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Berlinomat (Berlin)

If you’re in Berlin and looking for fresh talent from fashion to accessories and products for the home, Berlinomat is a must-see stop. It’s “ab-fab” (absolutely fabulous) as my friends say. Not only is the space drop-dead beautiful, but the staff are x-tra friendly and helpful, spoke fluent English (great when you have lots of questions), and the store was quite large. The ‘hood it’s in isn’t the best, there’s not a lot over there to see, but it’s worth the 10 minutes from stadt mitte to hit Berlinomat simply because the designs to be found there are red hot. There wasn’t one thing that didn’t leave me drooling. I was soooo happy when I came across s.wert designs – it was so nice to see them up close and personal. I snapped as many photos as I could, but to fully appreciate it you need to visit it in person. All I can say is that if Domino or Lucky visits Berlin in the future, I can place bets that this store will be part of their picks. I loved all the local talent! The best!

Tip: If you like what you see on their website, shop them online (though the selection online is quite slim). OR if you crave to shop for more Berlin design online, visit Good Old Germany (a fun online store, not related to Berlinomat but they carry great things as well).

(images from holly becker for decor8 – click on them for a larger view.)

Posted in shopping, travel on November 14, 2006

decor8 Reader Question: B/W forest prints?

decor8 reader Stacy from New York writes in with a question – does anyone have the skinny on this?

“I’m looking for wallpaper or fabric or a shade that has a black and white forest scene. Do you know where I can get this? I’ve seen it in books and/or magazines. Also, looking to buy in the U.S. sophisticated wall tattoos. Do you know anyone that sells online?”

Let’s see what decor8 readers have to say, Stacy!

Can anyone help Stacy??

(image from holly becker for decor8, photographed at Stilwerk in Hamburg, Germany)

Posted in reader questions on November 14, 2006

Hallo, Berlin!

Berlin rocked. What a weekend to remember. Neither rain (we had) nor bitter cold (yes, also) could detour us from having a great time roaming Berlin, quite aimlessly at times, and creating memories that both my husband and I will forever remember. As he always says, “When you near your final days, neither your cash nor your fame can keep you company. You only have your memories, so make sure you are out creating good ones”. Good advice, isn’t it? So we did. First stop, getting to Berlin and hitting a good flea!

Okay, so we took the high speed train (220 km!) to Berlin, which took about 1.5 hours, arriving at Berlin main station in the wee hours so we could purchase our tour tickets + subway passes and map out how to get from the main station to strasse des 17 juni where I’d heard there’s quite a great flohmarkt (flea market) that would rival the markets of portobello market in London. Hmmmm. My interest was piqued. Then came the icing on the berliner. This flohmarkt promised to be fully stocked with gluehwein and warm berliners. Sipping hot mulled spice wine, browsing antiques, stopping for a gooey-licious fruit filled treat… Why, this is the stuff that european vacations are made of. (DIY recipe for gluehwein here.)

Our healthy pre-flea breakfast – alcohol and sugar! :)

Travel tip: In Berlin, grab a subway map and look for either the U2 train to Ernst Reuter Platz station or the S3, S5, S7, S9, or S75 stop for Tiergarten (if you’re coming from Berlin main station, take one of the S trains, it’s about 10 minutes away). Either stop (Ernst Reuter Platz or Tiergarten) will drop you directly at the foot of the flohmarket, just on opposite ends of the street. The flohmarkt is known as Strasse des 17 Juni, Tiergarten, to the locals. This flohmarkt is quite large, held year-round, rain doesn’t seem to stop ’em because it started to pour and it was business as usual, and the prices are somewhat reasonable but you can talk them down just like anywhere else in the world. For instance, I found something I liked for $10,- euro, but when I attempted to walk, they lowered it to $5,-. From what I read, the flohmarkt is only held on the weekends from 10-5 p.m. Plenty of eat and see, lots of tourists speaking English, and most of the vendors spoke choppy English so you could get some basic history of the item you’re interested in and a price, but not much beyond that.

