A PEEK INSIDE Elrike’s place: Inspiration for a fair & sustainable interior

It is our secret pleasure to peek inside other homes 👀. So we thought, let’s do it the other way around: you get a peek inside our houses! And there is no better start than Elrike’s beautiful home. Big chance you immediately fall in love with her interior. It always feels like home the moment I walk through the door. Her style can be described as Scandinavian with colour, warmth and a touch of vintage! And through the years Elrike’s interior became more and more sustainable & fair.

So are you wondering how to get a more fair & sustainable interior? Or are you just looking for some home inspiration? In this blog you will see the ins and outs of Elrike’s interior with 3x tips for a fair & sustainable interior + her favourite fair & sustainable interiorbrands. 

The living room

‘The living room is one of my favourite spots in the house.
I think the key to a well balanced and playful interior, is to use different natural materials;
from steel and wood to different fabrics, to give your home warmth and cosiness.
In this way you keep one style but at the same time add some contrast.’

#TIP 1: SUSTAINABILITY IS NO FORMULA. ‘You can never go wrong with natural materials, non-sustainable brands are a no-go and you just need to stop buying stuff.’ If there is one thing we’ve learned, it is that it isn’t that simple. Elrike: ‘We had a sofa of a natural & sustainable material: linen. No better choice right? However, although linen is a sustainable fabric through the production process, it wasn’t sustainable in terms of the duration, since the fabric started to pill after a short time. Our current sofa is made of non-natural synthetic material, but it’s much more sustainable because it remains beautiful after use. Sustainability is therefore no formula, we all need to stay critical.’

However this doesn’t mean, that there are no tips for a sustainable interior. Elrike: ‘One of the most valuable things I learned was to invest in timeless items and to be picky in what you buy. In other words: dare to pay more for something and also dare to wait sometimes. For example, we have invested in a wooden floor: it is a beautiful natural material and it creates a warm atmosphere. Besides that it’s also durable: if we have a spot, we just sand it and the floor is as good as new. Renewable materials are durable. I also love designer items in my interior, such as our dining room chair by HAY. Designer items are more expensive, but I cherish them because of the design and the good quality. Finally, I also learned that it’s smart to sometimes wait a bit longer to know if something really fits in your interior or the design of your house. For example, we had to sell some of our furniture because after a while we found out that they were actually too big in relation to our house. Now, we have really looked what suits our house and style and I don’t feel the need anymore to change something.’

#TIP 2: BLOW LIFE IN IT, IT’S THE REMEDY. Anne: ‘I know that you used to buy a lot more things for your interior, like decorations. Now, I hardly ever see you buying anything. What changed? Tell us your secret!’ Elrike: ‘Haha, yes there was a time when I bought a lot more. Since a few years, I started to buy plants to blow some life into my interior. I love to see my plants grow and to take care of  them. It all feels a bit more alive! The funny thing is that, although it wasn’t my intention, I don’t feel the urge anymore to buy new things. I don’t replace my plants when there is a new trend, in that way it’s a lot more sustainable. So in a way, my plants are my buying-remedy.’ 

Tip: When it comes to plants, find what kind of green suits you. If you are bad at taking care of plants, buy a cactus or a succulent plant. And if you have green fingers, you can choose nice green foliage plants.

A peaceful place

& the guest room (or actually should we say: Anne’s room…🙊)

#TIP 3: MAKE IT PERSONAL: DIY & VINTAGE. Another tip from Elrike is: DIY. It’s fun to make things yourself, it often saves money and you can make something personal. Elrike: ‘My husband, Fake, is a welder and pretty handy, so he can make many things. Most of the time, I am the creative brain and he brings the ideas alive: in that way we create something together that is entirely ours. It ensures that we will cherish it for a long time. For example, our concrete countertop in the kitchen is completely homemade, just like our mint green record player cabinet.’ A last sustainable tip from Elrike is to make use of… vintage items! Elrike has a vintage radio from the thrift store and a record player from Fake’s parents, which really give a unique, personal vibe.

The garden (and Kareltje the rabbit)

Got inspired? Elrike selected some of her favourite fair interior brands if you can’t wait to change something in your interior:

1. Paper Vase Cover White by Tiny Miracles // 19

There are so many empty bottles, so Tiny Miracles decided to design only the cover of a vase: no more waste is needed! And there is more, their businessmodel is breaking the cycle of poverty in any community around the world. Their products are made in one of the most impoverished city areas of Mumbai, India: the Pardeshi community in slums bordering on the red light district. Their key ambition was to help this small community of 700 people to become self-supporting in 10 years time. And they are well on their way: by the year 2020 they will be middle class citizens!

2. Poetry Carts by Sukha // 8 carts for 10

Elrike: ‘I love inspirational poems in my house. One of my favourite poems are those of Sukha. Sukha means ‘joy of life’ in Sanskrit and that’s exactly what they brings to me. All their items are handmade and fairly made from natural materials and are often locally designed.’

3. Pillow Noor Green by Imbarro // 39,95

Elrike: ‘As you’ve seen I love colour in an interior. This brand can give you just the right push to add a bit of color to your interior. The handmade cushions of Imbarro are printed with ecological paint and made in India under fair conditions.

4. Khadija Beni Ouarian by Sukhi // 750

Elrike: ‘A fair alternative to my current (synthetic) rug is that of Sukhi. It’s worth saving for. Sukhi is a beautiful brand with a beautiful mission.  Do you want to know more about this brand? Click here to read our blog, in which we interviewed the owner of Sukhi.’

5. Tessella by Farrow & Barrel // 112

Elrike: ‘Our wallpaper is from the English brand Farrow & Ball. In 1946 two pioneers started this brand and since then they are real craftsmen in paint in wallpaper. I love to support craftmanship and especially a brand that is improving on eco-friendly production. In 2004 this brand became ‘green’: they started to recycle their paint tins, changed their entire range of oil based paints to eco-friendly water based finishes & introduced their eco-friendly wallpaper.

We hope you enjoyed peeking into Elrike’s interior. If you know more sustainable/fair interior brands, we love to know!

XX Anne & Elrike

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