A look behind the scenes: Minimalist and streamlined – with personal touches
We first met Carina at the Gira blogger event in Cologne and, after spending an inspiring day with her and the other bloggers, we were keen to find out more about the 30-year-old from the city of Hamburg. Carina herself describes her feel for interior design simply as “a way of life”:
“When we decorated our own home, I realised how important inspiration is and how much fun it is to combine loads of different ideas and make them work for you. For a house to become a home, personality is essential”.
In this interview, the creative blogger tells us more about her style.
G-Pulse editor: How would you describe your personal interior style?
Carina: My style is Scandinavian, minimalist and relatively neutral in terms of colour. I’m not into brightly coloured walls or splashes of colour; I prefer to keep things natural. The only colour in my home is the green of my plants. I do love stumbling across accessories at markets and I adore the flair and charm of period homes, but in a new build it can be difficult to pull off a vintage look. I still try to create some contrast with the contemporary styling by adding vintage accessories here and there.
G-Pulse editor: Which piece of furniture in your home is your personal favourite and why?
Carina: Our bed! Not only because it’s comfortable and because I love my sleep, but also because we did a little DIY on it to get it exactly how we wanted. The bed is an IKEA hack – we upgraded the head board with a solid wood panel to match our bedside tables. Because it was so easy to do but has such a huge impact, it’s something that still makes me happy every day. If I could, I’d put it in the living room so everyone could see it. I published all of the instructions for what we did on my blog.
G-Pulse editor: We love the colour of the wall in your bedroom, particularly in combination with the head board. How did you come up with this great DIY idea?
Carina: There’s actually a bit of a story behind it: A few years ago, before interior blogs were so popular, I saw a bed in an interior magazine that I immediately fell in love with. It had a light wooden head board and I needed to know where I could get one. So, I did some research and came across an amazing blog that became a huge source of inspiration for me. This was kind of where my whole blogging journey began. I wrote to the blogger, who was based in the Netherlands, and she told me that she had made the head board herself using a panel from a DIY store.
That was perfect for me so a few years later, when we finally needed a new bed, I got to work straight away.
G-Pulse editor: If you could give one tip to our readers, what would you say is the most important rule to stick to when decorating a home and why?
Carina: Break away from set styles and let your personality shine through. For example, I love Scandinavian design and anything to do with my favourite city, Hamburg. This is reflected in lots of places in our home, even though anchors and references to local dialect don’t necessarily match the minimalist Scandi style. Don’t try to create a show home, just focus on making it a home and making it your own. In terms of breaking away from set styles, it's a good idea to combine new and old. Something like adding an old wine case to a modern room will instantly make the decor more interesting.
G-Pulse editor: If you could change anything about your home – regardless of the cost – what would it be?
Carina: That’s a good question. I’d change our stairs. They are beautiful and I like the industrial style, but we would personally have chosen something else. But stairs are ridiculously expensive, especially if you want a non-standard design. Because ours aren’t that visible in our home, we didn’t think it was worth it. We decided to invest in other things instead, so you won’t find many photos of our stairs on my blog.
G-Pulse editor: You’ve been exploring the Gira product range. What do you like most about it?
Carina: The Gira blogger event was a complete surprise and a bit of a revelation for me. Sockets and fittings don’t really play much of a role in interior design and often you try to hide them away. But after the event, my thinking changed: Why should they be concealed? There are so many beautifully designed models and options out there that it would be better to work with them and turn them into a feature. I also love the Gira Design Configurator, which I’ve used myself. It gives you the chance to explore all of the products and models in your own time, in the comfort of your own home, so you can see how they would work for you. My personal favourite is the Gira E2 design line, which is what we have at home; I love the minimalist look and straight lines.
G-Pulse editor: Why did you opt for the Gira E2 design line, and how did you first hear about Gira?
Carina: We love timeless design, and it’s important to us that we choose things that we’ll enjoy for a long time – especially when it comes to fittings you don’t change often, like sockets and light switches. We were attracted to the matt surfaces and straight lines of the Gira E2 design line as soon as we saw it. My brother-in-law was the person who introduced us to Gira. He’s an electrician and he installed all the electronics in our house. He told us that there was only one option we needed to think about for our switches and sockets, and that was Gira. We trusted his judgement and we’ve never looked back!
G-Pulse editor: What do you think of Smart Home technology? What aspects of your home would you automate to make your life easier?
Carina: To be honest, I feel a little bit conflicted about the topic. On the one hand, I’m amazed by what Smart Home technology can do, but on the other hand, I think to myself: Why shouldn’t I just get up off the sofa and switch the light off and on like I always have? I am a little reluctant to get on board with this particular technology trend. But of course, I can’t deny that it would be handy to control your blinds or shutters from your smartphone. We also have a remote control for our blinds and I absolutely love that little luxury. In houses or larger apartments, smart technology can definitely make your life easier.
Do you like the streamlined yet homely interior of Carina’s apartment? Would you like to live in a home like this? Let us know in the comments!