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Sandra Juto’s Berlin Apartment

I was so excited when I woke up this morning to finally see the long awaited feature that FvonF, a German interiors blog based in Berlin, had planned for my friend, Sandra Juto, and her husband Johan Pergenius! Here is a quick peek into their Berlin apartment, located in Friedrichshain, but the FvonF blog has many more photos plus a lovely interview.

Sandra Jutos' Berlin Apartment

I put FvonF in touch with Sandra and Johan not long after they moved to Berlin from Sweden, so it was good to see that FvonF fell in love with Sandra and Johan too. It makes me happy to see more of Sandra’s apartment online – I’ve often wondered what her kitchen looks like – now I know. Her pretty apartment is so inspiring to me – I love the old German ‘altbauwohnung” details seen in so many of the turn of the century buildings that we have here. The herringbone wooden floors, high ceilings, plasterwork on the ceiling, it’s all so inspiring to me. I love the natural light and the painted wooden floors in Sandra’s office. Don’t forget to notice how she arranged her Polaroids on the wall…

Sandra Jutos' Berlin Apartment

Sandra Jutos' Berlin Apartment

Sandra Jutos' Berlin Apartment

Sandra Jutos' Berlin Apartment

Sandra Jutos' Berlin Apartment

Sandra Jutos' Berlin Apartment

I LOVED the part of their interview where they went into a bit of the emotional process involved in finding their apartment. I’ll quote Sandra and Johan directly from FvonF . Sandra explained, “The online photos of the apartment looked so terrible (in an intriguing way) that we had to come see it to compare it to the other, more polished, places we had looked at. When we stepped inside we looked at each other and we couldn’t ignore the fact that we both had fallen in love with the place. The condition of the apartment was more or less a disaster. The previous tenant lived here for 40 years before she died and seemed to like chain-smoking more than cleaning.” And I couldn’t help but laugh at how Johan described the first viewing, “When we showed up for the viewing, the real estate agent said we were brave to come see it. He was sitting in his car outside because he was so sure that no one would come.” What a riot! And what a good example of how one has to believe in something for themselves – who cares what others think – even when it comes to home selection. YOU have to love it.

View the entire interview here.

(images: Philipp Langenheim)

Posted in Home Tours on October 17, 2012

Home Tour: Greetings From Vienna

Would you like a little home tour from Vienna today along with some insights into the homeowner’s decisions and feelings about decorating? I came across a lovely home recently over on Flickr in my Interior Styling group (nearly 4,000 members so please join if you’d like) and had to reach out to both the photographer and home owner to ask about a possible tour on decor8. I am thrilled to say that both were willing and ready… Sooooo let’s get started with a little home tour action today, shall we? We shall indeed!

This apartment belongs to Verena Stummer, an Art Director at Screenagers and owner of the small cooking brand, “Schön und gut“, in Vienna, Austria. It’s so quirky and well organized but above that, I like how it really seems to reflect the style of Verena. It shows that she is inspired by flowers, color, vintage finds and food – the exact things that she told me inspires her in general. It’s nice to see that she lives around what she loves and what drives her and is fuel to her creative soul.

I thought it would be nice to chat with Verena to get a better sense of her space so I’ve included just a wee interview below. I’d love for you to read it as it won’t take much of your time today but she makes some really neat points that may stick with you like happy glue on the heart. :)

decor8: Where do you begin first when decorating or redecorating a room?
Verena: I have a picture of the room to be in my mind, and try to get as close to it as possible. But sometimes it turns out that it actually works better in another way. Which is ok, I love surprises and I let coincidences have a great part in what I’m doing.

decor8: What do you love the most about your home?
Verena: That it reflects me. I love that guests often tell me “All of this is so you!”. I also like to keep my furniture and decoration modular and mobile. The fact that I can change the layout of a room by easily moving things is something of a great quality. And that, as you can see, without making it look “nomadic”.

decor8: What do you want to change?
Verena: My flat would be the PERFECT place if it was a bit sunnier, since it being in the raised ground floor makes it a bit shadowy.

decor8: Tell us about the inspiration behind your current decorating scheme…
Verena: Well, I collected many items throughout my life in Vienna and I love to arrange them so they reflect me and my mood. There is no big “scheme” I guess. But I DO love vintage things that have a history.

decor8: What do you think makes a house a home?
Verena: I know it’s been said often before, but as soon as a house represents yourself by the way you live in it and is filled with your objects it becomes a home. I love it to to glaze over my home and remember all the stories behind the objects.

All of these gorgeous photos were shot by photographer Gregor Hofbauer – visit his site to learn more about him and his work. Thank you Verena for visiting us today on decor8 and for sharing your apartment with us!

