Face to Face: Interview with Studio Oink
Among the many talented creatives we interviewed in the latest issue of the Bloesem Gazette, we had the privilege to speak with the duo behind interior design studio, Studio Oink. We have always been big fans of their styling work and grabbed the opportunity to ask them for their expert advice on home decoration and keen forecast on design trends in 2015.
How did you guys end up working together in the interior design scene?
When we met the first time in 2011 on the furniture fair in Cologne we felt a big connection between us and when I finished my studies one year ago it was clear to us, that we will work together and set up our own interior studio. Since our childhood we both felt connected to interiors, aesthetic pieces, furniture and craft matters. In my case (Lea), when I was watching a movie for example, I was always interested in the interior and how the interior interacts with the actors. Matthias built a lot of small wooden houses in his childhood; some were in the trees and some in bushes. A lot of things were about a "home" in our childhood, so it was a kind of logical consequence that we ended up in the interior design scene.
What is the dynamics of your partnership? Who does what?
We have the same "goal" and the same feeling and relation to "aesthetics". I am responsible for the marketing, the PR and even for the acquisition. Matthias is responsible for the technical drawings, the crafted things and all the technical and crafted related questions and works. But if we have a project, we work out together the concept. We both make up our minds and we make some moodboards. On a meeting we fix the basic themes and the colour schemes. After we created the basic mood and the concept, I am responsible for the more detailed moods and the research of furniture and so on. Matthias takes over responsibility for the drawings, so everything goes "hand in hand" and we always work as a team on a project. We never work on a project alone. Its very important to us, to listen to the opinion of the other and discuss about moods and colours and so on.
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Many people find themselves overwhelmed when facing the task of decorating their own homes. They know what they like but they find it hard to put things together. What are 3 simple guidelines you would give to them?
Oh, we don’t like that question, because there are no "basic rules" we can give. We know that there are some advices like "use one colour scheme and try to style everything tone in tone" or "try to give a neutral atmosphere some interesting colour splashes". But its not that easy as it seems and we always give the advice to hire a professional, if you are not sure with your interior concept. It seems to be easy to style a home or maybe a set for a magazine, but it isn’t. There are so many parts which should be considered. It depends on the owner, on the taste of the owner and of course on the environment. To us, every project is new, there are no general rules. We create always tailor-made concepts for our customers.
Describe the design scene in Germany. And if you could be based anywhere else where would it be and why.
The design scene in Germany is not very huge, you cannot compare it with the scandinavian or dutch design scene, which is much more bigger. There are some very talented german designers like Sarah Böttger or Aust & Amelung, but they are located in different cities. Of course a lot of people are thinking that the most talented creative people are located in Berlin, but for us it isn’t. There is a big movement in Leipzig now, where Matthias is born, and we are going to move there. It’s a very nice city with a great dynamic and a grounded and honest creative scene. But we don’t like to tie something on a city, it is as we said, there are some very talented designer in different (smaller) cities in Germany, like the jewellery label WSAKE and we don’t have a "creative" city or a community for designers. Its often connected with (big) companies, so there are huge networks between designers (creatives) and manufacturers, but to us, the "real" creatives are working "behind the scenes". If we couldn’t move to Leipzig, we could imagine to live in Denmark (not in Copenhagen!), in Belgium, France or the Netherlands…there are a lot of beautiful cities and places in these countries and we are fascinated by their architecture and their way of life.
What’s the most common mistake people make when set forth to design their home?
Its the problem, I already mentioned: They trust in design advices and try to "decorate" their home by following some design rules, but they forget to live in their places. For us its essential to create home concepts where our clients feel sheltered and "home" by using second-hand furniture and mix them with personal pieces. We like to see the traces of life in an interior, we don’t like it, if it looks too clean and arranged like in a catalogue.
What’s in store for Studio Oink in 2015?
We are currently working on a big interior design project in Washington D.C., its about an old townhouse, which is already renovated. We are responsible for the interior concept, which means the furnishing, the colour schemes, artwork, flowers and plants and so on. Moreover we are going to stock up our small online shop with some cute handcrafted dolls for kids.
But we also have some other projects in our minds, which we would like to realize in 2015. We will see, we think it will be exciting!
What’s an upcoming trend for interior and furniture in 2015?
Nature and living in a natural and ecological way is still a "trend", even for the next year. For the colour range there will be soft tones, like pale rosé or pale mint for furniture and wall colours, but even darker soft tones will be in fashion. Moreover the scandinavian way of life will stay popular. I am sure there will be more ceramic in the interiors in 2015, even in the furniture. I guess there will be some combination of wood and ceramic, similar to the collection Matthias designed in 2010 ( http://www.studiooink.de/raw-materials/).
Images courtesy of Studio Oink.