Inspired Design

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Germany: Inspiring Exteriors

Your front door is one of the first things that people see when they approach your house. It tells guests a little bit about your personality, your home, and can make a stunning first impression. On my recent trip to Germany, I couldn’t help but notice the incredible doors, flower boxes, and windows, ranging from ornate to rustic. Enjoy my photos:

Beautiful Front Door

Photo by Iris Interiors LLC.

Gorgeous blue door. Love the texture and pattern.

German Architecture

Photo by Iris Interiors LLC.

A close-up of a decorated door.

Wernigerode Germany

Photo by Iris Interiors LLC.

Hand-carved front entrance along a shopping street in Wernigerode, Germany.

German Architecture

Photo by Iris Interiors LLC.

A green exterior door with window details in Wernigerode, Germany.

German Design

Photo by Iris Interiors LLC.

Ornate hinges.

Entrance flowers

Photo by Iris Interiors LLC.

Flower boxes and a unique door create a welcoming entrance.

German Architecture

Photo by Iris Interiors LLC.

Blue and white door with pops of primary colors and painted design.

House Number

Photo by Iris Interiors LLC.

An inscription above a door in Bad Sachsa listing the owners/residents as well as the year the house was built (1750)

German Design

Photo by Iris Interiors LLC.

Brown front door with more hand-painted patterns.

Traditional German House

Photo by Iris Interiors LLC.

A traditional house with a decorated window.

Yellow Mailbox

Photo by Iris Interiors LLC.

An old-fashioned mailbox in the traditional yellow color (postal vehicles are also yellow).

German window boxes.

Photo by Iris Interiors LLC.

A rainbow of flowers make this home in the Harz Mountains stand out.

Which one is your favorite? How do you add interest to the entrance of your home?

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Germany: Texture and Tradition

I recently vacationed in Germany, where I was born and raised. I visited my father who lives in the Harz Mountains and stopped in Berlin as well. When it comes to the country’s design, the element I’m most enamored with is the texture. Exteriors of homes, some hundreds of years old, are a mix of different materials. The traditional architecture is often accented with flowers in an array of colors.

Not only did I see historic places, such as the Wernigerode Castle, but I was reminded of my family history, as well. Enjoy my photos:

German Architecture

Photo by Iris Interiors.

A hotel in Bad Sachsa, a small town in the Southern Harz Mountains. Notice the half-timbered frame, flowers, and tiled roof. I especially love the curved wood beams over the balconies.

German design

Photo by Iris Interiors.

An ornate building on the main shopping street in Wernigerode, probably fully carved by hand. Amazing!

traditional German home

Photo by Iris Interiors.

A balcony in Bad Sachsa housing a witch (very Hansel and Gretel but actually a reference to the Brocken Mountain. Supposedly witches live there and meet once a year for Walpurgisnacht)). By the way in Germany you will frequently see a “witch” hanging in the kitchen, which is said to bring good luck and ward off evil spirits.

Traditional German village

Photo by Iris Interiors.

A view of a small town in Germany, full of red tile roofs.

German woodworking

Photo by Iris Interiors.

A bank in downtown Wernigerode.

German woodworking

Photo by Iris Interiors.

A closer view of the bank. Look at the details!

traditional german architecture

Photo by Iris Interiors.

The Bad Sachsa Town Hall bearing the city crest.

Bad Sachsa Germany flowers

Photo by Iris Interiors.

My father’s home in Bad Sachsa.

Beautiful landscaping

Photo by Iris Interiors.

The view from my father’s veranda.

Traditional German architecture

Photo by Iris Interiors.

The home my grandfather was born in, located in Bad Sachsa.

Traditional architecture Harz Mountains.

Photo by Iris Interiors.

A house in Bad Sachsa.

German design details

Photo by Iris Interiors

A close-up reveals the year that the house was built.

German Castle

Photo by Iris Interiors.

Wernigerode Castle. Once a Medieval fortified castle, it was rebuilt in a Neo-Romantic Gründerzeit design in 1893.

Traditional German interior design

Photo by Iris Interiors.

The interior of the castle. Full of texture.

Wernigerode Castle Dining Room

Photo by Iris Interiors.

The dining room in the castle. Pretty much all rooms appeared to be either original or carefully restored.

Wernigerode Castle Ornate Dining Room

Photo by Iris Interiors.

The dining room features an opulent chandelier, incredible architectural features, and beautiful murals.

Traditional church Germany

Photo by Iris Interiors.

The exterior of the St. Nikolai Church in Bad Sachsa. On my father’s side i have records dating as far back as the 1700s of relatives which were either married or baptized in this Church.

Church ceiling 1700s

Photo by Iris Interiors.

The church ceiling.

18th century German church

Photo by Iris Interiors.

Another example of texture in the interior of the St. Nikolai Church.

Traditional German window box.

Photo by Iris Interiors.

One of my favorite aspects of German exteriors, window boxes. This one features “Ivy Geraniums”, which is probably the most popular plant for window boxes there.

Traditional architecture Germany

Photo by Iris Interiors.

The Wernigerode Town Hall.

German architectural details

Photo by Iris Interiors.

View of the Town Hall’s architectural details.

Berlin Street Sign

Photo by Iris Interiors.

My maiden name (:

More photos to come in future installments. What do you think of the architecture, texture, and traditional design?


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Parisian Style Meets Country Farmhouse

Wherever I travel, I make a point of noticing and appreciating different design styles. I just returned from a visit with friends who are renovating and furnishing a beautiful old Farmhouse exactly 100 kilometers from Paris, in the town of Chevannes. This house completely amazed me with its many old architectural details, timeless construction & charm, and with the simplicity of the interior design.

The owners have taken a “less is more” attitude in renovating and furnishing this house – with a focus on complementing and highlighting the many architectural details, such as:

the simple, solid farmhouse aesthetic, while adding a contemporary flair
beamed and sloped ceilings
elegant curved fireplace mantels
classic tall outside shutters framing multiple long multi-paned windows and doors
simple but elegant panels and moldings on doors
beautiful wrought-iron detailing throughout the house, including curved bars on the outside of some windows, iron brackets on shutters, and elegant door-latch plates
iron brackets on shutters
window panes with circular glass insets
unusual triangular door headings that accommodate the 2nd floor sloped ceilings
My friends Noë and Hervé bought the house only eight months ago, and have been hard at work painting the doors, ceilings, beams, and stairway railings white, which makes the soft beiges and muted tones of the walls “pop,” the ceilings look higher, and the whole house appears bright and uncluttered. On the main floor the owners chose poured and stained concrete floor in most areas, an increasingly popular look in the United States, that effortlessly complements wood and tile floors elsewhere in the house, yet fits the simple, solid farmhouse aesthetic, while adding a contemporary flair.

The Parisian elegance of curved, detailed wood chairs, traditional oil paintings and a black-shaded & glass-based lamp, blends seamlessly with French-blue upholstery on rectangular wood-framed modern, yet comfortable couches. What makes everything work well together is the unpretentious combining of white slip covered chairs, contemporary bed-frames and crisp white bedding with red cross stitch accents (all from Ikea) – with an eclectic mix of mostly traditional furniture in different finishes and a few sophisticated, yet classic, accessories. The house looks like it was lovingly furnished over time with different pieces, but with the anchoring underlying theme of clean, classic, simple and elegant. “Simple et de bon goût” as my friend Noë would say. In the end, it feels like home to family and guests alike!