Having a space that makes you feel calm and content has never been more important (especially since we’ve all spent so much time in our homes over the last few years). Our new ‘My Happy Space’ series aims to celebrate the areas in our homes that offer us comfort, tranquility and even inspiration – no matter how big or small they may be. From cosy corners to uplifting creative studios, we’ll be sharing the stories behind what make these places so important to those who created them, and hear their tips for adding small sanctuaries to our spaces.
For the first interview in the series, we meet Igor Josifovic-Kemper, the writer behind award-winning international blog Happy Interior Blog (and also co-founder of Urban Jungle Bloggers, alongside fellow plant lover Judith de Graaff), who lives in Berlin.
Starting the Happy Interior Blog in 2011 to share his love of interior design, home décor, travel and plants in one happy place, Igor aims to bring awareness to the spaces we live in, with the belief that “a home is not a simple space it is our personal haven, a visual identity of ourselves, and a shelter to nourish our happiness.”
While, unsurprisingly, Igor has curated his home to be his own personal retreat, the space that makes him feel most content and relaxed is his living room – a light, bright space that he describes as a ‘lush urban jungle’ which is filled with design pieces from Brazil.
“The space came together slowly,” Igor explains, “My partner and I selected the furniture and decor as well as the plants consciously. The central piece is a vintage leather sofa from the 1970s by the Brazilian designer Percival Lafer. Above it is a contemporary art piece by the Brazilian textile designer Juliana Maia.
“I feel very relaxed and very much at home – every piece was chosen consciously and has a personal meaning to me and my partner.”
It’s not just the furniture and greenery that gives Igor’s living room a feeling of calmness, but the earthy and neutral hues of dark greens, off whites and beiges, mixed with dark woods and black accents. Rich, varied textures including wool, wood and leather also add to the relaxed yet opulent feel.
Of course, with Igor’s living room as his ‘Happy Space’, it’s somewhere he uses daily for a variety of uses. Whether alone reading to relaxing with his partner or socialising with friends, the space provides a backdrop to his everyday life – offering comfort and a space to unwind, improving his well-being in the process.
“It makes me feel very happy to spend time at home,” he says, “and I believe that this feeling of being at home is crucial to our overall well-being. Imagine spending every day in a space you dislike? Not very comforting or appealing, right?”
The joy of curating our own spaces to ‘just be’ in, means that they can be added to at any point to support our changing needs. One way Igor plans to enhance his space is by creating a ‘cosy home cinema corner for extensive Netflix evenings’ which sounds like a wonderful way to unwind on cold, winter nights.
The award-winning blogger’s top tips to make our own personal havens include really taking time choosing the objects that will be filling it, to ensure they not only look good but feel good too: “choose furniture and decor items slowly over time, let them speak to you and select what really feels right to you,” Igor explains.
“If you start from scratch it always helps to create a digital moodboard and get an understanding of the look and feel you want to achieve. Also add a few plants for the extra cosiness at home!”
What is your favourite…
… Book? I have many favorites! Recently I read the letters and journals of Katherine Mansfield and was pretty much taken away to another time and space.
…. Comfort food? A simple plate of pasta with a homemade tomato sauce and lots of cheese.
… Craft/ activity? Taking care of my plants.
… Loungewear? I love the loungewear by Spanish label Twothirds.
… Candle scent? Figue (Fig) and Coing (Quince) from Diptyque.
… TV series? I enjoy many TV series, the latest I watched was ‘The Chair’ on Netflix and it was very entertaining.