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Studio 6, 1-7 Unwins Bridge Rd
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+61 414 808 205

LUMIRA is a luxury scented candle and fragrance house founded by Almira Armstrong in Sydney, Australia. LUMIRA products are your luxury lifestyle essentials. Copyright 2017 Atelier Lumira.

Journal

A Guide To Milan

Almira Armstrong

Think of Milan and it’s often the joys and excesses of beauty that come to mind. Men in linen suits drinking Campari, the women with red lips and polished hair stepping off their black scooters. It’s Italy’s fashion capital, after all. But the reasons we love Milan don’t stop at the Prada flagship front door.

From the heavenly Milan Cathedral (that exemplary Gothic masterpiece) to the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, the city is heaving with beautiful architecture and temples in which to worship design. Here, we chart some of the city’s must-visit design destinations for those who love design. Bella Italia indeed.

Fondazione Prada

Fondazione Prada’s mission to be an icon of cultural awareness and evolution has provided the city with a coterie of exhibitions and events for the last two decades. The Fondazione’s main interest is ideas. More specifically the ways in which mankind has transformed ideas into specific disciplines and cultural products: literature, cinema, music, philosophy, art and science. Art is the Fondazione’s main instrument of working and learning. The building that houses the work of the Fondazione is unsurprisingly avant-garde - a welcome reprieve from the ornate Italian architecture that abounds elsewhere in Milan. Attached to the Fondazione is Bar Luce: a Wes Andersen-designed bar that combines key-lime pie coloured upholstery, vintage sci-fi shapes, and elegant orb lights. The experience is a surreal, dreamlike escape into the unique, sensual pleasures that design offers us.

fondazioneprada.org

Fondazione Prada

Fondazione Prada

Armani/Silos

The Armani Silos is an ode to all that informs and inspires Giorgio Armani’s work. And as you’d expect, the building is every bit as timeless, clean, and effortless as an Armani wool coat. Armani believes that fashion nourishes the soul as much as food nourishes the body. A fortuitous belief, considering Silos building used to be a food storage facility. It’s all polished grey concrete; large cavernous rooms that act as individual portals into Armani’s unique viewpoint onfilm, art, and design.  

armanisilos.com

Armani Silos

Armani Silos

Villa Necchi Campiglio

Once owned by the Campiglio/Necchi family, this 1930’s-built villa in the heart of Milan is an oasis of calm. The Villa is cloaked under the guise of a museum, but the reality is that most visitors are simply hoping for a glimpse into what life must have been like for a wealthy Italian family living in luxury in the mid-20th Century. Almost entirely untouched, the home’s decorative arts and interiors are as luxurious as you’d expect from their 17th Century style. It’s a dreamy trip into a fantastical paradise. One we wish we could stay in, for as long as the pool stays shaded and the marble floors stay cool.

vogue.com/article/nacho-alegre-milan-house-tour-villa-necchi

Villa Necchi

Villa Necchi

Museo Del Novocento

Less than a decade old, the Museo Del Novocento’s generous windows look out onto the Milan Cathedral - it’s a meeting of old and new befitting of a city that values history as much as it does boundary-pushing design. In fact, the Museo Del Novocento is arguably the hub of the spirit of the new Italian guard. Housing over 4000 works that catalyze the development of 20th Century art. Beside its core exhibition rotation, the museum is responsible for cultivating discussions and galvanising the city into cultural and design awareness. The landmark building, designed by Griffini, Magistretti, Muzio, and Portaluppi, was renovated by the Rota Group to host a richly layered collection of 20th century Italian art.

museodelnovecento.org

Museo Del Novocento

Museo Del Novocento

Lumira Travel Rituals

Almira Armstrong

Airport Rituals - Pinterest.jpg

Rituals are a funny thing. By retaining routine or habits, we inevitably feel more in control of our lives. When things are shifting, changing, or unpredictable, our rituals keep us grounded rather than up in the air.  It’s definitely not a science, but it goes a long way to explain why, when we are travelling, our rituals become even more important. If you’re a habitual work-traveller, it’s often the little things that can minimise stress. After all, sometimes there’s no avoiding a long-haul flight and a busy schedule, but there are ways to create pleasure in the routine. We’ve compiled a shortlist of our go-to travel rituals that keep our feet on the ground just enough for us to feel totally elated by the thrill of the new.

