Classic Country Cottage

A cozy country-style kitchen with a homely atmosphere and provincial aesthetic

Classic Country Cottage

How to create a classic country style setting that is cozy and welcoming

A couple of weeks ago I featured the delightful Feine Laube, a holiday cottage on the outskirts of Berlin. The interior of the cottage is a charming mix of old and new, with a classic country style aesthetic that makes it feel really cozy and homey.

This week we look at ways to create the same classic farm style or cottage look in your own home by combining second hand and antique elements, earthy tones and natural textures. I’ve also found some great pieces on Etsy, to show you how to put it all together.

CLASSIC COUNTRY COTTAGE

Cozy cottage in the countryside
Cozy countryside kitchen

The Feine Laube cottage has a cozy country-style kitchen that welcomes you in with it’s homely atmosphere and rural aesthetic. Here at their countryside retreat, owners Arne and Alex have managed to create just the perfect balance between old and new, using classic timeless pieces and a muted colour pallet. Some older pieces have been painted in brilliant white and toned-down chalk paint, to freshen up the room and make it look more contemporary.

I just love the green window frames. It gives an instant cottage charm to an otherwise quite plain and muted pallet.

Cozy cottage kitchen in the countryside
Cozy cottage in the countryside
Classic country style bathroom
Classic country style bathroom

Throughout the cottage Arne and Alex have used second hand and vintage furniture and combined them with stylish contemporary pieces. The bathroom for instance is a brilliant mix of elegant modern fixtures and old classics. I love the cement tiles on the floor. The vibrant pattern ties the room together, adding some warmth and offsets quite nicely against the sleek clean white of the wall tiles.

English style cottage in Berlin
Classic country style cottage

The beautiful scatter cushions are from Arne and Alex’s home decor shop, called Berliner Landjungs. They’re made from vintage tea cloths and adds a really lovely touch. You can actually find many of the items in the cottage on their online Etsy store.  Below I’ve made a little step by step guide on how you can draw inspiration from the landjunge’s style to create your own classic country look. I’ve also created a Country Cottage Edit on Etsy, so you can find all the items in one place.

Have any more ideas on creating a country style theme? Leave a comment below, I’d love to hear your thoughts! If you’d like to see some more of the beautiful cottage, go check out last week’s story on Feine Laube.

Style-step-by-step

1. Use well made classic second hand pieces

I think one of the most important things when creating a classic cottage look is to use elements that are truly old. Like something second hand or from a vintage market rather than something new created to “look” old. This way every piece has true integrity, with a story to tell. The aesthetic can very quickly loose it’s charm when the elements you use, lack that soul and integrity because they’re merely mimicking an old style appearance.

2. Enamel tableware for a classic country look

I’ve always loved enamel table ware. They have this great way of taking me right back to my childhood days on my grandmother’s farm. I love them even more for their capacity to last. There are tons of second hand ones out there with the most exquisite colours and patterns. Another great thing about them is that they are not merely decorative, but are functional as well. This one’s a must have for a classic country look.

2. Use natural earthy elements like wood, wicker and combine them with rough linens and soft throws.

By using wood, wicker and natural linens, you not only add some great visual texture to your space, but you add warmth as well. This contrasts really well with the cool and eggshell hues of this theme. Fabrics and soft throws or blankets with a lot of visual texture adds another level of cozy.

4. Use earthy tones and a muted colour scheme

To created a muted and calm space, use a cool and soft pallet with greens like olive and pistachio or stone grey tones. I really like this pallet from the Magnolia Market Collection. The toned down muted hues adds a calm effect to the space. And because they are cool colours, when you use them in conjunction with the warm natural colours of wood along with soft textural throws and linens, it creates that cozy feeling that you are after.

5. Add new life with some chalk paint

To bring your classic cottage into the 21 century, go ahead an give some of those old items a new breath with a lick of chalk paint. Old pieces like chairs or sideboards can be painted bright white to freshen up their look – like the kitchen table with natural top and white legs. I really like Deep Rock and Emmie’s Room from the magnolia collection.

