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Gross Stadt Rekorder + Evelyn Hahn {Hannover}

I spent lots of time today out enjoying the beautiful Autumn weather here in Germany, and my travels around the city brought me to Hannover Linden to visit a few creative locals with shops that I really enjoyed visiting. I’ll introduce you to two that I found quite inspiring. First up is Gross Stadt Rekorder, a store and gallery that I liked very much.


The fashion designers sharing the space invite artists in for mini exhibitions, something I’m a huge fan of – the promotion of artists that I may not have heard of otherwise. Gross Stadt Rekorder current features the work of 25-year-old Hannover-based artist Evelyn Hahn, the exhibit is called “Dream A Little Dream” and I liked it so much that I asked if I could take photos to share with you.


I really enjoyed Evelyn’s work and especially how it was installed, so creative! And all of the various surfaces she works on from wood to paper, canvas, even small stones, I liked the variety very much. Her edgy illustrative work is so interesting, so urban, her distorted characters and heavy lines in mostly black and white held my interest for quite some time, some pieces I couldn’t take my eyes off of. I hope an American gallery will pick her up because I think her work needs to be seen in the states because I think people would respond to it — and I like art that creates a reaction and makes one step back and think. I just loved how her art was displayed on this wall below in all the mini antique frames, from ovals to squares. Great idea for art arrangement in the home I think. The center piece was a small wooden chalkboard with Liebe Dich written on it and a small piece of chalk suspended from a string. It was really sweet. Some of her work was altered images, for instance a vintage portrait of a lady with a new head – a head created by Evelyn, popped onto the body. Or an illustration on a lace doily on a painted board. You can click on the images to see larger views to check out some of the details. Perhaps it will get your creative wheels turning for your very own art project.

Interesting mobile in the corner.

One thing that I love about northern Germany, from Hannover to Hamburg and especially Berlin, is all the raw indie talent that exists over here, it’s all very inspired by life in Germany, the history of this country, their culture, and the future that these talents young people hope to build here. It’s edgy, there are messages woven into their work, and it’s unique and very authentic, something I appreciate so much.

Pictures climbing the walls onto the ceiling, I loved this network of images. Amazing!

Gross Stadt Rekorder is located in Hannover Linden at Deisterstr. 77. Evelyn’s exhibit will be on display until October 31, 2007. And pay special attention to their fashion, the clothes are amazing. I think ‘Little Red Riding Hood makes a life for herself in Berlin’ sums up the style to me. :)

(images by holly becker for decor8)

Posted in Arts + Crafts, designers, Shop Tours, shopping, travel on October 16, 2007
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Making New Friends

I nearly forgot to post this photo, but you have to meet these lovely ladies. This photo was taken only a few hours after I landed in Stockholm, where Danielle and I met up with some locals for drinks and dinner at Riche. You have to meet them, so here’s a bit of an introduction along with some links.


On the far left is Ulrika Gr?n?rus seated next to her business partner Alexandra Giertz who own the popular online Swedish art gallery Andyland (they ship all over the world by the way, hint, hint). I wish I had more time to get to know them because they were quite charming and very in-the-know when it comes to art, a subject I can talk about for hours.

In the center is my travel partner-in-crime Danielle from the Netherlands, and to her right is the popular Swedish blogger Emma, whom I owe a huge thanks to for spending time with us and showing me around the city. Emma will blush when she reads this, but I have to say it anyway, she has exceptional style and a great personality, I found her easy to talk to and certainly a great companion to meet up with while in Stockholm. If you ever visit Stockholm, print out her travel guide, it’s the best. A publisher needs to write to her to work on a “best of” Stockholm book or something, she has her finger on the pulse of Stockholm and knows all the best places.

And on the far right is Theres Sysimets?, Tess for short, a talented and spirited jewelry designer who can fill the room with her personality the moment she enters. She can speak to any subject with insight, and she certainly is one of the kindest ladies. Sadly, she doesn’t have a website so I can’t link you to her — but once she does, I’ll post about her here on decor8 so you can find her. Tess supplied me with maps with hand drawn instructions and arrows on where I should go and why and also, a beautiful gift box filled with goodies – including a Design House Stockholm scarf. I spent time alone with Tess before my flight and we really got to know one another over coffee and sweet rolls at Bloom in S?dermalm (a delicious bakery located around the corner from Hotel Rival at Paulsgatan 24).

