Latest Germany home decor discovery: Urbanara
July 10, 2014
Coming from the US, trying to create a home in Germany is hard. The whole install-your-own-kitchen (and lighting and window coverings and bathroom cabinets...) way of doing things can be a shock to an American renter's system, not to mention bank account. But it was the lack of a middle ground in home furnishings that really challenged my interior design sensibilities. It was either that ubiquitous Swedish superstore or specialty shops where light fixtures could run in the four-figures. Where were the German equivalents to retailers like West Elm and Crate and Barrel? As far as I could see, there weren't any. Or at least, any with designs worth putting in a stylish home. There's a reason so many European apartments are filled with Ikea.
Sure, after moving to Berlin, a whole world of opportunity opened up with the plethora of shops, boutiques and flea markets, but the abundance of choice, and time needed to scour said choices, can feel overwhelming. So after nearly five years of unfinished home projects, I've been eager to find a one-stop-shop to fill the remaining holes left in my interior design plans. Something modern, clean, homey. Something not Ikea. Enter Urbanara.
I happened upon its pop-up booth inside Bikini Berlin while exploring with a friend the other week and was immediately drawn to some of the light fixtures hung inside. Just what I had been looking for. A look at the price tag left me slack-jawed. This stuff was affordable. No 500€ light fixtures here. As if I needed to be further sold, the woman there told me everything was online and that my first purchase could be had at a 10% discount. I left with a brochure and visions of Tom Dixon-esque copper lights and graphic throw pillows dancing in my head. Making our home everything I had hoped it would be finally feels within reach - without sacrificing the rest of our lifestyle.