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coffee + cre8tive {oct 19 ’06}

I thought it would be fun to introduce you to kitchen design in Germany, as it differs a lot from what we see in the states. I snapped these at the Infa fair I attended last weekend, thinking you’d like to see them.
Can you find the dishwasher? What about the refridgerator? Germans do a fabulous job at concealing them, which is actually not as difficult as you’d expect given that most appliances here are much smaller than what we have in America. Drawers and cabinets, for the most part, are quite mobile, too. But there’s a reason for this… Most kitchens are not built-in since here in Germany, except for some of the overhead cabinets, you BYOK. Bring Your Own Kitchen. Yup, that’s right. Your kitchen moves with you when you’re a renter. Most apartments do not have cabinets or appliances in the kitchen when you move in, the kitchen is a blank slate – an empty room with only a tiled floor and appliance outlets along with plumbing for a sink. You supply the rest. Now the whole mobile kitchen idea makes sense, doesn’t it? That’s one of the reasons why you’ll find cabinets on simple feet or wheels, not built into the floors and walls. Many renters mount overhead cabinets to the wall, but at this fair, I noticed many of the overhead cabinets designed to stand alone. Given the condition of most American apartments in the states and their dated kitchens, I actually wouldn’t mind BYOK. At least I wouldn’t have to suffer through 60′s knotty pine with hammered cooper hardware as I recall from apartments past. I loved opening the sturdy drawers, each one illuminated as I peeked inside. The sleek modern design appealed to me, uncomplicated and clean so you can get down to business in the kitchen – cooking and eating!
If you live in Hannover, you can view these kitchens at Moebel Hesse in Garbsen.

Not sure who these peeps are, but she nicely shows us the deep storage drawers.
Click here to see more kitchen photos in my flickr album. Click on any of the images shown for a larger view.

(images from holly becker for decor8)

Posted in uncategorized on October 19, 2006

Rita Gomez (Germany)

Maybe some of you can relate to this. I’ve worn a few hats in my time. Not only head coverings, but roles in life, jobs. I was an au-pair one summer, spent another at a printing press, and then landed a gig as a talent scout for a modeling agency. I wasn’t keen on working during the summer, but it helped me along my path of self-discovery and taught me (some!) responsibility. My final summer job, where I trained under a master milliner, was an experience that left a lasting impression on me. Beyond assisting someone who possessed such extraordinary talent, I learned how to build hats from mere forms and all the ways in which to design and create bridal headpieces, in addition to the many adorable hats for children and little old ladies that we made. When I married, I designed and created my own bridal headpiece drawing from the skills acquired in the millinary boutique so many years ago.

I learned very early on that hats are very personal, different from anything else you’ll ever wear. You can wear the wrong scarf or sweater. A hat, given it’s place on the body and how it is often associated with respect and beauty, is the first thing you see. No room for screw-ups. Afterall, it’s on top, the grand crown, and it must fit perfectly. Depending on it’s function, it must either do well to protect the wearer or make them look polished and stylish. Or, if for a wedding, radiant and princess-like. Hats make the ensemble.

Here in northern Germany, hats are big business. They are quite the “it” accessory, most Germans wear ultra cool knitted or oilcloth hats, and if they aren’t wearing one, you are most likely going to find it tucked away in their handbags. City girls here are always prepared and, even in inclement weather, always look so stylish thanks to their trusty hat.

One German milliner (of many) that I spied at the Infa fair this past week is Rita Gomez. Her work really stood out. The details, patterns, textiles, knitted creations, the sheer range alone was impressive. She can go over-the-top avant garde all the way to a simple oilcloth rain hat in understated two-tone florals. It’s great.

This winter, I say hats on ladies!

I did some traveling today and time escaped me, so I’ll be back tomorrow to post some finds for the home – I have lots of goodies to share and more images from infa, too.

(images top: from holly becker for decor8 and other: from rita gomez. note: rita is pictured in the bottom photo.)

Posted in uncategorized on October 18, 2006

coffee + cre8tive {oct 18 ’06}

New product alert! Yeah! After I mentioned Les Louisettes yesterday, Julie wrote to me yet again to tell me more good news – new products! This time, 26 new motifs to iron onto textiles. I’m thinking you could really go wild with this idea and transform pillowcases, duvets, tees, tableclothes, throw pillows… Even to take a white duvet and add a few designs to the bottom corners would be a simple way to introduce a bit of whimsy if you are afraid to go too crazy. You can purchase a full sheet of motifs (26 of them + 5 expressions like “C’est moi l’artiste!”, translated: “I’m the artist”) and they arrive in a pure cotton printed bag (sweet!) which is a delightful little bonus, don’t you think?

Here are a few photos… If you like them, contact Julie at Les Louisettes for details – contact[at]leslouisettes[dot]com.

(images from les louisettes – thanks for sending them along, Julie!)

Posted in uncategorized on October 18, 2006

Update: Les Louisettes Now Available Online!


Update alert! I wrote about Les Louisettes Wall Decals from France back in early August, do you recall? Julie from Les Louisettes wrote in today to share some news with us since a lot of readers contacted her to purchase their products – they’re now available both at Mortimer Snodgrass (in Montreal) and online! Yeah!

Thanks for the tip, Julie!

[10/18: Mortimer Snodgrass just wrote in to let us know that decor8 readers who order anything from their online store will receive 15% off their order total. Simply mention "decor8" in the comments box at check-out. Thanks MS!]

(images from les louisettes)

Posted in uncategorized on October 17, 2006

Books:

Some of my books...

Further editions available: Decorate published by Murdoch Books for AU/NZ, Decorar BR, Alt om indretning DK, Inspirace pro váš byt CZ, Dekorácie SK, La décoration FR, Lust auf Wohnen DE, Sisusta tyylillä FI and Sztuka aranżacji wnętrz PL.

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