Hello from Canberra! It’s been a full week of lockdown. The city has gone horribly quiet, the streets are empty, and I often have a feeling time has stopped. Like in a bad catastrophic movie. We have been asked to stay at home at all times except for the essential shopping, medical emergencies and for just an hour of exercise outside, preferably in the neighbourhood. Our kids’ school has been well prepared for this and there wasn’t a transitional period. They have a full school day online routine, going from 9am to 3 pm, every day.  It’s good for them to meet with their peers, even if it is on a zoom session to talk, laugh, and learn together. My daughter even played trumpet for her friends, it was hilarious. But working from home and mentoring our kids is not a joke. We have decided to take one day at a time, with no high expectations and handling ourselves gently. We might gain some weight though with the endless snacking, and both of us are constantly cooking up some delicious recipes we have never even had time to try before. 

What recharges me, is now beyond my reach. So I’ve been updating my list of places I hope to visit soon, galleries, design stores, new restaurants or white sand beaches. Stay here with me, and check out my favourite 5 distractions of the week. 

  1. ART | YAYOI KUSAMA If you still haven’t heard of Yayoi Kusama, she’s a  Japanese contemporary artist and one of the most popular and influential artists in the world. Her immersive installations are a ‘must see’ experience with two comprehensive retrospectives currently trending in New York and London.  KUSAMA: Cosmic Nature is  currently on display at The New York Botanical Garden until October 31, 2021, and Tate Modern, London, is presenting Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirror Rooms until June 12, 2022. I also invite you to check out my instagram reels, I made one of her installation ‘THE SPIRITS OF THE PUMPKINS DESCENDED INTO THE HEAVENS’ in the National Gallery of Australia.

2. NEW EATERY | in Paris. With so many restaurants to choose from, why this one? I love beautifully designed restaurant. I often choose one not just for a quality of menu but the overall experience, especially interiors. Café Lapérouse, has it all. It’s located on the north side of Place de la Concorde, within the Hôtel de la Marine. The interiors, designed by Cordelia de Castellane (the creative director of Dior kids and Dior Maison) carefully considered every detail of the decor. All the elements were made by French craftsmen, from the bar to the seats, including the woodwork and ceramics. Many other elements were found on flea markets, like  tables, Cordovan leathers or Baccarat chandeliers. The space has a suitably nautical theme (the count of Lapérouse, an important historical figure, was a French naval officer and explorer, whose ship disappeared in a shipwreck in the south Pacific in 1788.). A beautiful wallpaper mural of tropical fauna, de Castellane drawn by herself as well as sketched the restaurant’s ceramics. This personal touch is something of a great value, giving the special atmosphere to the place and lifting your  experience. And make your day just beautiful.

3. TECH | If you are like me and hate drinking cold coffee or tea, this is the gadget for you. I recently read an article on the things that have transformed our lives in the last year. The Ember Cup, temperature control smart mug, made it on the list. Not a surprise at all. I probably don’t need another thing with a charger but I do sip my coffee very slowly in the morning, slowly enough to finish it while cold and tasteless. What are your thoughts on gadgets like this? 

4. ITALIAN BRAND TO LOVE  to all of you admiring beautiful product design and not on expense of quality, this one is for you. Something you’d love to have on your vanity table or a bathroom shelf. The story of The Officina Profumo-Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella can trace its roots back to the Florence  in 1221. When Dominican friars founded the convent of Santa Maria Novella, they began to cultivate – among other things – a vegetable garden. The world of cosmetics, fragrances and wellness products have been born over centuries of experience in natural ways of their preparation. A real gem in the world of cosmetics.

5. SALE ALERT ! If you are in need of a little retail therapy, Amara still runs sale on furniture, decoration, dining and more! I love this &Tradition Shuffle Side Table, inspired by childhood memories of wooden stacking toys. Crafted from solid wood, it combines various colours and shapes and sizes. It can be constructed in different variations allowing you to decide the shape, colour and height of the table. A true example of the Nordic approach to democratic design, the Shuffle side table will make a style statement wherever it’s placed. 

With love,



  1. Fatine
    August 21, 2021 / 10:25 am

    That’s amazing Laura, Thank you for all these informations.

    • admin
      August 29, 2021 / 12:22 pm

      Thank you Fatine for taking time to read. I’m glad you like my choices for the last week .

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