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Kitka: Blog of the Week

Do you have a crush on clean, modern Japanese and Scandinavian design? Yeah, I know… who doesn’t? It’s quite hard to resist especially since their less-is-more approach is so alluring… the attention to detail, practicality, focus on using natural materials. Thanks to the lovely Irene Hoofs at Bloesem, I have discovered the new decor8 blog of the week: Kitka. Irene talked about this lovely couple, Juli and John, who are shop owners — they own Mjölk which has a retail location in Toronto and a website for the rest of us — who love and specialize in Japanese and Scandinavian design. They show lots of beautiful products on their gorgeous blog, here’s a glimpse of the interesting things that you can see and learn about on Kitka.

Kitka: Blog of the Week

Kitka: Blog of the Week

I’m in love with their black and white Corona globe designed by Nendoglobe in Japan – it’s gorgeous. Juli and John recently visited Tokyo and shared their journey on their blog which I spent the entire morning reading about — drooling at times — over their finds and experiences there — like those delicious donuts in glassine paper. You can read all about their Tokyo adventures here. Fun!

(images: kitka)

Posted in blogs, travel on May 06, 2010

Findelhof Flea Market

Good morning to you dear friends –  I’m so happy to be back because Friday I went missing but I must say that having Friday to work offline was very satisfying for me and now I feel like I’m ahead of my workload instead of buried beneath it. On Saturday I found myself with friends in a nearby village called Celle at a lovely flea market held on the grounds of an old farm built in 1478 called Findelhof and we were able to meet the current owner who has quite an amazing property that I imagine is a bit of a dream come true for him to own it. He’ll have more flea markets on his farm this year if you are local you simply must go (6/13, 7/18, 8/8, 9/12 and 10/10)!

Findelhof Flea Market

Imagine this — maybe 200 flea market tables and some food stands surrounding a farmhouse and carriage houses filled with beautiful, affordable vintage finds and some antiques which reminded me a lot of the big Brimfield show that I usually attended each May back in Massachusetts… only a bit better because this flea market was smaller and more affordable, less crowded,  and the grounds were much prettier and you could enjoy beer, wine, and other refreshments and in part of the house there was a beautiful setting to behold… a bakery with homemade vanilla and berry plunder (light and airy pastry dough filled with berries and topped with vanilla pudding) and sandwiches, tea and coffee, and attached to this rustic area where you order your afternoon bites there was a room that felt like something from a movie set with grey/green walls, a corner ceramic stove, high ceilings, antique wooden floors, rustic wood tables, and gorgeous afternoon light streaming in that made the space feel welcoming and cozy. I also enjoyed the outside space where you could lounge around at cafe tables (where we sat) to enjoy the fresh country air and sunshine. Around the farmhouse you could wander the grounds from table to table and shop for buttons, ribbons, oil paintings, vintage postcards and papers, teacups and other porcelain wares, linen in every weight and color from pure white to oatmeal, furniture, books – and much more. They even had a candy cart for the kids with freshly spun cotton candy. I will definitely return to this flea market in the summer!

In this photo collage you can see a glimpse of my day — though I was with friends and really did not want to be a journalist as sometimes you simply must live life without thinking of what would make for a great blog post, right? But yes, you can still see a glimpse of what it looked like there at the Findelhof and you can also see some of my loot. I came home with 5 vintage medicine bottles and 3 white enamelware measuring cups/pitchers all for about $24 USD. Not bad!

(photos taken by me and my husband thorsten)

Posted in travel on May 03, 2010

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?

Caravan

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.

Caravan

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.

Caravan

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.

Caravan

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

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

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