By now ya’ll have to know how much I love these interviews. It’s such a joy to me to be able to share the talented vision of these wonderful real life designers. Every now and then, I completely stumble upon someone who hasn’t been in the limelight before, but definitely SHOULD be… you know, someone like the insanely talented Aja, who truly should be designing professionally… or someone like our guest today, fellow blogger, Nina in Vorm.
In addition to having a gorgeous home, Nina is a spectacular collage artist. I was in complete shock to discover that she doesn’t sell her artwork professionally because it is so lovely, full of fun and whimsy! And that’s why bringing this interview to you today makes me even happier. Not only do I get to present you with a glimpse into her home, but I also get to introduce you to her art (with the totally selfish hope that your positive response will encourage her to start selling on Etsy so I can buy a piece or three!).
First things first… where can I buy your art work, Nina? Do you have an etsy shop? I really adore your collages… the colors are so bright and vibrant and just full of fun… one of the things that I also admire about your home! Tell us what inspires your work?
Thanks for your nice words about my art work! So far, I haven’t been selling anything, drawing and making collages is just something I do for fun. I display things in my home or on my blog, and sometimes I give something away as a present, but that’s all. I’m not a professional artist and so far, I never had the confidence that anyone besides myself and some people close to me could be interested in (buying) it. Maybe one day I’ll feel confident enough to try and start selling something, but that’ll probably take some more time… It’s already a big step for me to show things on flickr and my blog!
I do sometimes think of selling the ceramics I make in an etsy-store, but my ceramic pieces are very frail and not so easy to send by mail. So I still have to figure that out. Í hope to start selling some stuff on etsy one day, also because I really like the concept of etsy, but that’ll probably take some more time and confidence…
About what inspires me in my work… That’s difficult to say. I love colors, patterns, vintage stuff, scandinavian prints. I read loads of interior decoration magazines and art and design blogs on the internet, so I get inspiration in a lot of different places and all the time. I try to create something new from all that inspiration that I get daily. I need to see beautiful things around me to get inspired, unfortunately I’m not the kind of person who has this enormous imagination and original creativity that can make anything out of nothing. When you put me in an empty room with just a blank piece of paper, I probably couldn’t draw anything good or interesting. It’s seeing beautiful things around me and thinking “hey, I could use those elements in a different way” that inspires me.
Your home reflects an interesting love of color and print… There’s definitely a sense of the whimsical there, but mostly I’m struck by the way it all comes together to create a sophisticated effect. Can you share with us how you manage to combine color and pattern in such a great way?
That’s a difficult question! I guess I just follow my instincts, so it’s kind of difficult to describe how I actually do that… I do have some sort of inner sense of color and pattern; I like certain contrasts, and I’m drawn to some colors or color combinations. I’ve never been afraid of color, but I feel like I’m still learning not to overdo the prints and colors. I’m trying to create more balance between color/print and whites, calm and quietness. But that’s still a struggle, because I’m naturally attracted to bold colors and patterns. I can really enjoy other people’s minimalist white homes, but it doesn’t work for me. I guess I was born like this!
Lately, I’ve been speaking with a lot of people who would like to start decorating their homes, but are afraid of making a mistake. Do you have any advice to share with readers who may be in that position? Have you ever bought something only to realize it completely didn’t work and how do you recover from that kind of challenge?
I often feel like I make mistakes all the time! But most mistakes can be undone if you really want to. For me, decorating my home is a way of playing around, it’s something I really enjoy. It’s great if something works out nicely, but if it doesn’t, I’m happy to try something new. The fact that most of my furniture isn’t that expensive also helps. When you buy very expensive stuff, it’s much harder to replace things.
I think people can look at their interior in different ways. Some people want to buy their whole interior once and don’t want to change it for the next ten years. I prefer to see my house as some sort of organic place that grows and changes. When something doesn’t work, I try to change it.
Sometimes I make mistakes myself that are difficult to change. I’m not happy with the curtains I chose for our living room. We bought them only two months ago and they weren’t cheap, so we can’t just buy other ones. So I guess I just have to live with them, and try to make a better choice next time…
While you do have some wallpaper and color on a few walls, mostly your home (apartment?) isn’t painted. Despite that, it doesn’t feel bland at all. Could you share any tips you have for creating a “colorful’ environment in a space where you can’t paint or put up wallpaper… in a rental apartment situation, for instance.
