Monthly Archives

May 2010

Travel

London Quick Guide

May 27, 2010

I thought it may be nice to pull together a quick guide to some of the places I visited while in London — if you are a regular decor8 reader and click with my style then these addresses will be ones that hopefully you’ll like as much as I did. I don’t have maps or anything fancy-like, just a few snaps and some addresses and web links. Here is “my” London…

London Quick Guide

STORES: LARGE

Selfridges – 400 Oxford Street. My favorite. You can find a Cath Kidston on the lower floor near to the cute yellow and black cafe (where they have great snacks by the way). Their is a section for Designers Guild linens upstairs, a Muji section, a Diptyque candle department, and a big Jo Malone counter where you can find the limited edition candles for Farrow & Ball which are delightful. There is even a great book shop on the lower floor, too. Don’t miss their new perfume, exclusively made for Selfridges by Maison Martin Margiela. I am kicking myself for not buying it because my sample ran out and I became quite addicted. If you are bringing your guy with you, show him to the men’s departments — my husband picked up several things from English designer Ted Baker there. Oh and their is The White Company also in this stores upstairs, too.

Another must-see store is Liberty. Don’t miss all of the Amy Butler fabric in the bits + bobbins section, and check out the great lighting, stationery, and their current “Target” shop in the rear entrance to the store which is a real treat to be able to purchase some of the merchandise that sold as part of their collection at Target. Spend time browsing their sunglasses and jewelry, they have some very unique pieces. Their stationery section is nice, too.

Anthropologie – It’s gorgeous, both of them! Don’t miss! I liked the one on Regent Street a lot with the living plant wall and 3 floors of gorgeousness. You can hit Anthropologie, Liberty and Selfridges in the same day since they are all nearby. Tour it on YouTube here and here and here.

Japan Centre – This is such a great store in Piccadilly, especially if you love all things Japanese from ceramics to foods. It’s mainly a really nice grocery store but a really nice one with lots of great things to look through – even books, though not many home books sadly.

Harrods – Well, I only go here for the food halls  (great cupcakes!) but around the corner on the side of Harrods there is a huge Laduree that you must visit! Wow! They have a beautiful tea room and macaroons galore.

HMV – Great for cheap CDs and DVDs. Another great music store is Fopp in Covent Garden at 1 Earlham Street.

Top Shop – Clothes! Yay!

Zara Home – Home goods by Spanish clothing company Zara.

Habitat – Home goods from lamps to furniture and beyond.

London Quick Guide

London Quick Guide

Susannah Hunter

STORES: MEDIUM/SMALL + BOUTIQUE

Susannah Hunter – Handbags in leather with floral appliques, gorgeous shop. Also available, custom chairs, trunks, pillows and more in leather. Make sure you visit her store at 19 Connaught Street so you can go to the Cocomaya cafe across the street for pastries or afternoon tea. What a treat!

Cath Kidston – of course. If you don’t have time to hit one of her shops (I visited the one in Notting Hill on Portobello Road and another at 51 Marylebone High Street) then you can see her pop-up shop in Selfridges department store at 400 Oxford street

The White Company – You can visit this shop after hitting Cath Kidston at 12 Marylebone High Street.

Designers Guild – Also stop at this store after Cath Kidston and The White Company since one is located at 76 Marylebone High Street. Don’t miss the downstairs, which is easy to do. Lots of pretty things you’ll want to see. I heard that her flagship store is better, located at 277 Kings Road, but I did not have time to visit.

After Noah – in Islington – Lots of nice little vintage-y things, furniture, books, cards, a “general store” type of place. Very sweet! Located at 121 Upper Street.

Atelieir Abigail Ahearn –  in Islington – This dark, moody shop is small but delightful. The owner/author has a really amazing eye and gorgeous things to see. 137 Upper Street.

Toast – in Islington – For clothing and such. Plain and simple but really nice. Located at 133 Upper Street.

Paperchase – These shops are all over London but I went to one at 21 Parkfield Street in Islington and liked it very much (and stocked up) on gorgeous stationery and things. Definitely a shop worth seeing if you want great paper products.

Caravan – Owned by stylist/author Emily Chalmers, you can’t miss this shop.

Squint – Another great store, I just reviewed it here on decor8 a few days ago but it’s near Caravan and the Albion cafe so do all three in the same afternoon.

