Archive for the 'Design' Category

El Nido – A new standard of home in Marbella

Monday, March 21st, 2016

El Nido Michel CruzIf you can choose between Zaha Hadid, Norman Foster and the pick of the world’s architects your home is sure to be something truly special. El Nido is just that.

Amid the grand villas and mansions of the Golden Mile, La Zagaleta, Los Monteros and other prime Marbella addresses there is one property that takes residential architectural design to a new level. Set in the peaceful surroundings of La Cascada de Camoján, in the hills above Marbella, El Nido is unique in its aesthetic and practical appeal. It is a home of outstanding qualities that can be described as a masterpiece of modern Mediterranean architecture, and as such suits its Marbella setting so well.

“I wanted a villa that would make a true architectural statement as well as be a comfortable home,” says Lisa, who has played a leading role in the creation of her signature home. “A leading architect would naturally form an important part of this process, so I flirted with the idea of commissioning someone like Zaha Hadid or Norman Foster but in the end fell in love with the work of Joaquín Torres.” The Madrid-based architect is a leader in the field of villa design and has the main residences of many prominent Spanish and international clients to his name, including the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Penelope Cruz. (more…)

La Dolce Vita – Spirit of an Era

Monday, August 10th, 2015

La Dolce Vita – spirit of an eraLa Dolce Vita is a now iconic phrase that conjures images of the winding alleyways and Vespas of a vintage Italy. Imbued with a sense of glamorous freedom, the concept of young people living a hedonistic and self-indulgent life has long entered cross-cultural vernacular and leaves us lamenting our lack of Italian blood. Here, Michel Cruz traces the origins and inspirations for the phenomenon that has come to define an epoch.

While Britain and America were in the grip of the Swinging Sixties, Italy made its own unique contribution – La Dolce Vita. Literally translated as ‘the sweet life’, it embodies the sense of freedom, open possibilities and joie de vivre of the post war era.

We strive for permanence in everything we do, from installing new regimes to chasing the ultimate form of style, not realising that success, happiness and ideals are but fleeting moments. With the horrors of the Second World War and the sparseness of the immediate post war years behind it, Europe awoke like a flower in spring to a whole new world of possibilities. With Marshall Aid, the continent was rebuilding itself upon the pillars of prosperity and democracy as a tide of youthful liberalism and creativity swept through the once dusty streets. (more…)

Montblanc, the summit of excellence

Monday, March 24th, 2014

Montblanc PenFor over a century the name Montblanc has stood for style, elegance and quality, its pens and stationary items among the best that money could buy. Though built on a classical tradition, the brand has continued to remain in vogue and is now being discovered by a whole new generation.

Today Montblanc ranks as one of the top luxury brands in the world, but as is often the case its origins are quite humble. Founded in 1908 by Claus-Johannes Voss, Alfred Nehemias and August Eberstein, the firm then known as the Simplo Filler Pen Company could count on the skills of a stationer, a banker and an engineer respectively. Moreover, this Hamburg-based company is German, not French or Swiss, as one might have deduced from the name. (more…)

The making of Manifesto Design

Tuesday, October 29th, 2013

Jackie Cruz and Michel CruzTen years old this year, Manifesto Design is the design and marketing company founded by expat couple Michel and Jackie Cruz, who moved to Spain some 15 years ago.

Now longstanding residents of Marbella, they have made a life for themselves, building a good name as reliable and skilled professionals, and creating a company that has weathered the recession well and is showing renewed growth and vigour. (more…)

Classic chic in the heart of Tarifa

Friday, August 9th, 2013

Classic chic in the heart of Tarifa

In the heart of the old town there is an enchanting home that encapsulates the charm, elegance and the unique ambience of Tarifa.

This article first appeared in Essential magazine and is for sale with Tarifa Direct.
Words: Michel Cruz, Photography: pierrerichardsonphotography.com

Tarifa’s historic centre is a small but attractive maze of little streets and squares populated by white-plastered houses and stylish boutique hotels. Some are grand, others unassuming, but an occasional glimpse through an open door reveals the oasis of peace and fresh air created within the courtyard patios of even the humblest of homes. (more…)