There are not many stores in London that do visual merchandising at Christmas time quite like Liberty – and the icon in Great Marlborough Street knows all too well how to set the scene effectively to celebrate this fact. Every year mid of November the pavements alongside the stunning mock-Tudor building fill with hundreds of spectators for the big Christmas Window Reveal. And this year was no exception when Kylie Minogue unveiled what has been one if the best hidden secrets in Central London. And as always, Liberty didn’t disappoint. Not the conventional Christmas window, but I hope that is not what you were looking for today.
Finally, my darkrooom bright advent calendar is here. Over the next 24 days I will open one “window” each day and show you my favourite shops and the most beautiful window displays in London, Copenhagen, Berlin, and Stuttgart, the places I will spend the weeks coming up to Christmas.
My advent calendar kicks off with one of my favourite places in London: Petersham Nurseries in Richmond. Owned by the Boglione family it is a haven of calm away from the bustle of London, a synonym for mindful living, shopping, and eating. Everything here seems to be that healthy tick slower than in the capital just a few miles away. The place lets you breathe and recharge and appreciate what is really important in life. Read More
I am not sure if I should feel very lucky or really upset at the moment. In January, my husband will be moving to Copenhagen for work while I stay in London with the children. We have settled here in London over the last decade, this is where we feel at home, and the mere thought of moving away is just not bearable for me at the moment. Hence, I will let the husband go and see what will happen.
Don’t get me wrong, I am very well aware that there could be (much) worse places in this world to move to than Copenhagen. After all, I love all things Danish: the nature, the beaches, the architecture, the people, the language (so cute) – and the food, with Noma being pretty much at the top of my “restaurants to visit before I die” list. So all in all, I am actually looking forward to this new adventure, and am quite curious to discover Copenhagen which I have only visited once before. Albeit, I must admit, there are a few tears in my eyes. All in all, the situation is less than ideal. But cherishing the concept of mindfulness, I try to live in the moment, and let everything else happen when it…well, happens.
Speaking about Denmark, and the Danish design in particular, I have recently came across a lovely piece of furniture by Danish label Gubi: the beetle lounge chair. Designed in 2014 by Enrico Fratesi and Stine Gama, it comes upholstered in Kvadrat fabric (with an almost endless choice) with contrasting leather piping, and is equipped with a delicate metal base in either black, black chrome or brass. A merger of Italian and Danish design can only result in one thing: a furniture made in heaven.
Gubi was founded in 1967 by Lisbeth and Gubi Olsen with its headquarters in Copenhagen. The family-owned company is now in its second generation and headed by Jacob Gubi. Gubi’s design is unique and “blurs the lines between the past and the future”. The company sees itself “as treasure hunters, where curiosity, courage and intuition are key components for our success. Design is all about discovering gems and following your instincts. It involves travelling, searching and finding long-lost remnants from the past as well as contemporary, cutting-edge designs from new artists on the horizon” (Gubi). A visit of Gubi’s flagship store is definitely on my agenda as soon as I step foot on Danish soil – which will be in early December when we meet with the relocation agent to find a flat. I just hope there will be enough time between viewings to sneak away.
Visiting the heart and home of Gubi or not, two of those beetles for our front sitting room would be rather perfect…
Beetle also comes as a dining chair – and this stunning setting is at Verandah, the first modern, contemporary pan-Indian restaurant in Copenhagen and part of “The Standard”, owned by food entrepreneur and Noma co-founder Claus Meyer and his partner Niels Lan Doky, a world-famous jazz musician. There is a jazz club in the same complex, equally beautifully designed. Copenhagen really (really!) grows on me, and even if – at this stage – only through a beautiful chair and some amazing restaurants. I just booked a table at Verandah for December when we are in town…
GET THE STYLE – AND THE FOOD…
material life . £889.00
minima . from €1130.00
gubi store . montergade 191140 . copenhagen . denmark
phone 0045 5361 6368 . firstname.lastname@example.org
noma . strandgade 93 . 1401 copenhagen . denmark
phone 0045 3296 3297 . email@example.com
verandah at the standard . 44 havnegade . 1058 copenhagen . denmark
phone 0045 7214 8808 . firstname.lastname@example.org
Almost exactly 12 months ago I wrote about the lovely and, oh so fashionable autumn colour copper that popped up everywhere. It has been a huge trend ever since and is still going strong. One year on, there is a new metal kid on the block and I must admit I like it just as much: brass. I am off to Central London tomorrow for some early Christmas shopping (my goal is once more to have all the presents done and dusted (= wrapped) by end of November), and I am determined to bring something small, and golden and shiny home with me…
There is one wall lamp that I have been thinking about for quite some time – actually from the moment on when we bought our current house a few years ago: The Flos 265 wall lamp, designed by Paolo Rizzatto in 1973 which provides directional light by moving an adjustable arm. The lamp comes in three colours: black (my favourite by far and personally, I think it is the go-to colour in this case), white and grey.
I have no idea why 265 didn’t make it into our home when we renovated it three years ago. There was so much to think about at the time and our heads were spinning from all those decisions we had to made. It kind of got forgotten…or pushed back…Well, after my very creative weekend in Milan (during which we read and heard and said the word “Flos” quite a lot) my head has finally freed up some space – and 265 is back with a vengeance! I really would like to see it in our space.
Just assuming that I can convince the Husband, there are two places the lamp would just fit perfectly into: kitchen and sitting room. They are both in the heart of our home, the open-space family room-cum-kitchen-cum-dining room. So wherever we decide to put it, we would see it all the time – and that is exactly what I want!
We obviously don’t have a wall outlet for it, and I won’t even contemplate getting the electrician in to provide one….no more tradesmen please as long as I live in this house. But to be honest, I actually prefer the casual look when the cable is visible and simply plugged in. And note to myself (and the Husband): With current sales at various places there is really no reason not to get it.