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Feine Laube Berlin countryside cottage

The garden of Feine Laube holiday retreat in Berlin

Feine Laube
Berlin countryside cottage

It’s just turned four o’clock. The sun is beaming spherical shadows through the dusty windows. I’ve just boarded the train at Ostkreuz when it makes its lazy start towards the east. Twenty minutes till my stop at Rahnsdorf. I’m on my way to meet Arne, the owner of Feine Laube – a delightful holiday cottage on the outskirts of the Berlin.

I first met Arne via Berliner Landjungs, an Etsy shop Arne runs with his partner. There you can find a charming selection of home decor pieces, from mid century chairs to vintage enamel tableware. Arne told me about their renovated “Ferien Wohnung” just outside the city and as a fan of their store, I was rather excited to see what they had put together.

FEINE LAUBE, THE COUNTRYSIDE RETREAT ON THE OUTSKIRTS OF BERLINFeine Laube
Delightful holiday cottage on the outskirts of the BerlinDelightful holiday cottage on the outskirts of the Berlin

I meet Arne just outside the station. As we walk to his car he excitedly tells me stories of the dilapidated building and garbage dump they started out with.

Bright golden rays flicker through rows of pine trees along the short drive to Feine Laube. Tucked away in a quiet street surrounded by woodlands, the cottage lies just a thirty minute walk north-east from the Größer Mugglesee. The large lake is quite popular among water-sport enthusiasts and those who love watching the sun dance and bounce on the water.

A cozy country-style kitchen with a homely atmosphere and provincial aestheticA cozy country-style kitchen with a homely atmosphere and provincial aesthetic

A cozy country-style kitchen with a homely atmosphere and provincial aesthetic

As I walk towards the flat roofed cottage at the rear end of a wild lush garden, I can almost smell the charcoal fire burning in the barbecue. I imagine basking in the sun as I pass by the white loungers while two sparrows splash in the pond beyond.

Inside, a cozy country-style kitchen welcomes me with it’s homely atmosphere and provincial aesthetic. Here at their countryside retreat, Arne and Alex have managed to create just the perfect balance between old and new, rural yet comfortable.

Here at their countryside retreat, Arne and Alex have managed to create just the perfect balance between old and new, rural yet comfortableHere at their countryside retreat, Arne and Alex have managed to create just the perfect balance between old and new, rural yet comfortable

Here at their countryside retreat, Arne and Alex have managed to create just the perfect balance between old and new, rural yet comfortable

Much like their shop, the cottage is a filled with lovely vintage pieces. It is in fact a kind of live-in showroom. As curators of beautiful things, the two have painstakingly refined every corner of the cottage.

Their handy work is visible in every room, from the hand-made lavender sachets, cushions made from vintage linen and pendant lights from up-cycled antique milk jugs. All of these items you can find in their store.

English style cottage in BerlinEnglish style cottage in Berlin
English style cottage in Berlin
English style cottage in Berlin

I’m almost surprised at how friendly and welcoming the place feels – quite unlike the modernist german design I’m so used to around here. You really get a sense of the affable and good humoured nature of the hosts.

Every room opens onto the garden, making it refreshing and cozy at the same time. It really is the perfect little getaway; wether it’s for long summer nights out in the garden or for cosy and comfortable wintery days.

holiday cottage on the outskirts of the Berlin

Holiday cottage in BerlinHoliday cottage in Berlin
Holiday cottage in BerlinHoliday-cottage-in-Berlin

As we head back to the station the sun starts to dip beyond the Berlin skyline. Arne and I muse on buildings we pass, dreaming of places we’d love to renovate. I say my farewell to Arne, walking back to the station. Happy and elated, my feet find their way to the platform, my mind still lingering in the Feine Laube garden.




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Philodendron Rojo Congo

Philodendron Rojo Congo

Philodendron Rojo Congo

Say hello to my new friend Philodendron Rojo Congo. We met a couple of weeks ago, when this curiously coloured character found its way onto my desk. It took me several google attempts to ascertain it’s species, but I wasn’t completely surprised to discovered it to be yet another Philodendron – the Araceae family does after all, have close to 500 different species.

