Monthly Archives

January 2011

Decorating Tips

Vintage Industrial Decorating Tips + HKLiving

January 13, 2011

Is vintage industrial a style that interests you? If so, you’ll like this find. I found out about HKLiving just yesterday after buying an industrial pendant light from them at Die Wohngeschwister in Hamburg. HKLiving is a home collection offering everything from lighting to furniture and interior accessories and is owned by Dutch designer Emiel Hetsen along with his partners Saskia Wesselius and Sander Klaver. Emiel launched his company in 2008 and along with product design, he also has a background in selling antique and vintage furniture and by the looks of his collection, his background resulted in a strong, cohesive collection. HKLiving has appeared in several European design magazines, you can see a few spreads below from VTWonen and Skona Hem.

Vintage Industrial Decorating Tips + HKLiving

Vintage Industrial Decorating Tips + HKLiving

What do you think of this look? These products are not offered yet in the US, though I’m sure you can find similar products at stores near you and I can bet that you’ll be seeing this look more and more in the states — the vintage industrial look is a big trend here.

If you like vintage industrial but want to mix some elements of it in with your own style to create a look, you can go a few ways with it, try these ideas:

* Go clean and graphic — Minimalistic with bold black as an accent, a large metal initial on the wall, chalkboard paint in the dining room, industrial stools at the bar in your kitchen. This look is mostly black and white with a shot of bold color if you wish. Orange is a nice accent and can be brought it by placing a bright orange metal chair at your desk or an orange vase on your table. Floors can be painted white, black or if you are lucky, natural hardwood that is original and a bit rough around the edges. Polished concrete is another option.

* Go country by bringing in pinstripes in black and white for your fabrics along with creamy white (with a yellow tone) mixed with your bright whites (which often have a blue or gray. Add some pastel color – a pale mint wooden cabinet for instance. Mix in original vintage elements like an old wooden farmhouse table, a farmhouse sink for the kitchen, etc. along with your faux vintage pieces. Style with fresh flowers (pink roses, white peonies or lavender for instance), layer blankets on your bed and mix the patterns of your linens, buy a comfy sofa (brown leathers or white linens work nicely), and add wicker baskets as storage for that pile of magazines near your favorite chair.

* Go bright and have fun by adding in patterns (try gray stars or petite floral prints) and bright colors like red, blue and pink. You can bring in a pink Smeg fridge and colorful Cath Kidston wallpaper. Add a vintage industrial light over your dining table in bold yellow. Paint a crate bright red and use for storage.

* Go the natural route by bringing in lots of warmth and texture with reindeer furs and cow hides (cruelty-free or faux), driftwood and branches in vases. Think “rustic” and natural. Mango wood tables, a whitewashed coffee table, comfortable seating that you can sink into, vintage industrial furniture like black metal lockers for storage or crates on wheels as a bedside table. This is purely optional, but you can bring in some ethnic accents into this look — silver Moroccan poufs, a white wooden tea table with silver metal tray, etc.

There are other ways to use vintage industrial items in a way that suits you. You can even mix and match some of these ideas above, for instance the natural and rustic style can work nicely combined with the country look. With clean and graphic, you can add in some country elements to make it a bit French flea market-esque.

Note: Don’t only go faux or else your home risks becoming a Faux Chateau, a slang term right up there with McMansion that my friend Laurie uses to describe the interior of a home that has all reproduction pieces in it and nothing genuinely vintage or antique. Mix your faux pieces that are beautifully made and look very authentic, like those at HKLiving with those that are actual vintage pieces that you found at a flea market for best decorating results. This is what I do and it works for me and hopefully can work for you, too. :)

What about where you live, do you see this look creeping in or is it already popular?

(images: hkliving + herzlich wohnen)






Inspiration

Shane Powers For West Elm

January 12, 2011

If you were a fan of Blueprint magazine (2006-2007) back in the day, you most likely recall seeing art director and stylist Shane Powers and his work in each issue as editor. I loved what he did for Blueprint and after they folded, I wondered what would become of this Brooklyn-based talent.This is one of my favorite photos from his portfolio and was featured in Blueprint — everything about this room makes me happy, right down to the folding doors as mood board/room divider DIY project. If I recall correctly, the table was another DIY project, I think they used a door from a home store and covered it with light gray vinyl fabric and tacked it down with brushed gold studs around the sides to dress it up.

Shane Powers For West Elm

Today, when I heard about his collaboration with West Elm and watched his video showing how to compose four beautiful arrangements of flowers, I was so happy to see Shane again! He has designed a few lovely vessels for them and shows you how to use them in an instructional how-to video right here. Here are some of his vases for West Elm followed by a few shots from his portfolio…

Shane Powers For West Elm

Shane Powers For West Elm

Shane Powers For West Elm

Shane Powers For West Elm

Shane Powers For West Elm

Shane Powers For West Elm

What do you think? Do you like this collection? Do you like seeing WE working with artists and designers for limited edition collections? Who should they collaborate with next?

