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Lars Contzen {Germany}

Yowsah! Have you heard of German designer Lars Contzen? He believes that, ?Decor expresses a feeling for life” and with an extensive client list and a whole slew of eye-popping products ranging from furniture to rugs, tableware, and wallpaper, I think you’ll clearly see the feeling he’s trying to express. Joy. Happiness. Fresh and full of life. With bold geometrics in groovy kaleidoscopic colors, his surface designs are futuristic and a far cry from shy.

His fab faux bois bench in hot pink has my attention, especially against hardwood flooring, I’d love to see one in a hallway with colorful rubber boots beneath it and a huge frameless mirror directly above with a white shelf floating directly below the mirror. I see the wall in a happy yellow – we could call the hallway Pink Lemonade inspired by these ladies, what do you think? And for the ultimate statement, a medium sized disco ball pendant light so I can crank a little Walk It Out Fosse, of course. Or Abba.


Which leads me to ask lighting designers around the world – why aren’t you designing a pendant light that looks like a disco ball? I don’t get it. I can even design it for you, I have so many ideas but imagine a disco ball with the bottom 1/4 chopped off, hollow inside, with a light bulb for illuminating through the clear (or iridescent) glass mosaic tiles on the exterior. I mean, hello designers we could totally do this. The world needs these things. Maybe it could have an extra mechanism where you could flick a switch and it would throw out a little strobe light action for when you entertain friends. Okay tacky. But fun. Otherwise, it’s basically a light fixture every other time. I’m totally disappointed that someone isn’t out there with one already. I’d totally buy it if it were done right (not kitschy and cheap). But I digress, back to Lars Contzen and his fabulousness. Here’s some more eye candy from his kick butt portfolio.


If you’d like to learn more about Lars Contzen and Contzentrade, you can visit his website or view his work in person at the Contzentrade showroom in Germany located near Frankfurt Main.

(images from lars contzen)

Posted in designers, flooring, shopping, travel, walls on October 30, 2007

Ahnlund-Karl?n {Swedish Designers}

While shopping DesignTorget in Stockholm, I noticed wall plates in blue and white but upon closer inspection I realized they were not plates at all but decals.


I had to bookmark the designer’s names in my head so I could come back here and share these clever decals with you. They’re designed by Ahnlund-Karl?n, a team of two designers Anna-Ella Ahnlund and ?sa-Karin Karl?n. Their beautiful apartment was featured in the book Stockholm?s Apartments published by Jeu de Paume.


Ahnlund and Karl?n met at Beckmans College of Design and have been creating together since ’06. You can purchase their adhesive wall dishes at DesignTorget or Galerie doux dimanche online.

(images from ahnlund-karl?n and galerie doux dimanche)

Posted in Books + Magazines, travel, walls on October 26, 2007

Impressionen {Germany}

Impressionen is a mail order company here in Germany that specializes in women’s fashion and home accessories along with some furniture, always on trend, and the website is such a pleasure to browse with their collaged images and pretty color combinations. These images give you an idea of some popular trends here in Germany.

I’m really enjoying all the natural textures and colors lately and find myself torn between an all-white room with accents of taupe, silver, and lavender and colorful playful rooms with no set focal point, just lots of patterns against a neutral base.

Since this blog’s inception, I’ve followed all the big trends and built a personal database of more companies that I’ll ever need to reference. I’m sure, whether you blog or are simply obsessed with reading them, you also are quite savvy and know more about design than ever before. But as my personal likes and dislikes forever change, I’ve concluded that I need to stick to a neutral base devoid of pattern and swap out my patterned soft furnishings and accessories per season or at least, every 6 months, so I don’t die of boredom. I can commit to wallpaper in small spaces (hallway, bathroom, or as a single accent wall in a larger space), and to flooring (I’m a wood floor fan), but I cannot commit to patterned sofas or chairs unless I can slipcover them whenever the spirit moves me. I prefer wood seating that I can alter myself with a staple gun and a piece of fabric for the seat or back, for instance, or with cushions. And this is coming from a girl that saw a patterned sofa at Svenskt Tenn and nearly collapsed from sensory overload. I loved it. But I wouldn’t own it.

It’s pretty funny how we embark on blogging with a strong sense of who we are and what we like, and then realize down the road that we were only beginning our journey and that design and decorating while for some may be meaningless (I have friends who could care less), but for others (like us!), home improvement is a constant thought in our minds. Improving our living space is our passion, but it’s only fun once we realize that there’s no end point and to just chill about the whole thing. Decorating is the unattainable goal, it’s the size zero, the long legs, the high cheekbones. It’s like reaching personal perfection, we’ll never be perfect but we strive to be our very best and have fun doing it. It’s the same for the home. It will never be perfect, for some there is no ‘end’ point, but the joy is in the journey and to finally be comfortable with this fact is absolutely freeing for me. I just thought I’d share this thought with you today.

Perhaps you can relate.

(images from impressionen)

Posted in shopping, travel on October 26, 2007

Funktion Alley {UK}

{Update 10/26: Contrary to what their website states, Funktion Alley does deliver to the states. You just have to email them for rates before placing your online order. Yay!}

This post is dedicated to my UK friends, in a second you’ll see why… Funktion Alley is based in Malm? and their mission is to promote Swedish and Danish functional design, particularly in the UK where they have a small store in a design complex called Redbrick Mill not far from Leeds.


From decorative window film (for privacy – complete with birds), to textiles, furniture, and the Knoppa suspended baby cradle (I want one of these when I have babies someday), their site is a terrific resource for those living in the UK since they do not offer shipping outside. That means the rest of us can only look, drool, and hopefully not feel too left out of all the fun. View it as incentive to travel or open your own store selling these things in your part of the world.


Psst: Check out Maija Isola’s P??ryn? textiles from Marimekko, they just went on sale. So fresh for the kitchen!

(images from funktion alley)

Posted in travel on October 25, 2007

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