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London Bound: Any Tips?

I have so many things to share with you today. But first I must apologize as sadly I missed Etsy Take Five Tuesday this week but don’t worry, I’ll get back on track next week. :) I’m quite busy at the moment and this will continue no doubt until the Autumn as the decorating book I’m co-authoring is completely underway – as of this week! My job, outside of writing a portion of it, is to scout locations in the US and Europe, find a fab interiors photographer in both the US and Europe, and pull together all the homes that I have currently to see where they’ll fit in the flat plan that I’m working off of. There is a lot involved but I’m ready for it — it will be published by Chronicle Books. And you, dear readers, will have to listen to me talk about it as I go along but I promise — because it’s a decorating book, at least what I speak of will be related to this blog so you can go on this little book ride with me. Okay?


In fact, I have a lot of traveling to do as I will have meetings relating to this book (the first is in London next month) and I’ll be accompanying the photographer on shoots and styling homes so I plan to bring you with me as I hop around — my hope is that you will enjoy watching this project evolve before your eyes so that once the book is out you can then see the finished project and tell me what you think about it. I’ll ask my publisher as I go along to see what I can share and what I can’t as some things I am under contract to not disclose — but what I can share I will. For sure.


I’ve not been assigned to such a large freelance project before but now as I embark on this journey I’m feeling quite good about it — like this will be a great start for me as I enter this new world with hopes that this book will lead to another and another… I’ve always wanted decor8 to live off of the web as well as online – to be web-based and coffee table-based. :) And just so you know, because there are so many show offs in this world who annoy me with their “look at me!” attitudes, I promise not to become an egotistical bore. In fact, I want to always remember my roots — where I came from as a girl who started from zero and your support and friendship is partly responsible for my book deal so if anyone out there is sitting around feeling a bit depressed about life — like what is next for you, will you find your magic carpet and if you do, will you have the courage to jump on and ride — I can tell you YES, yes, yes! I hate sounding like some self-help cheerleader but seriously, I once sat in a cubicle (not that this is bad, I liked my cubicle thank you!) and thought that perhaps I could someday do something creative and I thought about my life — the direction it was taking — and here I am today doing things that I enjoy. And look at how setting some goals and sticking to them can change a life, right?! Determination, talent and passion really are the keys to getting from step A to B and so on… so if you are good at something and sit in your chair thinking, “Yeah, some people have all the luck!” then maybe you should start thinking, “Yeah, some people have all the luck so why not me too, I’m talented!?”. Seriously. Why should I or anyone else have the things that you want — we all deserve to reach our goals.


Next month I will travel to London for my first picture meeting where I will review photos for the book and then this summer I’ll be on the road with the photographer in both the US and parts of Europe. It will be nice to have a change of pace as I spend so much of my days online — but I’ll have plenty of time to blog still and I’m not going to neglect you — I promise! If  anything, I’ll have some fun stories to share, some shops and travel notes to write, and all of the usual fare on decor8 that you can expect — I’ll keep it up not just now but for years to come.


This is the part where I could use some advice. I will be in London in May and want to mix a little pleasure with business because I’ve lived in Europe nearly 9 months and haven’t done much traveling so now that the weather is nice I feel that it’s time to go out and get some inspiration and enjoy some time shopping, eating and seeing some interesting exhibitions and shows. I’ll be in London for a week starting on May 13 so if you know of anything that I should definitely see/do, I’d love to know. From hotels to exhibitions, craft shows to flea markets, all of it — I’d love some advice. I’ve not been to London since 1999 so I’m a bit crusty and rusty when it comes to ideas on what to do there. And since I’m writing this book with another writer, Joanna and I will be hopping around on a shopping trip for the day and so if she doesn’t get too annoyed by my camera then I’ll be sure to share some of my favorite things with you upon my return.

Any London tips? What’s absolutely, positively not-to-miss?

(images: caravan – a shop I am definitely hitting!!!)

Posted in travel on April 15, 2010
decor8 shop

Shop Tour: Beuteltiere in Berlin!

Today I’d like to share a lovely shop called Beuteltiere that’s so cute and is owned by business partners Barbara Mueller and Katrin Hufer who have knack for curating handbags and accessories – their boutique is like a gallery or gorgeous bags! Beuteltiere is located in Berlin’s trendy Prenzlauer Berg district at Raumerstrasse 19 and just so happens to be where many of my friends shop which is why I decided to write about them today — they are definitely the “it” bag shop in Berlin — especially for girls and guys who love good design.

Beuteltiere in Berlin

Shop girls Katrin (left) and Barbara (right)

I had the pleasure of meeting Barbara a few years ago and we’ve kept in touch since — she’s a great lady and terrific business woman. In fact, the blogging event where I spoke at in 2008 is what helped motivate these ladies to get started with a blog, shop and web shop (you can watch their video in German about it here. It’s great!). This really pleases me — it’s nice to know that so many ladies are being inspired and started a business — and living their dreams. I’m heading to Berlin soon to visit them, the high speed train gets me there in an hour and 25 minutes (not bad!) and I really need to buy a bag for myself for Spring/Summer… and they have some great ones as you can see in these photos!

