favourite shop: dille & kamille, brussels

When Mr. A and I visited Brussels recently we came across the loveliest shop. Dille & Kamille was just steps from our hotel and I was so happy to have found it.

Of course I knew immediately upon seeing the exterior that I had to go in. Love a black and white striped awning. At first I thought it was a garden or flower shop.

The displays of neatly arranged plants on either side of the entry created a warm welcome.

This cluster of heather and sedum was so simple yet so striking. Made a note to myself to get some heather when I got home. And I did.

Inside, we discovered Dille & Kamille is much more than a garden shop. It's kitchen, bath, gourmet, utility, linens, and books and so much more. All of the goods and displays have the aesthetic of simplicity and abundance, quality and utility. My favourite.

This mountain of gorgeous market baskets caught my eye first. I want to live in a world where all the food from the market is carried home in one or two of these on a bicycle, not in a tumble of black logo-emblazoned cotton totes shoved in the trunk...sigh.

There were more lovely plants inside and they made me fantasize for a moment that maybe I should really try to keep some alive at home once I got back. I am actually trying.

The wall o' brushes for everything you could ever want a brush for was also dreamy. Yes, I find a wall o' brushes dreamy. I swooned over just such a wall at the store Manufactum in Frankfurt last year and stocked up then, otherwise a few of these beauties would have def come home with me.

More amazing scrubbing things and oh my goodness look at the blocks of soap!

Any wooden cutting board or charcuterie board you could ever want. It's here.

Also, wall o' beautiful tea. Yum.

Wall o' cookbooks. Also -- some great apron action in the forground there.

Wall o' beautiful table linens. 

Turns out there are 25 locations of this fantastic home goods shop across Belgium and The Netherlands. If you will be in either of these regions and this is your thing, I highly recommend Dille & Kamille. It's just so truly lovely and a great spot to pickup gifts to bring home. Check them out at Dille & Kamille.

just like conan

Last weekend I saw one of those hipster graphic prints (you know, the 21stC version of Successories). Well, the print said "Work hard and be kind to people." It's not poetic or clever. There's no rhyme or play on words. It's the kind of advice a grandparent gives: old fashioned, simple, wise. I internalized it immediately. It stuck with me so I made a remark about it on Facebook. That's when my friend Noreen pointed out it was taken from Conan O'Brien's last Tonight Show. Of course! I had seen it but forgotten. Had you forgotten? If so, here's the link:

"Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get. But if you work really hard and you're kind, amazing things will happen. I'm telling you, amazing things will happen." 

Watching this clip over I felt a kinship for my tall ginger hero. Conan made these remarks at a time of transition from his dream job. Despite farewell circumstances that were unpleasant, Conan took the opportunity to give thanks for the many great years he had with his soon-to-be-former employer. Hmmm, rang a bell with me. 

As many of you will know, I recently left STYLE AT HOME magazine. Some of you have been coming here to see what I have to say about the whole thing. So finally, here it is. My thoughts are much like Conan's. I feel lucky and thankful to have had so many fantastic experiences. What a thrill it was to help build an upstart into a contender. I feel particularly proud to have styled/art directed shoots that have graced the last 5 covers of STYLE AT HOME. I call that ending on a high note. 





To that chapter I say "So long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, goodbye" 

Now opens an exciting new chapter

golden pears

So, late late the other night I gilded some pears --  ya know, just 'cause I happened to have pears and some gold leaf.  I'm quite chuffed with myself over these little beauties. They are quite ravishing. I started with the most darling little Forelle pears -- tiny and perfect. In theory you could gild fruit with edible gold leaf -- the kind they sprinkle on pastries. But Lord knows where you find that stuff. Instead, I went with what I had on hand. I held the stem of each pear, gave it a quick spray with Easy Tack spray adhesive and then used my fingertip to pick up cut up sections of gold leaf that've been sitting around our house for ages. I know it's quite wasteful of me to treat food in this manner but I did it on a whim and now I'm imagining a whole tiered arrangement of gilded fruits -- Lady apples, apricots, kumquats. Can't help myself. I find leafing -- gold or silver -- to be so much more satisfying than painting -- it really seems like magic. Makes we want to run around the house and gold leaf everything...