Ecological kindness is the motto behind Yve Michels’ interior design business, prettykindspace. As a qualified engineer, her approach to planning, designing and implementing concepts for room design is practical and meticulous. “I always look at the floor plan first and organise it down to the last detail,” she says. “Then I continue working in three dimensions with the right material and colour.”
At home in Germany, Yve lives with her husband, Alex, and their two children on part of an old farm that her grandparents used to run. With unobstructed views across the countryside and two young children in tow, returning to her home village from the city six years ago has been a tonic.
“I love the quiet and nature,” she says. “As I’m often in the city for work and my husband, Alex, has a skate shop in the city, we wanted a bit more peace in our private lives, and we’ve got that now as our surroundings are tranquil and our village has only 100 inhabitants.”
Her personal sense of interior style is very much mirrored in her philosophy at work, which is mainly about optimising the use of space and dialling up the feel-good factor through a slightly Scandinavian and detail-orientated approach.
“The colours I use trigger positive feelings and suit us. Colour is life, but I have to mix everything precisely so it doesn’t become too restless. For me, the right use of colour is the key. As well as attention to detail. I can lose myself for hours in the planning of our own house.”
The building itself has been renovated to make it more energy-efficient, and they have adapted the floor plan to their needs. “The biggest change was the roof,” she says. “We completely removed the old roof and raised everything by about 50 cm. Now, all the bedrooms are located directly under the roof peak, with each room having a lower and upper level reached via a separate staircase.”
Yve’s work is never far from home: their first floor is partly occupied by her interior design office for prettykindspace. With some exciting projects on the horizon this year, including furnishing a hotel, Yve is looking forward to exploring new avenues creatively.
“I’ve been interested in rooms for as long as I can remember,” she says. “I grew up with my father, who never attached much importance to furnishings. As a child, I constantly tried to make something nice and warm out of the little I had. That might sound a bit sad, but it means I can put myself in other people’s shoes and understand their needs very well.”
“For me, the focus is always on people. Who am I planning for? What does this person need? As soon as I know this, I can get creative straight away.”
Bu Yve’s creative focus always returns to what she can do at home. “Since I became an interior designer, I would say my creative vision and work have melded. Our house will always be a project, and I wouldn’t want it any other way. It should always grow and change. The next thing we’ll do is upgrade the children’s rooms and add a second balcony with a small outdoor sauna.”
See Yve’s work at prettykindspace.de
Follow Yve at @everyve