Hey folks, it’s me again, your favourite French Bulldog and creative director at the interior design office Otto von Berlin. Today, I was thinking about giving you some hints about how to decorate your house to give it our style – a rougher, darker, more edgy yet cosy interior design. But first up I want to say one thing: I really hate to break it to you, but we designers don’t follow a secret rulebook. We don’t follow fast laws that govern what we do, because our creativity comes naturally, and we love to dream, explore, visualise and follow our intuition.
That said, you’ll be glad to hear that there are some key principles that guide us to ensure the perfect result each time. Most of the knowledge comes from learning by doing, and those skills don’t take years to master. You can all do them from the first day on. Just see my words as a foundation for developing your own personalised intuition – worked very well for this French Bulldog here.
Especially for people living in big cities, planning your house or your room can get quite difficult. We learn to live with less space, but less space should never mean less comfort. It is essential in a small room to make it as functional as possible. No wonder the ‘(Dark) Scandinavian’ interior design is made to make best use of the smallest room. You’re a socialiser and need to have a lot of sitting space for your friends? Perfect, get yourself a modular couch. A modular sofa, for example, will be both bed and sofa to you and can be used in other functional ways, too.
Plus, you can never go wrong with a great modular couch as your essential statement piece in your home. After all, you and your friends and family spend most of your time in this space. This is pretty much the placement piece that dictates how the other furniture of this room will be styled.
There are hundreds of paint colours with various shades, tones and tints. Each one looks different from space to space, depending on the lighting. Just because it looks great in your current apartment, doesn’t mean it will in your new one. Pick the colour that best complements your artwork, rug, upholstery or anything else. Ours would be the Off-Black N°57 from Farrow & Ball. Another piece of advice is to only pick the colour once your stuff is already inside your space.
Some extra hints: Make a clean line of the wall colour to really open the room and to pull your personality and identity through your home. It shows the difference of the rooms, although it looks like a mono-space. Place a centrepiece in front of that wall, like an artistic dining table, to draw the attention to this section of the room.
At Otto von Berlin we always try to build layers of lighting to create cosiness, interest and variety in a space. If everything is lit evenly, nothing in the room really stands out. Just as with the walls, you need to pick a focal point and maybe a secondary one as well. Then highlight those and add some general ambient lighting and some lower lighting. Table lamps or, for those who like natural lighting more, candles work great as well.
Space is also about volumes. You have to think about the furniture you want to buy and if it will fit the room and not crowd you too much. If you are fortunate enough to have one of those beautiful Altbau apartments, you need to think about the design of your high ceilings as well. If you have a small room but high ceilings, implement a bunk bed; it will create a maisonette apartment atmosphere. Storage room is also easily implemented in a tall room. With a hanging unit from the ceiling down, you don’t only bring more ‘Brooklyn style’ to your space, but you also make your space more functional. Time for more shopping, I guess?
Your personality is what makes your space amazing. Make your own statement and enjoy designing your home. The more you try, the better your interior design sense will become. You will notice what works and what doesn’t. But for the rooms we design, we always try to leave our own trademark somewhere in the space inside, whether it’s a neon sign, a specific painting or even a wall colour.
My uncle Aleks is very much a traveller, and when we thought of styling his room, we wanted to show his passion and identity in his interior design. We got him great prints of maps, cushion covers or other accessories, to really customise his apartment. But of course we left a small token there, something from our ‘Dark Scandinavian’ interior design.
So this much for today, people; I hope you enjoyed my tips for this month. Stay tuned for more from our creative factory.
Yours, Otto von Berlin.
Picture source: pinterest.com; Identity picture by David Nassim of fizzfoto.eu