I was catching up on Danielle’s blog a moment ago and saw the most gorgeous sofa there. When I clicked her link over to a company called Pinch Design in London, my heart jumped! I found the exact cabinet that I’ve been looking for to put in my living room — at least the living room in my next home as I’m happy with what I have from IKEA for now despite how my husband misses our Swedish mid century credenza that we sold and left behind in New Hampshire. My cute husband isn’t happy with my poor little white Besta Burs. He doesn’t like the wheels, he doesn’t like the storage, and he wants our credenza back! :) Thing is, I’m looking for something a bit more modern and instead of mid century, more this century, and that is why the one shown here from Pinch tickles me so.
I also LOVE their sofas. I’m scared to look at the price tag though. But I will write to them and inquire anyway because it is gorgeous and perfect for the needs of both my husband and I. And who knows, maybe they deliver to Germany or have a rep here? All I know is that the next credenza I purchase will be a keeper — it has to stay with me for years and years because I’m becoming more and more interested in buying quality pieces that stick around, perform well and are timeless classics. Maybe this is an age thing because I didn’t care about this at all ten years ago. Hmmm.
(photographer: James Merrell for Pinch Design)
I’ve raved about Car Möbel before because I’ve ordered from this German company in the past (furniture) and really like their selection… and I’m here to rave again because I always find something on their site or in their catalog that I like, whether it’s a pouffe or a bookcase. And while they only ship locally, at least I’m guessing from what I’ve read on their site, many of you can look at some of their arrangements of things to gain inspiration for how you’re displaying objects – I think they do a good job of it. I really like the hallway decoration shown below with the soft, pale blue wall with gray and white. So fresh and welcoming.
Most of what you see pictured are from the major brands that Car Möbel carries from Scandinavia, the Netherlands and Germany. Some of these brands include TineK Home, RICE, Greengate, PIP-Studio (they have their bedding and bags now!) and House Doctor. Though what makes Car Möbel so special is that they also carry their own line of furniture shown in all of these photos that is available in natural wood, white and sometimes black. I like this because you can buy unfinished pieces and customize them. The brands I’ve mentioned above are quite common to find, I guess you can say they’re as common as West Elm or Pottery Barn is in America.
If you live in Germany then you can feel free to order as they come highly recommended by me (and I’m a picky customer!). I really love their professional, prompt service, packaging, and quality of goods. I also need a desk, so I’m looking high and low for one and found something on their site this morning that just may work for me. So! Here are some arrangements that I like that I thought would inspire you over the weekend, if you feel up to it, to redecorate or style a particular part of your home in a fresh, new way without purchasing a single thing. Give it a try – the bookcase that looks a wreck, your closet, the hallway, even a few shelves in the kitchen or bathroom.
Often mini refreshers like this can make your surroundings much more enjoyable – plus I think it’s good to have movement in the house. What I mean by this is that when something stays in the same place to long it almost makes me feel stuck or in a rut emotionally just looking at it. I move things around frequently because it feels like the energy can circulate better. I know in words this makes little sense, but just try moving things around and you’ll see what I mean… there’s freedom and a fresh perspective that can often result from the moving of objects. Plus I observe a lot of movement in the natural world and thing that it’s easy sometimes to forget that our interior environments may also need to change from time to time in order to allow for growth and change. At least, according to me. :)
(images: car möbel)
Interior designer Maha recently talked about creative director and shop owner Niki Jones on her blog (here) and I fell instantly in love with this online store in Scotland. I love the ethnic prints and patterns and the strong contrasts, especially all of the white and black. Does white and black ever go out of style? It doesn’t seem to be the case, it’s such a classy, seductive palette. It’s good and evil brought together to form a passionate dance, one trying to lead, but neither succeeding because the balance is the beauty of their dance. That is why I think that the collection of Niki Jones is so stunning. And it’s not all about white and black, there are other colors brought in to add spice like purple and red. Those strong jewel tones that are so popular this time of the year.
So, who is Niki Jones you ask? Niki trained at the Scottish College of Textiles and the Royal College of Art in London before working at Habitat as textile designer and style coordinator. She then got into ceramics and worked as a design director at Wedgwood. Moving out of London, she went to Scotland where she started her own brand of household goods because she couldn’t find well designed and well crafted pieces that were special, online or even in London as she says that she, “became aware that there was a real lack of choice (in London) if you were looking for something a bit different and special.”
In her line, you can find Uzbek textiles, knitted and felted goods from countries like Iceland, furniture with bone inlay, mirrors, rugs, French antiques, optical patterns, embroidery and hand knotting – details she insists on and that give the home personality and style. I love that black silhouette chair, is that not stunning?
Okay and the kitty… I wish I could order that sweet little creature! :) Meowwww!
(images: niki jones)
Habitat’s Swedish owners may be looking for a buyer, but I have high hopes that this lovely store will weather the storm in this economy and perhaps not only find a buyer but expand and grow. I live an hour from both a Habitat retail store (2 floors of gorgeousness) and a Habitat outlet store, and so whenever I need a design fix I take the train up to Hamburg for a visit. Have you even been to Habitat? Do you like it? Are you a customer? What do you find there that you like? I’m a fan of their sofas, lighting and accessories — and I like that they carry some wallpaper in-store for when you want to do a quick accent wall in your home. I also like the look of their website, it recently changed, and is a lot easier to navigate.
I really like their current campaign, This is my Habitat, where they spotlight stylish people, like Danish model Helena Christensen, and show them in their space. I’ve not seen Helene’s apartment anywhere online before so perhaps this will be the start of things to come and we’ll be seeing her apartment someplace soon in the future as I’m intrigued by the photographs shown above. Habitat is even running a contest for their customers – if you want to be the next face of Habitat (enter here). I think the only bit I wonder about with This is my Habitat is that, outside of Helena, I don’t know who any of these other people are and I wish they’d give a bit more detail about them — where they live, what they do for work, and why they’ve chosen the particular room and accessories they’re photographed with.
Do you feel the same? But I think they’re on the right track… And I love the idea of using stylish customers on their website. West Elm started doing that last year in their catalogs… I think there is this growing trend to connect the product with real people more and more, don’t you see this through some advertising? I do. I think we’re living in a time when we want to identify with others more and more and feel a bit of a soul connection. I think the days of being superficial and unapproachable, when it comes to decorating, are over and I’m all for it. That’s why I started blogging in the first place, I was ready for this change back in 2005 and though it has taken some years, I love seeing so many products available to real people that do not require entrance to a design showroom. While I love the showrooms, not everyone can afford 40K sofas. And that’s okay. I love the whole handmade/DIY movement, the craft movement and seeing more companies make their design approachable and interesting. Like these rooms above, they’re not perfect. There is breakfast on the floor, things laying about, but it’s real and feels like, “Hey I live this way too! Now I see how that sofa would work in my home”. And that my friends, is marketing magic.
In the end, I rather like the idea of being sold on something that is both attainable and realistic.