September Postcards

late summer flower arrangement
late summer flower arrangement
late summer flower arrangement with wild yellow flowers and snowberries
late summer flower arrangement with wild yellow flowers and snowberries
minimalistic late summer flower arrangement with reed
minimalistic late summer flower arrangement with reed

…what a wonderful September it was – here are some of the arrangements I enjoyed making for my home…

 

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Renovation of my new studio – yes, I painted the floors, too

ANZEIGE
New colors in the studio - 'Cornforth White' Farrow & Ball on the walls & the radiator cover // 'Wevet' Farrow & Ball floor paint
New colors in the studio – ‘Cornforth White’ Farrow & Ball on the walls & the radiator cover // ‘Wevet’ Farrow & Ball floor paint
Moving studios
A few months ago I moved to a new studio but it’s not until now that I would love to share this very special project with you – the renovation of this place. For years I’ve had a teeny tiny room that used to be my studio. I outgrew it pretty fast because there was no space to combine all of the diverse workflows. After I got a large desk, there was not enough room for interior photography. I missed having a room that I could go to, work on my interior photography… And yes, I also missed to leave a mess behind, close the door and to simply return on another day.
New studio
Luckily, I had the opportunity to move my studio to a bigger room and it was last fall that I made a deliberate choice to concentrate on my photography for a while and it was my goal to work on it daily. Back then it seemed to be a life-or-death decision and to be able to work in this new large room things had to happen fast, I wanted to create immediately. Hastly I painted the walls in a random grey, chose a simple white color for the floors and I was ready for magic to happen. But the magic didn’t happen, because I wasn’t satisfied with the photos I made in this new studio. The white was way too yellow and the colors on the walls, depending on the light outside, had always a funny touch. Even though I wanted to work on larger interior photography I was forced to work on smaller interior vignettes. Also, it was not only the limitating colors, there was a huge part of the room that I couldn’t use properly because there was an old heater that was in the way. The enthusiasm of the new beginnings started to vanish because there were just too many corners in the room that I couldn’t really work in. I knew, this room needed a renovation with new colors and a cover for the radiator. 
Renovating the studio - Anastasia Benko
BEFORE the renovation, heavily stained walls & a heater that needed a cover – Anastasia Benko
AFTER the painting job - walls 'Cornforth White' and floors 'Wevet' by Farrow and Ball
AFTER the painting job – walls ‘Cornforth White’ and floors ‘Wevet’ by Farrow and Ball
Renovating the studio - Anastasia Benko
Renovating the studio – Anastasia Benko
New Colors 
If you are a regular reader, you know, that I have been a huge fan of the Farrow & Ball  colors and after I had realized that I needed to restore my rashly installed studio, I reached out to Farrow and Ball for help. Who, if not them, has such a profound expertise in the field of colors?! Listening closely to their experience I started to dig deeper and learned a lot about their colors and the influence of daylight: I wanted to create a holistic experience because I wanted to be able to use every single corner at any time of the day! I didn’t want to waste an inch! I knew, that the Farrow & Ball colors can be used almost on any surface: woods, metals and of course walls! I also knew that many of their colors go well together because they work in groups that are balanced to work together. I went to get advice on how to get the best results for my room and couldn’t be happier with the outcome! But look for yourself, now I don’t need to wait for a certain time of the day because the colors look good every minute! In the mornings, during the day or even at sunset. 
New colors in the studio - 'Cornforth White' Farrow & Ball on the walls & the radiator cover // 'Wevet' Farrow & Ball floor paint
New colors in the studio – ‘Cornforth White’ Farrow & Ball on the walls & the radiator cover // ‘Wevet’ Farrow & Ball floor paint
New colors in the studio - 'Cornforth White' Farrow & Ball on the walls & the radiator cover // 'Wevet' Farrow & Ball floor paint
New colors in the studio – ‘Cornforth White’ Farrow & Ball on the walls & the radiator cover // ‘Wevet’ Farrow & Ball floor paint
I had to find a hard-wearing paint for my floors and baseboards and I found the most beautiful Wevet White in the modern eggshell finish. 
New colors in the studio - 'Cornforth White'  Farrow & Ball on the walls & the radiator cover // 'Wevet' Farrow & Ball floor paint
New colors in the studio – ‘Cornforth White’ Farrow & Ball on the walls & the radiator cover // ‘Wevet’ Farrow & Ball floor paint
I had to find a paint for my walls. After the first painting dilemma in this room, I knew I needed to concentrate on a proper color, that wouldn’t be too dominant but would also work well with every exposure to light. I couldn’t be happier with Cornforth White.
Cornforth White by Farrow & Ball
Cornforth White by Farrow & Ball
And of course I had to find a paint for the heating cover and decided to use the same colors I already used on the walls. Ideal for interior woodwork I used the Finish Estate Eggshell.
New colors in the studio - 'Cornforth White'  Farrow & Ball on the walls & the radiator cover // 'Wevet' Farrow & Ball floor paint
New colors in the studio – ‘Cornforth White’ Farrow & Ball on the walls & the radiator cover // ‘Wevet’ Farrow & Ball floor paint
Now that I have a few images of the final paint job, I am extremely happy to show how well these colors compliment each other. They both are from the Easy Neutrals family and I listened when Farrow and Ball said: 
‚These clean and understated neutrals are incredibly easy to live with. Neither too warm nor too cool, our Easy Neutrals sit contentedly together in both modern and traditional homes.’ 
New colors in the studio - 'Cornforth White'  Farrow & Ball on the walls & the radiator cover // 'Wevet' Farrow & Ball floor paint
New colors in the studio – ‘Cornforth White’ Farrow & Ball on the walls & the radiator cover // ‘Wevet’ Farrow & Ball floor paint
This is exactly what I needed in this room! The colors had to be neutral and calming, deep but discreet enough to put an emphasis on the future elements of the room. I have taken a few images in different lighting situations and the colors paint a beautiful atmosphere in the room, even during sunset. Thanks to the incredible knowledge of Farrow & Ball their approach to deliver only the best of the best I now have the most beautiful room to work from. The newly painted room is now a canvas that creates just about unlimited possibilities. It is a daily celebration to work in this room now!