Philodendron Rojo Congo
Philodendron Rojo Congo

Philodendron Rojo Congo

The Philodendron Rojo Congo can be identified by the bright red colour of young foliage. As the plant ages, the lance shape leafs turn a deeper darker green while the leaf stems retain their deep Auburn hue.

Philodendron Rojo Congo
Philodendron Rojo Congo

From the ancient Greek “philos” which means “love” and “dendron”, meaning “tree”, the name philodendron describes the species’ propensity for winding around trees. But unlike it’s brother Monstera, the Rojo does not share this climbing character. Instead, like the Xanadu, this philodendron is self-heading, which means it grows upwards and outwards.

Philodendron Rojo Congo

Philodendron Rojo Congo
Philodendron Rojo Congo

Native to South America, the Rojo Congo prefers partial to shady areas but does not tolerate cold temperatures. This low maintenance perennial makes an excellent houseplant thanks to its sculptural appearance and good looks, plus it keeps the air clean while doing so.

Names: Philodendron Rojo Congo
Family: Araceae, native to South America
Water: At regular intervals – keeping the soil moist but never soggy
Location: Diffused natural or indirect sunlight like a northern exposure
Soil: Fast draining acidic to neutral soil
Toxicity: Toxic to pets and children

Post inspired Etsy finds

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A weekend in Brussels with mum

A weekend in Brussels with mom

Weekend in Brussels with mum

Where to stay, what to do and where not to have waffles

When your mom flies halfway around the world to come visit you in Europe, it’s only right to treat her to a weekend trip to some place nice. Now, Brussels has never really topped my list of must-see-places-before-you-die, but at €19 a ticket (return!) I decided it was indeed a must. So mom and I hopped on a ridiculously early flight and navigated our way toward the European Capital of Culture.

It had been previously agreed on that stroopwafels would be eaten and Manneken Pis be visited, but neither of us quite expected to be so dazzled by the city. The curious architecture and exquisite detail of the art nouveau facades had me biting my fist at every corner. Poor mom had to stop at each turn, cause I was taking pictures of literally every, single, house.

This was especially true in Saint Gilles – the suburb where we resided during our trip. The elegant airbnb apartment we stayed at, belongs to Bénédicte and Matthieu, the creative couple behind the interior design blog Auguste & Claire. I can highly reccomend it! The one bedroom apartment has been beautifully renovated to create a calm and tranquil respite right in the heart of bustling Saint Gilles.

Beautiful holiday apartment in Brussels

Beautiful holiday apartment in Brussels
Perfect weekend getaway in Brussels

Cement tiles and wooden floors.

Elegant holiday home in Brussels
Bright and sunny Brussels holiday apartment

The streets around here are astir with loads of young people sipping coffee and swigging beer at the corner cafes and street bars. From there Mum and I took the tram up to Ixelles to have chips on the square at Flagey. We contemplated having a drink on the steps with the cool kids, but both of our noses were bright pink from the cold so instead we strolled around the Ixelles pond and gaped at the houses along Avenue de l’Hippodrome.

The Ixelle pond in Brussels

Brussels-architecture
Pretty-tree-in-Ixelle-Brussels

The beautiful houses along Avenue de l’Hippodrome

The next day we set out on an adventure that included both a hunt for treasure at the Marollen flea market and finding the cartoon murals of the Comic strip trail – a homage to famous Belgian comic artists featuring over 50 colourful murals on buildings through-out the city.

Still saving space for that much anticipated waffle, we decided to have a light breakfast at L’aubette on Rue Blaes – a delightful place with very friendly staff and perfect ambience. Actually that entire street is really cool with loads of interior design-, antique- and home decor stores. On Rue Haute we stumbled into a mesmerising tropical nursery and decor shop called Brut – lured in by the super vibey african beats of the shoe-box-sized jungle in the city.

breakfast at L’aubette on Rue Blaes
Breakfast at L’aubette in Brussels
Brut nursery and interior decor in Brussels

After finding most of the murals on our agenda, we headed north toward the Grand-Place. In keeping with its name, the huge market square is unquestionably grand. Bordered by ostentatiously grandiose edifices, the square, dating back to the 14th century, has been voted one of the most beautiful places in the world. It’s listed as an UNESCO World Heritage site and well worth a jaw-dropping peek.

