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One store that I always look forward to visiting when in Germany is Habitat in Hamburg, where there’s both a retail store and an outlet. I have to take photos for you this time when we go, you’ll love it. Hamburg is so beautiful and this store is such a pleasure to shop because it’s both affordable (the prices are in the West Elm range) and ultra stylish and chic in that European way, the way we all seek to recreate in our own homes here in the states.

I just flipped through their Fall/Winter ’07 catalog and decided that I’m going to try to fit the Concetta vase in my luggage, I absolutely adore the pattern and colors on it. It’s designed by none other than Concetta Gallo for Habitat. She is amazing.

I really like this affordable rocker, I see it in about a million different fabrics that I’d use on the seat, but I highly doubt I can fit this in my carry-on bag. :) The Concetta rug is fabulous as well, but again… Not going to fit on the plane. But if you live in Europe, most likely there’s a Habitat store near you.

In addition to the styles and deals, another major perk when shopping Habitat, at least in their Hamburg store, is that there’s a wallpaper section where you can buy fabulously hued rolls right on the spot. I love this, I wish stores in America sold wallpaper in their showrooms, such a great idea and it makes shopping for wallpaper super easy when it’s right there alongside the great sofa or chair you’re planning to purchase.

(images from habitat)

Posted in ceramics, flooring, furniture, lighting, textiles on September 13, 2007

Happy Mundane’s Picks

Jon over at Happy Mundane consistently locates those hidden gems, often from his many trips to Kmart, Target, Macy’s, Michael’s, and beyond. This is one man obsessed with shopping and decorating, but even more so with scoring a budget find. I think Jon is that guy friend we all need to have, the one with impeccable taste who is not afraid to hunt for bargains because he doesn’t need expensive things to feel like some hip hot shot. Jon recognizes that some really great finds exist that don’t require going in debt for. Of course, he has expensive taste and craves the finer things just like the rest of us, but he’s careful to show balance, one of many traits that I really respect about this talented man.

Here are a few cool things that Jon wrote about recently that I fell in love with, the first being this Anthropologie-like plastic cuckoo clock for only $15 at Walmart. Don’t like black? Slap some primer on it and paint it your favorite color. How hard is that?

And this crazy cool bookcase. Looks like a DIY project if you happen to have two spare coffee tables, or you can simply purchase this one for around $525 from Umbra. This is great for a hallway, a nice solution to your standard console table. It has some definite ‘tude going on.

And finally, Lauren Saunders, whom I’m seeing everywhere lately. And her tactile pillows appeal to me because they remind me of a landscape painting – a canyon or the colors of desert sand, they have a very western America look – like I can see these in Western Interiors magazine in some gorgeous mountain home in Boulder. I love the two shown below on Lauren’s lap, and the other two on that modern blue sofa.

Now back to making Jon blush. Jon lives in the O.C. (not the show, the county) and since most of us don’t, we have to buddy with him solely through the entries on his blog, Happy Mundane. This is why I love the internet, we have so many opportunities to mingle with creative + stylish people without leaving our desk. I remember years ago when all I had was my circle of friends, family, or a few (bad) magazines and mediocre books to look to for inspiration. Nowadays, with a bevy of design blogs and delicious magazines (both print and online), one never needs to suffer a design rut. There is so much out there to learn from and so many pools of inspiration to tap into.

(images from sources mentioned above)

Posted in furniture, textiles on September 13, 2007

EQ3: Super Affordable Furniture

Affordable and stylish? Can this be real? I can’t believe I haven’t blogged about EQ3 sooner. I first found out about them 6 months ago while at Jordan’s in Reading, MA. They have an entire section devoted to EQ3 and I was blown away by the styles and prices of this very posh looking collection of furniture. All the sofas are priced around $800 and some of their coffee tables are under $150. Beds with headboards only $350. They also carry bedding, accessories, and lighting.

The Matrioshka dolls for $15 are extremely cute for those of you who collect nesting dolls.

And the best part, none of it looked cheap or throw away. The sofas were comfy and I like all the color choices and clean European lines with lots of lacquered pieces and chrome. I walked away from EQ3 thinking that the line was exclusive to Jordan’s furniture, but a reader recently told me that they have a website, and it was there that I noticed they have stores popping up all over America, in fact they’ve just opened two in Phoenix, AZ and Norfolk, VA. Other locations can be found in the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, Grand Rapids, Richmond, Charlotte and are also available in over 300 in-store galleries across North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia.

I love this floor lamp in white, called the Sprocket – and it’s only $45! Yes, really.
Very Anglepoise on a budget.

All of their bedding is priced around $85.

In the MA/NH area, you can find them at Jordan’s Furniture. Anyone have experience with EQ3? I’d love to hear from you! Please comment below.

(images from eq3)

Posted in bedroom, furniture, lighting, textiles on September 11, 2007

KaT: Art + Home Accessories from France

Catherine Gallicere of KaT wrote in to show me her mixed media paintings using textiles and acrylics to create quirky characters and landscapes with a Japanese feel. Darling!

If you happen to be in Paris anytime until October 13th (lucky you!), the 3 Owls Bookshop located in the basement of le Bon March? features some of her paintings as part of their Love Tokyo exhibit. In addition to her paintings, Catherine produces pillows, lampshades, and other home accessories. She also collaborates with others on projects in the fashion world.

Her website is only in French (it’s so cute, you have to look at it), so if you would like to inquire about her products further, please email Catherine directly at:

Thank you KaT for sharing with us your creative works!

{Sorry I was away yesterday, grandmother Ilse passed away Monday morning so we’ve been planning the funeral remotely to take place in Germany. Posting will be light this week.}

(images from kat)

Posted in Arts + Crafts, shopping, textiles, travel on September 11, 2007


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