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Fashion + Accessories, Shopping + Products, Travel

coffee + cre8tive {oct 9 ’06}

October 9, 2006

Crisp autumnal air encircled me as I window shopped yesterday, coffee in hand, delighted with the carefully arranged displays at coffee + cre8tive {oct 9 '06}Whether it’s sharing cake and coffee with your loved ones, visiting a museum, exploring paths in the forest, or strolling the near-empty streets with only a few cafes to welcome you inside, Sunday taps you on the shoulder and reminds you that it’s time to reap what you’ve spent the whole week sowing. So relax and enjoy.

coffee + cre8tive {oct 9 '06}
If you’ve not yet heard of Danish designers Lars and Harald Holstein of Noa Noa, prepare to fall deeply in love with their charming collection. Noa Noa produces two affordable collections every year for women and little girls, along with two smaller collections for Summer and Christmas. I was inspired to see their soft muted tones, emulating the natural beauty of Denmark, from its countryside to coast. Pastel hues of heather, plum, charcoal and pale blue paired with stronger ones in sunflower, fuschia, military green, even a slight appearance by black itself.

coffee + cre8tive {oct 9 '06}Peering into shop windows, I couldn’t help but notice how many outfits can be translated into decor. I imaged the layered scarves held in place by a simple jeweled brooch as multiple flowing sheer panels, perhaps one in pale butter and the other in blue, held by a favorite patterned sash, a delicate brooch of clear crystals to accent.

coffee + cre8tive {oct 9 '06}Using your imagination is one of the easiest and most inexpensive ways to train your design eye and stimulate your creativity. The more imaginative you become, the better taste you will form. As you start to disect what you see, imagine it used in a different capacity altogether. You can simply edit something with your mind, reflecting on how you’d prefer it to be arranged, allowing your imagination to wander and expand. Freedom comes from frequently training and stimulating your imagination. Consider how creative children are, often is this not based upon thier lack of fear coupled with their rich imagination?

My motto: Look at everything differently – see more than what is simply laid before you. Imagine, believe, overcome, create, expand.

coffee + cre8tive {oct 9 '06}
Noa Noa
Lister Meile 52
Hannover Germany
Tel: 0511/5687422

Partial collection is also available at clothing boutique Ey Linda, Lister Meile 31.

(images from noa noa)

Shopping + Products, Travel

Kanako Yaguchi + Funtrap

October 4, 2006

Kanako Yaguchi + Funtrap
Kanako Yaguchi transforms paper into works of art by using the Japanese technique of Kirigami, the traditional art of folding and cutting papers to produce creative designs and patterns. While studying Space Design at Joshibe University of Art and Design, she first began exhibiting her work with Kirigami. Creating mostly florals motifs, Kanoko uses her delicate blooms as a basis for various works of art applied on canvas and beyond… Bringing them to her creations for fashion and home, from lights and boxes to handbags and shirts.

Kanako comments on her work, “The concept developed out of my first solo exhibition. From this first small step has arisen not only the name of my brand, under which I create all kinds of pieces, but the theme that lies behind all of my work: the happiness that we can all experience. This happiness can take many different forms, and just as each completely unique shape takes form through my hand, each person has his or her own happiness. I hope you can discover your own happiness through my work.”

She continues, “Since taking it up around the age of 20, I’ve been immersed in Kirigami.”

What keeps her going as a designer? “A huge motivating force for me has been the support and cheer of the people around me who believe in me ? the friends who watch over me, customers who attend every single one of my shows, and my family. Without them I could not have continued to create”, she says.

Kanako is part of Funtrap, a group of professionals in the fashion and apparel industry that seek to clue people in as to what’s happening in the world of Japanese design. They offer products and services to buyers, shop owners and store managers in fashion retail and have a new showroom located at the California Market Center in Los Angeles.

California Market Center
110 E. 9th St. C555
Los Angeles, CA 90079
213.622.2339

(images from kanako yaguchi)

Inspiration, Shopping + Products, Travel

coffee + cre8tive {oct 3 ’06}

October 3, 2006

Today is a holiday here in Germany, the coffee + cre8tive {oct 3 '06}You can relax here and enjoy a simple cup of coffee in a most chic atmosphere. Don’t you just love it? I could have stayed for hours, and here in Europe, you can linger at these ultra chic establishments just as you would back in the states at Starbucks.

Notice the chandeliers with shades over them? I especially enjoyed those, along with the wallpaper, which was applied to one wall and then extended onto about 70″ of the ceiling. The rest of the ceiling was white. It looked great, I wish I would have thought to photograph it for you.