Just around the corner stands the (in)famous Manneken Pis – a tiny peeing statue of a little boy that you would totally miss if it wasn’t for the hoards of selfie taking tourists. Contrary to the Grand-Place, this “Little man Pee” is decidedly little, and therefore, little more can be said of the fellow. The folk lore and legends that swaddle the statue is perhaps a bit more interesting. My favourite is the one of a boy named Jullianske who urinated on a burning fuse set by foreign invaders during a siege, and in doing so, saved the city from being blown to bits.

The Grand Place in Brussels

The Grand-Place, Brussels, Belgium
The beautiful Architecture in Brussels

Finally mom and I sat down for waffles at Maison Dandoy. The much hyped waffles was really disappointing and I guess coffee not their forte either… Mom was not impressed and believe me, she’s a good judge of sweet things. Other than that the service was deplorable, the place really dirty and the toilets despicable. I’d avoid eating here. Sorry for that one mom!

Despite the disappointing encounter with both our premeditated highlights, our weekend in Brussels was just brilliant. The city is beautiful and an absolute treat for admirers of architecture. Famed for its structural gems by architects like Paul Hankar and Victor Horta, the city is a kaleidoscope of styles. Every building looks different, stuck together in a creative architectural collage. My favourite of all was the Horta Museum on 25, rue Américaine. The World Heritage Site was once the studio and home of Victor Horta, and the immaculate details adorning the place is just amazing.

King Kong Café in Brussels

King Kong Cafe in Brussels
The Horta Museum in Brussels, Belgium

Hungry after our Horta hour mum and I dropped into King Kong around the corner for delicious burgers and interesting fries. Both plant-lovers we chose the cafe for it’s leafy interior but was equally pleased with the food. Just across from there is the Forcado Pastelaria, with their delicious and pretty Portuguese pastries – a great tip from Bénédicte!

If you have a day to spare, take a day trip to Ghent. The ride is only 30 minutes and easy to get to from Saint Gilles. The city is breathtakingly beautiful and dates back to the middle ages, having survived viking plunders, rebellions and a handful of wars. You can take the tram form the Sint-Pieters station down toe Korenmarkt and from there explore the surrounding area along the Leie river. It really is quite magnificent.

City of Ghent in Brussels

The beautiful medieval buildings in Ghent Belgium
The beautiful Leie river in Ghent, Belgium

Weekend highlights

Where to say:

Our beautiful airbnb apartment and the vibrant suburb of Saint Gilles

Where to eat:

Breakfast at L’aubette, lunch at King Kong, dessert at Forcado, beers at Moeder Lambic, and chips for dinner on Place Flagey.

What to do:

• Stroll around Ixelles pond to admire the surrounding architecture
• District of Marollen with its antique & vintage market, cartoon murals, art galleries and designs stores
• The Grand-Place with it’s golden swans and strangely named buildings

Where to from there:

Day trip to ghent. Look for the tickets to Sint-Pieters – reduced fair for pensioners & students

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Quirky Cool Candy

Grey green bedroom combined with bright pink & orange for a touch of warmth | lookbook from sitsitso.com

Quirky Cool Candy

How to bring a quirky character into your home that’s cool, contemporary and fresh

Another first edition to the blog. Yay! This new subject revisits previous home stories and look at the styles and elements that make up those creative spaces. Our first story is the curiously curated home of artist Marguerite Nel from November’s Round House feature and how to find inspiration from her quirky cool style.

“Nel has done an incredible job at curating the space. Every detail has been carefully thought out, every piece telling its story. Old iron hospital beds, -trollies and -lockers add to an industrial theme that feels surprisingly warm and modern thanks to accompanying second-hand, mid-century pieces sourced at great length by Margaret.”

