Monthly Archives

October 2006

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Ritzenhoff (Germany)

October 5, 2006

Ritzenhoff (Germany)I first discovered Ritzenhoff in the mid 1990’s while at an airport, I think it was in Frankfurt while shopping duty-free. I still remember how excited I felt when I laid eyes on a gorgeous display of contemporary beer glasses. I immediately purchased two, each boxed in a decorative tube containing a complementary set of coordinating coasters, and carefully tucked them into my carry-on bag. I guarded them with my life as I traveled back to Boston, terrified they might break, determined to get them back in one big beautiful piece.

Ritzenhoff (Germany)
The story of Ritzenhoff goes something like this, “In Marsberg in the Sauerland the tradition of glass-making has been cultivated for centuries. The workers are familiar with the secrets of mouth-blown glasses and are able to impart all colours and forms to shapes and to decorate, gold-plate, smooth and polish even the most delicate of glasses. In order to express these traditions with modern, contemporary products, they commissioned the creative minds at sieger design to find new shapes for mouth-blown glass ? and the Sieger collection was born.”

Ritzenhoff (Germany)Fact: Shortly after launching their collection of beer glasses in the mid 1990’s, Ritzenhoff quickly exploded into one of the largest producers of beer glasses in Europe.

Ritzenhoff (Germany)

Ritzenhoff (Germany)Ritzenhoff designers thought beyond the beer glass though, with dishes, teacups, vases, and beyond. Boasting over 280 designers based worldwide, from architects to product designers, artists, comic illustrators, advertisers, illustrators, interior designers, set designers and sculptors, each contributes their own unique style and differing work methods resulting in an endless variety of ideas and products.

Ritzenhoff (Germany)

From beer glasses to porcelin containers, egg cups, piggy banks, candles, salt + pepper shakers, and so much more, every home needs a little festive punch of porcelin and glass!

Ritzenhoff (Germany)
(images from ritzenhoff + decor8)

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Manguun Bedding at Galeria Kaufhof (Germany)

October 5, 2006

Manguun Bedding at Galeria Kaufhof (Germany)
One of my favorite German department stores is Galeria Kaufhof in Hannover. I find their Manguun line of bedding both stylish and affordable. From my experience, Germans seem to prefer either a very silky sleep on smooth satin bedding, or my favorite, a buttery soft jersey. Manguun has some of the best jersey I’ve seen, I nearly wanted to fall into the display at the store. Ah.

Oh, and again, notice the colors? POP!

Manguun Bedding at Galeria Kaufhof (Germany)
The Kaufhof website doesn’t offer nearly the selection as their store, which is why I snapped a few photos for you to enjoy. I was just thinking, in America, we tend to use primary colors more in children’s decor, don’t you think? Not the case here. Primary crayola colors for all ages!

Manguun Bedding at Galeria Kaufhof (Germany)
Manguun Bedding at Galeria Kaufhof (Germany)
TIP: If you’d like to google for bedding in Germany, Bettw?sche is your word!

(images from kaufhof + decor8)

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Esprit Bedding (Germany)

October 5, 2006

Esprit Bedding (Germany)
When I travel to a new country, I like to see what the average consumer is buying. Before decor8, I’d simply log everything into a notebook for future reference. Now that I’m mobile, I can snap photos and blog about it as soon as I’m in front of my laptop again. Ah, the joy of the net and good old fashioned DSL. :)

I thought you may enjoy a bit of a mini intro to some of the most popular brands here in Germany for basic home items (dinnerware, glassware, and bedding, for instance). I’ll post these today, at least the ones that have websites, so you can learn a little more about what’s going on in design here in Deutschland.

First up is a brand most Americans know very well, Esprit. The clothing line is much more extensive here than in the states, with several retail locations, and a bedding collection that is far from boring. To describe it with only one word: Cheery!

Esprit Bedding (Germany)Two things to learn about bedding in Germany, 1) Fear of color and bold patterns does not exist. Germans seem to love colorful bedding and have a strong leaning towards primary colors, especially blue, red, orange, and yellow. Neutral colors and subtle patterns are often harder to find than bright bold hues and prints. 2) Most beds have two duvets, Americans usually use one. Each duvet is folded in half, one for each person. The idea of one duvet per person is actually quite genius, I’m thinking the idea sprouted by either a frustrated man who was tired of his wife stealing the blanket, or a wife who simply needed her space, far away from her husband since his body temps reach near boiling point during the night.

