Books + Magazines

Meet Stylist Peter Fehrentz

January 18, 2013

Hello friends! I have an interview and book review to share quickly if you have a moment… I’d like for you to meet German stylist, photographer and debut author, Peter Fehrentz. I wrote about him last year but with the launch of his gorgeous book, Made By Yourself, I had to see if he would be free for a chat and he was! Peter is very talented and is a real inspiration to me so I am honored to feature him today. The projects in his new book are so innovative and fresh, I can’t wait to show you a few of them!

Meet Stylist Peter Fehrentz

His publisher, DVA, gave me some images from the book to share with you so I’ve included them in this post along with some snaps that I took of my own copy of Made By Yourself. Won’t you join us for our little chat? Good! Meet Peter Fehrentz, everyone!

Meet Stylist Peter Fehrentz

First of all, where do you live and what do you do for a living?
PF: I live in both Hamburg and Berlin and I am an Interior Stylist, Set & Product Designer and Photographer.

How did you get into this profession?

PF: I studied product design and after getting my degree, I did an internship as an editorial stylist at Schöner Wohnen magazine in Germany.

Do you find Germany in general supportive of those in creative fields?
PF: Currently it is changing a lot because there are many design schools that are very supportive and there are many fairs for young designers to show their work and to get in touch with industry professionals and potential clients. So, yes there is support here!

Meet Stylist Peter Fehrentz

Meet Stylist Peter Fehrentz

Meet Stylist Peter Fehrentz

What do you appreciate most about German life and culture?
PF: Germans are very open and curious about other cultures – it influences our daily life wherever you go. Germany is a great place for doing straight forward business, especially in the northern part of the country.

Where do you go for inspiration in Hamburg and Berlin, where you split your time?
PF: I always go where there is art – galleries, museums, cinemas and theaters. Also simply nature.

Where do you look for inspiration online?
PF: There are some blogs (like decor8) that I visit frequently but also art and style websites that are sometimes good for creative input depending on what subject I am working on.

Where has your work been featured?
PF: There are many magazines and companies that I’ve worked with here throughout the years, for instance Living at Home, Brigitte, Schöner Wohnen and also foreign press such as Elle Decoration, Inside Out, etc. I work with companies too, for instance Parador, Alape, Dornbracht, Duravit, Hansgrohe, JAB Anstoetz, etc.

Where did you get the idea to write, style and photograph your own book?
PF: I’ve always produced DIY stories for magazines anyway, but it was when I started to photograph my own ideas in 2009 that I started to feel ready for more – for a book project.

What was the process like for you to do a book – how did you get a book deal, how long did it take to do the book, etc.?
PF: First, I approached my favorite publisher, DVA, about the idea in general and they were very interested and open to it. After negotiating the contract I had about 1,5 years time to produce the book. I didn’t work on it the entire time though because I had a lot of “daily business” and other jobs to do that were separate from the book. I’d estimate that the core amount of time it took me to do the book was about 6 months.

Meet Stylist Peter Fehrentz

If someone living in Germany wants to get into interior styling, what would they need to do to be taken seriously and break into the profession?
PF: The best thing is to assist a stylist who is very talented and very busy in the industry for a long period of time (years not months). There is so much to learn and explore and this will not happen overnight. It takes patience. After assisting for awhile, and once one feels secure and ready, you have to find magazines, photographers, clients and agencies that fit your style and – very important – like you personally. Then you proceed from there to pitch some of your ideas and see what happens!

Who are some of your favorite stylists from other parts of the world?
PF: Rhea Thierstein, Robyn Glaser and Studio Toogood.

What do you think makes a stylist “good”?
PF: When styling is not only decoration but also has a certain twist. I like work that tells a story in a subtle way and it’s even better when this is done with a little irony. Not only one the surface but something deeper with many layers.

In Germany, there aren’t many gurus in design like we have in America, there are not a lot of well known names like Jonathan Adler or Kelly Wearstler. Why do you think this is the case?
PF: Germany doesn’t have a strong decorating tradition like some other countries. Sometimes I think one reason could be due to World War II. Right before the war, we had the Bauhaus which is still very popular and adored all over the world. After the war everything was about rebuilding and escaping the trauma for a long time and it is still not very popular to hire an interior designer here. I am not sure though if that really can be a reason, it makes sense to me, but perhaps it’s just in the German nature.

