Would you like to take a trip with me to Brooklyn, New York today to visit the newly opened Brook Farm General Store? I was so pleased when one of the owners, Christopher Winterbourne, wrote in recently and I learned about his shop which he owns with partner Philippa Content and you’ll see why soon enough but in addition to what you see here, they have an online shop so don’t miss it.
I love to feature store tours on decor8. So many inspiring little nooks exist out there, places where ones heart and soul is deposited each day – where there is so much care being given to product selection and display — and sometimes these charming destinations are unknown outside of the neighborhood, state or even country in which they sit. My goal in having a blog with a worldwide readership is to spotlight these creative little shops with their talented owners, with hopes that you’ll not only be inspired enough to visit them online, but that if you are traveling or have friends who are, that you’ll suggest these stores or visit them in person. Let’s look around a bit at the Brook Farm General Store today, shall we?
Welcome to the Brook Farm General Store in South Williamsburg, Brooklyn just under the Williamsburg Bridge. This shop is lovingly curated by Christopher and Philippa who have such an amazing eye for organic beauty, mixing old with new, and finding products that are tactile and appeal to the senses in some way – whether the smooth porcelain of a vase or the fragrance of a bar of handmade soap, there is something to delight all who visit. Before opening this past summer, Philippa managed a small chain of boutiques in the West Village and Christopher was working in television and film production. When I asked them why they opened the shop they told me, “We realized that we were having a hard time finding the simple, classic, well-designed items that we had grown up with. So, we decided to open a modern version of the old general stores of New York. We chose everything in the store very carefully, and we only sell items that we would want to have in our own home.” Again, another story of something amazing being born out of lack — if something is lacking, you step up and fill the void!
Vintage rolling pins, tea, soap, brushes, duralex glassware, soft towels, vintage quilts, linen blankets, hamman towels, construction blocks, necklaces and more… like the lovely Lampes Gras architects’ lamps. Christopher and Philippa prove that functional does not need to be boring. Displayed in a mostly white space, the natural brushes and wooden handles really stand out adding warmth to the shop, as does the big black cast ironware on the walls. In addition to their current offerings, they are designing a line of bed and table linens under the label Tourne. They eventually plan on expanding to other housewares as well.
Brook Farm General Store, 75 South 6th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11211 Tues-Sat 11-8 and Sunday 12-7.
(images: brook farm general store)
I wrote about Pony Rider yesterday and well, one of the pony girls sent over extra images today and I couldn’t resist posting just one more because this is how my morning feels… laid back, relaxing, with lots of sunlight streaming through my windows. I’m sitting here soaking up the energy of the moment and it feels so good.
I love this photo, here you can see some of their tea towels… so nice.
(image: pony rider)
Some of us are watching the clock here because soon Anthropologie will open it’s first shop in Europe on October 23rd — in London! How exciting for Anthro and those who love them on this side of the pond! I think their brand is smart and creative and will go over well though I must admit that there are so many gorgeous stores that have that “anthro-vibe” already that they’ll have to be uber creative to stand out as unique. I mean, whenever I shopped them back home I always felt like I was at a European market which was the appeal for me. Going to Anthro in my local mall was like spending the afternoon in London or Paris. With them taking a giant step into the European market I can only wonder how the average shopper will view them over here – because someone from Europe may not welcome that European flea market vibe as being fresh and new since it’s so common here to find beautiful things everywhere, including well, flea markets!
What I’m saying is that I wonder what their approach will be and how they’ll win the interest of their new customers. Some tend to be quite skeptical of American companies and brands moving in… so we shall see but I’m hopeful! I want them to be a smashing success because then whenever I’m homesick, I can fly to London in an hour and visit their store for my Anthro-fix. Who knows, perhaps it will go over well and they’ll bring one to northern Germany (they have an Urban Outfitters in Hamburg, so perhaps an Anthro is next?)We shall see…
So! Will you hit Anthropologie in London’s West End for a little visit? It opens October 23 at 158 Regent Street. I’ve heard it will have a garden inside and be quite unique and beautiful. I also heard that they’re focusing on featuring more European designers. I imagine that’s a good idea – giving designers here more of an outlet for marketing their brand and getting it in front of a broader audience. Yay!
