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Brightening Up The Day at Lillehus

Working from home here in Germany has been a real nice experience since back in New Hampshire I live in the country and do not have easy access to a city there. Here I live in the city so I can take quick breaks throughout the day (without the hassle of a car) to grab tea with friends, walk through the forest (2 blocks from my house, it’s about 10x the size of Central Park), or go find inspiration by roaming a museum or visiting a small shop. A few minutes ago I needed a break, I was feeling sort of crabby and instead of giving into the bad mood I decided to shut off my laptop and visit a new design/kids store one block away. I thought that maybe this new store was feeling the same way because her shop had its grand opening today but the weather is gray and a bit draining. I imagined that maybe this shop owner, a lady I’d never met before today by the way, was sitting in her shop waiting to meet those in our little neighborhood here. I thought maybe this lady was alone and wondering if anyone would support her shop today. Then I imagined how I would feel if in her shoes. That thought motivated me to get out of my house and go welcome her to our hood. I live here now, I should treat this as my home and be a good neighbor. And not to sound like Little Miss Goody Two Shoes, but I remember my mom always taught me that when I’m in a bad mood the best thing to do is imagine someone else out there who may also be feeling bad or lonely and actively seek them out and do something kind for them.

When I walked in to Lillehus (located at De Ha?n Platz 10 in Hannover List), the owner Susan was sitting at a little desk writing (seated as I imagined! too funny!) and I was the only customer so immediately I introduced myself (in English) and she started speaking to me in English (always a treat!) and soon we were chatting and laughing and having a really nice time. She thanked me many times for coming in and seeing her, she said it was a wonderful welcome to the neighborhood.

I think I can say that mom is always right because once again, her advice taught to me as a child worked. And it worked in another way too…

See this light…

It was designed by Hannover-based textile artist Orike Muth. She is someone I really look up to, I think her aesthetic is gorgeous and so original, she screenprints by hand all of the papers that she uses for her lamps and lampions, and all of the textiles she incorporates into her potholders, pillows, etc. I’ve been looking for a table lamp from her for the entire 8 weeks that I’ve been here and could not find the one that I was looking for. I saw the perfect light on her website but she sold out and she is currently working on her new line so there was a good chance that I would not find one before I leave here in December.

The lamp I spotted on Orike’s website… I think I will add some trim to the bottom of mine with beads to dress it up a little.

When I walked into Lillehus today and saw THE light sitting on a table I nearly passed out. It was perfect! It was what I’d been roaming this city for, one design shop after another, hoping to find and never could find. And now it was sitting before me on a pretty white table. Not only did I buy it but Susan (the store owner) took 20% off of the price as a grand opening day present to her customers. Just another way that doing good to others always results in something good – not always a material object, often just a good feeling — but today I received both a happy mood and a pretty light. Not only am I back to myself again, but I met a nice small business owner and found the lamp I’ve been desiring for quite awhile. What you put out into the world comes back to you. Always. Don’t you believe that too?

As corny as it sounds, whenever I look at this lamp I will remember today and the happy memories along with it. And please, if you live in or around Hannover pay Susan at Lillehus a visit. She is so, so sweet and a bonus for expats is that she speaks great English. The shop is mostly for kids; she stocks lots of Maileg products from Denmark (my mushroom is above on my kitchen cabinet only 5,- Euros each!) and cute stuff from a few indie designers in Berlin. She is soon to expand into clothing for women and cute rain boots too.

(images from holly becker for decor8)

Posted by decor8 in lighting, shopping, travel on October 06, 2008

Your comments...

  1. Rachel commented
    October 6th, 2008 at 1:29pm

    You are so thoughtful. I think the light is a serendipitous reward. =)

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  2. trish commented
    October 6th, 2008 at 1:40pm

    I love that lamp!

    trishs last blog post: Good News :)

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  3. Kate O commented
    October 6th, 2008 at 1:40pm

    That’s such a sweet story. It is always better when we reach out to people. You never know what’s going to happen.

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  4. Anna @ D16 commented
    October 6th, 2008 at 1:41pm

    Beautiful post, Holly…and your home is really, truly looking lovely. xo

    Anna @ D16s last blog post: 1992 Anna approves!

