Ein a new loft in Hamburg’s HafenCity: lots of space, lots of glass, everything open. However, when Katrin V. and her husband invite guests, everyone quickly crowds into the kitchenette. “You have to yell at each other at the dining table to understand each other,” says the Hanseatic woman.
Master interior decorator Sandra Krüger knows this problem well. “That is our daily bread!” She says and laughs. “In these city apartments it usually echoes like a church.” However, open-plan living spaces with plastered walls are still in demand and are being built using assembly lines. But the many smooth surfaces do not absorb any sound – every noise becomes noise.
Comfort is different. Three experts explain the tricks they use to make you feel good.
The work of Sandra Krüger from Wagener Raumgestaltung always begins with many questions and clarification. “The subject of furnishing with textiles puts a question mark on most people’s faces,” says the expert. “They think up to the curtain, but not a meter further.”
Of course, this also includes carpets, (textile) wallpapers, wall coverings, furniture fabrics, lampshade covers and pillows, blankets, towels. For a long time, these areas of furnishing were considered to be incredibly dusty.
Without carpet and curtain
Those who wanted to be modern lived minimally and sometimes not with carpets or curtains at all. That has changed fundamentally – and yet: “Most people come to us with a specific problem such as ‘My bedroom is too bright’,” says Krüger.
In addition to advice on content, she is also available to her customers to find style. Because you have to feel the difference between a cotton fabric and a linen fabric. To find out what someone likes materially, Krüger likes to show extreme examples.
“You always get a clear feeling for what appeals to someone very quickly, and then you can take a direction.” Example: Definitely not soapy velvet, prefer non-slip linen. In this way, you can of course find out for yourself in the nearest fabric shop which textiles you like at all.
Only then do experts dare to try something like color or pattern. But most people are afraid of color – especially in living areas. Pawel Ostrowski, creative director of Thomas Herrendorf Inneneinrichtungen in Berlin, knows this fear and also the accusation that color preferences are entertaining.
“When customers are looking for a new sofa, I often hear: ‘Better not use any color, otherwise we’ll get tired of it too quickly!’ – but I’m sure: That’s not true. If you choose a color consciously and integrate it well into the context, then you like it as long as you like neutral tones. Maybe even longer. ”
As a consequence, it means: It is always good to go to work with a favorite color in mind. Ostrowski recently had eight dining room chairs upholstered with grass-green velvet for a customer from Grunewald.
Gut feeling is important
“We wanted a little freshness in addition to all the wood in the room, and the customer had the courage to choose an accent color like this green,” explains the interior professional. But the customer wasn’t that daring everywhere: the bedroom is kept in neutral gray and beige tones.
“To ensure that the room doesn’t appear too dreary, we have paid particular attention to creating a creative tension with textures and structures,” says Ostrowski. His advice to everyone trying to breathe more sensuality into their home: “Listen to your gut feeling!”
When Pawel Ostrowski and his team furnish Herrendorf, they always keep an eye on how practical a fabric is. “Would we cover a kitchen bench with a fabric? Definitely! ”Said Ostrowski. “Would we use a silk velor for this? Of course not! ”Because silk is a sensitive thing, cleaning is next to impossible.
But the international textile manufacturers have also learned a lot: Textiles are increasingly technically extremely well equipped. They are Teflon-coated and wipeable (like the velor fabrics from Romo Black Edition) or with an aluminum-metallized back to shield sunlight and heat (like the “Glare & Heat” collection from Création Baumann). The latter example also shows how specifically functional fabrics can be used – beyond stylistic gimmicks.
Sun protection is becoming more important
With global warming and ever hotter summers even in our latitudes, for example, the topic of sun protection is particularly topical. Anyone who wants or has to retrofit is well served thanks to developments in the textile market.
And for the home office, too, there are now solutions that combine function, feel and appearance (such as the soundproof curtains from Vescom). In any case, room acoustics and textiles are an unbeatable team: interior designers sometimes cover entire walls with one fabric, for example in a dining area or bedroom. But also room dividers, cupboards or sideboards can be covered, lampshades, even picture frames. Incidentally, this is also an upcycling idea for well-seen pieces of furniture.
The experts do not want to hear that furnishing with fabrics is an issue for people with large houses and wallets. On the contrary: “We have no other approach for a small apartment! Only the rules are sometimes a little different, ”says Pawel Ostrowski.
In small rooms, things are naturally closer to one another – patterns and colors have to be chosen with even more care. The daylight situation is also often different from that of spacious houses. “For example, a north-facing apartment hardly allows the use of heavy fabrics and dark colors,” says Ostrowski.
You have to feel fabrics
Stumbling blocks like these are the ones that take away many people’s enthusiasm for furnishing with textiles. There is great uncertainty, the situation is complicated, and the prices are often extremely high. No wonder that online retailers who want to offer custom-made curtains for little money, for example, are booming in such a market. “I would strongly advise against that,” warns Arzu Kartal, Hamburg architect and interior designer.
“Searching for fabrics on the Internet is not possible: Neither the feel of the fabric nor the colors come across well online.” Over the years, she has built up her own showroom with fabric samples that she goes through with customers.
Her favorites are used again and again, including a trendy Jean Paul Gaultier fabric that Kartal recently used to cover upholstered chairs. “We had a modern kitchen with a clean dining area and white table and we absolutely needed a break in style.”
You can of course always do something like this yourself at home: Have chairs or armchairs reupholstered with a fabric and thereby turn the look of a room corner. When it comes to larger and more expensive textiles, such as curtains or carpets, interior designer Kartal advises more calm designs. “Quieter doesn’t mean gray!” Aqua and pastel tones or cream are just as timeless. But just not all in one room tone on tone: “Then it will be so so!”
With different materials (patterned fabrics, glossy versus matt), experts bring play to plain-colored interiors. And then there are the so-called “game changers” such as pillows or towels – little things that can change everything. “I just had a customer whose bathroom we redesigned,” says Kartal. “Towels should be in the open compartments – if you choose the wrong ones, you naturally spoil the whole picture.”
This text is from WELT AM SONNTAG. We are happy to deliver them to your home on a regular basis.