(photography: Gregor Hofbauer)

Posted in Home Tours on September 18, 2012

Corners of Home: Finland

I have a colorful and fun home to share with you today from Jutta Rikola who is a freelance illustrator, graphic designer and blogger living in Oulu, Finland. Jutta recently had a baby boy and has been homebound for the past year to care for him but is now getting back to work part-time, you can see her portfolio here and check out her blog, Kootut Murut, to see what her style is like.

Raised in Oulu where she has been most of her life, Jutta has also been in the US and England for brief stints including a year in London which she said definitely influenced her taste in interior design and adds, “I love old English architecture and the way they use color.” Inspired by blogs and magazines, books, friends’ homes, thrift stores, and her own home, Jutta says that, “There is inspiration everywhere and I find it hard to concentrate on just one thing. Especially with the baby, time has become a very limited resource, so I’ve been practicing toning it down.” I can relate to her comment, as I’m sure most of you can to because you really must scale back from time to time or else you can feel a bit overwhelmed by all that is out there. As I looked at her home, I thought it would lend a more personal note to this post if I asked her a few questions about her decorating ideas and style, so here is what Jutta had to say to each of my questions below. I wonder how many of her answers you can relate to?

decor8: Where do you begin first when decorating or redecorating a room?
Jutta: With the space itself. What are its benefits and limitations? What will it be used for? Also, because I love to use colors and ornate patterns, taking the surrounding rooms into considerations is important. I make sure whatever I’m planning to use matches the surrounding spaces too so there will be a nice flow.

decor8: What do you love the most about your home?
Jutta: The original features. Wooden floors, 50’s door handles, bumpy walls. Out latest renovation project kitchen, because it was such a struggle to get it done. We wanted to use traditional methods and recycled materials as much as possible. It was hard work, but the outcome is better than I even dared to hope for.

decor8: What do you want to change about your space?
Jutta: I wish there was more of it! I’d love to have a proper place to work. In 10 years time my dream is we’ve built a garage with an artist’s studio, with light flooding in from huge north-facing windows.

decor8: Tell us about the inspiration behind your current decorating scheme…
Jutta: I think it was Yvonne from Yvestown who said her house tells her what to do. I feel the same. I listen to the house and it tells me what works for it and what doesn’t. I think that it’s important to respect the history of the house. Built in the 1940’s and 1950’s when they were rebuilding the country after war, these houses used to be modest. So no matter how much I’d like myself some decorative bling bling, I have to keep in line with the house’s character. But of course a little kitsch is always welcome. Other than that it’s a compromise between my and my husband’s taste. Not too sweet, not too industrial.


decor8: What do you think makes a house a home?
Jutta: Tough one. I’ve lived years in houses that never felt like home and only months in one that immediately did. It’s just a feeling that you get. When we were house-hunting for this house for example, I knew this was our home the moment we stepped in and saw the porch. Now that I think about it, what’s in common with all the places that right away felt like home is that they were all built in the 40’s or 50’s. Maybe that’s where my inner home is. Ha ha if that makes any sense. After years of renovating though our house is becoming more and more us. It’s transforming into the vision I had in the beginning.


What a fun peek into your home Jutta, thank you for visiting us today on decor8 and sharing your ideas and advice with all of us!

(images: jutta rikola)

Posted in Home Tours on September 17, 2012

Studio Tour: Dear Colleen

I love a good studio tour and this one in New Zealand doesn’t disappoint! It was submitted by Colleen who runs her own design firm called Dear Colleen who specializes in hand lettering, fashion and homeware design. It hasn’t been shown yet online so I wanted to give you a first peek!

Studio tour

Colleen’s studio sits on the second floor of an old shared building for artists and creatives. The building is nearly 100 years old and has amazing features like large metal framed window and wooden floors. Colleen is based in Dunedin which is in the south island of New Zealand. Here is her studio from start to finish in a video shot by Scott Savage.

About her space Colleen says, “I did the studio up in a week with a lot of help from my boyfriend and a budget of around $300. I bought filing cabinets from op shops and gave some of them a new lease of life by having them powder coated in a bright green. The wood desk was dirty and abandoned in the room so I sanded it, added casters that I had saved from another piece and added new handles.” Being on such a small budget forced Colleen to get creative!

Studio tour

Studio tour

Studio tour

Studio tour

Studio tour

“I painted large wall graphics to add interest to the space, which took time but pretty much cost me nothing. All the furniture in my studio is second hand or salvaged. I love rescuing pieces that are destined for the dump and giving them a second chance.” Well done, Colleen!

(photos: Emily Hlavac Green.)

Posted in Home Tours on June 20, 2012

Books:

Some of my books...

Further editions available: Decorate published by Murdoch Books for AU/NZ, Decorar BR, Alt om indretning DK, Inspirace pro váš byt CZ, Dekorácie SK, La décoration FR, Lust auf Wohnen DE, Sisusta tyylillä FI and Sztuka aranżacji wnętrz PL.

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