What makes this room so striking is the surprising mix of colours: grey-green walls are paired with bright candy-pink hues and pale grey blues. The spots of brilliant orange and vibrant greens in the decorative elements really brighten up an otherwise cool space.

Dark grey walls and quirky artwork in this quirky artist's bedroompale blue, bright pink and grey green walls for a quirky cool space | sitsitso lookbook

The warm wooden mid-century furniture and vintage hospital trolly or bedside lamp combined with modern items like the candy-colour-block bed throw creates a contemporary look. Another way to add interest is through the creative use of quirky but well chosen deco pieces like the antique manequin and hand-made sculptures.

Grey green walls and mid century pieces | sitsitso lookbook
Grey green walls and mid century pieces | sitsitso lookbook

Style-step-by-step

1. Choose complementary colours

Here the green and reds are complimentary colours. Choosing different hues that fall into a complimentary spectrum creates a fun and unusual colour scheme. Like the different hues of green combined with spots of bright reds (in the painting) and pale pinks (in the art pieces and bed throw.) Blue and orange are also complementary, which is why the bed spread goes so well with the artwork as well as the golden yellow orange tones of the wood.

2. Combine warm colours with cool colours

Here the grey-green walls and dull blue hues creates a cool, tranquil and calm feeling. Combining this with very warm colours like pink and orange in selective areas not only creates focus but adds a dash of energy and warmth to the room.

3. Use old with new

Combining good quality vintage pieces like the mid-century modern furniture brings a timeless quality to the space while pairing it with modern pieces like the colour-blocked bedspread and artwork makes it instantly contemporary.

4. Don’t forget to breathe

It’s important not to overfill the space with too much decor. Carefully select your pieces and rather go for a few things that says more than filling the space with ornaments. Adding bright white also adds a freshness and allows the spaces to breathe.

5. Create a focus point

A focal point can be anything from a very striking chair to a brilliant piece of art. In this case the artwork by Margaret pulls the entire scene together. The bright colours draw you in while the rest of the colours set the tone and mood for the entire space. It’s often easier to choose your focus piece first and then allowing the piece to inform your decision making when it comes to choosing colour or determining a theme.

Quirky cool candy styled bedroom on sitisitso.com

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Etsy products for the quirky cool lookbook | sitsitso.com

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Brussels apartment of design blog creators Matthieu & Bénédicte

View of Saint Gilles | Brussel apartment visit | sitsitso.com

CREATIVE DOMAIN: BRUSSELS

A visit to Matthieu and Bénédicte, the creators of the Belgian design blog Auguste&Claire

My next story on creatives features the young Franco-Belgian couple and authors of the french interior and design blog Auguste&Claire. The creative duo Matthieu and Bénédicte live in the vibrant district of Saint-Gilles. Early spring, I visited them in their beautifully renovated Belgium apartment, to learn more about their blog and about what keeps them occupied in the dynamic city of Brussels.

View of Saint Gilles | Brussel apartment visit | sitsitso.com

Vintage meets modern | Brussel apartment visit | sitsitso.comVintage meets modern | Brussel apartment visit | sitsitso.com

Their home is a beautifully renovated multi-story structure with large windows and high ceilings. Matthieu – an independent architect at pl.rigaux – did a great job at renovating and restoring the space, with careful consideration of the historic character and sensitivity to the original features of the building.

Chicque and simple vintage meets modern dining room | Brussel apartment visit | sitsitso.com

Chicque and simple vintage meets modern dining room | Brussel apartment visit | sitsitso.comChicque and simple vintage meets modern dining room | Brussel apartment visit | sitsitso.com

Bénédicte and Matthieu sought items that would compliment the character of their new space. So they started revamping some ikea pieces and vintage or second-hand finds. Soon they moved on to designing and building pieces of their own. Their blog; Auguste&Claire followed as a means to share these creations. Here they could show others how possible it is to make your own quality, personalised furniture & decorative elements, that’s not only cost-effective but durable and timeless. The TARVA dresser hack is one of my favourites. These days the blog also includes their discoveries on design, photography, architecture as well as other daily inspirations.

