How to include working space in the living room.

By Zuzanna Kotecka
11 May 2018
Category: NOMADS AT HOME


Valerio is a designer that works from home, his living room became his office. One day he wrote to me "I have this thing of constantly changing the setting of my furniture to find a proper configuration, but so far I could't find the solution. How should I rearrange my furniture that I don't feel like at work all the time?" I decided to visit Valerio and take a closer look to his problem.


Tell me little bit about you. Hi ! My name is Valerio and was born in Italy. I'm designer and I create mainly digital artworks, but sometimes I use traditional techniques too. I have moved to Berlin 3 years ago, looking for a better job perspectives. Why here ? I guess it all happened when I came to Berlin for the first time, it was September, weather was still nice and I got infected by Berlin's spirit. There's something about this city that gets under your skin. You can fell that Berlin is different than the others cities, you can fell it's creative atmosphere, art galleries are on every street corner and they are full of the unique artworks. It's truly amazing, but at the same time it's a trap ! You decide on coming here and then you are realizing that not everything is gold and there's a lot of problems that you have to deal with: German bureaucracy, language, apartment hunt, weather. It isn't so easy... but I can't imagine to live somewhere else.



modern nomads at home office in the livingroom



What is your favourite place in Berlin ? I don't have on particular place in my mind, but I have good feeling towards Zeltlagerplatz. When I came to Berlin for the first time to do some exchange program, we have landed exactly there. There is nothing special about that place, but for me it has special meaning. Everything started there for me.



   

interview

design problem


Now, let's focus on Valerio's living room, no doubt that he had furnished it in very logical and functional way, circulation in the room is good and there is access to all furniture. However, the feeling of the home is missing, when I have entered the room I had a feeling that I am getting into the office. I asked him right the way, if he is having meetings with his clients here, but he denied. As he is working form home it's necessary for him to have a proper working space, but at the same time it's his living room, where he should be able to relax after a long day and have a place where he can invite friends over.


plan of furniture arragment office in livingroom

So what we need to do is balance the room functions, reduce office space and create more space to relax and chill. To achieve that harmony I recommend to shuffle the furniture by grouping desks together and creating one big working space on the one side of the room. Then I would use big Ikea regal as a divider between office and living room, by placing it in the middle of room and moving sofa next to it and as they have the same width, they will match perfectly. On the opposite wall I would keep dining table, which would be facing the wall. There is enough space for two people, but the room is big enough, so whenever Valerio would have guest he can easily move the table and get additional paces to sit around it.



plan of furniture arragment office in livingroom


Secondly, we need to work on creating a coherent style of the room. It can be difficult part specially when you are not sure what elements will match together and endless shopping possibilities are not making it easier. The easiest way to do that is to pick three to four colours or materials and stick to them when we are buying furnitures and accessories. To make the room more cosy the best will be natural and light colour materials. Valerio has already some wooden and white furniture, so we will start building around that. Above his desk Valerio had many boards with week schedules and to do lists, as well he has a lot of drawings that he can display. This is way I decide on big cork surface above the desk, where he can easily pin his to do list. It is easy to mount and very practical.




elevation of home office nomads at home gegen design desk

elevation of home office nomads at home gegen design desk



 


    



  

Below you can find some pictures form "work in progress".  Valerio already manage to rearrange furniture and install cork on the wall. Can't wait to see the rest.



modern nomads at home office in the livingroom

modern nomads at home office in the livingroom

modern nomads at home office in the livingroom

"Home is where I can feel safe and all my belongings are stored."



What home means to you ?  For me home is where I can feel safe and all my belongings are stored. I am really attached to my tools and it's important to me that I can access them easily. I don't feel comfortable when I am on holidays and I don't have my tools with me, of course I could borrow or buy buy new ones, but then I have to get use to to them, they are somehow not mine right away.


If you would have to move out and you could take only one object from your apartment what would be ? I would take any electrical device with operating system on it. Maybe it's a nerdy thing to do, but there are so many things you can do on it and it can play music, which is very important.



modern nomads at home office in the livingroom



If you would have open budget what house would you build ? I imagine it as two storey building that I would filled in with all that expensive, good looking and unnecessary objects. I would buy a lot furniture from fancy designers just because I could afford them. I would have separate rooms for everything, one would be a studio for drawing, second office with all electronics, couple of bedrooms for me and my guests and huge living room where I could chill and invite friends. Ah and I would have a huge garden.

