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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Joburg couples’ minimalist Art Deco home

Designer Couple's minimalist art-deco apartment on sitsitso

 

A peak into a designer couples’
minimalist Art Deco home

 

On a previous visit to South Africa I had the awesome pleasure of visiting my good friend Kelda and her fiancé Christian, at their delightful minimalist Art Deco home in Johannesburg.

 

The couple lives in a sunny north-facing apartment in Daventry Court; a beautiful Art Deco style building built during the 1930’s in the tree-lined suburb of Killarney–Johannesburg’s mini-Manhatten and home to several of the city’s early movie stars. (As it happens, South Africa’s first film studio used to be just down the road, occupying the premises where the Killarney Mall now stands.) The apartment building has also recently achieved heritage status. Kelda spent nearly two years looking for the perfect flat before finding the bright corner-unit with bay windows and parquet floors. Christian moved in soon after having met her (he proposed 3 weeks after meeting Kelda!) but as luck would have it the couple have very similar taste and a shared minimalist approach to interiors, so combining their homes turned out very well. 

 

Bay window dining room in minimalist Art Deco dining room

Monochrome minimalist Interior of sunny Art Deco Joburg flat

 

The apartment mirrors Kelda and Christian’s impeccable taste. Both have a keen eye for detail and every corner of the space seems perfectly curated, every piece carefully chosen for it’s integrity and aesthetic quality. Kelda inherited her visual sensibility from her artist mother Margaret Nel. Exposure to her mother’s creative production has instilled in her the importance of detail and the fine nuances that define a noteworthy sense of style. Her attraction to spatial design, whether architectural or interior, is reflected not only in her choice of apartment, but in the delicate approach to the design of their home.

 

Minimalist Art Deco flat with mid-century couch

Bay Window dining room of minimalist Art Deco home

 

Christian’s taste and appreciation for honesty, humanity and simplicity is manifested in the monochromatic minimalism of the interior design. Ironically, the only pieces he did not favour from Kelda’s existing furniture collection was one of her must-keep items; a set of low-profile mid-Century tables bought by her father during the 60’s on diplomatic duties to Brazil. But the two compromised by sourcing black marble slabs to replace the table tops and they now serve as a dramatic centre piece alongside the original mid-century couch (which serendipitously happens to accommodate Christian’s full length! He is 1.95 metres tall). The black wire chairs are a mid-Century Knoll originals, purchased for a steal by Kelda’s mother from the director of the Arts Association in Pretoria.

 

Original Mid-Century Knoll designer chairs in minimalist Art Deco apartment

 

Design details like the neatly styled vinyl storage unit plays tribute to Christians primary passion for music. This second-hand find is home to the vintage LP player inherited from Christian’s father and the couple’s shared collection of records. The artwork next to it is by Avant Car Guard while the Joe Paine picture rail displays artwork along with the record sleeve of whatever is currently on rotation. Christian, who grew up in an environment heavily dominated by music and trained in Jazz guitar, has produced two EP’s under his previous moniker Vampire9000, and is currently co-creating a project with Givan Lötz.

 

Vintage LP player from a designer couples minimalist Art Deco home on sitsitso.com.jpg

Vintage LP player and record stand from designer couple's Art Deco apartment

 

The character of the building speaks for itself, with all the features of Art Deco apartment living, like geometric profile door handles, high ceilings, a built-in picture-rail in the entrance foyer, old-style privacy glass in the bathroom, Oregon pine doors, and off course the most prominent feature of the apartment: red teak herringbone parquet. Most of the furniture are mid-century finds, either restored by Kelda’s mom or dealers in the Johannesburg area. Calm blue hues are offset by charcoal feature walls and quirky spot-colour pieces like the bright orange display of Penguin paperbacks add life to the otherwise monochromatic interior.

 

Art Deco apartment on sitsitso.com

Mid century diningroom of designer couple's minimalist Art Deco homeClever design details in minimalist Art Deco homeMid century diningroom of designer couple's minimalist art deco apartment

 

Kelda and Christian are planning a full-scale bathroom and kitchen renovation next year. In the meantime the rooms were temporarily overhauled by painting over the existing beige tiles and floor with white ceramic paint and standard black “stoep” enamel. This clever facelift adds a surprisingly modern quality to the space. The visible relief from the white painted tiles creates a pleasant visual texture to the stark white walls. With dark floors set against contrasting light tiles, the once dated bathrooms now have a very contemporary feel.

 

Monochrome bathroom in minimalist Art Deco Joburg apartment

Monochrome kitchen & bathroom from designer couple's minimalist home

Monochrome bedroom of minimalist Art Deco flat

Monochromatic dreams from a designer couple's minimalist Art Deoc home

 

About the owners:

Kelda van Heerden is a Johannesburg based Information designer. Together with two friends form university she now co-owns the specialist design studio UNKNOWN, working with businesses and clients like Tonic and Joe Paine to establish, adapt and transform their real-world and digital presence.

 

Christian Henn is the business director at Henn+Honeyball, a small Johannesburg-based design studio,with a focus on cultural and social institutions such as the Constitutional Court Art Collection, the Visual Arts Network of South Africa, and Library Special Projects.