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Iconic Landscape Architect Roberto Burle Marx

Roberto Burle Marx

Influential landscape architect Roberto Burle Marx left his creative mark not only in his native Brazil but in over 2000 gardens and public urban spaces he designed in over 20 countries including the United States, France, Germany, Argentina, Venezuela and Peru.

Roberto Burle Marx
Top: aerial images of the Copacabana boardwalk, photographs by Bruno Veiga as featured in his book Portuguese Stones; Bottom: mineral roof garden, Banco Safra headquarters, Sao Paulo, photograph by Leonardo Finotti

One of the most influential landscape architects of the 20th century, Roberto Burle Marx (1909 – 1994) was also a painter, print maker, ecologist and musician. He was a visionary so ahead of his time that he makes one wonder how he fit all his accomplishments into one lifetime. A renowned artist, Marx’s geometric and abstract landscape work followed the same graphic nature as his paintings and tapestries and he is credited with having introduced modernist landscape architecture to Brazil. Marx’s iconic seaside pavement designs running along Rio de Janeiro’s Copacabana Beach are his most recognised and well-documented works.

“By organising native plants in accordance with the aesthetic principles of the artistic vanguard, especially Cubism and abstractionism, he created a new and modern grammar for international landscape design.” – Lauro Cavalcanti, curator Paco Imperial Museum

Roberto Burle Marx
Top: Roberto Burle Marx was instrumental in conservation of the Brazilian rainforest; Bottom: the iconic seaside pavement design along Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro

Often venturing on expeditions into the Brazilian rainforest with botanists and photographers in search of rare and exotic plants, he was enthusiastic about environmental preservation and conservation. He even discovered new plant species on these botanical trips – over 50 plants bear his name (such as Heliconia burle-marxii) and Marx amassed a sizeable collection of plants in his own astounding home and garden.

“…the plant is, to a landscape artist, not only a plant – rare, unusual, ordinary or doomed to disappearance – but it is also a colour, a shape, a volume or an arabesque in itself.” – Roberto Burle Marx

Roberto Burle Marx
Roberto Burle Marx’s own home in Brazil. Photographs by Filippo Poli, www.subtilitas.site

Got the green fingers itching? Find more inspiration with trailing plants for your shelves, 7 indoor plants that thrive on neglect and ways to display plants in your bathroom.

Shop The Look: Malene Birger’s Villa on Lake Como

Malene Birger

Shop the look of world-renowned Danish fashion designer and artist Malene Birger’s impressive villa built in 1905 on Italy’s Lake Como.

Lloyd Wright Home Once Renovated By Diane Keaton

Step inside the Mayan-inspired Southern Californian home designed by Lloyd Wright and once owned and lovingly renovated by actress Diane Keaton.

Indigo: The Colour That Changed the World

Photography by Catherine Legrand

Indigo is one blue hue that has played an intrinsic part in history and various cultures. In our quest to discover more about this magical colour, DECO unearthed two intriguing books worth adding to your library.

The Beautiful Simplicity of This Pared Down Strand Home

Strand Home
The neutral colour palette of Eduan Roos and Melissa de Villiers’ home is offset by wooden details, such as the original ceiling in the open-plan living area; Mismatched dining room chairs bought at the couple’s favourite second-hand shop in Strand are arranged around a table that’s often used for entertaining.

The beautiful simplicity that defines the Strand home of Eduan Roos and Melissa de Villiers has been perfectly curated to suit their personal design aesthetic

Shop The Look: A Farmhouse-Inspired Noordhoek Home

noordhoek home
Image: Warren Heath

Shop the look of this  farmhouse-inspired Noordhoek home. Country-style decor and styling meet contemporary finishes and materials in this modern farmhouse aesthetic. 

2019’s Hot New Colour Trends

colour trend

Start the new year afresh – we’re kicking of 2019 with the latest and hottest colour trends in décor. Incorporate Modern Minimalism, the new Earthy Tones and Simply Striped into your home for a bold new update.

Shop The Look: A Brazilian Beachside Villa

Brazilian Beachside Villa
Image: Gaelle Le Boulicaut

Shop the look of this Brazilian beachside villa, whose clean, predominantly white architecture contrasts with the dark tones of wood finishes.

This Mid-Century LA Home is a Celebrity in Its Own Right


This mid-century modern home in Los Angeles designed by architect William Pereira in 1949 has enjoyed its own celebrity status for 64 years

Cabin Porn: Inspiration for Your Quiet Place Somewhere

Cabin Porn: Inspiration for Your Quiet Place Somewhere is a print edition stemming from the wildly successful Cabin Porn tumblr and Instagram sites which feature rural escapes in idyllic settings worldwide. Gather your own ideas for the ultimate getaway retreat.

Cabin Porn
top to bottom: The Cabin Porn book featuring rural escapes worldwide; A-frame near Snæfellsnes, Iceland. Contributed by Julia Mai. ; The Jack English cabin in the Ventana Wilderness, California ; Cabin in Triglav National Park, Slovenia. Contributed by Lisa Smit.

The December summer vacation reminds one to unplug and find their Zen in the great outdoors. The return to urban living and office life can be a shock, so what better way to keep the holiday spirit than an indulgent read that’s a visual escape into the wild featuring handmade rural dwellings around the world. Cabin Porn (by Zach Klein and Steven Leckart) initially started off as a tumblr site by a group of friends collecting inspiration for their upstate New York dream hide-out.

“What surprised me about this book is how moving it is. It’s sweet to look at beautiful photos of woodsy cabins; it’s calming and the pictures are lovely. But the stories about the work behind the cabins – that’s the magic.” – Powells Books review

cabin porn
From top to bottom: Baldvinsskali Hut on Fimmvörðuháls Pass, Iceland. Contributed by Nicholas Clark. ; Cabin at 6,798 feet in the Julian Alps, Slovenia. Contributed by Anze Osterman ; Cabin in the Bihor Mountains, Romania. Contributed by Szabolcs Kerényi.

As the Cabin Porn tumblr collection grew, so too did it’s following into a huge audience with over 350,000 followers and 10 million unique visitors to the site. The book is an extension of that, with more in-depth views into the interiors and advice on creating one’s own backcountry cabin.

Cabin Porn tumblr | Instagram @cabinporn | Buy the book on Amazon

Like this? Then check out these Nordic cool eco cabins, contemporary cabin escapes in the Americas and Secluded Wooden Waterside Eco-Cabins in Europe

Mors: Creating Jobs and Furniture from Tyre Tubes

Image: Lauren Brits

Mors is an initiative that upskills the unemployed through the manufacturing of furniture and bags from tyre tubes collected at landfills. We chat to founder Raihana Govender about their process, challenges and highlights.

Local Designers Who are Pushing Boundaries

local designers
Petal light R9 000, Mema Scribble table set R4 200 for set of 2, The Collection Studio

We take a look at local designers pushing the boundaries by creating work that represents where South African design is heading. Using traditional materials such as leather, clay and mohair in new and innovative ways.

As featured on page 130 of Elle Decoration’s December 2018 issue.

local designers

Black pod vessel by Jennifer de Charmoy R1 500, Bofred Scagliola pot from R2 499, Gold Bottom Pots The Observer armchair R12 500, Luvarre The Iris with shearling bag R5 300, Thalia Strates

local designers

Fade to Grey table by Tonic Design R166 750, Southern Guild Shadow rug from R20 700, Bofred Moonjelly floor light R27 600, Dokter and Misses Mayor chair R10 450, Jacobs Collection

Read Top Gifting Ideas for the Design LoverLiving Coral is the 2019 Pantone Colour of the Year and Shop The Look: A South-West France Family Home next.

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