London Quick Guide

London Quick Guide

Albion

London Quick Guide

Ottolenghi

BITES

La Fromagerie – Gorgeous cheese shop by author Patricia Michelson that you can visit while at the above addresses since it’s located on Moxton Street just off of Marylebone High Street. Make sure to hang out at the tasting cafe for a quick bite around a large family-size wood table. It’s heaven!

Cocomaya – Fine chocolates and artisian bakery. It’s heavenly. Don’t miss it. Eat outside if the weather permits! I went twice! It is located at 12 Connaught Street. Go to their chocolate shop just behind the bakery/cafe. Heaven.

Albion at the Boundary hotel. This cafe is around the corner from two must-see shops, Caravan and Squint, on Red Church Street. Dine in or outside. They also have a nice little food shop where you can buy jams and such in addition to pastries and breads if you don’t have time to sit down for a meal. If you order a sandwich for lunch, split it with a friend because one sandwich has two sandwiches on the plate – I’m not kidding!

Ottolenghi – Go here and eat and enjoy everything about this lovely cafe! They have a great cookbook too. I went to their Islington cafe at 287 Upper Street – definitely go! They have several London addresses though.

Carluccio’s – Had breakfast here at their Islington location at 305 Upper Street, but they have many addresses in London.

Euphorium Bakery – I had coffee here, also in Islington on Upper Street, and thought it was lovely.

Pandora – A very odd Japanese crepe place in Chinatown on Newport Place that has crepes stuffed with fruit and ice cream. Yum. Next door on the corner there is a hidden gem — a little Chinese restaurant, Jen Cafe Tea Specialist, and though it doesn’t have a fancy interior it has great food and is very affordable (and packed). I had steamed veggie dumplings and a pearl tea there and it was a great energy boost midday.

Pizza Express – A chain restaurant but very good! I ordered a salad and wine and everything was fresh and delish. Try the one located at St Christopher’s Place, that’s where I ate (at night, nice atmosphere), In that area there are many other restaurants situated in a square so if you don’t feel like salads and pizza you can find pretty much everything else!

Laduree – Go to their tea shop at Herrods in Knightsbridge. It’s lovely!

Napket “Snob Food”- I ate at this place and really liked it. You can find several in London.

London Quick Guide

Caravan

RANDOM

There is this fun shop called Lomography if you are lomo fan don’t miss it. It was a fun place to look around.

Also Carnaby Street is a great place for shopping, it’s near Liberty so you can do both in the same time frame.

And of course there are a billion things I did not mention above, many great shops that I could not fit in since I got sick during the final 3 days of my vacation with food poisoning, but that is a bit of “my” London for you. I hope that if you visit some of these shops above that you enjoy them as much as I did! And a VERY SPECIAL thank you to so many dear readers who gave me some lovely suggestions, I had a great time!

xo, Holly

(images: holly becker for decor8 except for Caravan images, shot by Debi Treloar)






Color Inspiration

Mediterranean Blue, Red + White

May 26, 2010

Hello Friends! It is Leslie here with this month’s Color Me Pretty. For some reason I can’t stop thinking about blue. Maybe it’s all the denim in fashion or maybe it’s my daydreams of exotic vacation spots like Marrakesh or Ibiza. Needless to say blue is on my mind and I cannot help but pair it with a little strawberry red. This traditional mix can still be fresh for your creative projects big or small. I do hope you enjoy this series.

Mediterranean Blue, Red + White

I had fun gathering all my blue vintage stamps together and arranging them on my scanner to make an interesting piece for hanging on the wall or for use in a paper craft. Quickly scanning and printing out the image was easy and would be fun with any collection of stamps or tickets. I may use my stamp scans to create a cover for my travel journal.

Mediterranean Blue, Red + White

Mediterranean Blue, Red + White

Mediterranean Blue, Red + White

Mediterranean Blue, Red + White

Mediterranean Blue, Red + White

Mediterranean Blue, Red + White

Mediterranean Blue, Red + White

Mediterranean Blue, Red + White

I do not have a lot of red in my home but I love adding simple dabs of it once in a while. Like a red vase on white tile or red stitching on linen tea towels. It is hard to resist the color of strawberry jam with warm scones or a fresh bowl of berries on a white tablecloth. Red gingham is charming too and speaks about summer picnics like nothing else.

Outdoors, even the most basic red geraniums look fabulous with classic Mediterranean blue and loads of white. I also love using a little red in small art projects like collage and wrapping.

What about you? Do you use red in big bold ways or do you tend to use it on a much smaller scale like me?

