I’ve just returned from a couple of days in Bavaria and whilst it was meant purely to be R&R, it’s impossible for me to travel and not bring back some ideas or inspiration for my world of furniture retail and design.
My overwhelming impression of this visually stunning part of Germany was the clean beauty of the verdant grass, piles of neatly cut wood, snow capped mountains and gushing rivers.
I loved the way nature is merged seamlessly into the home (and hotels) through the use of wooden paneling, carved chandeliers, natural materials such as leather and cowhide and roaring wood fires.
The Germans also have a particular knack of combining old and new-and this becomes particularly effective when they use natural materials and traditional decorating techniques within the ultra modern architectural style of some of their hotels, houses and municipal buildings. The often ornate traditional carvings are thrown into vivid relief against the simplicity of their contemporary setting.
I remember clearly as a child, thinking that somehow my home was different to that of my friends, in the way my mother decorated it. There was a modernity about the way she went about things. I later came to recognize that this was her German heritage influencing her decorating style, always mixing old and new, and it is something I have probably adopted into my own decorating style.
Brexit aside, I have always felt a little ‘Continental’ in my decorating approach and tastes, and my trip to Bavaria reminded me why.