A while ago I received a very nice email from Germany, Wiebke told me about her very nice online shop, her story about her family and her Gallery ... she made such a friendly impression on me and I imeadeatly felt connected to her although we had never met. SInce then Wiebke and I are emailing each other once in a while and I enjoy her posts on her blog and of course I had to invite her for an Open House Tour ... luckily for us she accepted the invitation and today we can have a little peak into her special home and the Gallery she runs with her husband ... but there is also a fantastic website, where you can buy some of the best brands! Please meet Wiebke from :: Line+Liv
1. ) In what kind of house do you live and with whom?
I live in an old barn with thatched roof together with my husband Peter and our three daughters Pauline (seven), Liv (five) and Molly (8 month). Our house is very old and has a very special character, which we tried to preserve. We bought the house 10 years ago and refurbished it from scratch – we built a new house within the walls of the old one. Everything you see is new and designed and realized by us. It took a long time. After one year we finished the rebuilding and moved in. Our local neighbourhood is like a little village where we know everyone. We meet for coffee on the street and everyone is welcome in the house of the other one.
Our gallery is located in the most marvellous street of the city of Flensburg. It belongs to an old courtyard of traders. The gallery and the courtyard were refurbished and restored by our family during a couple of years. Our family business runs for four generations.
I had a little shop with children’s clothing in Flensburg before Molly was born. First, I wanted to pause after her birth. But finally I missed my shop and couldn’t live without it. Therefore, I established an online shop and my own blog. Now I am working at my lovely home most of the time and I love the balance between working and to care for my children. That does not always work perfectly, but we can see us and we share time with each other.
My work and its purposes are always changing.
2.) What exactly do you sell, also online and how do you decide on which brands you like to offer?
I always try to discover new things and to show them to others. Those are for example children’s clothing, furniture and many other tiny and lovely things. I am looking for objects, which enrich our lives.
I enjoy the cooperation with Labels from all over the World and I am happy, when I can help small firms to become more popular in Germany.
When I visit fairs, I prefer going to the smallest fair participants. I like the personal contact very much. When a label becomes too big, one shrinks from a personal contact to an ordinary number. In that case I start to look for new smaller firms.
3.) What kind of art or crafts or design can bring a smile to your face and how important is the influence from other artists for you in your day to day life and work?
I can be animated to laugh because of certain art objects and I can be animated to cry because of art objects. That is the adventurous side of art. Art is emotion. Everybody needs art in his/ her live. You can find it in a colourful tshirt, in a good song, in a good book or in a beautiful picture.
4.) What kind of art can people find in your gallery and what is always the fun part of a new exhibition?
It is very exciting to deal with new art – that includes the meeting with the artist und the human being behind his art. Every new exhibition starts with the planning, the draft of the invitations, the framing of the pictures and finally the presentation of the pictures.
Our gallery has got three floors. For this reason, we have enough space to develop our creativity.
5.) What ambiance did you want to create for the Gallery and the shop?
We want to create personality and cordiality. Additionally, we want to show our customers that art belongs to everybody’s daily live. Art should be accessible to everybody.
6.) How creative and talented are you yourself, what kind of things do you like to make and where do you find your inspiration for this?
I think that I have got the talent to see things and to rearrange them. For many years I carry a small black book with me. I write all inspirations in it. Those inspirations can be art objects, films, magazines, conversations and other daily situations. I sew, I knit and I am planning to create and to produce a lovely baby knitting collection for my label Line+Liv.
7.) Why is the color white so important for you and what would be your tip for readers when decorating their own home?
White is a great colour and a great basis to arrange colours and graphics. I like the brightness and the silence very much. That creates an atmosphere of freedom. I arrange colourful highlights through pictures, textiles, statuaries and flowers.
8.) Is the dining area an important part of the house or is there another place where you and your family spend a lot of time together?
The dining area is the heart of our house and our main living area. We eat meals there and we meet there after school and work for drawing, painting, laughing and dreaming. One highlight is the table, which was made by my husband Peter. The table got a great patina and little dents during the past years and every dent has got its own history.
