House tour: Home Office

Land of Nams: living in Johannesburg, exploring the world, documenting the things I love

Land of Nams: living in Johannesburg, exploring the world, documenting the things I love

Land of Nams: living in Johannesburg, exploring the world, documenting the things I love

Land of Nams: living in Johannesburg, exploring the world, documenting the things I love

Land of Nams: living in Johannesburg, exploring the world, documenting the things I love

Land of Nams: living in Johannesburg, exploring the world, documenting the things I love

Land of Nams: living in Johannesburg, exploring the world, documenting the things I love

Land of Nams: living in Johannesburg, exploring the world, documenting the things I love

Land of Nams: living in Johannesburg, exploring the world, documenting the things I love

I have been meaning to share our home little by little and I finally edited my photographs (which I took in December) of the study. My favorite room in the house is my our office. There is so much light, plus all my art supplies, and all our books. The couch also folds into a bed and it is where guests sleep when they visit. I went with a kind of cabinet of natural curiosities feel, which I suppose is my favorite feel. It’s far from finished, I need a rug that I hope to diy, and there are a bunch of pictures to put up on the wall including a metallic plate of P’s first front page story for the Wall Street Journal. I enjoy that it’s practical and whimsical at the same time.

The room is painted a very light grey, and the built-ins have yellow painted behind the books. I diy’d a lot of the stuff, including the sewing table, it’s chair, and the desk chair. I bought a few of the knick knacks from a store called The Space and Anthropologie. The rest I’ve collected from our life and travels.  A lot of the furniture is from Ikea (sorry but cheap pre fab has a certain appeal) and survived the shipping container from Berlin to Johannesburg. The books are organized by author and fiction/non fiction by P. I wanted to organize them by color but sometimes you need to cede the book shelf to your partner.

Do you have a space in your home that feels like a retreat? Where you can go for your personal time or that inspires creativity or relaxation? In NYC this might mean a corner of your apartment (in my studio I literally had a shelf for a desk) or maybe you’re lucky and like me live in a city where studies are commonplace.

My love affair with iittala.

We’ve been working hard on our place and this week I’ll show you my favorite space in our home and where I spend a lot of my time: my our office. But first I’d like to sing the the praises of some of my favorite smaller elements of it, starting with my Iittala Vitriini boxes. We have our share of whimsical pieces all over the house, but my favorite things in our home are those which make me ask myself: Do I love you more for your practicality or your beauty? Leave it to the Scandinavians to come up with the most divine, most practical little storage containers around:

Land of Nams: living in Johannesburg, exploring the world, documenting the things I love

Finding Iittala was an accident of sorts- P was on a work trip to Sweden and wandered into an Iittala (which is, by the way, a Finnish design company) to buy me a present (he came out with a ceramic container we now use as a salt well) and when he got back to Berlin he insisted I check it out because he was sure I would love everything in it (this was obviously before we had the same bank account). Well we went, and I did. I love these boxes because they are beautiful and functional. I use them next to the bed  to store my rings when I’m sleeping, in the bathroom to store my rings when I’m showering, in my closet to store (you guessed it) jewelry, and in my office to store this and that. They come in two sizes (60x60mm and 108x108mm) and  so many beautiful colors. They are designed by Anu Penttinen.

Land of Nams: living in Johannesburg, exploring the world, documenting the things I love

The collection is a mix and match made of glass, oak and aluminum. Now I pick one up whenever I want a treat for myself or P gets me one when he is feeling like he is in the doghouse  thoughtful. He also got me two on our wedding day, because that’s how much good design excites me. Iittala also makes two sizes of oak trays if you want to corral a few boxes together.

Land of Nams: living in Johannesburg, exploring the world, documenting the things I love.

Iittala stores/stockists (a South African word?) are plentiful in the Americas and Europe, they are even spread throughout Asia. If you live in Africa like me you are going to have to have a bit of patience and work for your Vitriinis for now: the only way to get them here is to have your next overseas visitors mule them in. Iittala are you listening??

(Side note: these  lovely little boxes also make great photography practice, I’ve found a sweet spot and now want to photograph everything in the morning light on our right night table)