Some anthro things for fall that I’m smitten by: a. sweater clock, b. felt tulip pendant, c. photo finish bathmat, d. crochet collage tablecloths, and f. felted panels throw, and e. thousand tiers dress.
P.S. If you’re in Europe and want to jump on their mailing list, please do so here. They plan to roll out a second London store early next year and also a new way for us here to shop online instead of going through the U.S. site with the huge VAT tax and shipping fees. So sign up for their email updates so you’ll be in the know.
Are you excited about them opening in London? What do you think about how they’ll be received on this side of the pond? Your thoughts overall?
Everyone sing along with me (if you’re American and grew up with Sesame Street, you’ll know this song in English by heart)… “These are the people in your neighborhood, in your neighborhood, in your neigh-bor-hood yes these are the people in your neighborhood… they’re the people that you meet, when you’re walking down the street, they’re the people who you meeeeet eachhh dayyyyy!”.
Very good. We can all return to being responsible, serious adults again. Or not. :) So! Here are 7 photos from the people in my neighborhood today, at least my virtual one, that I feel inspired by because I am getting a real sense of honest simplicity here that I realize is what draws me to the design I gravitate towards and feature here the most – work that feels as though it formed from a very honest place inside ones soul and blossomed, over time, into something physical. Like a vignette. Or a room. Or a product. This is my mood board of sorts and so I thought that instead of keeping all of these magical escapes to myself that I’d share them in one community-like post. Be sure to click around and stay awhile, you’ll find my neighbors quite nice and super creative. :)
The sunroom of Yvestown. Wow. And her kitchen (shown here). Double wow. Her home needs to be in the Cath Kidston catalog. Cath & Co. if you are listening, put this woman’s home in your next catalog – what an inspiration!
Tamar’s home in Vermont is such a cozy space and though she carefully edits it, there is just SO. MUCH. STUFF. Her home is like a shop or something, a shop I want to peruse for hours. Funny thing, she owns a virtual store called Nest Decorating. I think she needs some feminine little general store in downtown Burlington, or a B&B, or something she can fill and fill and FILL! Her home is part dollhouse, part cottage and I just adore it.
Buttons Magee and her magical eye – she is a natural behind the camera. I love the feeling of this photo, the wall of pretty things as I call it. I can imagine standing before it in person with my jaw hanging open. Wow.
Little fingers tapping on the keys of a vintage typewriter – can you stand the sweetness? And can you even imagine the modern child caring about a typewriter with all the iPhones running around? A person can dream of their child taking a personal interest in something most of us think of as nostalgic. How many of you first learned to type in school on a typewriter? I learned the same year our school received a shipment of Apple computers, which back then, I hated more than you’ll ever know. Typing class I liked. Computer class bored me to death — all that white flashing text on a jet black screen… Yes I understand how old saying all this makes me. Whatever. :) Gabrielle Kai is the photographer who shot this gorgeous photo, her online portfolio is gorgeous. See it here.
I love a sweet, honest approach to decorating and this bedroom is the perfect combination of both. The Fabled Needle is the lady behind the lovely bedroom and her blog is as lovely and sincere as her home.
Ah… the most cozy kitchen… from Haust in Norway. I really want to sit at this table and eat some of my dad’s biscuits ‘n gravy with grits and eggs. Yum. And peek through her copy of Elle Interior… Do you think she’d mind? Would you like to join me?
And speaking of honest simplicity, this lovely table arrangement is byElena Kovyrzina in Toronto, who has the most beautiful Flickr stream. You have to scroll through her recent trip to Kiev. Now I want to get on the next train, it looks wonderful there….
(images: linked to their sources above)