An Inspiring, Light-Filled Workspace / Studio in Hannover

What does your work (creative / bill paying / studying) space look like? Since my career started in the early 00's the 'workspace' has changed an incredible amount. My first ever job fresh out of uni, was in Dubai. We had a nice office above the tennis stadium but it still makes me shudder to recall the receptionist diligently recording our arrival time in an excel sheet - waiting to admonish us by the end of the week ( a regular occurrence for a night owl!). I've also worked in corporate offices in London, Lund and Copenhagen - as well as from home. But these days I finally feel like I've 'landed' in the shape and form of a wonderful, light-filled studio in the centre of Malmö. Best of all - every morning a freshly brewed coffee awaits - no excel timesheet in sight. 

This year, those who can, have worked from home - and I have a sneaking suspicion, this is set to continue. For those of you who need social interaction, a local studio is a great alternative. Thankfully, there are some wonderful, relaxed, friendly, and practical ones popping up in every city. 

If you live in Hannover, Germany you're in luck! My talented friend and businesswoman extraordinaire Holly Becker of Decor8 blog has just opened Decor8 Studio

Divided into two rooms, the studio is located bang in the city centre and perfect to rent for offsite team meetings, photoshoots, podcast production, workshops, events and just about anything else your work might involve. It's also decorated in true Holly Becker style: minimalist, with pops of pastel and some beautiful furniture and accessories. So, even if you don't live in the north German city, there are plenty of ideas to steal for your own home and workspace! 

Ready for the tour?

The Shoot Space

The light-filled 'shoot space' room has been painted in fresh white with a beautiful pale yellow / wheat ('Organic No. 317') accent wall. FYI This colour was everywhere at 3 Days of Design in Copenhagen a few weeks back - and set to be a strong trend for 2021!). 

A simple round table from IKEA serves as a perfect place for meetings and a Vertigo pendant lights up the room after dark. 

The Punctual shelves in blue are from Ferm Living and a vintage Alky lounge chair by Castelli Brown provides as a perfect spot for a quite read between shoots! 

Simple white sculptural pieces such as the Shell vase* and Ridge vase can be seen on the shelves alongside interior magazines. 

Holly made the desk herself using plywood and trellis legs.

The Gathering Space

The bright and airy room next door is a dedicated 'Gathering Space' and features a kitchen and dining area as well as a balcony with lovely views over Bödekerstr - a picturesque quarter of Hannover. In this room, Holly has opted for an earthy accent wall in 'Linen' - a textured clay-based paint by Nen.do) which gives the room a wonderful, calm feel. 

A HAY loop table takes centre stage under a large rattan pendant light from Market Set (one of my latest favourites from the lighting world!). 

An HK Living knotted cushion and white sheepskin throw* help guests to feel comfy! 

The gallery wall has been made up of a blend of mirrors, photography, samples and prints (The Poster Club* is a great source for similar prints and ships worldwide - just saying!).

Skagerak natural wood and white bookshelf has been placed near the window beside a Menu afteroom chair* and a linen pin board from Ferm Living

I'd be quite happy spending a day or two (actually scrap that - working FULL TIME) in this studio, how about you? Sadly, Hannover is a little far from Malmö, so instead I'll be stealing some ideas for my own studio instead, how about you?!

You can see more pictures of the studio in the latest edition of 'Holly magazin' (in German)- alongside a piece about our Autumn #30dayhomelove instagram challenge which is currently running on instagram. If you haven't already, why not come and join the final 14 days?

Visit Decor8 Studio / @decor8studiospace to book this space. 

I hope this tour has given you plenty of inspiration today! If it's got you in the mood for a revamp, there's a load more inspiration here: 

Home office

Studios / Co-working / Atelier spaces

From my own home:

What does your workspace look like? I'd love to hear about it in the comments below! 

Niki

Photographs courtesy of Holly Becker / Decor8 Studio

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Before & After: My Office Make-Over

Do you work from home? I've been sitting at my little desk in the corner of my bedroom for just over two years now. There are many pluses and minuses of working from home, but one of the things I truly love is having total autonomy over how my work space looks - no LED strip lights in sight! So why hadn't I done anything to spice it up (I mean, really spice it up) for over six years?! The thing is, there's nothing wrong with my office (it even appeared on the front cover of a book once upon a time!) but it began to feel well, a bit tired and I had started migrating to the kitchen table or a nearby café instead (they do serve great chocolates muffins so it's kind of understandable!). A friend of mine from Greenland told me recently that if you're not using the space for the purpose it's set out for, you need to re-think it. Wise words indeed! It was time to make a change...

Before




The Area


My home office occupies a corner in between the stairs and balcony at the far end of our bedroom on the very top floor of our house. The area I have to play with is pretty mini: approximately 3.4 metre square (36 square foot), which is open on one side. Here's a quick overview of the dimensions (as you can probably tell, I'm not a trained designer - the lines were drawn with the side of a magazine!) but I hope it gives you an idea of the area.


