I have been meaning to post about two European retailers I fell in in love with on my last visit to the continent: the fine folks at Pylones and HEMA.

FF: Pylones

When you walk in to one of French retailer Pylones’ shops your eyes are treated to a kaleidoscope of colors from their various lines of useful products. Think of water bottles, tape dispensers, hairbrushes and glasses cases with the same fun print – just very cool designs for everyday objects.

About Pylones:

“Immerse yourself in the world of Pylones and enjoy colours, ideas, attractive and useful creations. For over 30 years, Pylones has been reinventing everyday objects with a design full of good humour! Desk lamps, kitchen utensils, fashion accessories, furniture, decorations, watches… a breath of originality invades your home! And since Pylones does not miss anything about design, it offers a sparkling collection of blown glass jewellery, made in France.”

Pylones’ products make great gifts – in fact I did a bunch on my Christmas shopping at the Pylones shop on Carnaby Street in London last year.

Visit Pylones online here.


Meanwhile, the fine folks at HEMA, a Dutch retail chain, have stores that offer a little bit of everything, and I mean everything. However, everything they offer, from dog treats to housewares, is useful and cool.

About HEMA:

“Everyone at HEMA shares a passion: to make daily life easier and more fun. That is also expressed perfectly in the essence of the HEMA brand, a triangle that symbolises the ideal balance between good quality, good design and great prices. Each side of this triangle is equally important and together they form an extraordinary combination that results in a number of the characteristics that make HEMA unique.”

When I popped into the HEMA store in Lille, France last fall, I had a fantasy about leaving my whole life behind, starting over, and furnishing my new European flat exclusively with stuff from HEMA.

Visit HEMA online here.