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

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Johannesburg guest house 2 Mokolo

posted in: Travel, Uncategorized | 3

Patio area of Johannesburg guest house 2Mokolo

 

JOHANNESBURG GUEST HOUSE
2 MOKOLO

 

When I lived in South Africa, my sis and I ran a small design studio. One of our first and favourite projects was to design the brand identity for a new guest house in Johannesburg, called 2 Mokolo. The project was for Sandra de Witt, the then Creative Development Officer at the Jupiter Drawing Room, and her husband Graham Hickson. Both nature lovers and avid birders, Sandy and Graham sought to create a refuge for visitors in search of a nature filled respite from the bustling surrounding city. On my resent trip to South Africa I decided to stop by and say hello.

 

Birder friendly guest house in Johannesburg
2 Mokolo guest house in South Africa

 

The 2 Mokolo guest house is situated in the beautiful Johannesburg suburb of Morningside in Sandton, a stone’s throw away from the Outspan Bird Sanctuary. With its natural canopy of wild olive and white stinkwood, the garden itself is home to an abundance of bird species and 100% indigenous flora, which makes it the perfect retreat for bird and nature lovers.

 

Pool side patio of 2 Mokolo guest house in Johannesburg
Pool side lounge area at 2 Mokolo guest house in Johannesburg

 

The bed and breakfast has recently expanded to include an elegant 4-star guest house called Annex at 18. Each of the luxurious rooms have wooden decks where guests can relax in the sun among giant palm trees. Sandy and Graham designed louvred sliding screens, to provide complete privacy while allowing access to the surrounding garden.

 

The Annex at 2 Mokolo guest house in Johannesburg

Suite I at Anex at 18 at the 2 Mokolo guest house in Johannesburg

Guest house 2 Mokolo in Johannesburg South Africa

2 Mokolo guest house in Johannesburg South Africa
Luxurious bathrooms at 2 Mokolo guest house in Johannesburg

 

The rooms are vibrant and friendly, each with a brightly painted barn style sliding door that opens into a luxurious en-suite bathroom with beautiful bath and huge shower. The spacious bathrooms open onto the private deck as well, giving them an almost spa-like feel. My favourite is Annex III with it’s pewter bath and private outside shower.

 

2 Mokolo guest house in Johannesburg

2 Mokolo guest house in Johannesburg South Africa

Spacious bathrooms at 2 Mokolo guesthouse in South Africa

 

As a film maker, Graham’s love for story-telling is visible throughout the guest house. Quirky elements like repurposed tripods (now used as bedside lamps) and old tin cars and wooden toys, add to the inviting character of the interior. The couple’s love for birds and the african bushveld is also evident in the collector-like aesthetic, choice of fabrics and use of materials.

 

2 Mokolo guest house in Morningside, Sandton

The private outdoor shower at 2 Mokolo guest house in Johannesburg

 

Sandy, who’s won numerous awards at Cannes, D&AD, One Show and the Loeries during her corporate career as Creative Director of TBWA South Africa, now runs 2 Mokolo with equal fervour. So it’s without surprise that the guest house has such an excellent traveller rating on Trip Advisor.

 

2 Mokolo guest house in Morningside South Africa

2 Mokolo guest house in Sandton
Guest house in South Africa, 2 Mokolo

 

2 Mokolo is central Joburg’s first BirdLife SA accredited birder-friendly establishment, but it’s not just nature lovers and birds that are welcome here. The guest house has it’s own beehive too. So aside from Graham’s delicious home-made sourdough bread and preserves, guests can enjoy honey from the resident bees!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this story. For more details and booking information why not check out their website or facebook page.

As always, thanks for reading!

 

2 Mokolo's Beehive in Johannesburg
Garden animals at 2 Mokolo guest house

Home made honey from 2 Mokolo's resident beehive

 

STORY + PHOTOS: BARBARA CILLIERS

 

F R E E • G I V E •  A W A Y

What better way to kick off the new year than with a free gift! You can win a 2 night weekend* stay for yourself and a friend at 2 Mokolo guesthouse in Johannesburg to the value of R3400.00.

To win, all you need to do is follow each of these steps:

Step 1. Like this post

Step 2. Follow both ositsitso AND 2mokolo on instagram OR facebook 

Step 3. Share this post on your wall (sharing buttons below) and tag 5 friends who you think would like to enter

And that’s it!

Competition closes on 12 Feb 2017.

*Please note the prize includes breakfast and a room for two. Other costs related to your travel is not included & dates may be subject to availability.

 

eco-friendly christmas with plants and lights

Candles in my home made christmas wreath

 

PLANTS AND LIGHT

for an eco-friendly christmas

 

This year, in honour of tip number thirteen on Plastic Free Friday, I decided to create a festive atmosphere without buying any plastic or cheaply made christmas decorations. My aim was to keep it as green and eco-friendly as possible and to try and use plants wherever I can. Combining them with lights and candles also meant that my christmas-plant-ensembles were perfectly suited for this months Urban Jungle Bloggers theme; Plants and Light

 

Christmas Wreath

My mom used to have advent candles and this year I wanted to partake in the tradition by making my own. An advent wreath is a Lutheran tradition where four candles–that signify the four weeks leading up to Christmas–is placed in a circle (often combined with an evergreen wreath) to symbolise the eternity of God. The candles are then lit every Sunday, starting with the first candle on the 1st advent and finally lighting all four on the final Sunday before christmas.

