Isn’t it inspiring to see how people live in other parts of the world? If you hop on the train near my house and travel for 90 minutes just east from here you will be in Berlin and I’ve said it a million times already but that city is nothing short of inspiring. The many apartments and homes there blow my mind too because the old buildings ooze with character because all of the original details that make me so happy from ceramic-tiled stoves to herringbone wooden floors and original ceiling medallions (not the plastic press and stick kind!) are delightfully intact.
I first introduced you to interiors blog/website Freunde von Freunden when they launched but they’ve since published a book based on their site that I flipped through in their cafe and thought it was nice and definitely a great way to give the creative community in Berlin a platform to show how they live, work and decorate there. Love it! I visit Fvf a few times a month for inspiration and comb their wonderful stories and videos for inspiration yet I always find myself back on their Berlin-based properties which are cleverly cool though admittedly mismatched, wonky, undecorated, edgy, unedited, yet still super appealing, charming and a delight to behold. Berlin style is very laid back, lived-in and personal and I find that alone incredibly inspiring.
Fvf has recently expanded their views outside of Berlin to include studios and homes in places like New York City and London. I selfishly hoped they’d venture further to explore places like Poland, Czech Republic, Croatia, Turkey, Russia and even more German cities but it doesn’t look as though I’ll get my wish anytime soon as the more popular locations (London, NY) seem to be calling their creative hearts.
I believe strongly though that whoever starts venturing into the lesser-known spots (not just the recognizable design meccas – too easy!) to find inspiration and shoot homes that they could OWN a completely uncharted market — especially in cities that you barely see in glossy mags and books. It takes risk and courage but I’d love to see someone do something that hasn’t been done yet. Most publications here and especially in the UK and US simply don’t have the budget to run to Warsaw for a shoot so I wonder why Fvf doesn’t just jump in and go for it? They have a wonderful platform for this and are evidently very creative and not geographically challenged at all – Berlin is only a trade ride away from the often unexplored east. If I had a crew of people and the budget for it, I’d do an entire book centered on creatives living and working in cities like Moscow, Budapest, Bucharest, Warsaw, Prague and yes, Berlin (of course). Just a few thoughts…
Homes shown in this post are from Magnus Reed in Berlin-Schöneberg, Rebecca Lamarche-Vadel in Berlin-Mitte and Silke Neumann in Berlin-Moabit. Such beautiful light-filled spaces and gorgeous classical details!
I recently ordered a few things from Tine K Home and was happy to learn that they are soon to roll out their Spring/Summer 2012 collection at fairs across Europe as I type. I really like this collection because it’s very well curated due to Tine’s expert eye and everything is quite neutral and for me, this provides the perfect base to work off of when I decorate. Don’t you love all of the old books that she uses as props? It looks as though she has raided my husband’s library. I love old books, don’t you?
When it comes to decorating, to some it may seem boring to pattern and color lovers out there to work from a neutral foundation but I prefer a say, gray linen sofa, because then I can pile on decorative cushions and change up the mood of the entire room as it strikes me and it strikes me very often lately since winter is here and I’m home a lot more. I really like a large neutral floor rug (sisal or wool is good, even leather rugs) and wooden floors because I can work up from there to layer in personality as I go.
It’s fascinating how we each have our own system that works for us when it comes to decorating. It’s such a personal process and rightly so, our home is a direct reflection of who we are and if it’s not, most of us are working hard to make it that way because then everything feels just right. There is no single decorating recipe but still we do end up following a certain path each time we redecorate a room, don’t we? For me, I look for my palette and focal point and work from there, being careful to layer in texture and various tones of the same color – even white – because white comes in a millions tints and tones and by experimenting, you create mood and dimension which can help one to avoid that sterile hospital-esque room that using mostly white can result in . Tine has used a lot of white in her latest collection but she’s added chalky, smoky gray and natural wood tones along with hints of blue and violet, stripes and ethnic prints, to give this mostly white collection personality. I think in many ways, her collection allows me to think and be creative. When I look at her items, I imagine them in different rooms with different colors and patterns around them…
The Tine K Home collection for Spring/Summer is very warm, natural and subdued yet there is a certain coziness to it that I find appealing. It’s neither shabby nor chic which white and linen can quickly lean towards — rather it’s clean, wholesome, modern, a little rustic, a tad ethnic and altogether attainable and classy.
