I thought I’d pull together a little weekend diary for you – which is really two weekends worth of photos, but they are all really inspiring and beautiful so you will like it! I disappeared last week, though I blogged this past weekend to make up for my absence like a good little blogger… But I was away last week because I was hired to work for Canon Europe to work on a major advertising campaign for them that will run here in Europe, the UK, Russia and the Middle East – so obviously I had to be pretty focused on that. They needed an interiors expert to represent Canon and so they contacted me and I had so much fun working with them! I will tell you more in May once the ads are released – and I’ll show you a few of them, too.
Today, I thought I would share some photos that I’ve been taking over the past two weekends because everything suddenly bloomed here and I didn’t want to miss the first blossoms of spring like I did last year. I find this time of year so inspirational, colorful and the light is usually beautiful so I keep my batteries charged and my camera bag ready to go so that the second the gray clouds float away, I can seize the moment. Yesterday was gorgeous and so was last Sunday, so I’ve been busy out and about photographing the natural beauty to be found in Hannover. I’ll tell you where I went – and if you are from the region, or coming by Hannover anytime soon, definitely spend a day here and explore the parks and gardens I’m listing below because you will be amazed at what you find. Here is my weekend diary…
How was that for a delicious explosion of color, shape, texture and natural beauty? I really loved my outings and hope that if you come to Hannover, you will enjoy the parks and gardens below that I’ve listed for you to explore with your camera, too. There is SO MUCH to photograph in this city, I didn’t even visit ALL of the parks and gardens, the shots above are only from 4 locations – there are dozens and dozens more.
Herrenhäuser Gärten – And see the restored palace! The original palace was the former summer residence of the royal House of Guelph and was destroyed during WWII (though the Royal Air Force was asked by the British Royal Family not to destroy it but it was still bombed in 1943), and now the city of Hannover just rebuilt it. I think this was the best idea ever and long overdue. Herrenhausen is a 5 minute drive from my house, and I have an annual pass to enter anytime I’d like, so I take full advantage of this gorgeous park and garden all year round. It has four main green spaces, the Berggarten, which was made to look like typical English gardens (so pretty and natural) and is outdoors, though they have several greenhouses you can roam with everything from gorgeous dessert plants, to orchids and everything exotic that you can imagine and there is a conservatory from 1686 to visit. It’s an amazing place to take photographs – especially during the week when few people are there. Georgengarten is another garden where you can bike ride, jog, have picnics in the grass and relax. There is a big cafe for ice cream, too and a pretty gift shop. Großer Garten is the main garden, it’s directly in front of the palace, and is so special to this city and to England, as well. Sophia of Hanover of the former British House of Hanover (which once consisted of Kingdom of Great Britain, Ireland, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and Hanover), commissioned French gardener Martin Charbonnier to create 50 hectares of lawns, walkways, statues and hedges, “Arranged in strict geometrical patterns”, says Wikipedia. It’s also where, in the summer, the city hosts festivals and huge firework displays that are just amazing to see. You also have to eat outdoors at the Schlossküche too, the cake is out of this world. I’d LOVE to design the interior space of the Schlossküche, I don’t like eating in there because I find it very dated and tacky and the design doesn’t fit the beautiful property and gardens that it is on, so a redesign is definitely in order indoors. I’d love to design it — every time I go in there I have this vision – I’d make it light and bright and very market-style, a cross between ABC Kitchen in NYC, Rosendals Trädgård (like this style) in Stockholm and Ottolenghi in London. If you want to eat inside, make a reservation, but I definitely prefer the outdoor space. Finally, there is the Welfengarten, which is where Leibniz University, one of the oldest and largest science and technology universities in Germany, is located. The university uses a former castle called Welfenschloss as its main building. I love the idea of a castle being used as a learning Institute. Don’t miss the Wilhelm Busch Museum on the grounds there too, very pretty and a nice spot to have some coffee in the back on a lazy summer’s day. I really love Herrenhäuser Gärten, it’s stunning and worth a trip to Hannover just to see it.
Eilenriede Forest – This is one of the largest natural city forest in Europe boasting over 1,600 acres of parks, a zoo, cafes, mini golf, hiking, trails, paved walkways, etc. Part of it is behind my house, so I get to enjoy it whenever I want. It’s also a gorgeous place to take photos!