I really loved creating this column for you and I hope you have enjoyed it. I will see you back soon. Until then, take care and enjoy the rest of May. — Leslie

(images: leslie shewring)






Rooms

Turner Pocock Wallpaper

May 26, 2010

Turner Pocock is an interior design firm in London that also happens to have a sophisticated and slightly whimsical collection of wallcoverings divided into two themes – sporting goods with papers that have a cricket and a tennis (perfect timing!) theme, and an animal line collection with several furry friends from polar bears to zebras. My favorite is the Ostrich paper shown below in pink. Love!

Turner Pocock Wallpaper

Priced at £70.50 RRP, you can purchase some of these fun prints for your home from the Turner Pocock website if you’d like. Here is a sampling to whet your appetite.

Turner Pocock Wallpaper

Turner Pocock Wallpaper

Turner Pocock Wallpaper

Turner Pocock Wallpaper

Turner Pocock Wallpaper

These papers are inspired by the illustrative work of aritst Catherine Cazalet who recently joined forces with Bunny Turner and Emma Pocock, the founders of the firm. Thank you Sally for these images and for introducing me to Turner Pocock!

(images: turner pocock wallpaper)






Books + Magazines

We Love Living: New!

May 26, 2010

While at the farmers’ market this morning gathering peonies, freesia and veggies for my table I came across a kiosk and spotted a brand new decorating magazine called We Love Living. Great title! The magazine is very similar to Living & More (also published in Germany) but has a bit more English text in it and feels fresher and younger which I love.

We Love Living: New!

Their motto is to, “Be the change you want to see in the world”, a familiar expression but so powerful. I like the message behind this magazine as it supports what I stand behind so fully — the idea of loving your life and being happy THEN tailoring your home to meet the needs of you and your family — to support you spiritually, emotionally, physically… in every way. I think for a long time we were more interested in impressing others and less so in living at home – really living there and loving it – this is how it should be but how it wasn’t for awhile as the trend was to simply fill your home with what would make the neighbors say, “Ooooh my”.

We Love Living: New!

These days I feel this shift, it’s been going on for awhile but getting stronger, but I feel a shift in how people live at home and how they are decorating — don’t you? In more affluent parts of the world in pockets where there is wealth there is always a feeling that one must have the biggest and best to beat out all of the others. But in my circle of friends, and no doubt in yours too, there is more of a feeling now to personalize the space and to be a bit different from the pack.

We Love Living: New!

We Love Living: New!

We Love Living: New!

We Love Living: New!

Truly, the home is the only place on earth where we have absolute freedom of self expression. We can run nude from room to room if we choose, eat cereal for dinner from time to time, throw our clothes on the floor if we’re too tired to bother, and dance in the shower singing Donna Summer tunes with a shampoo bottle as our mic. It’s not just where we can be 100% ourselves, but it’s also where we can show our personality through how we choose to decorate and live — the colors we select, the crafts we make and display, all of it gives us a unique opportunity to surround ourselves with what makes us, well, us. I’m still a student of German so I cannot read all of the text in We Love Living as well as I wish I could — but I get the sense that this magazine supports how I feel about the home and it precisely why I like it. It’s also very affordable, only 2,90 Euros per copy and it is sold all over Germany, Austria and Switzerland, 10 issues per year beginning with the one shown in these photos – their first of what I hope to be many, issues to come.

We Love Living: New!

I wish the team in Offenburg at We Love Living, Caroline Vogel, Angelika Wuenscher, Stephanie Volk and Petra Weissburger all the best with their new magazine!

(images: holly becker for decor8)






Etsy Faves

Etsy Take Five Tuesday

May 25, 2010

Etsy Take Five Tuesday this week has a little something for everyone and I’ve arranged them into two sets: Girly and a bit more graphic with a mini bonus set of some pretty portrait paintings that I found from an artist who lives is Israel. I know it’s not your usual five sellers but sometimes I get bored with that format! I hope so much that you enjoy these little picks for your shopping basket today!

Etsy Take Five Tuesday

1. Vintage tennis rackets (certainly must be great for decorating, hang them over a bed in a guest bedroom!) from Bright Wall Vintage, 2. Chez moi screen print from Fric de Mentol, 3. Handmade vegan shoes by The Generation, 4. Felted art by Julie Blanchette, 5. Calm photograph by Aimee Clare and 6. Little Lamb Organic Hat made by SweetPeaToadTots.