Blooms Bakery

I think a city is only as good as the people in it – the overall vibe depends on the attitude and spirit. Stockholm is so unique because it’s not only scenic and relaxing, but also very friendly and welcoming, I felt fortunate to be surrounded by so many talented like-minded ladies such as this group shown above. I raise my glass to each of these ladies to say “Cheers and Tack!” for making my stay in Stockholm very special.

Psst: View photos of Riche here. I loved their illustrative menus (above) by Jockum Nordstr?m (the waiter gave these to me, one is in Swedish and the other in English). I also enjoyed the overall interior design of Riche by Jonas Bohlin – it was so pretty. I was so busy talking to my new friends that I didn’t think to photograph the restaurant, but you can find some on their website. I must mention that there was a bizarre installation by Jonas Dahlberg which included surveillance cameras on the toilets, architecture models and a monitor, which you can view here under 08 on his website. Needless to say, I didn’t use the ladies room – I’m American you know – as a culture, we are a bit reserved unlike most of Europe (I’m constantly aware of this when I’m over here) when it comes to matters of privacy and sexuality. Ha!

(images from holly becker for decor8)

Posted in shopping, travel on October 16, 2007

Hem 2007 {Stockholm}

I think I’d mentioned before heading up to Stockholm that I wanted to visit their home show called Hem 2007 (Hem is Swedish for Home). And I did! Ready to visit along with me? Good. Here we go!

Hem ’07 was held at Stockholmsm?ssan, a huge trade fair center only a 20 minute train ride from downtown Stockholm.

Upon entering the exhibit hall, you turn right and enter the “Inspiration and Trend” hall, which is where I spent the day. There were other exhibit halls, but those mostly focused on appliances and such — all things that I have absolutely no interest in because if it won’t fit in my suitcase, I figured I didn’t need to bother. :) The Inspiration and Trend hall had lots of exhibitors with items you could purchase, so this was the ideal place for a design hungry girl to make a bee-line for. But first, I have to show you this beautiful restaurant to the left, it’s called the The Garden and featured some of the best design elements, from the lighting (overhead) to all the Josef Frank fabrics that are so popular in Sweden.

I think every home has at least one throw pillow designed by Josef Frank, so if you’re looking to mimic Swedish design in your own home, take note. You need something from Svenskt Tenn somewhere to truly be a wannabe Swede. :)

The first exhibit I enjoyed looking at was called “Up Side Down” styled by Synn?ve Mork for Elle Interi?r. I was excited to see that Elle Interi?r also had a booth where they offered current and back issues of their magazine for only a few dollars, it was heaven. I hope that American magazines hop on this idea and do the same in the big U.S. shows because I’m sure many would love to scoop up past issues for a good price.

As you can see, I clearly had no problem scooping up magazines. :)

I started to spot some trends, black, white, natural wood, metallic gold, and a few Asian finds. Nothing new but still fun to see.

I absolutely adored this light but couldn’t find any information about it. I like the shadows it casts, it really captivated me.


These rooms (below) were created by Helena Sandberg and Jimmy Sch?nning, both Swedish stylists. The theme chosen was “Personality” showing three living rooms – one white, one black, and one in black, white, with gold accents. The black room felt unusually warm – the wood, leather, and wool felt contributed to that. Despite the nice design of this space, it didn’t make an impression on me, I didn’t connect to it on any level as I couldn’t imagine living in a space like this at all. It felt a bit heavy and draining. Not for me. But the white on the other hand…

This was my favorite space of the three, the all-white living room, complete with a white vacuum, which I would definitely own. The eye is a photo tile (above) by Fotokakel, a company that had a booth at the show displaying their new photo tiles. You can take whatever image you like and they’ll create tiles for your home. I think this could become a trend, but given that tiles are a long term investment, you’d need to carefully select your image because once it’s installed, you can’t easily change your mind.

I loved the ping pong ball light, it reminded me of a mini version of the Troy light designed by my friends Marcia and Paul of Zia-Priven. I also love this metal cut out chair in white. Oh so pretty!

