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Het Kollektief
Het Kollektief

Pretty little things

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From Mexican handicrafts to Scandinavian minimalism – the best design stores in Cologne


Cosita Bonita

Clothing, handicrafts and food from Mexico – bought directly from local producers without any middlemen or wholesalers. For this Annika Boerm relies on her network of contacts, including Fábrica Social, which distributes hand-embroidered clothing. Boerm lived in Mexico for many years herself. The country’s unique aesthetic is reflected in her small Cologne boutique. The store manages to stock everything from vibrantly coloured figures to lavishly embroidered fabrics, fiery salsa and a selection of mezcal. And picking up a few fresh corn tortillas or a couple of bottles of brightly coloured Mexican Jarritos lemonade is guaranteed to brighten up any grey ­Cologne day.

Brüsseler Str. 45, 50674 Cologne,­cologne



This concept store is worth a visit for the interior inspiration alone. When it comes to modern design and design classics, Gernot Thöndel and Miriam Brühl’s store in Ehrenfeld has you covered. Their love of good design is obvious from their lovely showroom with its long window fronts. Here, design aficionados can browse an array of minimalist office furniture and sofas, Scandinavian textiles by traditional weaving mill Lapuan Kankurit and timeless sideboards by Treku from the north of Spain. Thöndel and Brühl are making an important contribution to the neighbourhood’s shopping culture, focusing primarily on designers whose creations aren’t available in your average online shop.  

Siemensstr. 9, 50825 Cologne,



The shop window of Herbarium on Brüsseler Strasse is only very small, but it seems to have a magical attraction for passers-by, who are always stopping to admire the beautiful flower arrangements inside. These are the calling card of florist Nina Kleinz, who also runs the florist’s opposite. Herbarium is her concept store for plants, pots, homeware, stationery and accessories – and of course dried flowers and grasses, one of the most popular interior trends of late. Once a month she holds workshops teaching the basics so that people can try their hand at making their own bouquets, wreaths and flower arrangements.

Brüsseler Str. 52, 50674 ­Cologne,


Het Kollektief

From clothing, interior accessories and stationery to cosmetics and food, there’s a lot to discover at Joke Peeters’ store. All products stocked here have been sustainably produced by small labels and come mainly from Europe. Joke Peeters is originally from Belgium and many of her products are sourced from there as well. She also sells handmade clothing and accessories that are produced in Madrid. The bags and rucksacks by Mulinu come from Cologne: the cord hip bag is named after Hennes, the club mascot of the city’s football team. You’ll also find handmade print designs, jewellery and baby clothing and accessories made from a soft bamboo fabric.

Zülpicher Str. 218, 50937 ­Cologne,


Things We Like

Katrin and Philipp Arndt have put together a selection of beautiful items based on their own personal tastes. Behind the large window front, you’ll find a harmonious balance of natural colour tones and materials. Many of the items on sale are homemade, such as the cowhide furniture handles, the hand-sewn gym bags or the original items made from sea urchins and tillandsia plants. If you’re feeling in a hands-on mood yourself, you’ll also find DIY kits containing everything you need to make a hanging basket or a shelf. And the two handicraft enthusiasts are always on hand with useful advice. But even if you’re just looking for a gift, this is still the place to come.

Brabanter Str. 33–35, 50672 ­Cologne,