Tags: home office zooning working space desk spece division cork pin wall Ikea regal
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Itaca - nomads house kit

By Zuzanna Kotecka
10 May 2018
Category: FURNITURE

The worst part of the relocation is moving all your belongings from one place to another. It could be a big pain in the a... back. Limited to the space in the car or travel bag size, we have to carefully select what to take and what to leave behind and then we are arriving in a new place without almost anything, but what if... we could have set of the furniture that we can easily assemble and dissemble and take them always with us?  



modern furniture for nomads gegen design interior architecture

Elena Bompani Italian designer came out of the idea a flexible furniture system that would instantly make a new abode feel like home, she was inspired by the fact that she had moved 13 times in 25 years.  “We have more flexible lifestyles now, less anchored to the places, and within a few years [one] can happen to move many times. I think about my own experience, or that of many people I know, and that every six months I’m living in a different place,” she says.



modern furniture for nomads gegen design interior architecture

Itaca it's a simple and flexible nomadic furniture system that recreates a private spaces with simple modular elements, Itaca can be easily personalized and can take several configurations, adapting to space and needs. The design, made from fabric and wood, can used to make a bed, table, a wardrobe and additional storage and it can be assembled without any tools. 


    


Itaca is inspired in the materials and colors to the objects brought in the past by nomadic shepherds during the transhumance, and to old nomadic artisans. “I think you always feel the need to carry around a piece of your own history, of your land, in order to have roots in one place and branches growing in any direction – this was wanted I wanted to explore with Ithaca.”


 modern furniture for nomads gegen design interior architecture   


“Today, more than ever, the house is no longer a specific place but a feeling, a small cosmos that can be anywhere. The objects are often not only ‘tools’, but rather the things with which we establish relations, to which we tie memories. They are important because they are apart of our identity,” Bompani says.



modern nomads at home office in the livingroom

The easy-to-assemble structure is held together by leather belts, and comes with linen pockets, shelves, and boxes to allow for customization. The daybed is made from beech wood, making the system lightweight and easy to transport.


foto:Elena Bompani

concept
Tags: furniture nomads mobility assemble natural materials
itaca-nomadic-furniture-elena-bompani-furniture-gegen-design-350.jpg

How to domesticate a dorm room ?

By Zuzanna Kotecka
09 May 2018
Category: NOMADS AT HOME

      Unfortunately, when we are moving in to the dorm, we can not pick the furniture that we want or paint the walls in our favourite colour. Generic student dorm rooms can be repelling. Is there a simple way to domesticate unappealing places? In this article I will visit and interview Ivis, colourful soul from Venezuela, which came to Berlin to study human rights and have asked me to help her to feel at home in her dorm room.


Tell me little bit about you. My name is Ivis and I came to Berlin about a year ago. When I first moved out from home I went to Malta, where I have been living and working for a while. Unfortunately, time was passing fast and my visa was about to end, I was pretty sure that I wanted to stay in longer Europe. Hence I started to look for master programs that would help to extend my visa and I was lucky to found prefect one in Berlin. I did not hesitate much and this is how I end up living here. Last year I was mainly studying, specially that very passionate about my masters and I love to explore topics such as racism, women and LGBT rights, this year I would like to balance it a bit more and find more time to hang out with my friends.





Do you think that Berlin is tolerant ?  At the first glance - yes, it is a special city, where so many cultures living together in harmony, but the longer I have been living here, the more I notice situations, which aren't that funny. Before coming here I had been warned couple of times, that as I will be living in the east part unpleasant situations might happen. Personally, I haven't face up to a really dangerous situation, just once really drunk guy was being rude to me and my friends only because we were speaking English instead of German. I was shocked and pretty scared at the same time, he was very drank and you never know how things can escalate.


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What do you like in Berlin and what is your favourite place ?  Ah ! I love Berlin ! It has this urban vibe, but at the same time each district is different and have their own community. For me going through the city is like travelling through the time, you can easily see history of the city just by looking at the different types of buildings.