Up today… A factory tour of a ceramics company based in California, an interview with a Boston interior designer, and some fresh finds to give you something to spend your money on! :)

coffee + cre8tive {oct 3 '06}(images from decor8, click on them for full size)

Shop Tours, Shopping + Products, Travel

Store Preview: Esplanade (Hannover, Germany)

September 26, 2006

Store Preview: Esplanade (Hannover, Germany)I spent a little time out and about yesterday, exploring the district I’m staying in, seeing if anything new came to town since I visited last year. I found a gorgeous store located in a cobblestone square, such a quaint setting, with wares spilling out from its doors onto the sidewalk… Behold, a summer clearance sale!
Store Preview: Esplanade (Hannover, Germany)Esplanade Raum + Zeit, owned by business partners Bernadette Brinckmann and Uta Runde (I met Frau Runde, who is very friendly and speaks English very well), is a large space with three large rooms housing everything from Garden supplies to decorative accessories and furniture. The theme seems to be Danish and English country, one of the major lines carried is Store Preview: Esplanade (Hannover, Germany)Plates, candle holders, bread boards, plants, pillows, totes, cupboards stocked with blue glass, everything in this store is exquisite, reasonably priced (lovely glass candle holders in two sizes and over a dozen colors, just 2.99 and 3.99 Euros.)

Love this light fixture!
Store Preview: Esplanade (Hannover, Germany) This is one store that I highly suggest visiting if you find yourself journeying through Hannover. It’s two stops from the main station, hop off the u-bahn at Lister Meile and it’s about a block from there at Wedekindplatz 3. I wasn’t able to locate a website address for Esplanade, however you can contact them directly for store hours. Tel. (05 11) 62 79 95

Even the views from the store window are beautiful – I love the architecture in this district.
Store Preview: Esplanade (Hannover, Germany)German bread boards – typical in households here. (you can create a sandwich on these and then use it as your plate).
Store Preview: Esplanade (Hannover, Germany)
(images from decor8, click on them for larger view)

Home Tours, Shopping + Products, Travel

decor8 Reader Spaces: Victoria’s San Francisco Treat

September 11, 2006

Since decor8 launched Reader Spaces a few short weeks ago, you’ve already toured Geninne’s Mexican Retreat, Danielle’s Serene in the City apartment in the Netherlands, Archana’s Colorful Home in India, Jonathan’s Retro Flashback, and Rachel’s Happy Home in Louisiana. You’ve also helped a few readers, like Courtney and Heather, who both needed design advice for thier kitchens and looked to decor8 readers for help. So far, this new feature is going well so as long as readers keep sending in questions and home tours, we’ll keep it up!

decor8 Reader Spaces: Victoria's San Francisco Treat
Next on our list of home tours, Victoria Smith shares with us her utterly charming art-filled one bedroom rental apartment (with terrace!) in San Francisco’s Pacific Heights. Filled with cleverly arranged objects and lovely art, she adores “eclectic-modernism – kind of Bohemian Modern. Flea market finds mixed with contemporary pieces. Lots of white with colored pillows, accessories that I can change out to a different color when I get bored.” Victoria’s favorite designers include older, modernist designers like Eames, McCobb along with Todd Oldham, Angela Adams, and Jonathan Adler.

decor8 Reader Spaces: Victoria's San Francisco TreatFinding treasures at places like West Elm, CB2, Amy Butler, Anthropologie home, eBay, and Craigslist, along with her many travel adventures, she’s pulled together a beautiful space that will certainly inspire and perhaps give you a fresh perspective, along with lots of ideas for experimenting in your own space.

decor8 Reader Spaces: Victoria's San Francisco TreatSome of Victoria’s favorite features in her apartment, “The light especially. The bay window, definitely the working fireplace, and the terrace. The stained glass windows in the bedroom are pretty cool, too. Oh, and the extra large bathtub.” She also adds, “My neighbors are amazing – we call our building ‘buchanan manor’ and everyone looks out for each other.”

Interesting fact: Herb Caen, the famous Pulitzer Prize-winning San Francisco newspaper columnist, lived in her apartment at one time.

decor8 Reader Spaces: Victoria's San Francisco TreatIf you’d like to see the grand tour of Victoria’s space, featuring 69 full size photos, click here. Warning: Gorgeous drool-inducing shots. May inspire you to stop everything you’re doing and redecorate your home.

