Leonie lives in Germany, Hamburg, in an old turn-of-the-century apartment filled with carefully selected objects. Walls and floors take turns showing timeless and classic old vintage finds. But for Leonie, the designer is not the most important thing, but how the feeling is when she sees something she likes. She prefers if it also carries a story. Her best Sundays are those when she and her partner rent a van, drive around and pick up all the finds from the previous week. We talk to Leonie on a Sunday morning and find out more about her dream purchase and best tips in Hamburg.
Leonie! So fun to have with you here. How are you today?
It's Sunday morning, respond to this interview after a long night of little sleep with our newborn. So I'm definitely tired but also so excited about what this day has to offer. I can already see some sunlight looking in through the bedroom curtains - that's usually a good sign, right?
Your apartment, it's incredible and feels like it contains good energy, right?
Definitely! We live in an old terraced house that is 120 years old and it is difficult to avoid knowing the history and stories that the house sits on. Our apartment was formerly the place where the servants lived, then turned into two apartments, became a doctor's office and finally now our home.
Tell us about your view on interior design?
Just like the fashion industry, the interior industry is strongly influenced by trends. If I see these too often in magazines or on social media, I am quickly oversaturated. I prefer to combine vintage furniture and decoration - because this has, just like our apartment a story. What I love most about my vintage finds is the pick up. You get to see different places, the owner can tell you the stories about the furniture and you just get a feeling for it. For example I recently got my hands on two vintage IKEA chairs from the 70s. The gingham pattern is so unique and when we picked them up the owner told us that the chairs used to be in der vacation home in Sweden for the past 50 years. Now they sold it and shipped some of the furniture to Germany - where I found them online and now they found their perfect spot in our living room.
It's hard to miss that you have an eye for good vintage, how do you do? Do you have a strategy?
To be honest, it's consistency that counts. I don't search for specific pieces of furniture, but rather enter general keywords on secondhand platforms. For me, it's not so much the designer that counts, but much more the design of the piece. I search almost daily, it's the only way to have the chance to buy really unique pieces at a great price.
What is your biggest passion in life?
That's a tough question! I have many interests and love to combine them and ultimately create something new. I think my biggest passion is creativity and the associated sense of aesthetics. The greatest gift for me is therefore time. Time to curate vintage furniture, paint, photograph or just look out for what I could do next. To see potential in things, you just need time to have the right idea at the right moment.
What do you dream about?
Definitely my own business which includes interior design and vintage furniture. I’d love to run my own brand and buy and resell vintage finds, do interior stylings and also get more skilled in interior photography.
What does a Sunday look like for you?
Normally I am busy. It's hard for me to "do nothing", so I usually get up early, start the day relaxed with my husband, and then we're drawn outside. We live in Hamburg and love the city - we explore our favorite neighborhoods, drink coffee and just go with the flow. On a perfect Sunday, we rent a Sprinter and pick up furniture that I found and bought online the week before.
Do you have any secret tips on good shops, restaurants and bars in Hamburg?
Yes! And I truly hope they will reopen once Covid-19 is under control in Germany because all shops, restaurants and bars are closed since months now in Germany. You’ll definitely get the best cream cheese bagels, Chai Latte and Coffee at Lowinsky’s. And while you are there make sure to stroll around the hood, its so lovely. On Tuesdays and Fridays there is a huge farmers market called Isemarkt. It’s still open and there are many culinary highlights to try.
Shops I love are: B-Lage Hamburg, Minimarkt and all the small boutiques and shops around „Ottenser Hauptstraße“ which is definitely a secret tip.
What are your favorite designs at Wall of Art?
You can spot them on the pictures - they are hanging on my wall. But my favorite designs are the paintings - I love the unique designs and beautiful artworks.
Do you have a dream purchase?
Yes! Definitely the IKEA Impala sofa designed by Gillis Lundgren in 1972. I adore the timeless design and don’t think it will ever get out of style.