Today’s adventure took me to Brugge, an hour’s train ride from Brussels. I had heard that Brugge is “charming,” and that was enough to stir my curiosity. I had no intention of spending seven hours there when I left this morning. But I just kept on walking, looking and absorbing right up until the museums and shops closed and the sky clouded over.
Brugge has more apparel shops than it has shops devoted to home décor. I looked in as many of both as I could. And I did find a couple of home stores that were fun. On Eiermarkt, At Home offered an eye-full of frivolous items targeted to a youthful consumer. Vinyl furniture in Red/White or Orange White made the biggest statement with a retro mid-century flavor. These pieces were flanked by two shelves of small lava lamps, an array of polka dotted dog dishes and colorful plastic trash bins all in a row.
Dille & Kamille has a small store front but is much larger inside. This retailer combined unexpected categories in a single strategy. I kept looking for the common link and ultimately decided that it was size (if the size of the product was right, it worked for the store, no matter the category). The store was nominally about bath, kitchen, garden and kids and had some interesting displays, like the kitchen gadgets sorted by type in rows of metal bread pans. I also like the small, metal trash bins (in two sizes) painted in glossy light Green, Blue or Off-White, shown with cheerful check dish towels and a variety of natural wood/bristle brushes. This looked very fresh.
At the end of my day I toured one of the museums and two of the churches. I also took the time for a boat ride through the canals that run through Brugge. This last adventure, which I had first considered quite frivolous, turned out to be a half-hour very well spent since I was able to see some of the gothic architecture that the city is known for from the unique vantage point of the water. Since we are tracking gothic influences for 2007, this helped me to wrap my head around some elements of the trend in a new way.