Living Room (sofa from IKEA)
decor8 Reader Spaces: Victoria's San Francisco TreatA long hallway leads into the space, it was a blank canvas just waiting to be transformed into her own little gallery. The hallway opens into her living room area where there is a fireplace and a sitting area near bay windows.

decor8 Reader Spaces: Victoria's San Francisco Treatdecor8 Reader Spaces: Victoria's San Francisco Treat
Kitchen – Some of her kitchenwares – knife and pot racks from Ikea, her galvanized metal magazine rack for holding cooking magazines and her favorite Anthropologie apron. Great paint color on the walls, don’t you think?

decor8 Reader Spaces: Victoria's San Francisco TreatDining Room – A San Francisco view from her dining room.
Mies Van Der Rohe chairs.
decor8 Reader Spaces: Victoria's San Francisco TreatTerrace off of Dining Room by night. Twinkle lights and Morrocan style
cushions on rattan flooring.
decor8 Reader Spaces: Victoria's San Francisco TreatBath – Herb Caen washed here! Notice that extra deep
tub, gorgeous sink and fabulous tile floor. Drool.
decor8 Reader Spaces: Victoria's San Francisco TreatBedroom with ‘Church Bed’ complete with gothic stained glass windows.
decor8 Reader Spaces: Victoria's San Francisco TreatMore great collections. These are Victoria’s favorite cameras along side her Peggy Guggenheim kaladiscope glasses, purchased in Venice at her museum on the Grand Canal (it used to be her home).

decor8 Reader Spaces: Victoria's San Francisco Treat
Wasn’t that a lovely tour? Thank you Victoria for welcoming us into your amazing space!

If you have a design question or if you’d like your home to be featured on decor8 reader spaces, please email decor8blog[at]yahoo[dot]com

(images from victoria smith)

Travel

Unexpected Shopping Surprises in Los Angeles

September 8, 2006

Unexpected Shopping Surprises in Los Angeles
By: Anh-Minh Le, decor8 west coast contributor

In the weeks leading up to my recent trip to Los Angeles, I spotted neighborhood shopping guides in several magazines (e.g., Blueprint, Lucky). There is also the helpful LA shopping guide here on decor8 (right column). But when I actually got down there ? in addition to the usual design store suspects (yes, Weego Home is definitely worth a visit!) ? I was delighted to discover great home products in a few unexpected places.

Floralart

This floral design studio has been around since the early ?90s, but recently moved to Venice?s Abbot Kinney. The expanded space includes a storefront that, as summed up on the Floralart web site, offers ?accessories that related to home, entertaining and the art of giving.?

I was so taken by the etched orchid stemware ? available in several variations (including red wine, white wine, cocktail). The glasses are beautifully etched with a floral motif, and range in price from $72-78 for a set of six.

If new place settings are on your shopping list, the Jonathan Adler selection here may be just the thing for you. Floralart carries his Greek Key, Mod Dots and Hexagon dinnerware ($128.50 for a 16-piece set).

Also catching my eye was the Aphrodite collection. Thick, hand-cut sheets of glass encase your favorite bloom or candle.

Unexpected Shopping Surprises in Los Angeles
Jin Patisserie

Also while on Abbot Kinney, I popped into one of my favorite tea spots. Jin Patisserie serves (and sells) Le Palais des Th?s, which are imported from France and hard to get your hands on in the U.S. They also offer delicious sweets (chocolates, cookies, candies) and savories (sandwiches, salads).

Although seating is all outdoors (there are a couple of covered tables on the porch), don?t forget to go inside the house where all of the work is done. That?s where you?ll find Jin?s boutique ? where you can buy some sweets to take home for later, and pick up lovely little tea sets. The espresso cups ($15 each) ? with patterns on the cup and saucer, as well as a leaf for a handle ? are perfect those mornings when you?ve got the time to sit and enjoy a caffeinated beverage at home.

I am really a tea person, however, so I couldn?t pass up a cute porcelain sugar and creamer set from Japan. A variety of teapots, of course, are also available for purchase.

Even if you?re not much of a tea of coffee drinker yourself, you can shop Jin for a great housewarming gift, and you can shop them online, too!

Unexpected Shopping Surprises in Los Angeles
Zero Minus Plus at Fred Segal (Santa Monica – Sorry, no website.)

Okay, so you think $100 is outrageous for a t-shirt. And you don?t care which celebrities shop here. But, trust me, Zero Minus Plus is not to be missed.

It?s one of many independently-owned and ?operated boutiques within the large Fred Segal shopping emporium. In addition to home accessories, the store sells jewelry, handbags and pet items.

I love that they stock designs from Savannah?s Working Class Studio (only a handful of West Coast stores do). There?s also a good selection of Chilewich rugs and Acme laptop bags (I carry one myself and adore it).

If you?re like me and are constantly jotting down notes, be sure to check out Zero Minus Plus? great paper products. For example, anything in the No. 2 collection (notepads, disposable clipboards).

So even if the clothing and beauty products here aren?t your thing, you can still walk away from Fred Segal as a satisfied customer. And, with a large parking lot adjacent to the store, you won?t even have to carry your new purchases very far.

Unexpected Shopping Surprises in Los Angeles
Psst: Working Class Studio just launched their new line of square melamine plates, shown above.

Do you have any LA favorites to boast about? Let us know!

Thanks a-m for the great write-up covering a few of your unexpected finds!

(images from floralart, jin patisserie, and working class studio)

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