Von Alten Garten – This is a park in Hannover in the district of Linden and is a really nice space to relax and is especially crowded (and fun) on the weekends when the sun is out and they have cute festivals in there from time-to-time, too.
Tiergarten – Oh this is such a sweet place because you can go into the big green space and spend the day with beautiful deer all around you – none of them in cages – running free – you can take beautiful photos. The wild boars are in a fenced-in area, but other than that, the deer roam free.
Erlebnis Zoo Hannover – I don’t even like zoos, I mean at all, but this one is an exception. I love this zoo – it’s amazing! There are so many beautiful animals and places to relax, eat, drink, and photograph. I love taking photos in this zoo – so much to explore. It’s THE best zoo in Europe and people come here with their families from all over. It also borders the Eilenreide, so you can take the family bike riding in there while you’re at it, too.
Maschsee – While not a garden or park, it is a gorgeous lake in the middle of the city next to the art museum, natural history museum and the stunning town hall. Each year, the Maschseefest takes over for three weeks and it’s the best thing ever. Bands, concerts, nightclubs, restaurants — all are built and placed around the lake and you can go and eat and dance all night long. I did a lot of that last summer and plan to do it even more this year because summer is just too short to stay inside. If you go to the town hall, definitely take the curved elevator ride to the top to see the city views – it’s amazing. I did it for the first time last summer and fell in love and you can see the best view of the Maschsee there, too and the grounds of the Hannover town hall are worth a stroll (so pretty) and the town hall has a nice restaurant with great food, too.
Stadtpark – Lots of beautiful flowers to photograph, very pretty, I went yesterday too. I have to admit almost everyone who is in this park is over 65. I call it the senior’s park (sorry). But on a sunny afternoon, it’s wonderful to relax there and grab a scoop of ice cream from the cafe.
There are many other great places to stroll,
As promised, I’d like to share with you the lovely property that London-based interiors photographer, Debi Treloar, has been working on all summer with her family. They’ve created a beautiful little nook called 17MPR that you can rent during your next visit to London. It’s a lovely space and gives you more than any London hotel for the money – a small kitchen, a place to sleep, a private patio, a bathroom and easy access to London. This hasn’t been blogged yet as she just opened her doors, so I’m happy to debut it here on decor8 and wish Debi loads of lovely guests! You can book this property directly through Debi or contact her through Facebook on the 14MPR page.
I love how Debi used vintage and modern objects and stuck to a very plush palette of greens and blues with a smattering of yellow and warm woods. It’s very fresh and inspiring and is nice for both men and women – it has personality, don’t you think?
If you happen to inquire about this rental property, please tell Debi that you found it via decor8 – she is very selective about her guests and would love to have blog readers and friends who appreciate her beautiful property – in other words, not just anyone can stay here. Thank you!
(images: debi treloar)
Several months ago I was approached by RUE magazine to spend the day with them shopping in a city of my choice in Germany. I thought to bring them to Hannover or nearby Hamburg or Berlin but since I was under deadline with my book, I sadly had to decline their lovely offer. Then I thought to refer them to Steffi from OhhhMhhh, a Hamburg-based blogger. I knew that Steffi was the lady for the job with her magazine experience.
This post is a bit belated as her style guide to Hamburg appeared in the last issue, number 12, but I still have to highlight it because she did a bang up job and well, Steffi is a good friend and I love to shine the light on her whenever possible because she is a tremendously supportive friend and all around total “it” girl – she rocks.
This Friday and Saturday I’ll be hanging out in Hamburg for a few days, I have a business meeting and I’ll be seeing my good Danish friend Charlotte and also Steffi, so I’m looking forward to being there and putting Steffi’s guide in RUE magazine to good use.
If you’re ever in Hamburg, definitely don’t miss this article which appears in issue 12 on pages 40-46. Lovely work, Frau Luxat!
(images: Felix Matthies)
Love London? Visiting soon? This post is for you! Last night I stumbled across a most curious travel book while perusing Amazon called the London Style Guide authored by Londoner Saska Graville and published by Murdoch with photography by Jessica Reftel Evans & Martin Reftel of Amorfo Photography. It looked like such a lovely guide and definitely not ‘typical’ so I snapped it up in jiffy, ordering before retiring to bed.
