Kirsten’s home is also home to a large number of books – which isn’t surprising, since writing determines the daily life of the German Language Specialist. However, language isn’t the only passion of the native from Düsseldorf. She loves design that is suitable for daily use, easy-breezy, and doesn’t take up a lot of space.
Architecture, art and design – when Kirsten started working at the Walther König bookstore in 1992, she found everything that she was interested in collected in one place. She was amazed at how many subjects were to be found on the shelves.
One book in particular captivated her: Thomas Heyden's “Die Bauhaus Lampe”, which was hot off the press. “I couldn't believe it was possible to write an entire book about a single lamp!” She tells us today, laughing. It was an epiphany, in a double sense. “Content is expressed through materials and proportions and translated in the function. After reading it I suddenly understood what design actually achieves.” Here in the form of Wilhelm Wagenfeld's lamp. “It communicates the attitude toward electricity at the time, a new attainment that had not been an aspect of people's daily lives for very long at the time it was designed at the start of the 1920s. The visible cable is a tell-tale sign of this new world.”
Kirsten was captivated by this discovery. She asked for a Bauhaus lamp for her wedding – and since then it has a permanent spot in the living room. It isn’t just a light source like many others, it is a meaningful design. The Wagenfeld lamp lights up, but does not dazzle, and the warm light accentuates its timelessly beautiful shape, “Unlike my two selective lightemitting work lamps, it emits light in all directions in a proud and confident manner.” The light from the Bauhaus lamp does not produce concentrated cosiness, instead it provides embracing lighting to the room: “All the space around it is illuminated when it is switched on.” Light plays an important role in Kirsten’s life. “Coming home and switching on the light signifies comfort and warmth. Brightness contributes to well-being – whether it is sunlight or electrically powered lights.”
“What surrounds me is of essential importance to me.”
Design is as important as light in your home. Kirsten lives between an Eiermann table and task chair, the Eames rocking chair, the Marcel Breuer table stool, as well as various MAGAZINE drafts. But not to create a false impression: “For me, design does have limits. Nothing is decorated here, instead everything is used. If I had the Marianne Brandt teapot, it would be on the table with tea stains and not gathering dust in a glass display to be looked at as a collector’s item.” The apartment is not a museum, it is a space that is lived in: “Socks should just be allowed to lie around on the floor sometimes. You have to be able to breathe.” For the German Language
Specialist, its all about language and content. “It’s the same when it comes to design.”
In addition to furniture and books, for her it is primarily pictures that belong in a home. “I am always the happiest when I come home.” Back then she had found art posters in the bookstore's storage – one of them still hangs in the bedroom to this day: “Learn to read Art” by Lawrence Weiner. “I've loved it since then.”
Kirsten gets her affinity for design from her parents’ house. “I grew up between 1960's furniture that has become trendy again today. When the 70's began, my mother promptly said goodbye to that style: she brought the couch and armchair to the upholsterer to have it covered with brown corduroy, and the kitchen was completely redone in orange. Our kitchen chairs that were just introduced to the market in 1969, have since become design classics.” Their daughter does the same. She makes good things last. “I'm happy to repaint chairs but I don't replace them if they are still beautiful!”
Of course, she also likes to keep a lookout for new ideas. In addition to classic designs, she is inspired by furniture stores such as MAGAZIN or manufacturers like HAY or muuto. However, every now and again she is disappointed by current design. “The paint is peeling from the beautifully shaped Thermos container, or the whistle on the kettle gets so hot that I can't put it back on. You have to ask yourself if designs today is created with the same amount of care as in Wagenfeld's day.”
“Consistency and new impulses – both are important.”