Bright and sunny Brussels apartment | Brussel apartment visit | sitsitso.com
Bright and sunny Brussels apartment | Brussel apartment visit | sitsitso.com

The couple, who met in Barcelona when Bénédicte was doing an internship and Matthieu an Erasmus exchange, makes a fine team. With his architectural understanding of both structure and shape as well as the integrity of raw materials, Matthieu manages to create DIY pieces that transcends your usual DIY feel. Bénédicte, who runs her own marketing & communications consultancy, translates Matthieu’s creations into beautifully styled and easy to follow content for the blog.

Bright and sunny Brussels apartment | Brussel apartment visit | sitsitso.com

Bright and sunny Brussels apartment | Brussel apartment visit | sitsitso.com
Bright and sunny Brussels apartment | Brussel apartment visit | sitsitso.com

As independent business owners I was curious about their approach to doing their own thing and about the obstacles they faced. Apart from the initial administrative barriers, financial security was their foremost concern although both were optimistic and not at all troubled by the notion. Bénédicte pointed to the importance of having a clear vision and sticking to your goal and to make sure that you build up a solid network of support and leads before you go solo.

Bright and sunny Brussels apartment | Brussel apartment visit | sitsitso.com

Bright and sunny Brussels apartment | Brussel apartment visit | sitsitso.comBright and sunny Brussels apartment | Brussel apartment visit | sitsitso.com

Bright and sunny Brussels apartment | Brussel apartment visit | sitsitso.com

It’s apparent that these two aren’t ones to follow standard conventions. There’s a saying in Belgium; “de belg heeft een baksteen in de maag”. Meaning, all Belgians have a brick in their stomach. The maxim bears witness to the inexplicable need for every young Belgian to buy a piece of land and build their own house. It’s therefore rather unique for Bénédicte and Matthieu to have settled in the city. But walking down the lively streets of St Saint-Gilles, you get an instant sense of diversity and creativity of the place so it’s with little wonder why the two decided to live here.

All white kitchen | Brussel apartment visit | sitsitso.com

Beautiful wall storage | Brussel apartment visit | sitsitso.com
 TARVA dresser hack

I asked Matthieu and Bénédicte what attracted them most about Brussels in general. They unanimously agreed to the city’s cultural diversity. When they’re not out exploring the many vintage and antique markets for forgotten treasures, the cosmopolitain community and it’s rich artistic and creative offerings keep them more than inspired and entertained.

All white kitchen with a view| Brussel apartment visit | sitsitso.com

All white kitchen with a view| Brussel apartment visit | sitsitso.com
All white kitchen with a view| Brussel apartment visit | sitsitso.com

You can read more about the pair and their favourite things to do in the city in the Top Five Tips sections below. This is a new feature to the blog so keep a look out for some cool city tips, advice and inspiration in my future creative domains blog posts. For more DIY, home and design stories, go check out their blog: Auguste&Claire

Bright, light & tranquil renovated bathroom | Brussel apartment visit | sitsitso.com

Bright, light & tranquil renovated bathroom | Brussel apartment visit | sitsitso.com
Bright, light & tranquil renovated bathroom | Brussel apartment visit | sitsitso.com

Top Five Tips

#1 One piece of advice you could give to someone who’d like to be their own boss:

To envision the life that he/she most want and write down how it would look like. It always helps to clarify our main goals and make them happen!

#2 Your favourite inspirational quote or motto:

Creativity is contagious. Pass it on. (Einstein)

#3 If you could go back in time and meet one famous person, who would you want to meet and why:

We would love to enjoy a coffee with Jacques Brel, Belgian singer and songwriter, and talk about his multiple passions and lifestyle.

#4 What is your ultimate travel destination? One place you’ve been to or would love to go explore?

We’re thinking about visiting Japan, probably the next on the list!

