Classic and contemporary: The ultimate modern loft design
The facade of the typical Cologne building gives nothing away. Standing on the street outside the apartment we are visiting for this home story, you would never guess what lies behind the architecturally plain exterior. This concealed gem of modern minimalist loft design combines a tonal colur palette with a keen eye for detail. Businesswoman Faiza’s soft spot for classic design creates a contemporary and marvellously stylish living space. We spoke to the interior enthusiast about her passion for design and what inspires her.
G-Pulse: Faiza, how would you describe your interior style?
Faiza: I’ve been living in loft apartments for 15 years now, which has really shaped the way I decorate my home. I need to have room to express my own personal style. I’m a fan of minimalist, streamlined and timeless design. “Less is more” has been my guiding principle for as long as I can remember. My furniture is a mix of 1950’s design classics and some carefully chosen modern pieces. There are so many talented designers out there at the moment, it’s difficult not to fall in love with some of the more modern creations.
G-Pulse: Who is your interior design role model and where do you get your inspiration from?
Faiza: As a businesswoman, I’m often away from home. When abroad, I always try to stay in boutique hotels, where you feel immersed in an entirely different world. The attention to details, the perfectly harmonized colours and shapes, the carefully planned smart features, the high-quality materials and the creativity in such places have always been a source of inspiration for me. Some of my favourite boutique hotels are in Brussels, Portland, Berlin, New York and Copenhagen.
G-Pulse: Where does your knack for interior design come from?
Faiza: I’ve always been fascinated by design and fashion; I’m fascinated by aesthetics and the creative process behind it. I love going off the beaten track to seek out furniture in Paris and London. I can genuinely fall in love with a chair, a dress, a painting or an entire building. I’m lucky to be able to fuel my passion almost every day.
G-Pulse: What plans do you have in the pipeline for your apartment?
Faiza: For over a year, I’ve been on the lookout for some artwork that could complement my interior and reflect my love of art. Art is a very personal thing: You have to really fall in love with a piece. I haven’t found what I’m looking for yet. If the G-Pulse team knows where I can get my hands on an affordable Rothko, let me know! Hanging one of his pieces on my wall would be fabulous.
G-Pulse: How do you feel about smart technology? Would you like to kit out your apartment with Smart Home features?
Faiza: The topic of Smart Homes is something I’ve thought about a lot over the past years. I think smart technology and the comfort and convenience it brings, will become very soon such an important part of our day-to-day lives that we won’t want to be without it.
I don’t have any direct experience of living in a Smart Home just yet, but I’m in the process of renovating a 19th century property in the south of France, and – as someone who worships design and innovation – I want to make sure it’s kitted out with all of the Smart Home technology I’ll need from the outset.
My wish list already includes a heating and air-conditioning system, a video door intercom and a smart control unit I can use to control and adjust the lighting, blinds, stand-by switches on socket outlets and the room temperature. For me, it’s important that all of the devices can be controlled via my smartphone and that the technology is designed to look seamless and elegant in my home. One of my favourite products is the Gira System 106 door station. In my loft, I paid attention to the design when choosing my switches, and picked models that matched the interior of every room. It’s the little details like this that really make the difference for me.
G-Pulse: Which piece of furniture in your home is particularly close to your heart?
Faiza: My Cologne loft is very minimalist in its design. I don’t own many furniture pieces. I usually need time and patience – and a little bit of luck – to find the right items. Sometimes it can take years for me to find what I’m looking for. But when I do, I know it’s something very special. I’ll never forget the first design piece I bought: The Arco lamp by Achille Castiglioni. I fell in love with it 20 years ago, and as I was just starting out on my career back then, I had to save up for months to buy it. I’ve never regretted that decision: It’s become part of my family.
G-Pulse: You live in Cologne. Where are the best places to source interior design pieces in the city?
Faiza: I have to admit that I’m more of an online shopper. I usually know exactly what I want and I get it delivered from wherever it is in the world to my door. But if I’m looking for inspiration or for a gift, I usually go to How We Live in the Belgian Quarter or GoldKant in the south of the city. Both stores specialise in the ever-popular Scandi style, but they have a certain “Je ne sais quoi” too. Their carefully curated ranges make them totally unique and refreshingly different.
G-Pulse: Thank you Faiza!
How would you describe your interior design style? Have you got any pieces of furniture that are particularly close to your heart?