Monday, September 5, 2011

Behind the Barbara from Haus Design!

Good happy to present another fabulous blogging friend in my behind the blogger Barbara from Haus Design! Barbara is a world traveler currently living in Munich, Germany. I love visiting her blog because her flavor is very much that of an seasoned international traveler, someone who has the unique gift of combining many different beautiful cultures with her fine tuned skilled eye to recognize beautiful design. It is fascinating to see things from her perspective and she is always "reporting" on something exotic and intriguing. I live my current travel deprived dreams through her!
 Besides the fact that she is one classy lady, might I say she is incredibly kind as well and this makes for a winning package!! Its only natural then that Barbara is going to soon be launching an online store which she is very excited about, understandably. The name is appropriately Linen Haus and will feature unique vintage finds from European flea markets and antique stores, most certainly things you will not find just anywhere so its worth bookmarking it now! This no doubt will become a fabulous go to source and Barbara is actively preparing to stock her new online store as we speak! If you are not already familiar with Haus Design, hope you will stop by and say hello to Barbara

Thank you Barbara for participating! Click on header below to visit Haus Design.......

So....... what inspired you to start blogging in the first place?  My husband and I bought land in our favorite neighborhood in Portland, Oregon shortly after moving to Europe four years ago.  (This may seem like a crazy idea, but land in that neighborhood is very hard to come by, so when the opportunity presented itself, we just couldn't resist.)  That sparked the process of gathering ideas for our dream home for when we return.  Of course there has been inspiration all around me as we live and travel here in Europe, but I also discovered design blogs during our time here.  It has become a fantastic way for me to keep in touch with designers all over the world.  After becoming completely entranced by many of the blogs I was reading, I decided to dive in!  I have always loved design, and I have really enjoyed blogging every day since I started. 

How did you come up with your blog name?  As I played around with various names, incorporating the German word for House seemed like the right combination.  To me it represents a portion of my life experiences that have influenced my design preferences, as well as the timeframe when my creative side really came to the surface. 

Do you have a favorite all time movie?  I think it's a tie between Crash and Traffic.  Both of them have multiple story lines, which I always find fascinating, and both of them deal with such difficult issues in the US that we need to address.  But that is such a serious answer!  OK for more fun movies I'd choose Ocean's 11 or The Italian Job.  I could watch them both again and again!

You get to spend a month in the European it Italy or France?  Italy and France are only 3 hours drive from my front door right now (love that) so I have been lucky enough to visit both several times. However, I'd choose Italy, hands down. The food, the architecture, the language, the people and their love of life, the history - it's all wonderful!

Favorite meal?  Fresh made ricotta ravioli or gnocchi with a lemon cream sauce, a great Barolo, and Boccone Dolce for dessert. (See why I picked Italy??!)

Tell us as little or as much as you want to about your family.  I grew up in beautiful green Oregon with my parents and sister.  My Mom created a home for us that was a safe haven growing up - and still is today!  She decorated our family home with a beautiful, unique touch that I really admire.  My Dad is a lover of the arts and the outdoors, so I was exposed to all types of fine arts as well as exploring nature from a very early age.  I think these experiences have shaped my design choices too.  My sister is the polar opposite of me but we share the same values. I admire her for her giving heart and progressive thinking. I am married to an incredibly supportive man who calls Munich home (but is willing to call Portland home too!).  My two beautiful children are my "Angel" and my "Prince Charming" who are generous with their hugs and kisses - lucky me!  We also have an adorable black lab that was our first "baby" and is the sweetest animal on the planet. 

If you could have any career what would it be?  I would love to source products from all over the world and provide them to clients who will really enjoy and appreciate them. To me that combines many of my passions - travel, learning about other cultures, appreciating good craftsmanship, experiencing art, working with people who appreciate beautiful design...oh, and shopping! I am working on some plans now to start importing vintage flea market items from Europe and providing them via an online shop called Linen Haus, and I'm really excited about it. I hope that can materialize into a form of my dream job!

Favorite design style?  Eclectic. I love a little bit of almost everything. I think that a mix of designs and products is the only way to make a space feel truly personal. Hence the tagline for my blog: "Eclectic design ideas for fresh and unique spaces". I think that sums it up!