Berlin is my favourite city that I have been living so far and it has changed me a lot. It has changed the way I look and the way I am now, before coming here I had a really long hair, in Venezuela there are ridicules beauty standards, every girl has to look nice and be polished from head to toe. No exceptions. In Berlin I have learned that there isn't one type of beauty and even ugly things can be beautiful and that is okey to not to be perfect. That was one of the reasons that I decided to shave my hair. I also love the feeling of community, that you can find here. People are open, like to meet new people, share advices or things. I got couple furniture from street, some people just left them for others. Even you ! In the way I got you from the street too. Hahaha.



foto: iheartberlin.de // Admiralbruecke



As for particular place I love Mano bar in Kreuzberg ! It's my favourite place ever, I can spend there hours reading books. As well there is a bridge next to Maybachufer I don’t know its name (red: Admiralbruecke), I am calling it pedestrian bridge, where people just sit and drinking beers or read. At the beginning I though it's pedestrian only, but then I saw a car slowly going between people. I was in shock at first, but I love that freedom of Berliners, that every place is good to sit and read a book.



foto: Fotosintesi Projekt Photocollective // Mano Cafe, Skalitzerstr 46A





interview

design problem




Ivis doesn't feel comfortable in her dormitory room. Well... to be honest I am not surprised, her space is very small and additionally all furniture and floor are finished with dark blue laminate, which makes this place seem to be even smaller. Quite often Ivis has guests, so she got an extra sofa, to be able to host them, but the room is too small and now she has to jump over it to get to the cupboard. In this post over I will focus on two the things, first on rearranging the furniture in the more functional way that she will have an free access to all furniture, (no more jumping over sofa ! ) and secondly I will add a bit of style to the place to  Ivis personality..





Ivis showed has showed to me her favourite house  Villa Planchart design and build by Gio Ponti in Caracas 1953-37 and I really loved it. It has served me as inspiration for her room, in the design I will use similar set of geometrical patterns and combine them with colourful elements. In the room there is a lot of dark blue colour, so we need to balance it with brighter colours, to do so I will use yellow, white and mix it with pink and black.





There is no space to fit new furniture, but we can create a cosy felling by adding more textiles. It seems as very simple advice, but believe me right textiles can drastically change the room. Only by adding bed covers, pillows, curtains and carpet will make room looks better.  Long white and yellow curtains will create the impression that the room is bigger. Colourful textiles set up with black and white geometric patterns will add a playfulnesses and expose Ivis personality, colourful shelves will cheer up gloomy room. I have based my design on IKEA furniture and accessories but they can be replaced  with similar looking cheaper versions.





   


   


   


If you like the project and thinking of purchasing items used in it, please consider buying it by affiliate links conected to the pictures.
It is helping me to run this project for free. Thanks !




"Home for me is a place, where I can feel safe, comfortable and where I can relax without being disturbed.  It's also the place where I set up the rules."



What home means to you ? Hmm, that is a hard one. Of course, at first my thoughts are taking me to my family home, but since I haven't been living there for such a long time, I don't feel fully at home there anymore. It's more my mum's house then mine and I have adapt to her rules, whene I coming back. I think at the moment I don't have home, I am forcing this place to be my home, but isn't so easy to call this way your dormitory room. In general home for me is a place, where I can feel safe, comfortable, where I can relax without being disturbed. It's also the place where I set up the rules.


If you would have to move out and you could take only one object from your apartment what would be ?  Well, I am free spirit I don’t like to be tight to anything. I would left everything behind.


If you would have open budget what house would you build ? I adore big white spaces with huge windows and white curtains, buildings that are spacious and full of the light, I am convince that you should build your house in the way that you don't have turn on the light during the day. I am not so much in to ornament, I love simple geometric forms. I can show you my favourite house in Venezuela. It is called Quinta el Cerrito Villa Planchart made in 50ties in modernistic stile, huge openings almost without walls. I wish my house looks like this.



   

Villa Planchart by Gio Ponti //



Tags: dorm room color geometric patterns textile furniture arrangement
analiza_dorm_-room.jpg

Foldable desk

By Zuzanna Kotecka
08 May 2018
Category: FURNITURE

       Nowadays more and more people choosing to become digital nomads, the idea of working for anywhere is really tempting. However, quite often happens that our favourite table in the coffee place next corner is taken and we spend a lot of time to find another perfect spot. Wouldn't be perfect, if we could carried our working space with us? Nigerian product designer Nifemi Marcus-Bello came up with idea of portable work table that can be carried like a suitcase and is convenient for the office and the home.


Nifemi  has created the portable TEBUR (‘table’ in hausa). TEBUR is a flat-pack work desk designed with the ease of transportation and assembly in mind; the table accommodates the lifestyle of the users who live or work in small spaces for extended period of time.

