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RaniPink {Taste of Marrakesh in Germany}

For a moment you may have had to glance up at the header to be sure that you’d landed on the right blog. No, this really isn’t Maryam over at My Marrakesh. It’s me, Holly. But given all the Moroccan influences in design, I have to share with you a lovely shop that I found recently with the most beautiful ethnic prints and patterns. Ready for another mini store tour? Come along with me for a taste of Marrakesh in Germany.


This shop is called RaniPink and it’s located in Hannover where (as most of you know) I just returned after spending two months. Owned by German born Petra Hassan, who grew up in Munich, she married a charming man born in Kuwait with roots in Palestine and now they live and work in Hannover. It is there in north Germany where I had the chance, along with my husband, to meet up in her spacious – the ceilings are maybe 15 ft high – two room store that doubles as her workshop. Petra designs and sews in between customers, creating clothings and interior accessories. She has racks and stacks of jaw dropping textiles that you can select and she’ll custom design almost anything you want.

This is Petra, self portrait, obviously. She definitely doesn’t dress like the typical German which is one of the many reasons why I like her so much, she doesn’t follow the crowd – but follows her heart instead. I love her leg warmers!


To keep her shop fresh and interesting, Petra paints the walls a new and exciting color a few times per year. When I was there, it was turquoise. Now it’s violet. Inspired by the Moroccan design in a very big way, and I must add long before it was so “mainstream”, her store is like stepping into Marrakesh without having to purchase a plane ticket. When we met with her, we were greeted with a feast for all the senses, beautiful music from North Africa, a warm hug and smile, the scent of spices, and the most delicious Moroccan fresh mint tea I’d ever tasted.


Petra is a fashion and accessories designer, her work is intricate and beautiful, colorful and full of the passion that seems to run from her heart, through the needle, and into the fabrics she sews together. She loves her work, I mean genuinely loves it, and it shows as you stroll through her shop/atelier. You can feel it as you look around. There’s this very positive energy in the air, it’s great. I left feeling completely motivated to work on some of my own projects, which is always a sure sign that I’d been in good company.

Petra was on her way to Marrakesh for vacation when we met up, but she is back in Hannover now with lots of pretty things collected from her trip – like these supple leather beaded slippers. You have to visit her store if you live in this part of the world – it’s so transporting, colorful, and inviting.

Has Petra always loved ethnic design? Yes, and there’s proof on her workshop table where she keeps hundreds of sequins, spools of thread, tassels, and gorgeous beads, some that have many years of history with her. She pointed to beads that she’s had since childhood – that’s how long she’s be fascinated with faraway places and beautiful things. This lady truly follows her heart and is doing what she loves. Now how inspiring is that?

Petra thank you so much for sending these beautiful images, sharing tea with Thorsten and I, and for being the special lady that you are.

RaniPink Store — Oeltzenstr. 2 — Hannover, Germany — Tel. 0511-3746711

(images from petra hassan)

Posted in Shop Tours, shopping, travel on December 12, 2007

Raumformplan {Germany}

I hope you’re ready to learn about some clever new products out of Europe and take a little shop tour with me to view them. The store we’ll be visiting together today is called Raumformplan, owned by Architect Janin Pr?pper pictured below, and it is located in Hannover (S?dstadt), Germany. These photos were taken when I visited Janin in her store last month.

This is Janin Pr?pper, Dipl. Ing. and shop owner of Raumformplan.

Janin is the most welcoming and sincere lady, very friendly, and I appreciate that she took a lot of time to show me around her space and introduce me to many great product lines. Janin is a very creative woman, she gives her store such a warmth through her arrangements, but she goes above and beyond in more ways than through careful displays. Janin offers her customers affordable design help. She’ll visit the home of her client and taking into consideration their needs and the size of their space, along with their budget, she’ll pull together a few options for them in CAD and present them with practical solutions.

Great light fixture in the window, don’t you think? It’s called “Orbit”
and is available in yellow or white. It arrived flat packed so you can arrange
the circles in any fashion, creating an orbit that is uniquely your own.

