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Shabby chic a pretend poor style that is very fashionable

History, character and trends of the shabby chic style including some advice for shopping and fro a wedding banquet

 

Wedding backstage - Fattoria del Colle - flowers

Wedding backstage - Fattoria del Colle - flowers

Its guru is the interior designer from the US Rachel Ashwell who has made elegant scruffiness a philosophy of life. The beginning of it all has strong ethic values; recycling, renovating, accepting the film left on things that have been lived as an element able to reveal the soul of things, because the use of objects entraps humanity into them and the story of those who have used them. New objects do not have these stories. So here was born the passion for vintage, market stalls and the new cloche style and most of all furnishings based on hap hazard combinations of thing that are elegant but different. So here come unpaired chairs around a table, where the table setting is made with period porcelains and silver cutlery, unpaired, and playing in a creative way with the contrasts. Read more…

When a present becomes a treasure and a story

  • Published in Forum

Here’s how a towel becomes a unique present, able to tell a story hundreds of years old and to make a bathroom extremely elegant

By Donatella Cinelli Colombini

ToscanaLovers-Siena-serviettes-Damas-pattern

ToscanaLovers-Siena-towels-Damas-pattern

Magic? Not at all, we are in the boutique for Tuscan handicraft, where we can find what we need. The shop is in Siena, in the centre of the Palio city, and is called Toscana Lovers.  One finds ceramics, cutlery, shawls, embroidered sheets…. and many other objects of great tradition made nearly entirely by hand.

We would like a towel, but not any old towel but something that will remember us to someone dear it and give a touch of class to their bathroom.  So here is something unique: these towels are in lines or cotton, made by the wooden looms built in Anghiari two centuries ago during the Napoleonic occupation and still today functional. It is these centenary machines that give the cloth a particular softness, and then of course the designs that recall those visible in Sienese paintings from Medieval times onwards, there is even a towel with the typical rhombus from Pienza and the fringes which recall the one portrayed in the  Maestà by Duccio di Buoninsegna  (1308-11). Read more…


2012 a sunny balance at the end of the year for Donatella Cinelli Colombini

  • Published in Forum

2012 a very tiring year where a lot of work has been done. Great awards, successes, small commercial progress and great difficulties tied to the International crisis.

Vinitaly 2012 - Donatella Cinelli Colombini - Premio Internazionale Vinitaly

Vinitaly 2012 - Donatella Cinelli Colombini - Premio Internazionale Vinitaly

The best image of the past year is of the Premio internazionale Vinitaly received directly from the President Mr. Riello and the General Manager of Veronafiere Giovanni Mantovani. Such an important award which I shared with Debra Meiburg the Master of Wine who rates 7th in the list of most powerful women in wine in the world.

A good portrait of the increase in quality of the wines from this cellar is given by the image of 5 wines with ratings over 90/100 in Wine Spectator: Il Drago e le 8 Colombe, Cenerentola, Brunello, Brunello Prime Donne and Riserva, the latter with 95/100 is in the Olympus of the 18 Italian “Top Wines” chosen by Wine Spectator. The Brunello Prime Donne is among those Highly Recommended by “Decanter” and among the three preferred by the Master of Wine Rosemary George. Read more…

Real and virtual Christmas shopping at Toscana Lovers

The best Tuscan handicraft boutique in the centre of SienaToscana Lovers” has a new web site and many new hands made objects on sale

ToscanaLovers_Christmas shopping

ToscanaLovers_Christmas shopping

Would you like to buy an exclusive present such as a collector’s knife created by the knife makers in Scarperia, or a hand woven tablecloth decorated with Renaissance designs, but also soap obtained through the use of bronze mould and aromatized with iris and violet…….you can do it from your home! Important objects and the classical small gifts as Christmas presents.

In the new “Toscana lovers” web site there are 180 sheets with detailed descriptions regarding every object.
The buzz you get from shopping in a real shop is in fact stronger, but even in the virtual shop.

There is practically everything that Carlo Gardini (my husband) and Chiara Nesi have found during the three years of research among the best Tuscan handicraft laboratories.
Starting from the life style dinner service with its shake rims and relief decorations for a royal welcoming, to the towels with honeycomb design with hemstitch finishing that make them resembles those from our grandmother’s bottom drawer, including pepper

Read more…


Handicraft “collectors knives” because they are works of art

Toscana Lovers, the boutique with the best Tuscan handicraft in the heart of Siena, presents is collectors’ knives from Scarperia, the village of cutting blades

ToscanaLovers_Siena_handicraft knives_Saladini

ToscanaLovers_Siena_handicraft knives_Saladini

Scarperia, like Toledo and Sheffield, is one of the oldest places for prestigious blade productions. Still today they are made in the shops by master knife-makers. Among them is Saladini who produces exclusive objects of great tradition but with new and refined styles.

The starting point is the traditional shapes, to which are applied up to the minute technology and a refined design. So laser work helps achieve a perfect cut of the blade and the use of the best stainless steel. But together with technology there is also the handicraft of the artisans so the collector’s knives get put together and refined by hand, one at a time, and sometimes forged on the anvil.

The classical shapes of Tuscan knives have been renovated in their design and in some cases enriched with details such as the tower of Scarperia, and hand engravings. The structural part has also been updated so as to increase the functionality co that these knives can last for centuries, in fact these objects, like jewels, are passed from one generation to the other and in time they become always more precious just like small masterpieces

Saladini_collectors knives_Toscana_Lovers_Siena

Saladini_collectors knives_Toscana_Lovers_Siena

destined for the antique market.

So, buying a Collectors knife by Saladini signifies making a small investment which is destined to increase its value in time. Toscana Lovers has chosen for you some particularly prestigious models with an ox corn or olive handle. Among these are the “Rasolino tagliasigari” (cigar cutter) and the “Coltello rustico da bistecca” (rustic steak knife) unique pieces which can make your dinner table or coffee table more elegant.

Seen for you by Donatella Cinelli Colombini

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