Meet Stylist Peter Fehrentz

Meet Stylist Peter Fehrentz

Meet Stylist Peter Fehrentz

Would you like to be better “known” in Germany – famous for style and design for instance?
PF: I just like doing what I do and I am not really keen on being famous. I like the idea of reaching a large number of people and sharing my passion for what I’ve explored and what I believe in though. It’s always great getting response on your work.

Tell us about your book! What do you love about it?
PF: From the beginning, I always wanted the book to be about inspiration so people who love books can feel joy by looking at the photos but it should also work for those who love to build and handcraft things. When I peruse the pages of my book, I still like to look at all the pictures, the layout and design, and the colors. I hope that those who bought the book have the same feelings, too!

What is your favorite project in the book?
PF: There is not one in particular but two of my many favorites are the concrete lamp base (p.101) and the drop shaped mirrors (p.16).

What is a really big dream of yours?
PF: This book! I had wanted to do a book for a long time and I am really grateful that I found a publisher who gave me the freedom to make it a very personal piece – a true reflection of my taste and style.

Meet Stylist Peter Fehrentz

If you’d like to see a video interview with Peter (in German) or watch him make a project for the book, you can click here for two videos on his site. To buy a copy of his book, please visit Amazon or his publisher, DVA (Random House).

Thank you Peter for the interview – so nice to get to know you better! If anyone has questions for Peter, please ask him in the comments section. Thank you!

(images: peter fehrentz (styled shots), book photos: holly becker for decor8)


  • Reply stephanie @ Baba Souk January 18, 2013 at 2:06 pm

    Great interview! This book looks really inspiring. The up-cycled side table is so creative….makes me want to build stuff!

  • Reply Magda January 18, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    I was thinking about getting this book, thanks Holly for posting this interview, very interesting. xoxo

  • Reply clara January 18, 2013 at 2:23 pm

    wowie.. this answer gave me a cosy felling: “The best thing is to assist a stylist who is very talented and very busy in the industry for a long period of time” – Yes I did – also assisting this great guy!

    Thank you Peter for your great interview and inspiring book!!

    Holly – great interview. Looking forward to make this Lunch thing happen. It was so great to see you on Monday!

    Hugs to both of you


  • Reply Thomas January 18, 2013 at 2:26 pm

    Hmm .. looks quite interesting, will there be an English (or Dutch? :) ) version?

  • Reply Thomas January 18, 2013 at 2:30 pm

    Hmmm, looks quite interesting! Will there be an English version available (or Dutch :) )?

  • Reply Ella January 18, 2013 at 4:51 pm

    I love his style and how he approached this project! I want to see more-such fab photos and inspiration! Thank you Holly for sharing his voice with us! What a gorgeous book :D

  • Reply Molly {Dreams in HD} January 18, 2013 at 6:10 pm

    congratulations peter!
    such a beautiful aesthetic.

  • Reply Anette@lebenslustiger January 18, 2013 at 8:02 pm

    What a great interview! Thanks Holly – personal and warmhearted yet very informative…and it really made me want to have that book – right now :))) Und Hallo Peter, grüß Dich! Weiss gar nicht genau, ob wir uns eigentlich je in Hildesheim kennengelernt haben – ich glaube, ich war vor Dir fertig…So toll, was Du aus dem Studium ‘gemacht’ hast. Ich habe Deine Arbeit immer mal wieder in den Magazinen verfolgt und das Buch sieht einfach klasse aus! Alles Gute für Dich – liebe Grüße , Anette Wetzel

  • Reply iris January 18, 2013 at 8:59 pm

    What a beautiful book! I put it on my wishlist!!!

  • Reply Deborah Carter January 18, 2013 at 9:27 pm

    Really interesting interview! I thought the questions you posed were well thought out and his responses were down to earth and generous. From the sneak peek of the inside pages, his book looks fun and colourful and inspiring. One to look for! Thanks for the post! Deborah, Melbourne Australia.

  • Reply Desha Peacock January 18, 2013 at 10:56 pm

    Wonderful post! Love Peter’s style. Holly, please include more book international design book reviews. I love hearing the details of how long it took to write the book, Peter’s inspiration and his dreams. Thanks!

  • Reply Rebecca January 18, 2013 at 11:07 pm

    Great interview! Loving the accompanying pictures as well. Thank you for sharing!