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  5. decor8 commented
    October 6th, 2008 at 1:43pm

    Anna and everyone else thank you so much. :)

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  6. callie grayson commented
    October 6th, 2008 at 2:12pm

    I am ooohing over that lamp! i am looking for something similar! it looks fantastic sitting on that credenza with the owl drawings (which i love by the way!!!) behind.
    i also love the little mushroom, sooo cute!
    callie

    callie graysons last blog post: DESIGN: Pink is in the details

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  7. magikquilter commented
    October 6th, 2008 at 2:15pm

    Looks like your mum is a wise woman and your upbringing really stood you in good stead today. I also think it is important to listen to these voices or prompts of convention or plain old fashioned good manners…. in wanting to welcome the business owner into the neighbourhood you were twice a blessing, once to Susan and once to yourself. And you found one of your heart’s desires…..

    I wonder in this day and age of rushing everywhere and traffic noise and the just general freneticness of everyday life how many Susan moments we are missing? We all could use a dose of motherly wisdom in these things… greeting people with a good morning and a nod and a smile on our daily walk may make all the difference in someone’s life.

    Am very happy to see you enjoying the city…may you have many more days like today….where you brighten up a grey day for somebody else and in turn find your own reward.

    magikquilters last blog post: Purple Pagodas on the Loose

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  8. bussbuss commented
    October 6th, 2008 at 3:15pm

    that made my day and now hopefully i will make somebody else’s. thanks for inspiring once again!

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  9. Marissa commented
    October 6th, 2008 at 3:30pm

    Lovely! And where is that adorable picture behind the lamp from?

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  10. Steffi commented
    October 6th, 2008 at 3:47pm

    Oh I also want to have you in the neighborhood ;-) this is such a sweet story! Far too few people are so open and reach out to others. Just guessing, but I think this behaviour is somehow more “american”? You also spoke about this some posts ago… oh, just found it, it?s here. I?m german and live in Munich, and I kind of have a similar impression. It?s just not that common here, unfortunately, but I?ll follow your example and ask the nice girl that?s living next door with her baby if she?d like to have coffee sometime… so far I?ve been too shy to do this!

    This lamp is so adorable… what a pity that it?s only available in Hannover! Maybe the lamp will make the next travel destination…

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  11. Liza commented
    October 6th, 2008 at 3:49pm

    I’m happy for you! The lamp is so unique and beautiful. And the experience you had was even better. Thank you for the warm story on a grey, cold day.

    Lizas last blog post: Leslie Hindman Auction

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  12. decor8 commented
    October 6th, 2008 at 4:33pm

    Steffi – Yes it could be more of a cultural thing… Though in the northeast (Boston, etc.) people are more reserved and not really super enthusiastic or interested in knowing their neighbors. I was raised in South Carolina where we brought food to the neighbors house when they moved in (or out) and we often made meals for the older lady who lived alone next door when she got sick. I think it’s a ‘deep south’ thing… Living there as a child/young adult REALLY influenced my thinking.

    Marissa – Etsy of course! Katheyes is the seller http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5225966. It’s called “Owl Face”.

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  13. Melissa de la Fuente commented
    October 6th, 2008 at 4:36pm

    What a great lesson from your mom and I wholeheartedly agree! What a kind thing for you to do and yes, the universe gave it back to you! So lovely and a beautiful lamp. Don’t you LOVE when things go that way? (I am also in love with the little mushroom :)
    xo
    Melissa

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  14. Ann Marie commented
    October 6th, 2008 at 4:56pm

    Great story Holly. I know you made Susan’s day, because I know what’s it like to just open your shop and hope, hope, hope that people come in and say hello and welcome to their neighborhood.

    Ann Maries last blog post:

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  15. Charlie @ So Lovely commented
    October 6th, 2008 at 5:24pm

    That is so sweet. I was raised, to always be aware of others. Are they feeling welcome. I find in life, that the most interesting people are the quiet ones sitting in a corner. I work from home also and at times, my job is very stressful. Just a quick walk, a change of surroundings is enough sometimes.

    I am sure that you made the shopowner’s day. Maybe she was sitting there, wondering if she had made the right decision to open a shop. And then a ray of sunshine came in.

