In the Trenches: Exploring Color with Mareike Scharmer

Joy in Color
Joy in Color

Happy Wednesday my dear ones!

As usual, I’m over myself with excitement about the latest “In the Trenches” interview.  I ran across Mareike’s “in-progress” photos of her Art House while wandering around flickr.  I KNEW immediately I had to share it with you guys but we had one little snag– Mareike is German and doesn’t speak English fluently.  Actually, the bigger problem was that I don’t speak a lick of German!  But Google translate came to the rescue… I was able to translate my questions into German and Mareike was a love to return her answers in English.

If you are afraid of color– and you know who you are, living with bland monochrome rooms because you’re afraid to make a test wall!– Mareike’s Art House might help you make the leap.  She’s not afraid of color in the least and with her talented eye, she manages to combine vibrant colors in a way that is breathtaking.

Tell us about yourself. I know that you are an artist. Please tell us about your art work and what inspires you to create.

I grew up in a very little village (80 villagers). The next town was far and if we wanted something, we had to use our

Front of Mareike's Art House
Front of Mareike's Art House

imagination. So I learned very early, if you want some, do it by yourself. When I finished my school I wanted to study art, but I found no place. So I decided to learn a trade: carpenter and joiner. That was the best start for my future life, the best base to create my life how I want it. In the next years I learned many other trades by my own. Then I join them all together to a big whole. So I had a new profession named: room and furniture artist.

My biggest desire is to make the world around me a little more beautiful.

Life is like a work of art: you always can change it, paint it over, take new ideas, or make new experiments. I love to experiment with my life. My inspiration is to do it different and independent.

I found pictures of your remodeling project through a Flickr group and I was delighted by your use of color! Will you tell us about your Art House project?

Art Haus Kitchen Detail
Art Haus Kitchen Detail

This Art House is a dream of mine. Here I can do what I want without asking somebody else. Very wild and experimental. So I can try color combinations that I´ve never used.

Mareike's Color-filled Kitchen
Mareike's Color-Filled Kitchen

In the future this Art House shall be a work of art where everybody can go inside. Immerse themselves into a different world( like a wonderland) to have fun, inspiration and luck.

Many people are afraid to add even small amounts of bold colors to their homes because they aren’t sure they will be able to coordinate the colors so that they complement each other. Can you share tips or suggestions on how to become more comfortable decorating with color?

Mareike's Pink Room
Mareike's Pink Room

All I can say is be courageous.   Make experiments.  Try, try, try!

Look at what color makes you happy. Then add some decoration in this color around you. Piece by piece try more color.

You can paint one wall in your house/apartment in a color you love.

Do it by yourself and so there is no problem to paint it over if you do not like it.

If you are not sure you can make photos with some of your favorite furniture, cushions or other things of decoration. So you take a look from another angle of view.

I love so much about your home and the way each room really reflects your art and your own exuberance Mareike! If you had to pick, what have been your favorite projects for your home so far?

In the moment I created the bathroom I loved it mostly.   Now the kitchen is my favorite room.   And now I’m really looking forward to the next room.

What has been your biggest challenge in remodeling? What steps have you taken to overcome or work through that challenge?

The whole project is a challenge.

Art Haus Kitchen Detail
Art Haus Kitchen Detail

The biggest challenge for me is to think about electricity and sanitary facilities, because I don’t know much about this.

The Art Haus Bathroom
The Art Haus Bathroom

In order to overcome a hurdle it is important to think across (Shauntelle’s note: outside the box).  To find a different way by simple means.

Final question Mareike! Do you have any advice or tips on how people can find ways to make their homes truly reflect who they are as people, the way you have managed to do in your home?

I think the best way making your home to really YOUR home, is to do the most as you can by your own hands and heart.

A Little Visitor
A Little Visitor

That is the most authentic way.

For that you have to say goodbye to your laziness and your fear of making mistakes.

Living the Life
Living the Life

Welcome in YOUR life!


I couldn’t include nearly enough pictures to really show you how much she’s transformed her Art House, so I really strongly encourage you to visit Mareike on flickr.  Not only can you see before and after pictures of the rooms she’s made progress on so far, you can also see a lot of her art work. You should also visit her website,, to see some of the stunning art room installations she’s done for various businesses in her country.

As usual, if you enjoy this interview, I’m putting a pretty please request that you leave a comment in the feedback so that our guest will know how much we appreciate her sharing her home with us!  Thanks!

’til next time, happy budget decorating!



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