  • Reply brooke xx January 18, 2013 at 11:27 pm

    these are soo soo cool i love his style

  • Reply l o v e l y t h i n g s January 19, 2013 at 12:40 am

    I first saw this on Pinterest today and was intrigued…I must have this book. It’s funny because I spent the day in Brooklyn with my nephew (a college student in NY) and we were finding old pieces of wood, bricks (courtesy of hurricane sandy) and I brought it all home…and then I start looking at this and my mind is spinning with the possibilities of what I can make with the “stuff” ie” that table next to the butterfly chair. I loved the interview!

  • Reply kristin johnsen January 19, 2013 at 3:56 am

    I agree – the side table is just too much! It’s not my style particularly but it is SO cool that I want to go collect things and make something like it!!!!

  • Reply Juliette January 19, 2013 at 12:39 pm

    I love his style and how he presents his projects in the video. The projects seem really unique and not like what you would expect to see in a typical DIY book, which is refreshing. I especially like that he wants to encourage creative thinking and have people use his projects as springboards to make their own creations -that really is the most fun!

  • Reply Jamie Blake January 19, 2013 at 2:29 pm

    Great idea for a book….available in english now or in the future?

  • Reply Pilar January 19, 2013 at 3:53 pm

    Lovely designs! :)

  • Reply Lena January 20, 2013 at 12:25 am

    Great interview – I really liked his answer to your question what he thinks makes a stylist “good”. And also the part about why Germans don’t have that strong decorating tradition. His answer makes sense. I think it’s also because in general Germans don’t want to come across as superficial. So they’re afraid that spending your time decorating or caring too much about style and fashion could be seen that way. And maybe that has to do with his explanation, too? But I think this is changing. Slowly…

    • Reply decor8 January 20, 2013 at 3:22 pm

      @Lena – That is such a good point you make about fearing coming across as superficial. I find it is also that but even more, fear of being envied since envy is such a strong feeling here in this country, there is even a term for it in German, “Neid”, so Germans tend to hold back for fear of this and Germans who have talent and present it openly come under criticism from other Germans, so often progress isn’t made. Envy holds back a culture. I know this, because more and more Americans are becoming envious and this poses a threat to American culture currently. I think personally that showing what you do publicly, regardless of reception, is the only way to encourage others who are also talented and holding back. It is not egotistic to have pride in your good work. Having pride is important. Look at Germany during the soccer games when they nearly won, sure Spain won in the end, but the national pride Germans felt was contagious – during that entire match, as they kept winning and making progress, Germans were notably friendlier and more positive on the streets and in public. I loved it because the energy here was great – due to pride and feeling good about having a strong team.

  • Reply January 20, 2013 at 11:08 am

    Thank you for sharing this lovely interview and book with us, I enjoyed reading the interview with the accompanying photos. ! I really liked all of it. Love Vredenburg

  • Reply Megan of Dressed By Style January 20, 2013 at 11:44 am

    There’s nothing that makes me happier than incredible, eye-catching styling! It’s something I’m working on in my own work and this post was just the kind of fresh inspiration I needed, Holly!! What really stood out for me was the simplicity which Peter uses to great result, and the brave use of bold colour. Thanks for another unique talent to feast my eyes on ;)

  • Reply aGee January 20, 2013 at 10:36 pm

    Love your layout, love your content, love your style. One of my favourite blogs ever :)

  • Reply Kim L. January 21, 2013 at 4:31 pm

    Thanks for sharing a sneak peek inside Peter’s new book! It looks fabulous. So creative and very inspirational.

  • Reply R.O.R. January 21, 2013 at 5:14 pm

    Definitely need to get my Pinterest boards in order too… Great interview, thanks for sharing!

  • Reply Naomi Wright January 21, 2013 at 8:09 pm

    hi! i think your bog is fantastic. very inspirational. i am helping my friends design a new living room and i wonder whether you can help me find a sofa that is in one of your blogs? It is a grey couch in your weekday carnival blog. I have been to their site as well, but can’t find it on there. Anyway, maybe it’s to tricky to find now. Thought I’d try! Any thoughts on where to find a couch like that in Canada/The Staes?

  • Reply Christian's Wohnblog January 22, 2013 at 10:15 am

    Wow… I really like that little scrap wood table!

    Greetings, Christian

  • Reply Faisal alzebdah January 24, 2013 at 9:58 am

    thanks for sharing this stylish designs it is so beautiful and inspiring else

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