Kind of New

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January 12, 2011
Originally published in Rethink Recycling
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  The two-bedroom apartment German designer Christiane Högner shares with her partner (and their new baby) in Brussels is a testament to the couple's philosophies: There is beauty in the ordinary, if you just keep your eyes open for it. And its corollary: Don't accumulate too much.

    The two-bedroom apartment German designer Christiane Högner shares with her partner (and their new baby) in Brussels is a testament to the couple's philosophies: There is beauty in the ordinary, if you just keep your eyes open for it. And its corollary: Don't accumulate too much.

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  At home, Högner still uses the prototype for her colorful All for One shelves to file papers and magazines.

    At home, Högner still uses the prototype for her colorful All for One shelves to file papers and magazines.

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  The elegant olive dining table is a traditional German beer-garden table the couple bought second hand and painted.

    The elegant olive dining table is a traditional German beer-garden table the couple bought second hand and painted.

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  Mixing and matching goes a long way: the well-worn Arne Jacobsen chairs are real, but the Tulip table knockoff is Ikea's Docksta. "Tell them, as soon as we have some money saved, we're going to buy the original," says Högner. The vintage Dieter Rams sofa came from Högner's parents, and the vintage work lamps in the living room came from a drafter's studio.

    Mixing and matching goes a long way: the well-worn Arne Jacobsen chairs are real, but the Tulip table knockoff is Ikea's Docksta. "Tell them, as soon as we have some money saved, we're going to buy the original," says Högner. The vintage Dieter Rams sofa came from Högner's parents, and the vintage work lamps in the living room came from a drafter's studio.

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  Thomas Lommee and baby Emilia Luz work at the beer-garden table under hanging lamps given to the couple by friends. The baby bassinet, which appears to be made from a wicker laundry basket and some sturdy rope, was also a gift from friends.

    Thomas Lommee and baby Emilia Luz work at the beer-garden table under hanging lamps given to the couple by friends. The baby bassinet, which appears to be made from a wicker laundry basket and some sturdy rope, was also a gift from friends.

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  The kitchen offers a lovely view of neighborhood gardens.

    The kitchen offers a lovely view of neighborhood gardens.

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  Högner found the collapsible blue metal Beanstalk Camp Kitchen stands at a flea market, and was immediately attracted to their color. But, she says, her favorite part about the quirky coffee tables in her living room is that "the legs fold up!"

    Högner found the collapsible blue metal Beanstalk Camp Kitchen stands at a flea market, and was immediately attracted to their color. But, she says, her favorite part about the quirky coffee tables in her living room is that "the legs fold up!"

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  In the entryway, wine racks are reborn as a place to keep shoes.

    In the entryway, wine racks are reborn as a place to keep shoes.

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  The orange his-and-hers lamps in the bedroom came from Högner's sister's childhood bedroom. "My sister prefers new things," said Högner. "But my dad can't throw anything out.

    The orange his-and-hers lamps in the bedroom came from Högner's sister's childhood bedroom. "My sister prefers new things," said Högner. "But my dad can't throw anything out.

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  Högner's E.T. (short for Electrical Table) solves the modern person's problem of what to do with all those ugly cords by turning an electric strip into a work table (or vice versa).

    Högner's E.T. (short for Electrical Table) solves the modern person's problem of what to do with all those ugly cords by turning an electric strip into a work table (or vice versa).

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  The Dad Pillows are the ideal stuffed shirts: throw pillows that have left the torso in favor of the sofa.

    The Dad Pillows are the ideal stuffed shirts: throw pillows that have left the torso in favor of the sofa.

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  The pair rescued the wooden Belgian school chair on their shelving system from the trash.

    The pair rescued the wooden Belgian school chair on their shelving system from the trash.

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  The couple's office is located in a small storefront space just around the corner from their apartment. Their "library" is kept in the window.

    The couple's office is located in a small storefront space just around the corner from their apartment. Their "library" is kept in the window.

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  The cushioned sofa was originally a project in which Högner made a sofa from sandbags. This iteration takes the sofa's smallest component--the pillow--and builds up.

    The cushioned sofa was originally a project in which Högner made a sofa from sandbags. This iteration takes the sofa's smallest component--the pillow--and builds up.

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  Högner designed Envelopes to store laptops because she couldn't find any sleeves she liked--and that protected the laptop if it fell--on the market.

    Högner designed Envelopes to store laptops because she couldn't find any sleeves she liked--and that protected the laptop if it fell--on the market.

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