I’m obsessed with cooking lately. Perhaps it’s because we’ve been staying in a hotel suite for weeks and the only thing I can make in our room is coffee or tea. I miss having my own kitchen! So lately, anything even remotely related to dirtying up the kitchen interests me like never before. From spices to machines (the silver limited edition Tord Boontje Senseo coffee machine is fun), cookbooks, to Pino funnels. Adding to my list of must-haves is the Larissa Bertonasco cookbook, La Nonna La Cucina La Vita – Die wunderbaren Rezepte meiner Gro?mutter, which I’ve ordered along with her wall calendar. Her illustrative style is fun and colorful, reminding us of the importance to enjoy the whole cooking experience. I applaud her for wearing two hats, she’s both a professional cook and an illustrator. Let’s hear it for doing what you love, right?!
If you don’t already know Larissa, she lives in Hamburg and is quite the popular girl here in Germany lately, I see her products in bookstores all over. She even has a new line of paper napkins, cloth tea towels, and other small misc. products for the kitchen. But her cookbook is gorgeous. I mean, worth buying even if you can’t read German because it’s just page after page of large colorful illustrations.
The recipes are centered around Italian cooking, just like her grandma would make, and the book is 100% illustration so there are no real life settings photographed which in itself is quite unique right? Most modern cookbooks show photographs of actual food.
This hand drawn cookbook is hot here and who would have guessed that it would be so popular being that it’s mostly filled with illustrations and only brief recipe summaries? It’s highly visual in a very unconventional sense without a single food photo. I think people are starving for new formats, clever new ways to deliver information, breaking the mold.
Have a peek at her portfolio here. And if you want to purchase her calendar or book, just go to the German Amazon site. That’s where I ordered mine and it’s all set to be delivered to my U.S. address. Easy.
(images from larissa bertonasco)
Would you like to join me for a moment because I’d love to show you my favorite showroom in Germany, it’s called ComingHome Interior. It’s a splendid shopping “experience” located in Hannover, the absolute best source for mid century modern, industrial, and just plain gorgeous finds. From furniture to ceramics, lighting, and beyond, you’ll want to own everything.
Most of you know that my favorite spaces are those inhabited by creative souls who refuse to play by the rules, allow for a lot of style-overlapping, and go beyond the mainstream to design spaces that not only work for them, but are decorative, emotionally supportive, and contain a few unique finds with a story to tell.
From the moment I entered ComingHome, I felt like I had, well, come home. Okay, I’d add more floral patterns and a dose of cuteness here and there with prints, art, and such, but overall this store definitely speaks to both my husband and I. There’s a bit of tension in their designs, a masculine and feminine touch in every corner, soft meets sturdy, but never too obvious. You have to look for it.
How are the prices? You’ll like this… What you see isn’t beyond reach because it’s all affordable (most tables between 300-500,- Euro for instance, chairs a little less), completely devoid of the bloated mark up so common back home (in New England) due to being in such high demand. Shopping is much more fun when you can imagine owning something because the price tag doesn’t give you a heart attack.
Also what makes ComingHome such a special place is the down-to-earth approach of Rainer S?ll, one of the owners and designers who holds an MS in Architecture. (His business partner is Claudia Nowotny, a theatre painter and stage designer, whom I did not meet.) You can discuss any piece in his showroom at length, he’s so knowledgeable, and his obvious creativity and passion for his work is inspiring. Don’t you love how well everything is styled without looking too perfect?
It’s also obvious that both have their finger on the pulse of contemporary and mid century modern design and Rainer has an intimate relationship with his clients, although his prices do not reflect this high level of customer service – it’s all part of the store experience. I observed him working with a few of his clients and they not only purchased 4 chairs for their home, but left with excitement written all over their faces because they scored original Eames chairs at a good price.
As a team, both Rainer and Claudia have a unique and creative vision, they’re able to repurpose items transforming them into new objects, another bonus of this showroom. Many things are either original or entirely repurposed pieces crafted into lighting, art, sculpture, coat racks, etc., from old exercise equipment to work benches, orchard ladders, and beyond. They also had a delightful selection of vintage globes, ceramics, and clocks.
As these pictures speak a thousand words, I guess I need not elaborate. But I do want to mention that because they carry such a diversified offering of products that rotate in and out quickly, if you see something you want it’s important to secure it right away!
If you visit Hannover or if you’re a magazine looking for a hip couple to feature, seriously consider ComingHome Interior because not only is their showroom to die for, but I’ve heard their home is even better. Hear that, Elle Decoration, Elle Decor, and Living Etc.?
Located: Nieschlagstr. 10/11 in Hannover Linden (take the #9 to Empelde and jump off at Nieschlagstr.) Open Thursday, Friday, and Saturday only. All other days by appointment only. For more information visit their website, in German. Rainer speaks English, so you can also call or email him with any questions.
(top three photos taken by thorsten becker, all others by holly becker for decor8)
Ready to be totally inspired? I recently mentioned Anne Wendlandt, also known as Enna, promising that if she allowed me to take photos of her new shop here in Hannover that I would share them with you. Well, I met the lovely Anne today and spent time with her visiting her shop/work studio and I walked away with a skip in my step because I felt so inspired by this young, talented artist.
She used regular flat latex paint in her favorite colors and created a stencil by hand that she applied to the wall to repeat the pattern. Clever!
Anne is so nice and open, very easy to talk to and so excited about being a part of a design blog as she is just starting to explore the whole world of blogging and selling online so I’m just as thrilled to talk about her work here on decor8.
She has an etsy store, a DaWanda shop, and a store on her website. In addition to all of this, she creates many things by hand, she’s a talented illustrator, and a graphic designer along with a shop owner, so Anne is a busy lady. I’m so excited to share her store with you because there are so many little details and pretty things to tell you about. Would you like to know more? Okay, here’s a little tour.
Here are some of her fabrics and the handmade rubber stamps she uses for her designs. She told me how to make handmade stamps, so I’m quite excited to give it a try. I may ask her if I can take a class with her, I’d love to learn a few things from her to apply as a hobby, there’s so many fun things to do to personalize your space.
What does Anne design? I guess a better question is, what doesn’t this girl do? :) She does so much. She crafts earrings out of polymer clay that she then hand paints, she designs postcards, pillows, shirts, hoodies, and onesies for baby, plates, iron-on patches, wrapping paper, softies, marketing materials for her business, her website, the signage on the window of her shop, the list goes on and on. She is inspired by so much, she certainly doesn’t want to limit herself to just one thing.
These are plates that she found at a second hand store, and after cleaning them up, she applied her illustrations to them and displays them as art in her shop. I asked if she’d consider selling them to me, so I’m awaiting her decision because she’d not been asked before. I encouraged her to consider creating more and selling them in her shop and online, I really think people would like to own these.
She also sells items from etsy sellers that she loves and Japanese products, so this shop has lots of pretty things to look at and purchase. She’s expecting an order of goodies from Japan any day now, so I will have to return to Enna to see her new stock once it arrives, of course! Who can resist Japanese zakka cuteness?
This is her new wrapping paper, don’t you love the pattern? This folksy style is really big right now, especially these Russian dolls called matryoshkas. They’ve been in all the magazines for the past 6 months, you can’t help but notice a trend here. Between Asian prints, African patterns, and folk-inspired patterns from Russia and Poland, there’s something for everyone this season. Oh, by the way, you can buy this wrapping paper from her for only $4 on etsy if you’d like. I grabbed a sheet today, I want to line my desk drawer with it. Here’s some of my loot from today…
(images by holly + thorsten becker for decor8)
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.
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.
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)