Example of two duvets, folded in half. Very common.

Esprit Bedding (Germany)
Maybe it will interest you to know that pillows here are quite different than in the states. It’s next to impossible to locate a “standard” or “king” size pillow, and if you were to relocate here and brought your American pillow, you’d have a hard time locating a pillowcase to fit it. The pillow of choice is the “euro”, a big fluffy square, usually filled with down or down-like feathers. Yes, you can find them in America, but they’re not commonly used for sleeping, more so as an accent or for stacking on the floor to cuddle while watching television.

It’s quite popular to mix and match your bedding here, only I’m not just referring to sheets with duvet, but also the duvets, since both need not be the same (see photo, although I’d like to point out this is not of Esprit bedding). Of course, it’s always a good idea to coordinate the colors and patterns, but I think it’s nice because it gives each person a chance to select their own duvet. Well, more or less. You know how opinionate us girls can be when it comes to decorating. ;)

Esprit Bedding (Germany)

Back with more bedding, stay tuned!

(photos from esprit + decor8)

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coffee + cre8tive {oct 5 ’06}

October 5, 2006

coffee + cre8tive {oct 5 '06} As I sit here typing, the sun warms my face as I hear the church bells ringing, a sound that I look forward to every hour on the hour. Ah, another beautiful day in Germany! We’re on a lucky streak with the weather, friends are joking we brought the sun with us, which is impossible since it was raining when we left Boston.

Today, outside of working, we’ll be enjoying the company of our family and later tonight, visiting more of our friends, a very nice couple with 8 children, ages ranging from 34 to age 7! Most of them, my husband held as babies and the older ones, he attended school with and has been close to since childhood. The 16-year-old plays piano and one of the highlights of my visit is that she loves to play the entire soundtrack to Amelie (by Yann Tierson) for me. Afterwards, her little sister usually works with me on my German and we play games and have fun with craft projects, me with all the kids around the table, pasting and cutting and usually me looking like the child and them, the artists. Their mother is very creative, she sews everything by hand, paints, and is a fine cook and a loving mother. She bakes weekly with her children, so I’m sure we’ll be having tea with cakes tonight.

One thing that is quite common here, at least since I started visiting in 1999, is that friends will usually lay out a lovely spread of meats, assortment cheeses, wine, and fresh bread or rolls when you pop in for a casual visit. If not that, baked goods with coffee and tea. For the guests, it’s common to remove your shoes when you visit and to bring a little something with you for the hostess, a votive candle wrapped in pretty paper, a few flowers, a package of tea, something small to show appreciation for their display of hospitality (usually spending no more than $5). Most Americans tend to do this too, as we usually bring a bottle of wine or snacks when we visit our friends, and if it’s a special sit-down dinner, often flowers. Here, simple is better and an extravagant gift would most likely make the hostess feel uncomfortable.

In your part of the world, is this practice common there as well? A gift for the hostess?

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Hannah Lamb (UK) + Origin London Craft Fair Oct 3-15

October 4, 2006

Hannah Lamb (UK) + Origin London Craft Fair Oct 3-15I’m heading off for the day, but I’ve posted lots of things to keep you fully occupied, along with all that’s pretty and handmade from Hannah Lamb, who happens to be showing this week at the Origin London Craft Fair, stand H2.

Hannah Lamb (UK) + Origin London Craft Fair Oct 3-15In addition to Hannah, one of my favorite ceramicists, Karin Erikson, will be showing as well at stand N9. Be sure to look for her during week 1 if you attend! She’s not only very talented, but a real sweetie!

I’m not sure if any bloggers are covering this show, so if you’re reading this and you plan to blog the highlights, please comment below with your link so decor8 readers can be directed to your blog, including me! :)

Hannah Lamb (UK) + Origin London Craft Fair Oct 3-15(images from hannah lamb + origin)

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