I almost walked with this lovely b/w print in the upper right (two horses) but with the pouring rain, I left it behind… Now I wish I hadn’t.

What you can find: As you can see, lots of 20th century finds from tiles to china and linens, along with jewelry, furniture, art, second-hand records, vintage clothing, all high-quality in my opinion. The aisles are narrow and packed though, so arrive at opening or a little before, I noticed that after 11 a.m. it started to feel wayyyy too cramped.

Lots of linens from Germany and France…

Vendors everywhere, with everything.

Blurred photo (sorry) but you get the point: vintage buttons, often layered one on the other, and attached to a rubber ring to wear on your finger. Great idea. Also gave me ideas for DIY napkin rings at home. :)

I loved this vendor – tons of old pages from out of print textbooks, amazing finds for collaging or simply framing for your house.

I liked these from medical textbooks…

Another want that I left behind, this turquoise light fixture. Ah. Sweet. A little silver polish and viola! perfect!

Lots of vintage tiles from all over Europe. Oh the stories these could tell. I wonder where they came from – an entry, bathroom, kitchen…

Tons of porcelain everywhere – prepare to be overwhelmed! I liked all the patterns I saw. Made my brain spin a bit, eye candy overload.

This oil painting was soooo pretty. Her soft features, the lighting, everything. I called her “Catherine”.

Travel tip: If you plan on visiting Berlin, plan on a time though when you don’t have to brave the elements. Although our stay was beyond great, it had to do with having friends there and the fact that we love massive cities, complicated subway systems, have relatively good health, endless energy (thanks to all the Starbucks in Berlin), and we’re usually based in New England, so we’ve grown accustomed to fah-fah-fah-freeeeezing cold weather. If you don’t fancy the frost, avoid Berlin between now and next April.

Must eats: Berliners, currywurst, gluehwein.

(images from holly becker for decor8)

Posted in shopping, travel on November 14, 2006

Berlin Tips, Anyone?

[11/13 update: back from berlin, today i’m in the south of germany with family, returning on 11/14. see you tomorrow. xo, holly]

Happy Friday to you! There’s a gadzillion finds today from the Graduation Galleries at Dutch Design Week for you to scroll through below, but due to space (you’ll be scrolling forever), I’m thinking it would be better to wait until Monday to post the rest (I have a dozen or so more). I also have highlights from my travels to Hamburg to post, so I’ll save those for next week, too.

Ich bin ein Berliner! I’m heading off to Berlin for the weekend with friends, praying for decent weather, and looking forward to checking out the East Berlin art scene, hit Ku’ Damm, and of course, the massive retailers (like Galeries Lafayette and the food hall at KaDeWe) and the little indie boutiques, too. Last time I was in Berlin, I was still single and being a bit over-excited about everything (visiting a new city, all the sights, being on a date), I crashed a brand new Mercedes on lease into an SUV of a very heated Berliner, so here’s hoping I’m better behaved this time around.

If you have any Berlin suggestions, please please please (please!) comment below or email me offline – I’d love some tips from readers since you are quite the savvy bunch and honestly, all these travel websites just don’t do it for me like the opinions from friends. Maybe some of the “must-see” areas for fresh, new talent – lots of indie stores and art galleries, for instance… It’s decor8blog[at]yahoo[dot]com.

I hope you like the slew of posts I’ve left you with today, and watch for the Blog of the Week and Book of the Week, appearing soon in the left column. You won’t want to miss ’em!

Side notes: I’d like to welcome to a few new sponsors to the blog since I forgot to do this last week, Elsewares and Nazmiyal Rug Gallery. Welcome aboard. Your support means a lot. Without it, I may have to actually get a real job.

(image from Sebastian Niedlich, a most interesting flickr find this week.)

Posted in shopping, travel on November 10, 2006


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