 

eco-friendly home made advent wreath with real plants

 

For my own advent wreath, I wanted an eco-friendly option that was made from real plants, so that I could use it every year or use the plants elsewhere once christmas was over. I decided to get four small plants that I could later repot. I positioned them in a circle with four candles and filled the open spots with chestnuts and pine cones. For the base I used a round baking tray and placed it in this pretty copper bowl – a previous christmas gift from my mum.

 

Christmas Lights

Maybe you’ll recognise my glass jars from last month’s Urban Jungle Bloggers post on plant pots. Well, I decided to give them a christmas spin by wrapping some christmas twine around the brims. Since the plants in here don’t need water I added the battery operated fairy lights to make it even more christmassy and added a white candle for a bit of warmth.

 

December's Urban Jungle Bloggers theme: Lights and plants.

 

Christmas Trolly

I found this trolly on the street back when I lived in London. It’s not very slick but works great for displaying plants, which gives it a rather bohemian air. I wanted my bohemian nook to look christmassy too, so I used old cardboard to create a fun mountainous backdrop (I saw this clever idea on pinterest a couple of years ago). With some candles lit, the setup looks undoubtedly festive, albeit a little unusual. I love it.

 

My eco-friendly christmas with plants and lights

 

Christmas Dinner

For our annual Berlin-family christmas dinner I wanted to create a super simple table setting that would be elegant but also a little striking. So I combined lots of candles in bottles and terracotta holders with cypress cuttings in glass jars. The table cloth is simply unbleached cotton linen to compliment the earthy tones. To add to the festive ambiance, I created a hanging “christmas tree chandelier” with home-made paper pendants that could hang above the table.

 

Simple table settings for an eco-friendly christmas

 

I got the idea for the hanging branches from this neat idea for an advents calendar. The pendants I folded from paper (using this tutorial) and just added some beads to round it off. I had so many paper corner cuttings from the folded pendants so I decided to turn them into little paper “leaves” to go with my wooden beads. It was really hard to get a good photo of the hanging branch, so I hope you can get a slight idea of what it looked like in the end.

 

Green christmas decor: plants and lights

 

Creating an eco-friendly plant-based christmas theme turned out to be much easier than I expected it would. Somehow the restrictions I had placed on myself (like not being allowed to buy any plastic or ready made decor) forced me to be a little more creative then usual and I had so much fun making it all.

 

I hope you enjoyed my contribution to this month’s Urban Jungle Bloggers post! Be sure to check out some of the other Plants and Light posts on Urban Jungle Bloggers and if you haven’t been there, both blogs by UJB creators Igor Josifovic and Judith de Graaff are well worth the visit!

 

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!

 

Urban Jungle Bloggers Logo

 

District Six – South African design in Berlin

Woven Raphia bags at the District Six store in Berlin

 

DISTRICT SIX

South African design in the heart of Berlin

 

December in Berlin can be rather gloomy. It’s rainy and misty and dark – a darkness that is heavy and black and I, for one, need a very good reason to leave the house. The usual way I coax myself outside is through christmas market shopping but recently I found another carrot onto the streets.

In the heart of all this winter grey, tucked away in Graefekiez, is a tiny store that one might easily miss if it wasn’t for the brilliant colours that beckon you inside. Colours that remind me of home; like the blood-orange-red of Pincushion Proteas, or Khaki green and Fynbos yellows or the cobalt hues of the Agulhas. The store is called District Six, and inside is a wonderful display of products designed and made in South Africa.

 

Prints and other curious design items at the District Six store in Berlin
Cool bags and rugsacks at District Six in Berlin

 

The vibrant store is owned by equally lively Caroline Adam, a Berlin-born graphic designer who fell in love with the expressive designs from South Africa and started selling them online back in 2013. Her concept store on Graefestraße 80, is now in it’s second year and stocks a myriad of products from South African brands like Skinny laMinx, Anne Hodgson, Pichulik and Soil Design (to name but a few).

 

Caroline Adam at her District Six store in Berlin
Beautiful botanical tote from Soil & Co at District 6 in Berlin

 

Inside, the store is a visual plethora of patterns, colour and textures; from bright blue raphia clutches and tan leather bags, to decorative woven vases and geometric metal side tables. The Ndebele inspired jewellery by Pichulik is super colourful and chic while the offbeat bucket stools of Pedersen + Lennard really bring home that humorous character and South African spirit.

 

Ndebele-style jewellery and vibrant cushions at District Six

 

Another favourite of mine is the exquisite wallpapers that you can order in-store or online. I really like the Liquorice and Lesotho stripes by Rene Rossouw, but the botanical prints from Soil Designs and Room 13 are just as enchanting. With the opportunity for custom made orders (minimum amount of only 3sqm) the only effort is in choosing between all the great designs.