Haha, please don’t say the rest of our apartment isn’t painted, we’ve been painting for almost a month to get those walls white… :)! When we moved in, everything was yellow, red and purple… It was so ugly that it convinced us to keep most of the apartment white and simple. Our apartment is rental, but fortunately we’re allowed to paint and put up wallpaper. But if you aren’t allowed to do that, there are other options. You can, for example, frame a beautiful piece of wallpaper and put the frame on the wall. But you can also bring a lot of color in your house using colorful accessories. When I move in somewhere, color will always follow. it would be a better question to ask me how not to bring color into a house…!
I love all the artwork that you have displayed in your home. Do you have any tips to share for arranging a varied collection like yours in the best way, without the different pieces clashing?
I think that when you have an ‘eclectic interior’ like mine, different pieces don’t clash that easily. The clashing can actually be an interesting element of your style. Personally, I think interiors that are perfectly combined in similar style and colors are quite boring. But of course that doesn’t mean that you can just put anything together and call it eclectic. I mean, you can do that of course, but it doesn’t necessarily look good…
I think it’s all a question of following your instincts in shape, color, style. In displaying my artwork, I tried to vary between bold, colorful pieces and more modest pieces, for example in black and white. You have to find a balance between the pieces. But balance doesn’t mean that you can’t mix styles, sizes or colors. In displaying my art, one of the ways I used to create unity was using similar frames. No matter how different the works of art displayed are, there is unity in the way they are framed.
My favorite photo of your home is your “Laura Ashley Room.” How did you ever come up with the idea to hang the dress/shoes/jewelry? What inspires you to try avante garde ideas like that in your home?
I started hanging my favorite dresses on my bedroom walls in my former apartment. I have a bit of a dress-fetish, I probably have about a hundred dresses, and among them are great vintage ones and dresses with very pretty prints. It would be a shame to just leave those in the closet and only take them out when I wear them. So actually I was just looking for a way to look at my favorite clothes more often. There are many dresses that I hardly ever wear, but like this I can still enjoy them.
I don’t think you necessarily have to spend that much money on interior decoration. Of course, there are many expensive things that are beautiful, but there are also many ways of beautiful and original decorating for your house that cost little. If you use your creativity, you can find beauty everywhere.
How would you describe your decorating style? If you had to give a person only 4 tips to creating a look similar to yours, what would those tips be?
My style is eclectic, colorful, playful and with a lot of vintage items. I love it when objects have their own story, when they’ve already lived a whole life before they came to me. I like to make things myself, mix and match and use my creativity and imagination in my interior.
And my tips…
2) Everything pretty can be a decoration object. Who cares if it originally had a completely different function; if you think it’s beautiful, why not display it as a work of art? We have a beautiful old table soccer game put on the wall like it’s a painting, I display nice clothes on the wall, and on my desk is a beautiful huge tin filled with olive oil. I just surround myself with what I consider beautiful, no matter what it’s function is.
3) Don’t be afraid of wallpaper! Covering a wall with nice (vintage) wallpaper can give a whole room a complete new look. When you choose a small wall, you don’t need much wallpaper so it’s a cheap option, but with an enormous effect. It can make a room cozy or chic, depending on the type of wallpaper you choose.
4) Invest in a few pieces that you really, really like. It’s not difficult to buy a bunch of standard accessories in a department store, but you’ll get bored with those easily. Wait till you really fall in love with something that’s special, maybe something handmade or vintage. When you really fall in love with something that can’t be found in just every store, it’s probably worth spending some more money on it. I spent quite some money on an amazing vintage advertorial elephant, but it’s so very worth it. There’s no day going by that I don’t look at it with content. It’s al real eyecatcher and totally unique: I haven’t ever seen it anywhere else ever. When you display your favorite items on a special spot where you can really enjoy them, you can have so much fun of them.
Another great interview, wouldn’t you agree? It was especially hard to decide on photos to accompany Nina’s interview because she had so many great ones to choose from. And then there are the great pictures of her art… so this is one time you HAVE to visit her flickr account! (But no blaming me if you spend an hour visiting, okay?) You can also find out more about Nina by visiting her blog, NinainVorm— be sure to let her know you saw her interview here!
As usual, don’t forget to leave comments on this post so she’ll know how much we enjoyed our peek into her home. And if you enjoyed this peek, be sure to subscribe to the new A Beautiful Abode Magazine, which will feature exclusive content including more “In the Trenches” interviews with expanded photos! The magazine is free, but only subscribers can get a copy… so don’t wait, subscribe by sending me an e-mail: snhamlett at gmail dot com, subject line – subscribe Beautiful.
Tomorrow Tricia and I will share updates on Elizabeth’s nursery. See ya then!