My Inspiration


Since changing my bedroom to warmer chestnut and blushing peach tones in the same open-plan room, I was keen to create more of a cohesive space (that's the problem with doing something new - it's exciting but has a total knock on effect - bah!). 

While I wanted the office space to blend in, I also wanted to create a distinct space where I could sit and work, store all my books and have all my bits and bobs to hand: in other words, a complete mini office where I can work on my billion dollar deals (if only!). This meant re-configuring the space and picking up some new pieces such as a smaller desk to fit the shorter side of the space and a row of shelving opposite. Here is the original moodboard (put together with the help of designer extraordinaire Genevieve Jorn who also worked with me on the design of my adjoining bedroom):


It has the warm brown, chestnut and netural tones which I love and felt earthy, calm and relaxed.  I ended up changing the artwork selection to make it more personal and swapped out the rug for a similar one I already had.  See further down the post for the final selection!

The Paint:


I can't tell you how nervous I was about the Norwegian Wood paint colour (by Jotun) - it's quite possibly the boldest I've gone - eeeek! But I loved its warm, woody notes and was willing to give it a go! I tested a sample on the wall (it's always a good idea to observe the colour over a number of days to see how it looks in various lights) and was so thrilled with it!

To the paint the entire wall I stripped away the shelving to the right too. FYI I'm absolutely no painting and decorating pro  - but I'm learning paint splodge by paint splodge! After prepping the area with a damp cloth, tape and newspaper, I used a roller for the bigger areas (long strokes and a generous amount of paint is key) and a smaller paint brush to go around the edges and tighter corners.

Oh yes, and in order to create cohesiveness with the rest of the room I painted the entire wall below in the same Norwegian Wood colour. Of course, once I finished, I realised the back wall now looked a little yellow next to my lovely new accent wall - so this required a fresh lick of white - phew!





After


With the paint finally finished it was time for the fun part. To put the furniture and all my gear back in place! Here's how it's looking...


I was so happy to finally get around to putting up a moodboard of some of the items that inspire me right now. One challenge I still have though is the radiator. While it's going to be great for keeping my toes toasty in the winter, I'd much rather it was the same colour as the wall - next project?! 


Hanging the artwork!


I didn't want to mess up my new, sparkling white wall with trillions of unnecessary holes- so I used an interior design trick I learned from Gen a while back (you may have seen it in this post). It's a really safe way to avoid making mistakes!

Here's a step by step guide: 


 

1. Take a large roll of paper and draw around each of the pictures you intend to hang. Cut out the template.
2. Stick them on the wall with blu-tac - and play around with the templates until you have a composition you're happy with. Quick tip I learned: artwork looks best if it's around two thirds of the width of the furniture beneath it (of course rules are there to be broken and this is definitely not an instruction - more a guide if you're feeling stuck!).
3. Measure the distance of the hook on the back of the picture (both vertically and horizontally)
4. Mark out the same spot on your template on the wall.
5. Hammer a nail through the marked out spot
6. Tear away the template leaving the nail in place and you're ready to rock!





I hope you like the results! It was a fun project, but best of all I've got myself a shiny new work space (I'll have to do a take-out on those muffins instead!!

I've put together a quick guide on where a few of the items are from below. If I've missed anything just give me a shout in the comment section below!
Get The Look

1. Gurilla Portrait H
2. The MANTIS lamp
3. Desk w/drawers, oak, nature
4. EKET cabinet
5. Hubsch Metal black Table lamp
6. Norwegian Wood paint by Jotun
7. Washed white linen curtains
8. Carpet with fringes
9. Black Scissors from Hubsch
10. Desk organizer

If this has given you the incentive to update your workspace you might like to have a snoop around this archive (if this pops up first just hop over as always!).

Have a lovely day all!

Photography / styling : Niki Brantmark / My Scandinavian Home. Interior Design direction: Genevieve Jorn. Thank you to all the brands that helped contribute to this make-over by gifting items. The post contains some affiliated links.

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Make-over: A Magnificent Berlin Studio



I think it's time for a new mini make-over episode, how about you?! This time I thought we'd head to Berlin and the awe-inspiring studio of Our Food Stories and Design Tales (take a look at previous before + afters in the series here and here). The brainchild of creative duo Laura and Nora, Our Food Stories is a culinary feast for the eyes and has garnered a following of close to 1 million Instagram followers who stop by each day to get recipes (read more about the pair and their work and take a look inside their homes in this interview). Let's dive in and find out how they transformed the first floor of a derelict warehouse into a stunning studio for cooking, food styling, photography, workshops and events.

Oh and thank you so much to the series sponsor Builders Bay - an amazing online marketplace for builders, renovators and DIYers where you can buy and sell surplus materials, architectural salvage and ex display stock! Perfect!