    Charlie @ So Lovelys last blog post: Day 3 – POUL KJAERHOLM

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  16. Courtney commented
    October 6th, 2008 at 6:26pm

    When my brother was young, he declared, “Dad’s know some things, but mom’s know everything!” (to which you can imagine my parent’s laughter and delight!)

    I do believe that what you put out into the world comes back to you. Thanks for sharing such a sweet story.

    Courtneys last blog post: Not Just Upper Crust

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  17. Nancy Hanke commented
    October 7th, 2008 at 12:35am

    Your mom sounds like a wise woman, and if I were you I would continue to follow her wonderful advice. Mom’s are like that, aren’t they?

    A lovely story and told in such a way that I felt as thought I could picture your mood, the weather, even Susan!

    Thanks for an upbeat story – it was dreary here in Minnesota too – must have been a world wide dreary day. Good for you for making the best of the day!

    Nancy Hankes last blog post: Fall in Minnesota

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  18. Steph Bond @ Bondville commented
    October 7th, 2008 at 5:45am

    Thank you for this lovely post Holly. I agree with you 100% and I bet you’ve inspired lots of people today.

    I think that brightening up someone else’s day is just about the most important thing you can do in this world.

    And the lamp is perfect.

    Steph Bond @ Bondvilles last blog post: Drool-worthy Design: Bleu nature

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  19. Tabitha (From Single to Married) commented
    October 7th, 2008 at 9:09am

    don’t you love that, finding the perfect item and then getting a good price too – love it! And love the lamp too!

    Tabitha (From Single to Married)s last blog post: Photo of the Day – 10/7/08

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  20. Hana commented
    October 7th, 2008 at 12:15pm

    Have you heard the name of pattern on the lower side of pretty light, from the artists? (their works are truly beautiful!) In my country, someone wrote, “in all the costumes for Gagaku, there is nothing more graceful than one for this melody.” And, it is a charming luck pattern too. The wave crests carries happiness from the sea. But that pattern originally came from Qinghai. It is ‘Mountains’ there, but also, other names might exist in another area in the world. So, when I see that patterns I always think about this. Even if we don’t know such a local knowledge, or even if I consider it to be a sea when you call it mountains or rocks or ripples – beautiful thing is just beautiful.

    And thus far, I think… if you feel your situation is something like a …’Lost in translation,’ I want to ask… Why does some of English speakers consider it as a language or local custom problem? I doubt, to say the least. It is nothing but solitary when we feel alone wherever we lived… even if we are in our home. don’t you think so…? Though I think that is exactly what you say here. anyway, I DO believe that perfect story, from my heart. It is exactly such a light that I feel in the Asian chaos. Not a language. And, it is neither a competition nor profit.

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  21. Andrea commented
    October 9th, 2008 at 2:25am

    Hello Holly,

    I just wanted to tell you that I am in town and maybe we can have a cup of tea one day!
    I discovered your blog last weekend and was very astonished to find out that we are nearly neighbours! Well, I live in Calenberger Neustadt. But I was even more astonished when I discovered that I have met you before: you bought a chinese plate (I even discovered it on one of your photographs) and some magazines from me on the flea-market. That was not my best flea-market-day, the morning was cold and wet, people were not really in the mood to buy something. You really brightened up my day!
    So I wish you all the best for your life in Hannover. I?ll keep on reading your blog ans maybe we?ll meet again some day.
    Have a fine day (I hope the weather is going to be better)…
    Andrea

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  22. Amy commented
    October 9th, 2008 at 4:14am

    You are adorable. Reaching out to people is always so awesome. Oftentimes we are so shy, so hesitant to say hello. Humans are silly. But I’m glad you did today and you found your lamp! :)

    Oh and I love kid stores. I think those are my fave stores, all the cute wee little things. Ahhh!

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  23. Okka commented
    October 31st, 2008 at 4:55am

    Dear Holly,
    could you please check the adress? I walked all around the de-Haen-Platz in Hannover-List today, but couldn’t find Lillehus.

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  24. decor8 commented
    October 31st, 2008 at 10:44am

    Okka – Yes that is definitely the address. It’s in the same corner as the hair salon and the driving school, actually next door to the driving school. Try again!! :)

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