This Is My Habitat
Habitat's Swedish owners may be looking for a buyer, but I have high hopes that this lovely store will weather the storm in this economy and perhaps not only find a buyer but expand and grow. I live an hour from both a Habitat retail store (2 floors of gorgeousness) and a Habitat outlet store, and so whenever I need a design fix I take the train up to Hamburg for a visit. Have you even been to Habitat? Do you like it? Are you a customer? What do you find there that you like? I'm a fan of their sofas, lighting and accessories -- and I like that they carry some wallpaper in-store for when you want to do a quick accent wall in your home. I also like the look of their website, it recently changed, and is a lot easier to navigate.
I really like their current campaign, This is my Habitat, where they spotlight stylish people, like Danish model Helena Christensen, and show them in their space. I've not seen Helene's apartment anywhere online before so perhaps this will be the start of things to come and we'll be seeing her apartment someplace soon in the future as I'm intrigued by the photographs shown above. Habitat is even running a contest for their customers - if you want to be the next face of Habitat (enter here). I think the only bit I wonder about with This is my Habitat is that, outside of Helena, I don't know who any of these other people are and I wish they'd give a bit more detail about them -- where they live, what they do for work, and why they've chosen the particular room and accessories they're photographed with.
Do you feel the same? But I think they're on the right track... And I love the idea of using stylish customers on their website. West Elm started doing that last year in their catalogs... I think there is this growing trend to connect the product with real people more and more, don't you see this through some advertising? I do. I think we're living in a time when we want to identify with others more and more and feel a bit of a soul connection. I think the days of being superficial and unapproachable, when it comes to decorating, are over and I'm all for it. That's why I started blogging in the first place, I was ready for this change back in 2005 and though it has taken some years, I love seeing so many products available to real people that do not require entrance to a design showroom. While I love the showrooms, not everyone can afford 40K sofas. And that's okay. I love the whole handmade/DIY movement, the craft movement and seeing more companies make their design approachable and interesting. Like these rooms above, they're not perfect. There is breakfast on the floor, things laying about, but it's real and feels like, "Hey I live this way too! Now I see how that sofa would work in my home". And that my friends, is marketing magic.
In the end, I rather like the idea of being sold on something that is both attainable and realistic.