#5 Name 5 of your favourite spots in Brussels for…

Breakfast/coffee

Eating ‘pasteis de nata’ at Forcado Pastelaria

Spending a hot summers day

In the pool of the JAM Hotel

Spending a cold winters day

Early tour at the flea market in Les Marolles and a coffee at PinPon, an old fire station converted into a restaurant

Finding inspiration

Looking at the budgies building strange nests at the Duden Park

A night out with friends

A glass of wine at the evening market in front of Saint-Gilles town hall (every Monday)

Matthieu & Bénédicte from Auguste & Claire | Brussel apartment visit | sitsitso.com

As always, thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed this post. Do like or share if you did! Till next time.

WEBSITE: AUGUST&CLAIRE | STORY + PHOTOS: BARBARA CILLIERS

The beautiful Berlin apartment of Quiet Studios interior designer

Berlin apartment of Quite Studios creative director Daniela Franceschini | sitsitso.com

Quiet Studios

The beautiful Berlin apartment of interior designer Daniela Francheschini

My favourite thing about sitsitso, is that I get to meet so many magnificent and fascinating people. Passionate entrepreneurs who do not fear their own dream-led pathways. People creating beauty where they go. People like Daniela Franceschini – designer and creative director of the interior design studio; Quiet Studios.

Dreamy Berlin apartment of Quite Studios' creative director
Beautiful apartment of Berlin interior designer

Beautiful apartment of Berlin interior designer | sitsitso.com

A couple of weeks ago I visited Daniela at her home in Berlin’s Neukölln neighbourhood. The house, which dates back to 1905, is a stunning structure with original parquet floors and pressed ceilings. Two genuine ceramic stoves still heat up the home – a perfect setting to learn a little more about her story, and how Quiet Studios came about.

Interior designer's beautiful Berlin home | sitsitso.com
Interior designer's beautiful Berlin home | sitsitso.com

Daniela grew up in Spain and studied fashion design in Madrid. A masters degree in sustainability at ESMOD brought her to Berlin where she did her thesis together with an NGO from Kathmandu, focusing on the development of hand-craft skills like basket weaving among communities in Nepal. She later continued this focus on sustainability, working within the trade of sustainable, hand-crafted goods in Morocco.

Home of Quiet Studios' creative director, Daniela Franceschini

Berlin studio of Quite Studios' creative Daniela Home of Quiet Studios' creative director, Daniela Franceschini | sitsitso.com
Berlin studio of Quite Studios' creative Daniela Home of Quiet Studios' creative director, Daniela Franceschini | sitsitso.com

Then one day, a friend asked her to design the interior of their café and concept store in the south of Spain. Working with a tight budget, Daniela sought out creative design solutions. Opting for recycling, up-cycling and hand-craft, discarded wood and sleepers became stools and shelves. Soon WOODS: foods & goods, would be the first of many successful interior design projects to be added to Quiet Studio’s growing body of work.

Berlin apartment of Quite Studios' creative director | sitsitso.com

Berlin apartment of Quite Studios' creative director | sitsitso.comDreamy Berlin apartment of Quite Studios creative director | sitsitso

Daniela’s background in sustainability makes her sensitive to human nature and its relation to interiors and design. The human is always at the centre of her design approach; how it affects one’s mood and behaviour, how you move and interact in a space, as much as one’s socio-cultural background.

Beautiful apartment of Berlin interior designer | sitsitso.com
Beautiful apartment of Berlin interior designer | sitsitso.com

The work of Quiet Studio has an understated elegance that find it’s origin in the honesty of the space and the integrity of the pieces. Daniela chooses objects with character. Something that tells a story other than the mass market aesthetic of Ikea-clad compositions. She likes to scour antique and second hand markets – finding pieces with interesting narratives; like a (rather ironic) print of naked dancing ladies she uncovered in Morocco.

Interior designer's beautiful Berlin home | sitsitso.com

Visiting Quiet Studios's creative director at her home in Berlin | sitsitso.com
Interior designer's beautiful Berlin home | sitsitso.com

Visiting Quiet Studios's creative director at her home in Berlin | sitsitso.com

Daniela understands luxury as an honest and intellectual process instead of a mere collection of commodities. She seeks to bring a soul into her spaces; to bring about the voice that already lays petrified within the walls. Over restaurant in London, beautifully illustrates this dialogue of perfection; a result of her true mies-van-der-rohe-minimalist approach.