9. ) Are you a good cook and do you like cooking, what kind of recipes are always high on your children’s wish list?
I like to cook and to experiment with new recipes very much. Unfortunately, I do not have much time for it. My daughters eat at school and in the kindergarten. But we all cook together at the weekends.
My children love to bake and to decorate their cakes with icing and pearls. Often, their creations are so beautiful that it would be a pity to eat them.
If I ask my daughters, they want to have pancakes (this will be part of my new project for my blog in the near future) and Pasta – but only with Parmesan.
Our kitchen was made by us. Nevertheless, sometime I would like to have a new one – one which brighter, more beautiful and with doors, which do not jam.
10.) Your house looks so warm and comfortable and totally non-cluttered is this on purpose and how do you keep your couch white with children?
In order to create a very well impression, I cleaned my house extra thorough before the pictures were taken. ;-) I always try to create harmony and silence in the rooms, because we have a small house (140m²). This does not always work with three children.
All in all, we have only few furniture. Nevertheless, these furniture are very comfortable and my children can play on them (the white sofa is from IKEA and its cover ca be washed!!!). The whole furnishing is a lovely mix of different styles, which fits very well with us, our house and the asymmetric walls.
11.) Please tell us where you find this great felt swing and what kind of toys do you like your children to play with?
I thought I find it on your B:kids side. It is from a little Austrian furniture manufacture and I order it (they) for my shop.
My daughters like to play outdoors and they like sport very much. After school and kindergarten they are looking forward to cycle, to skate and to visit their friends in the neighbourhood.
We are living near to the sea and to the forest. Those are wonderful places to experience many adventures.
At home they enjoy simple activities like drawing, dressing up, dancing, singing, building play dens or watching movies.
12.) Who's room is this and who brought up the brilliant idea to paint the name on the wall?
This is (was) the room of Pauline and Liv. They saw the idea at one of our exhibitions. We painted the name of the artist in big letters on the wall at this exhibition. This picture inspirited both girls for the design of her own room. Additionally, they wanted to have a room, which tastes like chocolate.
Pauline has got her own room now and Liv and Molly live together in one room. Therefore, we will have to re-paint the wall. Liv only wants to have a white room with a green bed and a fancy tepee in the middle of the room – nothing else!!!
13.) How important is creativity in your family and how do you try to make it an integral part of your lives?
Very important! Every human contains creativity and it is important to support this and to offer enough space to enlarge the creativity. This is our wish for our children ... creativity, fantasy and to belief in everything one does.
14.) What's your overall approach to decoration, accesoiries and items in your home, where do you like to shop for furniture?
I never looked for furniture – they always found me. The dining table, the kitchen and our bed were made by my husband Peter. Much furniture are inherited, new upholstered and transformed. They are memories of the time as a student, memories of journeys and flea markets. I love modest furniture, wood of all kinds, objects from nature and Scandinavian classics and their design.
Some day – I am sure – I will buy the object of my dreams: The egg of Arne Jacobsen.
15.) What do you consider a nice, happy and fullfilled day?
In my opinion,a great day means to have time – for example for a walk on the seaside, a picknick in the garden or time for good music. Additionally, it makes me happy to go through the grass with naked foods, to count freckles, to drink a glass of good wine with my husband and to realise, that I can be very glad to have such a great family.
16.) How does your family usually spend time at home during a weekend?
At the weekend we have time for each other again. Every Saturday and Sunday morning we start the day in our bedroom with a Café au lait, chocolate milk and fruits. Our double bed is 280cm long. So we have enough space for everybody.
We spend most of the time of the day in our garden. I love my garden with all the light, the colours and the smells.
In summer we go sailing. Being near to the sea is real rest. The children angle, look collect driftwood and they have all their bags full of shells.
Dear Irene: a big thank you for having me as a special guest on your Open House Tour,it was a lot of fun to answer all your questions!