If you could only live in one color what would it be?   Grey looks great with crisp white, glossy black and lots of accent colors - and it's timeless!

Favorite season and why?  Fall...because it's so cozy, the leaves turn gorgeous colors both in Munich and Portland, and includes my favorite holiday, Thanksgiving.

Design icon?  I really admire Kay Douglass and John Saladino.

One place you haven't been that you want to visit?   One place I haven't been yet is India.  I'm waiting because I want to go when I can make it an extended visit, and also when my kids can really remember the trip.  From a design standpoint, I would love to observe small-scale textile production and learn more about their techniques.

What's your number one pet peeve?  When people are mean and the recipient didn't deserve it!  Kindness is always a good idea.

What are the two best things about blogging?  1) The design ideas. I love that I can gather inspiration from all over the world. It fascinates me on many levels - not just the asthetic one but also seeing how people live and what they prioritize in their homes. 2) The editorial freedom. Unlike any job I have had before, I don't have to answer to anyone in terms of what I want to post about each day, etc.  I love having the freedom to make it what I want it to be. By the way, the friendships from blogging have also been incredible. I feel very fortunate to have met so many great people along the way.  For example, Tina, we have never actually met and yet you have been wonderful to me!

You get to have a private dinner with any two people in the world, they can be from the fashion, design world, literary world, Hollywood, politics,etc....your choice. Who are the lucky two?I think I'd be the lucky one!  I'd choose Leonardo da Vinci and Cleopatra. 

Do you have a favorite saying or quote?  My sister got me a magnet a while ago that says "Life isn't about finding yourself, it's about creating yourself".   As long as it's genuine, I think there's a lot of truth to that.  I have it in my kitchen to remind me daily to make my life what I wish it to be!

Most overrated trend right now?  Moroccan pouffs.  I don't get what all the hoopla is about.

Reading anything interesting that you want to share?  Everything by Malcolm Gladwell fascinates me.  For fiction, I just finished Rebecca's Tale by Sally Beauman and I loved it.  Mysteries aren't usually my preference, but her writing was beautiful and the characters were really intriguing.

You are 18 again. What do you do?  I wouldn't go back. Now is the best time of my life. Even though I am older, my life is healthier, fuller, and more fun, and it just keeps getting better.

What are your plans for the summer?  My parents are coming from the US for a visit.  I am so excited to see them as we only see each other once or twice a year due to the distance.  My husband and I will travel to Norway for a wedding of two very special friends and are adding a few days in Denmark.  I can't wait to get a taste of both of those countries, their culture and of course, the design!

In ten years I will be....................back in Oregon, but making frequent trips to Europe to visit our family and friends.  I will hopefully be pursuing my creative dreams and helping my kids manage through their teenage years!

If you could live anywhere on earth and money was no object where would you go?  A casual beach house on the island of Sardinia, Italy, a traditional family home in the hills of Portland and a gorgeous art nouveau penthouse in downtown Munich.  Three houses isn't asking too much, is it?  :)

Best tip or two for any new bloggers reading this  Go for it, and stay true to who you are. I debated about blogging for a while before I started. I talked it over with my husband and he suggested I set aside and hour and see how much it "flowed". In the first hour I had written 1500 words full of ideas for posts, etc.! I took that as a sign that it was the right next step for me. So if you feel like you are bursting with ideas, you are probably on the right track!  Try to find your edge that makes your blog unique so that your readers want to come back again and again, and then stick with it without worrying about what others think. For me, my travels have brought me a lot of experiences that I find my readers want to hear about. Find your special "something" and let your readers enjoy what you have to offer!

Blogging to me is a creative outlet that connects with me with other like-minded people and a way for me to apply my business skills from my former career in a whole new direction!

Give me four words that describe your personality.  friendly, driven, curious and impatient (at least with myself!)

And now a little recap on all the things that Barbara loves.......

Can you see why I was so happy to feature Barbara and am so blessed to count her as one of my blogging buddies! She is a quality person through and through, I especially loved what she said when asked what she would do if she was 18 all over again and anyone who includes a bowl of pasta as part of her favorite meal is a gal after my own heart!  I hope you will stop by to say hello to Barbara....and thank you so much for coming by here! Wishing you a wonderful day!