To my surprise, this lovely guide arrived a few moments ago and as I flipped through it I couldn’t contain my excitement. Finally someone wrote a shopping, eating and sleeping guide for London that speaks 100% to my aesthetic and is free of blah blah tourist-y stops and those all too familiar recommendations that every book suggests. This guide is stylishly laid out (props to the book designer!), meticulously curated and beautifully, and I mean beautifully, shot. I love the “Meet the Londoner section” with 18 interviews of shop and cafe owners, showcasing their favorite things to see in London.
I highly suggest picking up a copy because if you intend to go to London anytime soon, you simply MUST own this guide. Even if you don’t intend to go, this book is still a lovely one to own because through it you can feel like you’ve traveled and there are all sorts of lovely things to see and read along with links to places you can look up online. It is available for download here or you can buy a hard copy in the UK here or in the US here. There is even a digital version available on iTunes which I’m going to investigate because having this guide on my iPhone would totally rock for my next trip back to London. Would you like to take a quick look with me?
About the author: Saska Graville has worked as a writer and editor for magazines and newspapers for 20+ years in London and Sydney. She was former editor of New Woman magazine in Australia then the features editor of The Sun-Herald newspaper in Sydney. Later, she relocated back to her native London as deputy editor of Red magazine and currently is a UK travel correspondent for The Sun-Herald.
Now I’m more excited than ever to return to London this Fall!
(images: holly becker for decor8)
Welcome to the first Shopgirl Visits column. My name is Jillian Leiboff, and I’m a photographer based in Sydney Australia. For the past 8 years I’ve been working part time as a photographer and whilst I started out shooting weddings, 3 years ago I started shooting shops and food for my blog.
I thought Holly’s readers might be interested in seeing some of the shops I shot, so in June 2009 I reached out to her and she liked what she saw. After that, I started randomly submitting my images to decor8 with my first recap being of the delightful Donna Hay store in Sydney. Holly has held a longtime love affair and fascination with Australian art & design but like most of you, isn’t able to hop on a plane whenever she wants to go see it for herself. Showing it on decor8 is the next best thing and that’s what I can do since I’m based down here though like love to travel so you may see the random post pop up from my travels abroad. You may remember seeing some of my images of the iconic Parisian store Merci on decor8, for instance. If not, I’ll list at the end of this post all of the stores that I’ve photographed which have appeared on decor8 in the past so you can catch up! Please take a look!
A few months ago I was delighted when Holly asked if I’d like to write a monthly column for decor8 called Shopgirl Visits. I was so excited I immediately began making a list of all the places I wanted to share with you. Each month I’ll be showing you shops (and the occasional artist studio, market and cafe where things can be purchased) that appeal to me and I hope to you. I’m always happy to get feedback so your suggestions are welcome.
For the first Shopgirl Visits column I’ve chosen the Sydney store, Koskela. Koskela is owned by Russel Koskela and Sasha Titchkosky and their company designs and produces some of the beautiful furniture you see here. Koskela’s motto is, “Follow your heart, trust your judgment, do it with joy”. It governs how they run their business and the types of people they work with and represent.
Koskela is one of the few stores in Australia that focuses on Australian designed and made products with a hand crafted element. Koskela stocks a collection of Australian made furniture, home wares, books and artwork for both adults and children. They recently moved from their premises in Surry Hills into a brand new showroom in Rosebery. As well as the showroom, the building is home to Kitchen by Mike, probably the most popular eatery in Sydney – you can see and learn more about Kitchen By Mike in the video below…
The shop is housed in a former canning factory and it’s a huge light-filled space where many of the original warehouse features have been left intact. Koskela also has a gallery space and a workshop where people can learn new skills or crafts. Some of the best of Australian design is represented here and I particularly loved the children’s area. I was sorely tempted by some of the cute lights on display and was trying to think of a compelling reason to take one home with me.
“Follow your heart, trust your judgment, do it with joy”
I couldn’t think of a better way to spend a Sunday morning than having breakfast at Kitchen by Mike followed by a browse through Koskela. You can find Koskela at 1/85 Dunning Avenue Rosebery, Sydney. See you all again next month and don’t forget to check out all of my shop posts on decor8 listed below! – Jillian
Donna Hay General Store, Black & Spiro, Bison, ici et la, Empire Vintage, Studio of Ceramicist Samantha Robinson, Anthropologie (London), Merci (Paris), Albion (London), Miljo, The Finders Keepers Market, Cotton Love Home, davidmetnicole, Mud Australia and Astier de Villatte (Paris).
(photos: jillian leiboff with store permission)