{edit: found the name/website!} I couldn’t help but notice the very Scandinavian style shoes on the staircase designed by Asa Westlund, they’re called There Goes The Neighborhood. I’ve seen them in lots of Jeu de Paume books. I adore these shoes and I kept hoping I’d find a pair whenever I went shopping because I think they’re just adorable. I would use them as a bit of a prop for my home, I think clothing and shoes can definitely add a decorative element if displayed in the right spot, don’t you? I wonder how long before Anthropologie picks these up…

This is the Cosas booth, where I met fellow blogger Anneli Levin and purchased a Swedish horse and some Karin Eriksson ceramics. Anneli was so nice to meet, I’ve admired her blog for a long time so it was exciting to meet her in person. I didn’t expect that Cosas would have a booth at Hem ’07, so it was a very nice surprise for me to bump into her. Here’s a grouping of images that Anneli took and arranged herself, I just love this collage and have to show you it. I hope she doesn’t mind. :)

Cosas carries a popular ceramic cup designed by Anna Svensson, voted as one of favorites from this show by Elle Interi?r.

Along with this tray designed by Liebling (love their patterns). Here are a few shots of the Liebling booth, one that I wished I’d lingered at but by this point, I was starting to get a bit overwhelmed!

And this is jewelry designer (above) Catrine ?berg of Cooee, who helped me select a necklace from her line. Imagine two acrylic heart pendents, one clear, one silver, dangling on a long silver box link chain. I love it! In fact, I fell head over heels for all of her designs (you have to visit her website). Psst: She is actively looking to network with some stores in the U.S. to carry her line, so if you’re a shop owner, contact Catrine and tell her that you read about her on decor8 since she knows who I am now (we met at the fair). Her jewelry was a huge hit at the show, the foot traffic was incredible, she’s quite a popular lady!

Here’s a room designed for a teenager that I liked by Jan Rundgren. I liked the lamp the best but again, couldn’t find information regarding the source.

I couldn’t resist snapping a photo of these gorgeous trays! I wanted them all. So hard to resist.

And these great chairs (above), designed by Carl Malmsten, were another favorite of Elle Interi?r at this show.

And finally, here are some pillows I liked from Kreativ Insikt. Not a lot of pillows at this show, or textiles, so it was a bit sad for me because I was expecting to see a lot of prints and patterns and instead I found mostly black and white.

Summary: Hem 2007 was a bit small and honestly, a little dull to be set in such an innovative capital city like Stockholm. Outside of what I’ve featured in this post, the many additional booths (not shown) felt very dismal and somewhat tacky even – and the room arrangements I saw did not inspire me so I didn’t bother photographing them. I got the sense that other attendees they felt exactly the same, so I’m not alone in this. However, the fact that I had the opportunity to attend was extremely exciting and an experience I won’t forget, so for me, it was worth it to be there. Plus, I was able to meet some nice people and see some beautiful things, so I can’t complain too much!

Would you like to see additional coverage of Hem 2007? Visit Emmas Design Blogg and The Style Files.

(images from holly becker for decor8 with the exception of the anna svensson cups, photo by cosas)

Posted in shopping, travel, trends on October 15, 2007

Velocity Art + Design *New* Site & Showroom

It seems October is all about new beginnings since there’s a slew of newly launched websites being rolled out as I type. I’m so proud of everyone for their accomplishments (you know who you are!). One site that looks absolutely amazing is also one of my favorite online stores, Velocity Art + Design. Check it out below, it doesn’t even look like the same website. Sexy!

I have to congratulate Ali and the rest of the Velocity crew, it’s quite an impressive change, great job! The best part, outside of the sleek presentation, it’s so much easier to navigate than before. For instance, I didn’t even know they carried Hella Jongerius until today when I spotted their new drop down list.

For Seattle locals: Did you know that Velocity will extend themselves from the web to the street, with a brand new retail store in Seattle to open on Friday, October 5th?It’s true. And I think that’s so cool, they’ve been so successful with their online business that this was the next natural step for them. So if you live in Seattle, here’s another great store to add to your shopping list. They’re located at 251 Yale Ave N.

Hooray for Velocity!

Posted in Arts + Crafts, shopping, travel on October 01, 2007

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