Valerio is a designer that works from home, his living room became his office. One day he wrote to me “I have this thing of constantly changing the setting of my furniture to find a proper configuration, but so far I couldn’t find the solution. How should I rearrange my furniture that I don’t feel like at work all the time?” I decided to visit Valerio and take a closer look at his problem.
Tell me a little bit about you. Hi! My name is Valerio and was born in Italy. I’m a designer and I create mainly digital artworks, but sometimes I use traditional techniques too. I have moved to Berlin 3 years ago, looking for a better job perspective. Why here? I guess it all happened when I came to Berlin for the first time, it was September, the weather was still nice and I got infected by Berlin’s spirit. There’s something about this city that gets under your skin. You can fell that Berlin is different than the others cities, you can fell its creative atmosphere, art galleries are on every street corner and they are full of the unique artworks. It’s truly amazing, but at the same time, it’s a trap! You decide on coming here and then you are realizing that not everything is gold and there’s a lot of problems that you have to deal with: German bureaucracy, language, apartment hunt, weather. It isn’t so easy… but I can’t imagine living somewhere else.
What is your favorite place in Berlin? I don’t have on a particular place in my mind, but I have a good feeling towards Zeltlagerplatz. When I came to Berlin for the first time to do some exchange program, we have landed exactly there. There is nothing special about that place, but for me, it has special meaning. Everything started there for me.
“Home is where I can feel safe and all my belongings are stored.”
What does home mean to you? For me, home is where I can feel safe and all my belongings are stored. I am really attached to my tools and it’s important to me that I can access them easily. I don’t feel comfortable when I am on holidays and I don’t have my tools with me, of course, I could borrow or buy new ones, but then I have to get used to them, they are somehow not mine right away.
If you would have to move out and you could take only one object from your apartment what would be? I would take any electrical device with an operating system on it. Maybe it’s a nerdy thing to do, but there are so many things you can do on it and it can play music, which is very important.
If you would have an open budget what house would you build? I imagine it as a two-story building that I would fill in with all that expensive, good looking and unnecessary objects. I would buy a lot of furniture from fancy designers just because I could afford them. I would have separate rooms for everything, one would be a studio for drawing, second office with all electronics, a couple of bedrooms for me and my guests and the huge living room where I could chill and invite friends. Ah, and I would have a huge garden.
Now, let’s focus on Valerio’s living room, no doubt that he had furnished it in a very logical and functional way, circulation in the room is good and there is access to all furniture. However, the feeling of the home is missing, when I have entered the room I had a feeling that I am getting into the office. I asked him right the way if he is having meetings with his clients here, but he denied. As he is working from home it’s necessary for him to have a proper working space, but at the same time, it’s his living room, where he should be able to relax after a long day and have a place where he can invite friends over.
So what we need to do is balance the room functions, reduce office space and create more space to relax and chill. To achieve that harmony I recommend to shuffle the furniture by grouping desks together and creating one big working space on the one side of the room. Then I would use big Ikea regal as a divider between office and living room, by placing it in the middle of the room and moving sofa next to it and as they have the same width, they will match perfectly. On the opposite wall, I would keep the dining table, which would be facing the wall. There is enough space for two people, but the room is big enough, so whenever Valerio would have guessed he can easily move the table and get additional paces to sit around it.
Secondly, we need to work on creating a coherent style of the room. It can be a difficult part especially when you are not sure what elements will match together and endless shopping possibilities are not making it easier. The easiest way to do that is to pick three to four colours or materials and stick to them when we are buying furniture and accessories. To make the room cozier the best will be natural and light colour materials. Valerio has already some wooden and white furniture, so we will start building around that. Above his desk Valerio had many boards with week schedules and to do lists, as well he has a lot of drawings that he can display. This is why I decide on big cork surface above the desk, where he can easily pin his to-do list. It is easy to mount and very practical.
Below you can find some pictures form “work in progress”. Valerio already manages to rearrange furniture and install cork on the wall. Can’t wait to see the rest.