Mexx is another brand I like for bedding here in Germany, and like Esprit, they are primarily a fashion label that expanded into the home for bed + bath. Mexx is youthful and fresh, some prints lean more to the masculine side, and others, flirty and feminine. I’m loving all of this color, aren’t you?
(images from mexx)
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!
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!
(images from kaufhof + decor8)
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!
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.
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. ;)
Back with more bedding, stay tuned!
(photos from esprit + decor8)
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?