For all that is fancifying Ikea sofas and lounge chairs, one of the most reliable and guaranteed-to-impress brands is the Swedish Bemz. You would be surprised by the transformation of an Ikea sofa when you replace its legs and dress it with a new cover with luscious, quality fabric. Pro tip: Don’t be afraid to mix colors and create some color block!
More than Lemonade
With art & design, the sky's the limit! The choice of mediums is endless and that is the reason why it is especially impressive and inspirational when an artist is capable of molding their form of expression into an empowering message. In Black is King, Beyoncé confirms and reminds us all of her Queen status, while inviting a diverse and eclectic range of mostly African artists on her stage. This hour and a half video album is a work of art, with a mille-feuille of layers and references for the viewers to unfold and appreciate. From an artistic perspective, one cannot help but to greatly admire her attention to every single imaginable detail, from cinematography to costume design to one of our favorites, set design. The journey of every artist presents its own unique challenges, but what a feat to watch an icon like Beyonce embracing her ancestral roots and displaying the influence of African culture in art. Timing is everything, and in these troubling times, Beyoncé reminds us of the beauty, importance and relevance of Black culture!
Local we stand!
Always an important focus of our own consumer strategy, and now an absolute necessity, supporting local businesses has never been more crucial! The good news is that there are so many ways for us all to participate, wherever you are. We do it everyday with Maredi by prioritizing local brands, vendors and artisans in our projects. On a personal level, we are ultra conscious, channeling our awareness and support towards the hospitality industry. We are lucky that in our own surroundings, between Logan Square and Humboldt Park, there are many phenomenal local restaurants to choose from. To name just one of our top favorites, we would definitely highlight Café Marie-Jeanne. The food is always consistently incredible, offering a mix of local and sustainably sourced products that crafts their unique (and French inspired) selections. Just try their smoked chicken or roasted duck, and you will understand why they have become a staple in our list of favorite Chicago restaurants. Beyond the unforgettable palate experience, the owners are inspiring in their unwavering support of and uplifting messaging around matters of social justice. Never too late to go grab something here - you will thank us later! :)
This summer, like so many, we stayed in place, which meant that we had to cancel any European escapades we had planned. Rather than surrender to the disappointment, melancholy and sorrow of cancelled plane tickets and missed memories, we are actively choosing to embrace the bright side and channel the best of Europe, right here at home. Our comfort drink during those nostalgic moments has been a Spritz Veneziano. Certainly one of the easiest cocktails to make (and even easier to drink), it has been a recurrent and familiar companion of our summer nights in Chicago. It is reassuring and comforting to experience how the sensory impact of a drink can instantly transport you elsewhere and conjure past memories and feelings; it's almost like travelling without moving (this is what we tell ourselves)! For us, after a few sips, we imagine ourselves back in one of those summery Venetian nights, after all the tourists have retreated to their hotels and the streets are sparse, filled only with those who enjoy exploring the magic of the city when you have it all for yourself…looking forward to revisiting those familiar canal-lined streets. Oh and by the way, here is the recipe, Salute!