I LOVE her new collection of ceramics for the tabletop the most! What do you like? And since I’ve shared a bit of my decorating process, I’m now curious… what is your “process” for decorating or redecorating a space?
(images: tine k home)
I’ve been feeling sorry for myself all week as friends write in asking, “So Holly, are you going?!?!”… You see, ALL of the big European design fairs are kicking off this month, with IMM Cologne, Formland, Maison+Objet… and I’m not attending a single one! I was invited to IMM next week to present my book and speak but unfortunately I was unable to accept their lovely invitation since I’ve been very busy scouting locations for my next book. I will begin working with photographer Debi Treloar in a mere two weeks so I about about to be consumed all over again but I love it! I had hoped to attend all of the big fairs this winter because I find them so inspiring but photographs will have to do so here is the upcoming collection from the always gorgeous Ferm Living!
I loved seeing their wall lights for kids because I spotted them in person and thought they were just great and made so well… The deer (top right) was designed by my good friend Anne Wendlandt from enna. I am so happy to see her work for Ferm Living and hope she does more for them in the future as I can see her deer, trees and other designs working brilliantly in their collection for bedding and cushions, too.
I love their new wallpaper! It’s adorable. I have my eyes on that rug too, though it’s not from Ferm Living. I wonder where they got it!? It looks like a vintage kilim (I’ve been obsessed since 2008).
Ferm Living is located in Denmark with a second office in San Francisco so their products are available all over as they continue to expand their brand into new countries. Their upcoming mix of things for Spring/Summer is very strong – they keep getting better and better and in Germany, their brand is really catching on. My friend carries their line in her Hannover store (and online) called RaumFormPlan in case you live in Germany and have an interest in purchasing things from this line.
See any favorites??? I want the tray, the pillow shown above on that sofa and some of their wall boxes along with this neat corkboard that they sell shaped like a house with neon pink edging. Yeah, that’s quite a wish list!!!
(images: ferm living)
I still have a thing for predominantly white dining spaces and one of my favorite magazines, VTWonen, shows plenty of them month after month. I think I’ve pinned at least 20 of their rooms on my Pinterest boards! I met the editor-in-chief this summer and felt a bit like a fan girl before the celebrity she so much admires, it was a real highlight for me. VTWonen is my favorite magazine at the moment and I dream to someday have my home in it when it’s finished and even though I cannot understand a lot of Dutch (though my German studies have helped me oddly enough!) I still find it so forward and fresh.
Check out these dining rooms though…Some are a little too white for even my taste, but I do love the sheer pureness of them all, don’t you? They seem so clean and refreshing. I think the only change I would add to these spaces is to add a large wall mural, a gorgeously painted wall or a great wallpaper on a single wall as a feature. Overall though, these spaces really draw me in and make me feel at home. I think I’d also add some brightly colored accent, something that would be a real show stopper — like a canary yellow bright, neon orange lampshade or a hot pink chair.
What do you think? Is a white dining room for you?
There is this amazing space in 101 Woonideeen magazine, a decorating mag out of the Netherlands, that I’ve been dying to share with you ever since I first saw it in their November issue. I love the space for many reasons but primarily, I’m nuts about this amazing DIY wall unit that the homeowner, Tinta, made for her dining area. There is even a DIY tutorial in the issue as well as on their website (in Dutch). I think it’s the absolute best shelving unit ever because of all of the little nooks and the sheer quirkiness of it. I also really like how she has styled it, so many fun things to look at.
Sorry the photo below isn’t super clear, it’s all I could find online and the resolution isn’t so hot but at least you can see the display unit that I’m so ga ga over.
Do you spot the fun kid’s book on the shelf, There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Fly? from Chronicle Books? I do, and it’s such a lovely book I highly suggest picking one up for decorative purposes AND to read! I own one and love it.
I really like the mood board above that Tinta shared in the issue showing the overall palette for her apartment design. Such a fresh and inspiring mix of color, texture and pattern. She is also a fan of Tara Hogan’s work over at INK + WIT which made me so happy since Tara is a friend of mine. Tara’s work is more and more popular in Europe, I see it in magazines from time to time and hear people talk about INK + WIT whenever they speak of stationery that they love from the US. Go, Tara!
Here’s the shelf again, I know, but I’ve added an image from the living room which is laid out so beautifully I think. Ah, what a sweet home.
By the way, I’ll be in their next issue for February so if you get this magazine look for me! :)
(photography: ernie enkelaar)