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it's Erika from Mikodesign

Wednesday, 1 October 2008 by Irene Hoofs

Miko_banner

Please meet Erika Harberts from the Netherlands ... a couple of years ago Erika started her own textile label, called Mikodesign ... all her textile products for babies, children and women are designed and handmade in her atelier in Holland ... Erika also prints most of her textiles herself using vintage materials ... by creating only small quantities you are certain of only exclusive pieces ...
Miko_desk
{Erika's desk}
1.)  Can you tell us a bit more about yourself and your background … you are such a great illustrator is it Frida Kahlo in the illustration?
Creativity has always been an important part of my life. I went to the ‘Vrije school”( waldorf school) and was always drawing. I used to make dresses for my dolls and wanted to be a fashion designer, after one year of fashion school in Amsterdam I knew I did not want to continue ‘Haute Couture’ and decided that I wanted to be a chef, this was just a short period. Not long after that I started Arts school and graduated four years later in ‘Textile monumental art’.
The Illustration is indeed Frida Kahlo, I did not make this, it is a picture from a children’s coloring book. The girls love to draw, they take their little books and pens everywhere and draw what they see and think, they love visiting musea and we are planning a Frida Khalo Artist party for sofia’s 8th birthday. Miko_studio

{the studio}
2.) Where does your love for fabrics and prints come from and when did you decide to start Miko design?
The love for fabrics and prints started perhaps with the dresses my mum used to sew for me and the Hungarian interior and folklore dolls from my grandmother, I loved going through the boxes of fabric on the attic from my grandmother.
I always knew I wanted to be my own boss and when I was pregnant with Sofia I started to make her things and got some great reactions, it seemed logical that that would be the start of my own label Mikodesign. I used to work with only vintage fabrics but they where hard to find and then I  decided to design and screen print my own designs.Miko_hal
{the entrance}
3.)Where do you live and what kind of house? Can you tell us a bit more about the frames on the wall?  I live together with my husband and two daughters Sofia(7) and Mila(5) in a small ( 75m2) 1980’s ground floor apartment in the centre of Rotterdam. When I saw the house for the first time I loved it right away because the of light and the big city garden with a side access,(so easy for our bikes). In the hall we made a place for the girls to hang their coats and I wanted to have a place were they could put up drawings, invitations etc… I took some old frames and replaced the glass with cork that I painted grey first and made some push pins with some decorative buttons.Miko_kitchen2
{the Kitchen}
4.)This looks like a very bright and open kitchen, do you like cooking or would you rather spend this time on other things?
I love cooking and trying out new recipes especially now in our new kitchen. The old kitchen had wall cabinets and by taking them down and using build in equipment  the kitchen looks so much more spacious and has much more storage space.
We choose a white kitchen to keep it as light as possible and  the wooden worktop  and the green/pearl  mosaic tiles to give it some warmth and character. I love the open plan kitchen, it’s great to cook and see the girls playing in the living room. Miko_kitchen
{Moroccan wall piece in kitchen}
5.) You have to tell us a bit more about ‘this’ wall piece, what is it and where did you find it?
This Moroccan shelf unit comes from my grandparents, it used to be in their hallway full of little treasures they collected during their years of travel and living abroad. They bought it in Marrakech when my grandfather was working there. I feel lucky to have it in my house now and filled it with our own treasures.  Miko_kitchenshelf
{Kitchen, shelves, fabrics and boxes}
6.)Are you a collector … and if so what do you like to collect and where do you find your items?
Yes I think I’m a collector, not the one who goes to shops and markets and buy all all kind of things, most of the things I collect are given or inherited and have an emotional value, these tablecloths are from my mother in law who did all the embroidery and the boxes used to be from my grandmothers. Miko_girls_kitchenplay
{Children’s play kitchen}
7.)This play kitchen is just superb! I assume your girls love to play here … it looks like you have created it yourself, please tell us a bit more about it?
The girls love to play in their kitchen, they also like to use it as a shop. I found the cooker at the ‘Queens day market’ for just 1 euro and needed a place for it, because there room is quite small I decided to use a corner in our kitchen to make their play-kitchen, I used a few old shelves, a cd cabinet and some left over paint. Most of the kitchenware in from the Hema, they have such great toys, it is difficult not to buy all. Miko_girlskitchen
{Girl's kitchen and tea-bags}
8.) How important do you think is imaginative play for children and what do you do to encourage this?
I think fantasy is very important for children growing up, I want them to play in their own fantasy world and not play in the world created by somebody else, I always try and get the children involved with for example the design of their room or their birthday party, we try to come up with ideas and start to create together. They love dressing up and playing with their dolls and kitchen, we try to limit the time spend on the computer and TV.  Miko_bedroom
{the bedroom}
9.) I see many ‘vintage’ prints and frames in your house, what do you like about them and is the illustration on the wall of the church the same as the one on the pillow on your bed? Did you make them?
The Apartment itself is quite modern and boxy without a lot of character, by incorporating vintage items I tried to make the interior more interesting and homely. The painting on the wall and the cushion are indeed the same, the cushion  The painting is a part of a series called ‘Fernweh’ I made a while ago for an exposition in a gallery in Delft. The serie is inspired by my trip to Hungary , where my grandmother is originally from, this is a church in the artist village of st Andre.  Miko_girlsbedroom2
{Daughter bedroom}
10.)Please let us know how the concept for this great girls room developed in your mind … it looks like the bed is behind the folklore curtain?
For the girls bedroom we wanted to create a little fantasy world of their own where they could play and sleep, because the room is quite small we decided to design and build it ourselves to make as much use of the space as possible. The beds are made to be little houses, with a small door or a window, they have curtains so they can have some privacy, the curtains of Sofia’s bed are made from a traditional Hungarian fabric that came from my grandmother. We created storage space under the beds and build in some cupboards for their clothes and toys. We like how the room is now, they have lots of fun times here, but we are already busy drawing and designing their new bedroom, they are big girls now and need desks and bunk beds.  Miko_girlsbedroom_2
{Daughter bedroom}
11.)  and where did you find the great wallpaper?
We found the wallpaper in a  hardware store, first we were afraid to put it up their walls because we thought it would be to dark but I’m so happy we did I think it makes the room complete, now they have two little houses in a forest, who wouldn’t want that for a bedroom.  Miko_garden
{The garden}
12.) Finally what is the best advice you can give for anybody who would start like to start selling such beautiful handmade products like yours too?
I think it is important to be original, try to find the thing in your work that is  distinctive and make that your feature. But most important love and believe in what you do and make.   

..Mikodesign website..

..Mikodesign Shop..

..Mikodesign Blog..

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