The best part about her consulting service is that she gives the client options – they can either purchase through her or on their own – she’ll suggest products, carpenters, painters, and everything that they need to complete the project. Her service is under 300,- Euro per room, which is very affordable considering the standard rates most designers and architects charge. Janin does this because she is focused on providing exceptional customer service and since Raumformplan is a design store, offering clients affordable help is quite useful to them. I viewed her portfolio and was blown away by her renderings – Janin does exceptional work. So if you live in northern Germany and you need a great Architect, do not hesitate to contact her.

I think this metal “oh deer” coat/accessories holder from Swiss company Pulpo is fantastic. You can order it in black and I think silver too, but white is my favorite. I wanted to take it with me, but sadly couldn’t fit another thing into my suitcase. Those cute animal felted keyfobs are from Parkhaus Berlin.
The same company carries the best felt collection, they have seat cushions for Eames chairs in a variety of gorgeous colors (shown above) for only 42,- Euros each. Below you can see more Parkhaus Berlin items made for the kitchen.

More great hooks with atlers from Pulpo, you can purchase
them for around $20 USD
right here.

In case you haven’t noticed, Raumformplan’s focus is on clean, modern design from mostly European designers, a good amount of them from Germany. She also likes to mix in some vintage pieces to warm up the look. I noticed a lot of metal and felt being used in new and exciting ways, such as felted keyfobs, placemats, and wrapped around candle jars (shown below, Janin makes the candle jar felted wraps herself, they are beautiful).


I just heard the great news that next year, this shop will relocate from S?dstadt over to the Lister Meile area to a larger storefront. This is exciting news, but I do love her current space because she really knew how to use the small space effectively. In the back is where she works on her design projects during times when the shop is quiet.


This shop also showcases art in a revolving gallery within these four walls. An artist is selected and given space throughout the shop to display their work for a period of time, and then new work arrives from another artist. A surprise to me, but I learned that it’s not a common practice yet for shops to also function as mini galleries in Germany, but it’s becoming more and more popular there just as it is here in America.

Multiholk? Birdhouses are from a company based in the UK called Wildlife Garden. You can also see a yellow one in front of the shop when you arrive. (Did you notice it in the 2nd image from the top?) The pillows are from a Hannover designer, Annette Meurer.

Towels (above) and pillows (below) by S Wert Design of Berlin.
The tea light on the shelf may look familiar to you, it’s by
Ingrid of YippieYeah.


If you’d like to inquire about any of the items you see, you can either visit the online shop (in German only), or you can contact Janin directly (mail AT raumformplan.de) because she speaks perfect English and can assist you in case your German is as bad as mine. It was so nice to be able to visit her store, I hope that you enjoyed this mini tour and some of the fresh new products out of Europe shown here.

Thank you Janin! :)

(images from holly becker for decor8)

Posted in Shop Tours, shopping, travel on December 11, 2007

ComingHome Interior {Hannover}

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.

It was painful for me to leave this lamp behind. Out of everything in the store, I wanted this lamp the most. Best of all, it’s one-of-a-kind because Rainer made it himself.

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?

The sweetest high chair ever.

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.

These darling school chairs were each under 100,- Euro.

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.

This is another piece I wanted to purchase so badly. It’s an old workbench to now be used in the kitchen as a chef’s island. Love! Imagine this in a loft space with an open floor plan?

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.?

Isn’t this a clever idea for a business card? A business coaster! Claudia takes a photo and Rainer draws it to transform the image into business card coasters.

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)

Posted in furniture, Shop Tours, shopping, travel on October 24, 2007

HildaHilda {Stockholm}

Here’s another little shop I liked in Stockholm called HildaHilda located in the SoFo district. The playful prints are joyous and energetic and for some reason, reminded me of textiles I’d been exposed to during my early years spent in England. I really liked the weight of them, so thick and tightly woven, making them perfect for upholstery and throw cushions because they’ll last forever. I loved the dogs and window patterns the best.

I love this chair, isn’t it sweet?

(images from hildahilda)

Posted in Shop Tours, textiles, travel on October 17, 2007

Books:

Some of my books...

Further editions available: Decorate published by Murdoch Books for AU/NZ, Decorar BR, Alt om indretning DK, Inspirace pro váš byt CZ, Dekorácie SK, La décoration FR, Lust auf Wohnen DE, Sisusta tyylillä FI and Sztuka aranżacji wnętrz PL.

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