(images: west elm + shane powers)






Travel

Die Wohngeschwister + Hamburg Shopping

January 12, 2011

I’m back from a day trip to Hamburg and enjoyed it very much! Hamburg is a beautiful city and Germany’s second largest with over 1.8 million residents. I was surprised how vibrant it was during a weekday in the dead of winter — though we got lucky with blue skies and sunshine which took the chill off and made walking around a delight. My friend and I shopped mainly in two districts — die Schanzenviertel and also in Eppendorf. When I’ve been to Hamburg in the past, I found myself downtown outside of the main station since Habitat is there, but yesterday my friend Tinna helped me to discover this whole new world of Hamburg shopping that I didn’t know about before — what fun to explore and a great way to gather inspiration in the dead of winter…

Die Wohngeschwister + Hamburg Shopping

I can’t believe how much Hamburg reminded me of Boston and Amsterdam combined though still feeling very northern German. I guess it makes sense because it’s on the water, is a big seafood lovers city and has lots of brick buildings and old factories restored into fancy restaurants, shops, lofts and offices. There are many canals with over 2300 bridges (more than Amsterdam or Venice), is known as a port city, boasts both old and modern buildings, and most people speak English. It also feels very free and open-minded but in some ways very conservative and the people come across as very proud of their city and of being a resident of HH (Hamburg’s official name is the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg or HH for short). I can’t wait to return again! I also loved how many stores Tinna showed  me that had gorgeous clothes from Denmark and Sweden — I walked into some shops and felt love at first sight. I can’t wait to get to know Hamburg a little more this year because now I have so many reasons to go back and because it’s so close by — I can zip up there on the train in 90 minutes — why not!?

While there, we spent time at Die Wohngeschwister so that is mainly what this post is about — this interiors shop and cafe with nearly 6,500 square feet (600 meters) of retail space. Organized into various theme areas under one large roof in a former Steinway piano factory, you can find everything from ethnic to modern, Scandinavian country, books + stationery, ceramics + kitchen stuff, white + pure living, flea market-inspired finds and more. A college student can find affordable things here right alongside the lady who has money to burn — they have such a huge variety at all price points. Their cafe was also lovely, with massive vintage paned factory windows and the food coming out of the kitchen looked delicious — homemade soup with crusty bread, hearty sandwiches, and their coffee was divine. I’d return to this store just for a bowl of soup, though of course I’d have to have a walk around  because their selection changes often and lots of great lines can be found at Die Wohngeschwister. I spotted things from House Doctor, Rice, Cath Kidston, Atomic Soda, Nordal, HK Living (I purchased this light for my kitchen), Krima & Isa, PTMD (the best paint from the Netherlands in neutral colors with a matte chalky finish that I’m really into right now, I bought a can of Swish Gray to try at home), Madam Stolz and other European brands.

Die Wohngeschwister + Hamburg Shopping

Die Wohngeschwister + Hamburg Shopping

Die Wohngeschwister + Hamburg Shopping

Die Wohngeschwister + Hamburg Shopping

Die Wohngeschwister + Hamburg Shopping

Die Wohngeschwister + Hamburg Shopping

Die Wohngeschwister + Hamburg Shopping

Die Wohngeschwister + Hamburg Shopping

Die Wohngeschwister + Hamburg Shopping

Die Wohngeschwister + Hamburg Shopping>

Die Wohngeschwister + Hamburg Shopping

In addition to Die Wohngeschwister, who has four stores in Hamburg now including their newest addition for kids — Wohngeschwisterchen (which we also visited — they have a huge selection including Ferm Living, TAJ Wood & Scherer and more) we visited Wunderhübsch (a gorgeous Danish clothing store that will launch online next week), Hummel (Danish store with great clothes for sports, yoga, etc.), Cucinaria (all things for the kitchen, and I do mean all!), TM Room 77 (an interiors shop with a sweet corner for the kids with things from Maileg), and a fantastic shop that I’ve been wanting to see since I moved to Germany called Lys Vintage. I met the owner and her new baby boy and had such a nice time browsing her well curated selection of finds from brands such as Normann Copenhagen, Tine K Home, Bleu Nature, Louis Poulsen, Ferm Living, House Doctor, Cole & Son, HAY, Meyer Lavigne, Areaware, Anna Carin Dahl, Susan Liebe, GamFratesi and Secto Design to list a few.

I also stopped by Bullerei, a new restaurant owned by chef and author Tim Mälzer who is known as the German Jamie Oliver. You can see lots of photos of it here — it is a gorgeous space and I noticed plenty of Kusmi tea on the menu! I even saw Tim Mälzer himself. Yay for me!

So that sums up my trip to Hamburg. Next time I visit, I’ll be sure to show you more great shops! I hope you enjoyed my travel notes!

(images: holly becker for decor8)






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