 

Pedersen & Lennard bucket-stool from the Distirct-Six store in Berlin
Beautiful metal baskets and mohair throws at District Six

 

At District Six you’ll not only find time-less and high quality products but ones with a conscious and sustainable approach to manufacturing; be it socially fair or environmentally friendly.

So if you haven’t done your christmas shopping yet, maybe do it here! I think the woven Itawuli towels (or pretty much everything else in the store) will make excellent gifts. Or just get yourself one of the beautifully woven alpaka or mohair blankets for January, when–let’s face it–the dreary winter weather is sure to be worse. :)

Find it here:

Graefestraße 80
10967 Berlin
U8 UBhf Schönleinstraße
Bus M41

Opening hours (12-23 December):

Monday – Friday: 11:00 – 19:00
Saturday: 11:00 – 18:00
Sunday before christmas: 13:00 – 18:00

Or check out the details on their website here.

As always, thanks for reading, I hope you’ve enjoyed the post!

 

STORY + PHOTOS BY BARBARA CILLIERS

 

Plant pageant: Creative plant pots

Home made hanging planters for November's creative plant pots issue

 

 PLANT PAGEANT

Seven solutions for dressing up your plants

 

November’s theme for Urban Jungle Bloggers is all about creative plant pots. Having pretty plants is easy. Finding beautiful pots for them, not so much. So here’s a round-up of my seven favourite styles for displaying your leafy friends. Although many of my pots are either home made or second-hand finds, I’ve done a bit of e-window shopping to help you source your own. 

 

01. Glass

My favourite way to propagate cuttings is to do so in beautiful glass containers. This way the most precious part of the process – the sprouting of new roots – is magnified by the water and glass. I’m particularly partial to containers and vases that resemble old medicine or science jars. Maybe because they make me feel like a biologist, with my very important plant specimens. You can find a variety of different ones like these at Manufaktum. For the folks back home, Mr Price has a few that are quite cool. Off course, if you enjoy a drink every now and then, Monkey Gin and Hibiki Whisky come in pretty nifty bottles that in my opinion, are worth keeping in any event. 

 

Beautiful glass bottles, vases and jars for styling your plants

 

 02. Concrete

Concrete planters are a big trend right now, and with good reason. It’s such a beautiful material, and suits pretty much any style. Plus, judging by the myriad of DIY tutorials out there, it’s not even that hard to make. But if you don’t feel like getting your hands dirty; check out the new proudly South African Notation Design. They make a whole bunch of pretty concrete stuff. Their square planters are my favourite. I found the ones pictured below at Hellweg, but these white ones from Future Kept are also quite nice. 

 

Concrete plant pots

 

 03. Terrariums

Terrariums, if you don’t know, are glass containers, often sealable, that allow a water cycle to form due to the transparent glass and resulting condensation. They work really well for plants that require humid or moist environments. Also, it protects your plant if you have a ginger cat who loves to nibble on its leaves. I created my own terrarium using a glass dome from a cloche I found at Butlers. It fits neatly into a beautiful base I got as a gift. The other two are just upside down jars that fits into plant pots I already had. If you’re in the market for a real one though, I really like this one: Montra Vaas from Bolia.

 

Create your own terrariums with upside down jars and plant pots

 

 04. Fabric

My friend Meagie from Makers, gave me these beautiful fabric bags to dress up my plant pots. I love them cause they’re reversible – with completely different looks on either side. She has a great selection at her studio, so go stop buy if you’re in the area. Alternatively, apart from looking pretty, these washable paper ones, are multi-purpose.  

 

Fabric bags to dress up your plant pots

 

05. Hanging planters

I saw these beautiful wooden hanging plant pots at Anthropology and decided to try and make my own. For the macramé hanger I used this super easy to follow tutorial and appropriated an old wooden fruit bowl for the base. I also made the planter on the right, using the inside circle of an embroidery hoop wich, incidentally, fits neatly around those white socker pots you find at Ikea. I also really like these ones from Hallescheshaus.

 

Hanging planters as creative plant pot alternatives

 

06. Ceramics

This ceramic vase was one of the very first things I bought for my first home back when I was a student. I found it at a flea market and still love it. It’s rather small but works super well for displaying dried flowers and beautiful leaves. Maybe for my birthday or for christmas one day I could get one of these beautiful pieces, by the super talented Florian Gadsby. They are exquisite.

 

Ceramic vases

 

07. Terracotta

Next to being really affordable, terracotta plant pots are easy to find and work with any type of setting. Also, thanks to the friendly price tag, one is not as hesitant to venture a paintbrush toward their auburn exterior. I’ve done mine up in a few neutral tones and a spot of cobalt. Marij from My Attic has a great selection of pots that you can buy, if the thought of painting your own terrifies you.

 

Painted terracotta plant pots for a creative twist

That’s it for my November Urban Jungle Bloggers creative plant pots contribution. I hope you enjoyed my plant pageant! I’d love to hear which of my seven solutions are your favourite, or even if you have your own creative ideas for styling your plant buddies. Do let me know by leaving a comment below. And as always, thanks for reading!

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Check out some more awesome posts like these on Urban Jungle Bloggers, or visit the blogs of UJB creators;  Igor& Judith.

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