Etsy Take Five Tuesday

Originals and prints of beautiful girls by Tush Tush

Etsy Take Five Tuesday

1. Flowers in Greece print by Art Quirk, 2. Stripe handbag by BKK, 3. Handmade vegan shoes by The Generation, 4.Pillows by Marianne van Ooij of Soap Studiooos, 5. Doggy letterpress print by Tag Team Tompkins and 6. Darling Clementine cards.

(images linked to their owners above)






Books + Magazines

Amsterdam: Made By Hand

May 25, 2010

Visiting Amsterdam soon? You’ll want this book in your bag! When Pia sent me an advanced copy of Amsterdam: Made By Hand I knew that the moment I had some time to read it, that I would love it. This past weekend I had a little time on Sunday night to flip through the pages and read her lovely introduction which feels so personal, and some of the shop profiles, and all of the images (because let’s face it, the visuals are always the best in books like this)… and well it’s quite charming and certainly worthy of a review. I’m sure that many bloggers who have the opportunity to pick this book up will give it a glowing review in addition to my own because it’s one that will appeal to so many I think.

Amsterdam: Made By Hand

Amsterdam: Made By Hand is a compact guidebook, published by Little Bookroom in New York, that has around 171 pages with many pretty photographs taken by the author, Pia Jane Bijkerk, and it captures how Amsterdam looks and feels through her eyes along with some of her most cherished shop suggestions. This book is ideal for those looking for a bit of an “off the beaten path” guide to where one can find shops catering more to the handmade, upcycled, vintage-loving crowd.

Here are some peeks from my copy:

Amsterdam: Made By Hand

Swarm – Shop shown above.

Amsterdam: Made By Hand

Amsterdam: Made By Hand

Juffrouw Splinter Curiosa – Shop glimpse above

Amsterdam: Made By Hand

The Frozen Fountain – Shown above.

“As a stylist, I am always on the lookout for objects that are distinctive and alluring—which is why I adore all things handmade. Amsterdam: Made By Hand is an insider’s guide where you’ll discover Dutch ateliers tucked away on the cobble stoned backstreets of the old canal district, and boutiques that Dutch designers and stylists have kept well-hidden inside their black books. . . until now. Between its pages you can expect to find woodworkers, flower artists, jewelry designers, dressmakers, ceramicists, and more: with the backdrop of Amsterdam’s beautiful canals and wonky buildings, you can expect to see this quaint old city in a whole new light.” – Pia Jane Bijkerk.

Amsterdam: Made By Hand

Another view of The Frozen Fountain shop.

Amsterdam: Made By Hand

Tesselschade Arbeid Adelt shown above.

Not all of us traveling want to shop only at big department stores – many delight in finding things that feel like no one else has ever found them before and most of the shops in Pia’s book feel exactly like this – mini hidden treasure boxes tucked away on random side streets owned by passionate people who have made their retail store and the products in it their entire existence. It’s hard to find shops like this in cities nowadays, even in Europe, as more and more chain coffee shops and stores move in paying top dollar for property forcing long time tenants out and sometimes not just out to another neighborhood but out of business altogether. Don’t get me started on this topic though as it makes me quite warm and my cheeks get a bit red! Ha! But yes, this is happening because how can one compete with paying top dollar costs for renting a shop when your store is really more about passion and community building than counting stacks of bills at the end of the day?

Amsterdam: Made By Hand

Fabrics at Tinctoria.

Amsterdam: Made By Hand

Cute things at Happy Red Fish.

Amsterdam: Made By Hand

Gorgeous and a bit edgy – jewelry at Gild Goldsmith Atelier.

And so, when you go to cities you often only find these big stores in the main sections and sometimes it can seem as though a city lacks a local identity, the very identity that is found from the shops that had to move out to make way for the big boxes. Fortunately, in Amsterdam, many sweet stores do exist but often tucked away here and there and Pia has found them and placed the gems lovingly into this book. This is the real value of a book like this – it supports those who are happy to stay small and leads us who are happy to shop there to them. Thank you Pia for your efforts in pulling together this sweet glimpse of your Amsterdam and I hope that anyone interested in handmade goods will pick up this title the next time they plan to visit there.

Amsterdam: Made By Hand

Psst: If you are in Amsterdam on June 5th see the above image for a fun signing party that you can attend! If you go, have fun!

Psst Psst: I’m an Amazon affiliate so the links to Amazon are part of my affiliate program.

(images: top 5 photographs taken by Holly Becker for decor8, all others submitted by Pia Jane Bijkerk for this review.)






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