Our Food Stories started out five years ago from a small studio in the countryside, one hour drive from Berlin. The tranquil setting was wonderful since it offset the stresses and strains of setting up a business, "It really rescued us, since the first years of building up our own company have been so stressful." However, the blog became increasingly popular and they eventually grew out of it. "It made sense to look for somewhere closer to home, so in the summer of 2015 we started to look for a Studio in Berlin."

Since natural light is a key element in their photography, it was important to find a space with at least one North facing window. Known as 'reflected light', north light is popular among artists since it bathes the subject in the same cool ambience throughout the day - giving artists and photographers greater control over their work (this has got me thinking about using the North facing windows in my home more!). The space would also need a high ceiling to fit their enormous tripod!



The pair went to view another property which wasn't quite right. However, from the window they spotted a building 500 metres away and immediately fell in love with the windows and the building which combined "nice and neat with old school charm". They passed by on spec and found that the first floor was still empty and had the perfect light (two north-facing windows) and height. Result!

 "When we saw the space for the first time we just could not believe it was still available to rent! The first thing we did was check the point of the compass and the second time we visited we brought some flowers and did a little test photo shooting."



Despite the incredible shell, the space was in desperate need of renovation. The walls were yellow, and some walls didn't even exist. It also had no bathroom.

Thankfully they would need to do little in the way of renovating themselves.

"If you rent a studio or flat in Germany the landlord has to give it to you in a good (renovated) condition. As a renter you don't normally have a big influence on the renovation, but luckily we could decide on a lot of the details, which we are very thankful for. "



The landlord prepped and painted the walls (white) and, at the request of Laura and Nora, installed an incredible concrete floor.

The original eight metre high ceiling was something of a photographers dream but they were warned by the landlord that their heating bill would be astronomical if they kept it and a result it was lowered by several metres. 

"We would never have lowered it, but the landlord told us that it would have been impossible to keep the space warm in the winter because the roof has no insulation."  

Overall though, the duo are delighted with the results of the renovation.



The pair used furniture and lighting to divide the vast room into a series of zones: "we created different corners, which allow us to create different set ups." But they were also keen to keep the space pared-back and clutter-free. "It’s very important to have a space that is not too packed, so when it gets messy during photo shootings, you still have enough space."


Being food stylists and photographers, the kitchen was a major focus. The pair spent a lot of time thinking about which kitchen to install, in the end settling on a kitchen from Frama. "It perfectly fits the industrial surroundings, we are so in love with it!"






Despite the white finish, Laura and Nora are pleased that they can see the outline of the original brick wall. The lines / texture also help to break up the empty expanse.



The pair had free reign to paint some of the walls and used paint from KABE Copenhagen to add nuance and texture. "We just chose by intuition which wall should get which colour."


 This mammoth tripod is one of the reasons they needed a studio with such a high ceiling!



"The way we choose the style of the interior comes naturally and is also kind of indirectly dominated (in a good way) by the space itself, its aura and its architectural character."



 "We love the mix of old and new! Our home in Berlin is more modern, with new danish design interiors, our home in the countryside more rustic, but also with a modern influence and our studio is kind of a mix of both with industrial elements."


"Some of the vintage furniture is from Ebay and a lot of the old tables and lamps were bought from J&V and Urban Industrial."






"We are so grateful and happy to work in this wonderful space."



Just WOW!! This is my absolute dream (I wonder if they need a kitchen hand - or even someone to do the washing up?!). Could you imagine settling in here each day?

In case you're looking to create something similar at work (or home), here's the low down on some of the items:
GET THE LOOK



1. Studio Kitchen - Frama
2. Semi Professional Coffee Machine
3. Gubi table
4. Marble Speakers
5. Midgard Workshop Lamp
6. Linen Kitchen Towels
7. Vienna Chairs
8. Adam Barstol
9. Enamel Factory Light
10. Chopping Board



The pair love to collaborate with other local talents. This incredible pampas cloud installation created by Mary Lennox spread across Pinterest like wildfire back in the autumn (it's easy to understand why!). 

But the key focus remains on the pairs passion for food so I was dying to know if the girls had a favourite recipe! I was told this was an extremely tricky question, since they love them all, but at a push Laura would go for the gluten free quince cheesecake with meringue and Nora the gluten free poppy seed cake.

Sound good to me!

For more mouth-watering recipes you must follow these ladies over on their blog and instagram: @ourfoodstories, and @designtales for interior inspiration! They also have a beautiful book available here.

Which leaves me with one question. Hands up who'd love to work from a studio like this and eat lots of cake?!

Thank you so much to Laura and Nora for showing us their studio! 

Have a wonderful weekend!



  
 All Photography: Courtesy of Our Food Stories / Design Tales.

* All words are my own, and I only ever work with brands and services I feel are of interest to my readers. This post also includes affiliated links which means that I make a very tiny amount of money (perhaps enough for a coffee and a choccy biccy from each post!) if you click or buy items. Thank you for supporting the businesses that make My Scandinavian Home possible.

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