How do I optimally set up a 78 sqm apartment in an old building for a family of four? The Munich architect Nina Jahn faced this question and even developed a business idea from it. We were immediately impressed by your beautiful apartment: clear shapes, a special mix of retro look and Scandinavian design and the kitchen with the beautiful wooden cabinet. These insights made us curious about the creative person behind the interior Instagram account _ninajahn . In an interview, Nina told us how she lives there with her family, what her 5 interior must-haves are and how the "Insta(dt)treffen" came about, where leading interior influencers meet in Weimar every year.
Dear Nina, would you like to introduce yourself and tell us what you do?
I have been living in Munich with my husband and two children for 18 years now. Before I became self-employed in the field of concept development for interiors and as a creative content creator (social media) - in the middle of this year - I worked as an architect in a large Munich architectural office. Always on the lookout for optimal space solutions for four people on 78 square meters, I would now like to become more active in the area of limited living space in big cities for others. Using small spaces effectively and developing good storage space ideas is definitely becoming more and more important.
How would you describe your furnishing style and how did you get your beautiful apartment?
We found our apartment more than 15 years ago in a classic way through an advertisement in the Süddeutsche Zeitung. I wouldn't say I follow any particular style. In general, I tend towards clear Scandinavian design, but I am just as enthusiastic about furniture by some young designers. The design of the 50s and 60s also appealed to me and is very important to me . All in all, it's just important to me that my apartment has something special! It should be different from others and we have to feel comfortable in it.
You are very successful with your Instagram account _ninajahn, where you share your tastefully furnished apartment. How did it come about and what has changed (positively) for you with the success?
In addition to my job as an architect, I have always had a penchant for interior architecture, design and creation, so I started writing a blog and increasingly using the medium of Instagram. Originally I wanted a balance to everyday stress, but in the meantime it has become more and I have started to build up a second mainstay. Smaller interior projects for builders followed, as well as the organization of social media events in this area. Well, and since July of this year I have dared to take the step into self-employment.
Do you have a favorite room in your apartment and why is it this one?
At the moment it is definitely the kitchen! In the last few months we have often cooked together there, the balcony door was open all day and life took place inside and outside. My coffee machine is also located there and since I am a self-confessed coffee lover, this corner is particularly important to me.
What is particularly important to you when furnishing a room?
Honestly, I don't follow any real concept. A lot happens intuitively and out of the situation. I very often follow my feeling for shapes, colors and materials as well as clear lines, alignments and harmonious proportions. I think my architecture studies had a strong influence on me early on.
Where do you get inspiration and what tips can you give along the way?
I wanted to say Instagram first, but I think I get most of my interior design inspiration from Pinterest. At least when I'm really looking for new inspiration. Too much “copy and paste” is happening to me on Instagram these days. At the moment you can hardly tell many apartments apart and you see the same thing in every second apartment. I don't want to take it easy when it comes to trends, I'm definitely susceptible to that too, but always with moderation.
Old building or chic new building - what is your favorite and why?
Definitely ALWAYS an old building apartment! I love the charm of old rooms, the creaking of the floors and the mostly slate walls. A new building of mood can (almost) not create that.
You are co-founder of the “Insta(dt)treffen” project, where interior bloggers can meet and exchange ideas. How did that come about and what exactly is it all about?
In January 2017 I met Mark Pohl, who owns the Design Apartments in Weimar, at the furniture fair in Cologne and only a few months later I traveled to Weimar for the first time, the founding place of the Bauhaus.
Together with his husband, Mark has transformed the 1907 townhouse into exceptional boutique apartments. Since 2012, holiday guests have been able to spend their holidays in a 'living showroom'. Try out the furnishings at your leisure and, if you like, buy them in his online shop or in the concept store in the city center.
We launched the Insta(dt)treffen four years ago in 2016 to bring people together in one place and spend a weekend sharing what actually connects the interior community, namely the enthusiasm for styling and makeover. And this should take place far from high-gloss interior styling. The participants of the event are given the task of redesigning specified areas in the DesignApartments in smaller groups. In addition to trend lectures on current topics, brands have the opportunity to present themselves and their products in a relaxed atmosphere.
Which 5 interior must-haves can you absolutely not do without?
1. individual art prints or even better real art (preferably as a picture wall in different sizes)
2. Table lamps in all variants
3. beautiful kitchen accessories and tableware
4. Chairs (you can never have enough)
5. a large dining table
Thank you very much for the great insight into your apartment and the nice interview, Nina!
Photos: © Nina Jahn