The home of an artist becomes a backdrop that complements their vision; either as a silent springboard for ideas to canvas upon, or one that stirs the cogs of imagination simply by its visual flair.
For artist, Katharina Kölln, her home is a manifestation of the quiet magic resting in her botanical-themed illustrations, where foliage, wood tones and natural textures come together in a space of warmth and homeliness.
Settled on the edge of a forest in the small town of Bavaria, Germany, Katharina, her husband, Roman, and their two cats, Teddy and Jimmy, moved here three months ago. “We longed for peace and quiet and for a little more nature around us,” says Katharina, on their reason for moving from downtown Nuremberg. “And we’ve long dreamed of renovating a house on our own.”
Before moving in, the couple set to work refurbishing the property, built in the 1970s, into a home they could love. Sustainability and vegan ethics were high on the couple’s agenda and their focus was pinned on finding the right products to suit their values.
Their roof is insulated with sustainable wood fibre, the floors are made of European wood, treated with vegetable and biological hard wax oil and the windows and doors are made of FSC certified wood. They sanded and sealed the walls, and enlarged six windows so light could filter freely from one end to the other. They laid tiles in the bathroom, installed new doors and opened the ceiling to expose old wooden beams.
Originally from Kazakhstan, Katharina grew up on a farm with her grandmother and developed her love for interiors by browsing furniture stores at 16-years-old. Without a home of her own to decorate, she poured over sample showrooms and soaked up the details of what could be hers one day. Now, eight apartments and one house later, Katharina has developed a sense of style that’s uniquely her own.
“Having knowledge of colours and an eye for detail gives me an advantage when designing living spaces,” she says. The colour scheme is a soothing combination of wood tones from floor to ceiling, where mahogany bureaus stand beside simple oak chairs on maple-coloured floors, and the unifying theme is vintage mid-century.
“It’s a lot of fun to look for the old treasures and then revalue them and give them a new life,” says Katharina. “I love mid-century and the great shapes, both practical and decorative at the same time.” On a perpetual search to add to her collection of second-hand furniture, she hunts at flea markets and online auctions for used pieces which complement her aesthetic of deep-browns or rust-orange. “And that you won’t find in the usual furniture stores,” she adds.
The exposed beams and muted walls give a feeling of light, but it’s the softness of textiles that create a welcoming feel. “It’s very important to me to make the rooms as open as possible and still create places of retreat.”
As an artist who paints flora and fauna motifs, there’s a feeling of the outside permeating the inside. Plants of all shapes and sizes stand on tabletops or artfully clutter the wall-side, while the windows peer out onto the stillness of the forest beyond. Katharina’s home is built to be uncomplicated and humble, one, she says, that “leaves more time for the beautiful things in life.”
Follow Katharina on Instagram: @hiermitmir