I was very happy when Elisabeth Dunker from FineLittleDay accepted my invitation for today’s interview. I truly value her views on interior styling. I love her Nordic style and think she has an impeccable taste. Many thanks Elisabeth, I’m glad we’ve met each other via our blogs!
1.) Could you tell us a little bit about your background and interests and…. of course your present involvement with interior design and styling?
I’ve always been interested in aesthetic and visual communication. My passion led me into HDK, the School of Design and Crafts in Gothenburg/Sweden were I studied design for five years. From here I founded Lula, a multi-disciplinary art and design partnership based in Gothenburg/Sweden.
I’m working in a wide area, as a freelance stylist and photographer for interior design and fashion projects, mainly for Swedish parents magazines. I’m also a designer and started my own business a couple of years ago, I produce textiles, wallpaper, kids clothes and accessories.
2.) When you enter a room what is the first thing you pay attention to and do you focus on any particular item in the room?
When I enter a room I will notice the scent first, and the light. If I’m working I will be looking for camera angles and eye catching items to compose pictures. Generally I tend to look at personal details, such as family pictures, textiles, carpets, books….
3.) What do you think is important to show in a room?
It’s nice when peoples’ personality show in their homes. I don’t like too styled environments, I want to see traces of life, see that there are people living there, not a stiff show off feeling.
Heritage and worn furniture, I like the feeling someone has lived there for a long time.
4.) Can you tell us about one of your recent projects and why you loved doing this project so much? Why did you choose a particular approach and style for this project and what can we learn from this?
Well, recently I did an interior reportage about a lovely family living in an old house together with another family. I asked them not to clean before I came and act just as usual. I really don’t know if they did, but I got such a good feeling from this ‘real life’ family, running around, spilling, laughing, throwing stuff around. It felt like a genuine, authentic environment, and I think it shows in the magazine pictures as well. Don’t style too much!
5.) Can you give us any advice about how small adjustments to a room can have a great im-pact and visibly improve the look and feel of a room? Which materials do you love to work with most, e.g. paint, wallpaper, textile, and which designers and manufacturers are among your favorites?
I like prints, patterns and colors in textiles/fabrics and porcelain/ceramics, they are a glorious and simple way to get character in a room. Wallpaper in the background could also be effective. You don’t have to attach the wallpaper to the wall, you can just hang a piece in hooks and in that way, very easily change the feeling in a room.
I’m inspired by Marcel Wanders striking sense of playfulness and significance, humor in all his design and I’m a big fan of Charles and Ray Eames archetypal pieces of 1950s design.
I just love their Coathanger for example, with iron and multi colored wooden balls, inspired by the atomic age, nuclear physics, atoms and molecules.
I’m also impressed by and fond of Marimekkos and Ivana Helsinki prints and Nordic styles.
6.) Besides a good couch or chair, which other items should be in any living room, or perhaps we should leave the couch and chair out?
Maybe we should leave the TV out and just have a pile of pillows all over the floor? No, but honestly TV furniture is so boring, and I think it’s lovely when a living room has generous areas (couches, chairs or pillows) where you can sit and spend time with each other. Beside that, the light must be the most important thing. A good light source is essential; point lightning is good to set the mood.
7.) What do you think will be the new trend in interior design for 2008 and beyond?
Oh, interior trends… hmm, patterns, colors and items from the late fifties and early sixties seem to be picked up easily at flea markets at the moment, so that must be a tip. The muted and pas-tel palette of the fifties together with geometric designs of the sixties. Also organic shapes and natural materials such as wood, wool and stone.
(Inspiration: www.oliko.se )
8.) To what extent is your work influenced by trips abroad and experiencing other cultures? When you are visiting a foreign country are there any special items you look for to bring back home?
Folklore is a big source of inspiration to me, especially Russian, Polish, Finnish (and Swedish) rustic folklore. If I’m abroad I’m always interested in decorative details and elements in tradi-tional uniforms, embroideries, tableware and textiles. Different packaging also seems to end up in my bag to bring back home.
9.) I am sure I forgot to ask you many important questions….. is there anything that you think we should all know about interior design to help us create a special home?
I’m very fond of vintage pieces, mixed with more contemporary design. Besides that thrilling feeling of uniqueness with vintage pieces, I love the challenge to see new use for an old item. Also I like that there is a sense of history with vintage things, and of course that it is a great choice to be environment friendly.
Beautiful images from Elisabeth Dunker’s – Fine Little Day’s Flickr.