Your Airport Groove

The real success in achieving smooth airport check-ins lies in the journey. More specifically, the timing of that journey. If you’re habitually late for your flight, make it a new ritual to be 30 minutes early. Quelling your stress before the journey has even begun will enable you to enjoy the experience rather than merely surviving it. Being a seasoned traveller, take the time to answer last minute emails from the comfort of the airline lounge, glass of champagne in hand. Before boarding, we like to stretch our legs on the way to stock up on the latest Vanity Fair and Russh. After all, embarking on a flight means being unreachable for a time; a modern luxury that we don’t take lightly. Make the most of your airtime.

On-Board Essentials

This is important: what you pack in your carry-on is the difference between a good flight and hours of dry skin, chapped lips, and sleep deprivation. Rituals when packing will mean you hone in on your favourite products and creature comforts over time. We start with Mario Badescu Rose Water Spray for intermittent spritzes, a lush lip-balm from Eve Lom,  a super hydrating moisturiser like this one from French Girl, and a luxe cashmere scarf to replace any scratchy airplane blankets. Then comes a pair of Bose noise cancelling headphones, a change of clothes for the long-haul flights, and a silk eye mask from Slip. You won’t know yourself once you disembark.

Mario Badescu

Mario Badescu

Make It Feel Like Home

Another day, another beige hotel room that has less charm than the last. Small rituals, like lighting a candle, can be much-needed creature comforts. We love our Tuscan Fig travel candle and don’t go anywhere without it. A smell of home even when you’re far from it can do wonders for a good night’s sleep, not to mention the soul. Decorating your room with a scarf or two can add some colour and character to dreary decor, while bringing your silk pillowcase along for the journey will make a world of difference to a good night’s sleep.

Take A Moment

For those of us who travel for work, the novelty can quickly wear off. Another delayed flight, customs queue, or sad in-flight meal and suddenly the envious texts from your partner or friends feel ironic and misplaced. But the fact is you’re living a lifestyle many would consider a dream: A transient life of changing landscapes and new experiences. It’s easy to bury our heads in our phones, forgetting where we are and just blindly moving to the relentless beat of work. Grace Coddington once said that she mindfully sticks to the habit of looking out at the world, rather than down at her emails, when being whisked between international fashion shows. This is one ritual we sure can use more of, travelling or not.

Take A Moment.jpg

ESCAPE TO TULUM

Almira Armstrong

It’s hard to imagine a more peaceful time than twilight at the Tulum Treehouse. The sun retreats beneath the horizon, gently illuminating the soft curves of white washed concrete in soft pink light. The day clutches on to the stillness of the surrounding mangroves before the jungle is flooded with the sounds of life after-dark. You might take in the lush landscape from beneath a wide brimmed hat while sipping on a mint-packed mojito. If you can bear another. But we imagine that such a blissful moment would seem to stretch all day long in this paradise. After all, the guest house, located on the edge of a dense jungle, is as secluded and tranquil as accommodation comes.

Using locally sourced Tzalam wood to allow the home to blend seamlessly into its habitat, Co-Lab Design Office have created a treehouse that acts as both a retreat from, and homage to, its surroundings. Inside, interior designer Annabell Kutucu has worked with local artisans to produce bespoke furnishings that add textural highlights to the minimalist architecture. Baskets woven from Bejuco - a vine that is harvested by hand at the full moon -  are dotted throughout. Fallen trees from the region of Veracruz have been repurposed into furniture by local carpenters Jorge and Rita. Oaxacan rugs, local ceramics, and feature pieces sourced from Mexico City’s antiques market complete the picture. The effect is one of primitive luxury, where a deep respect to the land and its people is unfurled through refined attention to detail and a balanced eye.

This is a place to celebrate, with wrap-around balconies that beg for dinner parties and rooms that provide seclusion from the communal areas. Upstairs, a rooftop provides the perfect vantage point to view the adjacent national park, which is home to jaguars, panthers, crocodiles, and dolphins, as well as Mayan ruins and pyramids. In short, the Tulum Treehouse is exotic paradise found, and we can’t wait to get lost in its beauty.

Photography: Brechenmacher & Baumann Photography

tulumtreehouse.com