Beuteltiere in Berlin

Beuteltiere in Berlin

Beuteltiere in Berlin

Beuteltiere in Berlin

I want to mention that recently Nicole from Nicoletter visited Beuteltiere and picked up this gorgeous 100% recycled Matt & Nat bag… it’s a great one, isn’t it? I’ve become obsessed lately with leather bags, sunglasses and umbrellas so you’ll have to excuse me!

If you are a decor8 reader (which you are if you’re reading this, right?!?) you can tell these shop girls when you visit and they’ll give you a 10% discount off of your purchase to celebrate their one year anniversary. If you buy a bag online you can use your discount until the end of April by entering code “BGdecor8″ at checkout.

Thank you ladies for sharing your shop with us today! I feel like I went on vacation without leaving the house. :)

(photography: tim adler)

Posted in fashion + accessories, Shop Tours, travel on April 09, 2010

Hamburg Bound: Tips?

My new friend at TineKHome in Denmark is traveling down to Hamburg on Thursday and would like some advice on what to see there. She’s looking for some stylish shops and cafes. I have a little list below of some of the places I suggest… If you’ve been to Hamburg what suggestions do you have?

Milchmädchen in Hamburg


  • Habitat – Downtown near the water and old town hall – and by the way, you cannot go to Hamburg WITHOUT seeing the old town hall. My goodness, it’s amazing. Wow.
  • While you are downtown make sure you go to the store/cafe Flamant. Very, very nice and quite large so plan to spend at least 30 minutes browsing. They also make their own paint in some of the best chalky colors. If you have time for cake and coffee, visit their cafe.
  • Stilwerk: a large building with design shops, mostly Knoll and big names, but also a great tea cafe/shop with Hamburg’s specialty tea brand, Samova. It’s also near the port and all the yummy places for fresh seafood.
  • milchmaedchen: small shop owned by a nice lady who has lots of independent brands). I visited and photographed the shop here in 2008.
  • craft2eu: small gallery shop with mostly ceramics and contemporary art and sculpture. Nice.
  • Die Wohngeschwister – furniture and home accessories.
  • TH2 White – Gorgeous! That’s all I can say! Go!
  • Eden Living (I loved this store – typical “Hamburg style” which is a good thing!) It’s also nearby to other nice cafes and shops — pretty area.
  • Lütt & Fien – shop for mostly children but very unique and special. Also happens to be in a very nice part of the city with other shops and cafes nearby. I wrote about them recently here.
  • Andreas Linzner – shop with mostly plush animals but also very original and he is just the nicest man, I met him a few years ago at his shop. He is also located in a very busy area with lots of stores.
  • Charlotta’s – Lots of Amy Butler fabric, patterns in English, Amy Butler books, and fabric from all over the world, lots from America. The shop owner, Karin Fuchs, is a delight and her store is stocked with beautiful things. It’s near craft2eu so you can hit both at the same time.
  • Herzallerliebst – More pretty things, fabrics and notions, gifts, but most of all they have gorgeous leather bags and wallets that they make. They even sell my favorite tea, The o dor, from Paris. This shop is around the corner from milchmaedchen so you can see them both easily.
  • Dedon – Gorgeous furniture showroom.
  • Patio Antiques – came suggested to me by my friend Yvonne as a “must-see” shop.


  • Personally, I’ve not dined out too often in Hamburg but when I have I found East to be exquisite for dinner and cocktails.
  • I also loved TH2 for breakfast and lunch, it’s near the shop Eden Living so you can hit both at the same time. TH2 is such a pretty cafe and is owned by a couple who are both named Torsten and who happen to be designers who own TH2 White.
  • I’ve also been told by the owner of Milchmaedchen to try Bistrot Vienna (cozy and great food) and
  • Rocco (Italian)

Okay so I know I’ve missed a ton of shops and cafes — and I personally would like to know what you do in Hamburg — so please comment with your suggestions below!

(image: holly becker for decor8, taken of the milchmädchen shop)

Posted in travel on March 30, 2010

Eden & Eden

Speaking of awesome web shops, have you heard of Eden & Eden? They have a storefront in San Francisco that was shot by Jen Siska (shown below) but in addition to their gorgeous retail space they have an equally inspiring online space that is simple to navigate with exceptional products…

Eden & Eden, Jen Siska

Eden & Eden, Jen Siska

Eden & Eden, Jen Siska

I see so many things that I want to buy like the wooden button coasters and the braided ring in gold which is by Tatty Divine in London whom I’m a fan of. And HELLO don’t you love the black & white wallpaper behind their cash register? :)

Speaking of photographer Jen Siska, she recently photographed the kitchen of San Francisco artist and shop co-owner Lisa Congdon for Dwell magazine — you can view those photos here.

(images: jen siska)

Posted in travel on February 03, 2010


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