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The Beautiful Berlin flat and Country Retreat of Our Food Stories

Do you have a favourite creative you follow? A person or company where everything they share is simply breathtaking? Culinary-wise, mine is Our Food Stories. And judging by their almost 1 million followers on instagram, I'm not alone! I was crazily excited to catch up with Nora and Laura, the creative duo behind the brand to find out more about their recipes and work, how to achieve that 'moody' visual aesthetic, Design Tales and their beautiful abodes.



What a pleasure to feature you on MSH. We'd love to hear a little more about who you are and what you do?
We work as a photographer and food stylist. Laura studied photography and Nora actually fashion design. We have work together on our brand 'Our Food Stories' for almost 5 years and love it! Since we have a huge passion for design we decided to start an interior-Instagram Account as well. When we are not in our studio in Berlin, we love to photograph productions in our second home in the countryside, close to Berlin.

I love what you guys are doing creatively with Our Food Stories. Where did your passion for food / cooking come from?
We have both always loved good food! But when we met, it was really difficult to go out for dinner together, as Laura has so many food intolerances. So we started cooking together instead and had so much fun developing new recipes. Just before Laura finished her studies, we decided to share our recipes and pictures on a blog and we've never looked back.


What inspires your recipes / shoots?
Ingredients-wise we often get inspired by the changing seasons. And from the photographic point of view we love to roam in the countryside to find hidden corners at a lake or in the woods and these spots and memories always inspire us for dreamy photo shootings.


You have a very distinct photographic style when it comes to food photography - how did this develop? 
Thank you!! It just came naturally. When we started photographing food, our style was actually quite bright and clean, as we photographed only in our kitchen at home in Berlin. Quite soon we needed more space though and had the possibility to use Laura’s fathers house in the countryside for a while as a studio, as he didn’t used it during that time that much. There the light was more moody, we had plenty of old rustic tables and always found some interesting wooden boards in the garden. So our style changed of course!

This yummy looking gluten-free pumpkin seed berry cake features in their book Dialogues.

Do you have any advice to anyone looking to recreate the same dark, atmospheric look in their own photography?
 We are huge fans of natural light photography. So if you want to create this moody look, we would suggest shooting in a room with a small window and without direct sunlight. You can also use a black background, but you don’t even need that, if you just watch the light and get a feeling for it, when it’s best and at which time it helps you to create the effect that you want.

Do you each have your own skill set, if so how do you tend to divide tasks?
We always develop the recipes together. But Nora always cooks, I’m cleaning in between :) and then we do the styling together and I shoot the pictures. But the photo shooting process is always a moment where we work together. 


Seasonal recipes like this glutenfree pear cake can be found over on the Our Food Stories blog.
You divide your time between two (beautiful!) homes, can you tell us more about them?
Thanks a lot! We have a flat in Berlin which is close to our studio. Our countryside space, is a little flat in the house of friends, which we completely renovated. It’s so wonderful to live in a house with them, we're very grateful for this! Together we share a wonderful garden, which is our all time favorite photo shooting spot during summer.


Laura & Nora's Berlin apartment is near to their fabulous studio where a lot of the the culinary /photographic magic happens. Because of the creative chaos that often comes with photo shoots (although looking at the pictures, that's hard to imagine!) the pair like to keep their home pared-back and calm. Enjoy the tour!


"We love the mix between old and new things! Our home in Berlin is more modern, with new danish design interiors." 






GET THE LOOK







Laura & Nora completely renovated their two room flat in the countryside just outside Berlin from scratch. It's part of a larger house owned by friends and offers a completely different creative setting for their work. Let's take a peek inside...



"Our home in the countryside is more rustic, but also with a modern influence."





The pair recently renovated their kitchen in the country and opted for the black METOD-LAXARBY kitchen from IKEA. There's a great write-up about it and before and after pictures here.

Laura and Nora's fluffy friends Collin & Carry often make an appearance on Our Food Stories and Design Tales. They're super cute (and looking very mischevous in this picture, don't you think?!

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


"We try to create a calm and relaxing atmosphere at home and this is what we love most! We have so much chaos during photo shootings, that we value a calm yet cozy home a lot!" 




GET THE LOOK:

1. FRAMA shelf library desk / 2. Taccia table lamp / 3. Aesop soap / 4. By Mölle linen bedding
/ 5. &Tradition Fly sofa / 6. Industrial pendant lamp / 7. Aure print / 8. Vintage chopping boards
9. Tea towel / 10. Industrial scissor lamp /11. Silke Bonde 'dew' art print / 12. Saxe chair By Lassen
13. Marshall speakers

If you loved their homes as much as I do, and don't already follow their blog  Our Food Stories and instagram feeds @ourfoodstories and @designtales - they're a must!! Who knows, you might even feel inspired to whip up a plum pie this evening (although I can't imagine mine looking quite like theirs!). You might also be excited to hear they have a book out too:





"Our book 'Dialogues' is a collaboration with Frama Cph. We love their work and have a lot of their beautiful furniture in our home. To work on a book together was such a great experience! The book is a mix of interior/design content and recipes and we hope, that it will be inspiring for others!"


Dialogues is available here.

Thank you so much for sharing your trade secrets and beautiful abodes with us Nora and Laura!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and see you Monday!

Niki

PS I can't wait to get out in the knee-deep snow (such a kid!).


PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF ©OUR FOOD STORIES.

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The Dream Swedish Country House of 'Our Food Stories' is For Sale!

If ever there was an opportunity to snap up a beautiful country home in Österlen, South Sweden this would be it. In fact, when Laura and Nora (of Our Food Stories / Design Tales) reached out to me this morning to tell me the news they were selling I nearly cried on their behalf. But all good things must come to an end, and it's time for this incredibly talented couple to focus on projects in their home country of Germany. Which means that this beautiful house from the 1800s in the tiny village of Södra Mellby is waiting for a new owner!

Since buying it in 2019, Laura and Nora have carried out extensive renovations all the while being careful to maintain the original charm. You might recognise the incredible oak DeVOL kitchen (I once featured it here) - but this is the first time I've shown the rest of the house. And true to their signature style, I was thrilled to see the entire space has been furnished with a wonderful blend of vintage and antique pieces as well as Scandinavian design items, against a calming earthy backdrop. Ready to take a tour? 



Gorgeous! 

Österlen is such a lovely part of Sweden. Home to many artists and musicians, the area is known for its relaxed vibe, rolling hills, stunning coastline, small boutiques and farm shops as well as countless ateliers and flea markets. It's also popular as a summer holiday destination, with many Stockholmers settling in for the month of July. 

The best thing about this house, is that whoever moves in wouldn't need to change a thing. It would be to just relax and enjoy the Österlen sunshine and maybe ride a bike down to the sea for a dip. Such a heavenly escape!

I need to speak to Per. 

Curious to hear more? The house is for sale through Mäklarhuset

If you loved Laura and Nora's Swedish home, you might also like:

Before and after: a derelict classroom becomes an incredible kitchen

Needless to say, the creative duo has amassed over 1 million followers on instagram. Check out Our Food Stories and Design Tales for more inspiration. 

Kram! 

Niki

Photography: Our Food Stories / Design Tales, shared with kind permission

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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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