 

This table is a product inspired by the minimal: a substitution to heavy, awkward-to-transport furniture. When designing the table, Marcus-Bello considered transport options and crowded conditions of cities like Lagos and as a result the TEBUR is specially engineered to be light and allow easy, one-handed transportation. 



flat pack table nomads at home

foto: Nifemi Marcus-Bello



The table is made of adjusted manufacturing products, with four easy-to-screw legs made of wood. The design and structure of the table makes it easy to assemble without tools: the legs are screwed into their corresponding holes underneath the flat top. The designer created the Tebur table to be lightweight so it can be lifted with one hand. The legs, which are made from reclaimed wood, screw into the tabletop, allowing for quick and intuitive disassembly.



flat pack table nomads at home

foto: Nifemi Marcus-Bello



"The Tebur design is minimalistic, stable and lends the workplace an aura of quiet efficiency," added Marcus-Bello. Until now, work tables were typically heavy, awkward to transport long distances and challenging to assemble," said the designer. "These issues were considered in view of readily available transport options and conditions in crowded cities such as Lagos."




flat pack table nomads at home

foto: Nifemi Marcus-Bello



These issues were considered in view of readily available transport options and conditions in crowded cities. As a result, the TEBUR allows for easy, one-handed transportation. The legs are held in place along the underside of the table-top by elastic cotton, so the user simply has to slide them out and screw each leg into a whole for set-up, with no tools needed. The handle also doubles a grommet hole for cable management.

concept
Tags: desk remote work digital nomads flat pack assemble easy to carry
tebur-nifemi-marcu-bello-design-flat-pack-furniture-gegen-design.jpg

How to paint vinyl floor ?

By Zuzanna Kotecka
07 May 2018
Category: DIY

From the first moment I really liked my apartment, lots of light reflected by the white walls and high ceiling. I was super lucky to get this place that fast. However, there was one thing that couldn't let me sleep - kitchen floor, ugly and destroyed vinyl floor with dark brown pattern, was truly horrible. I needed to change it but at the same time I didn't want to invest too much money in it. I came up with a crazy  idea. What if I am gonna paint it ?


Null



How to refresh vinyl floor  ?

When I asked for advice sell person in Obi what is the best type of paint to cover a vinyl floor, I had to deal with weird look and the answer that this can't be done. Well... what else can I do? I could buy I new laminate or put plywood, but as my kitchen doesn't have typical rectangular shape, I would have to struggle to cut those elements. I didn't want to do that, so I started to dig the topic more and looking for the paint that could cover vinyl. Below you can find the process that I have taken. 

Step one - pick the right paint.

I have decided to buy OBI Fußbodenfarbe Betongrau seidenglänzend 2,5 l, because of two reasons. First - the colour, blue grey tones are my absolutely favourite, secondly the paint can be used on coating stressed, absorbent cement or concrete floor surfaces, like floors in cellar, workshop, warehouse and hobby rooms, on stairs, covered balconies, and terraces. The paint is also abrasion-resistant, low-odor, water-dilutable, hard-wearing, very good coverage, quick-drying, shock and impact-resistant, easy to work with and resistant to common household cleaning products and I have spend 27 euros on it.

Step two - clean carefully the floor.
I think it is the most annoying part of painting specially, if the vinyl floor it isn't new. You have make sure that you clean all the dust and dirt, if the flooring has holes it is a good idea to patch them with all-purpose caulk.



    



Step three - prime the floor.

I have primed the floor with first paint coating that was mixture of 1:1 of paint and water. Paint was drying quite fast and evaporated water made the surface not even.

 

Step four - just paint it.

This part was a pure fun, I was using paint roller so execution was super fast. Paint was dying very fast and after two or three layers, horrible brown patter was not visible any more. Instead of that my new stylish floor was ready to use.






I think visual effect was amazing and I really love how everything turn out, but I have to warn you here. It isn't the professional solution, you can not expect that will be durable for ever, but if you are the person who cares to not to screech the floor with furniture you will be happy with this solution. I have painted my floor almost two years ago and now I got only small scratched in the area of kitchen table. Another point that is worth underling is that the paint occurred to be very efficient and I have used only 1/3 of the bucket, so in some time I can refresh floor by adding another layer. I think as the cheapest and easiest solution for 27 euro painting vinyl is worth to recommend.  






 

        


do it yourself



Tags: diy painting vinyl floor kitchen floor low budget
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