Home of Daniela Franceschini - Quite Studios' creative director | sitsitso.com

Home of Daniela Franceschini - Quite Studios' creative director | sitsitso.com
Home of Daniela Franceschini - Quite Studios' creative director | sitsitso.com

To me Daniela’s home is testament to more than her penchant for finding beautiful things. It illustrates her ability to design timeless interiors. Spaces to be lived in, experienced and enjoyed. Environments where you feel at once welcome and at home. Places, you’ll look forward to visiting again.

Quiet Studios - Berlin Interior design studio | sitsitso.com
Quiet Studios - Berlin Interior design studio | sitsitso.com
Daniela Franceschini from Quite Studios in Berlin
 Quiet Studios in Berlin
WEBSITE: QUIET STUDIOS  |  STORY + PHOTOS:  BARBARA CILLIERS

As part of my new series on entrepreneurs and creatives, I’ll be asking each of these mavericks some questions about being their own boss. I hope this will inspire those who want to do their own thing, and give them a little nudge towards finding their own paths.

What’s the best thing about being your own boss:

Daniela:

“The free creative direction, being able to stay true to yourself and the freedom to do things you believe in. And also the space and flexibility to learn through the mistakes you may make along the way.”

What’s the hardest thing about being on your own:

Daniela:

“To always have to find new clients, to be innovative, to keeping up with trends and to stay motivated and inspired.”

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THE WEEPING FIG i.e FICUS BENJAMINA

Close-up of branches from the weeping fig, on sitsitso.com

THE WEEPING FIG

i.e Ficus Benjamina

 

With the cheerless winter lingering on, we’ve been enjoying the company of our leafy friends at home and so the choice for this weeks houseplant post was as much inspired by it’s personality as by it’s name.

The Weeping Fig is a handsome character; it’s downward drooping branches and glossy pointed leaves giving it a moody charm. And with the whole of Berlin still gloomy and grey, the weeping fig is both a splash of happy greenery as well as a reminder of the melancholy of winter.

Dried leaves of the ficus benjamina or weeping fig
Dried ficus leaf of the weeping fig

 

The Benjamina (as it’s scientifically called) is part of the ficus genus and a popular choice for a houseplant, due to it’s relative ease in care. The reason I call it moody is because this beautiful tree can be quite temperamental. The weeping fig is rather intolerable of disturbances, and will quickly shed all of it’s leaves if you dare to move it. A protesting tree can look rather bare and dull, as if winter has find it’s way indoors.

 

Weeping fig or ficus benjamina on sitsitso

Close-up of leaves from the weeping fig tree
Beautiful leaves of the weeping fig on sitsitso.com

 

Weeping figs enjoy bright areas with a bit of sun and shade, so a spot near a west or east facing window should provide a good setting. Once in it’s place, let the ficus settle, and only move it if you have to. Benjamina’s are sensitive to colds and drafts so best not place it in areas with fluctuating temperatures. Make sure your pot drains quickly and well. The ficus dislikes soggy soil so be sure to water it less often during the colder months.

 

Close-up of leaves from a weeping fig on sitsitso.com
Ficus leaf ensemble on sitsitso.com

 

Much like introverts, Benjamina’s are great company as long as you don’t expect them to go anywhere. They will silently grow without any bother, and will look great doing so throughout the year.

 

Names: Weeping Fig, Benjamin Fig or Ficus tree
Family: Moraceae, native to Asia and Australia
Water: Moderate watering in Summer, less during Winter

Leaves dropping from over-watering: Fallen leaves fold easy
Leaves dropping from under watering: Fallen leaves are crispy

Soil: Fast draining soil mix
Prune: After Summer and before Spring
Toxicity: Mildly toxic to cats & dogs
Propagation: During Summer months by placing branch-cuttings into soil 

 

Post-inspired Etsy finds

pot1

This item has been sold

gieter1
This item has been sold

 

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