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my creative journey & on winning an award…

ANZEIGE

To me there is no easy way to introduce this – so I am going to jump right into it: in the beginning of June I won my THIRD AWARD and I’d love to share my feelings about it. It hasn’t been easy to talk about my achievements but along the way I have learned that I had to believe in myself as an artist, before the world believed in me. Not an easy balancing act because my granny raised a humble girl.

One of the most important tasks as an artist was to learn to create and to publish along the pace of my own heart. Especially at times when I was constantly flooded with spectacular, often overwhelming impressions: up to a point of where my senses got lost in an explosion of plenty. But I never lost sight of what was most important to me: the love for my craft! In order to grow and to challenge myself I knew, I needed to invest every second in this craft! I knew, I needed to dedicate myself to photography! I never bought into this false notion that results would magically appear or success would just happen over night. I worked all my life to be my best self. I still remember those nights, yeeeeears ago, when my friend Mette and I would exchange emails until 4 in the morning to improve our skills (I admire the work ethics of this beautiful lady, but that’s another story…). But still, some days I deliberately held back because things weren’t l finished, I wasn’t ready. These past years, these past months in particular, I learned to appreciate all the little steps and how to keep faith with my dreams and visions. One part of this exercise was allowing myself to be worthy of my dreams, but also concentrating on my craft even more. I created a sacred place – a new studio – and have been practicing daily to improve my skills… One of the most wonderful rewards for the fruits of my work is this award!

In the beginning of June I attended the Garden and Home Blog Award, and I won my 3rd award for ‘Best Photo’! Thank you so very very much to Holly of decor8 and Niki of Anthropologie for presenting this award to me! I still need to stretch that muscle that makes me talk comfortably about my achievements, yet I am deeply humbled and thankful to have won this award! Gifts are nothing without endurability, persistence and hard work. My truth is that there have never been short cuts to achieve goals. This award has shown that hard work, the urgency to create, patience, a humble approach and also being quiet and slow (again, the pace of my own heart) can lead ways I have never dreamt of!

moody dahlia arrangement with white roses
moody dahlia arrangement with white roses

So this is my award-winning photo and at the ceremony I got asked how long it took me to create this. My answer was: ‚Twenty minutes.‘ But the real answer is: ‚It took a lifetime.‘

Social media has trained us to value and measure success by extrinsic validation of strangers or even worse: likes generated by some random algorithm. Work for yourself and you will never be dependent on any form of exterior praise. I am beyond humbled having reached this amazing goal but what is even more beautiful is the conditions it creates to realize how far I have yet to go! THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH to everyone involved! ❤

I am deeply, deeply thankful, A. XO

 

Wie ein Foto zu einem antiken Bett wird

ANZEIGE

VORHER: Eine leere Wand sucht ein schönes Kopfteil, welches zur Lampe passt
VORHER: Eine leere Wand sucht ein schönes Kopfteil, welches zur Lampe passt

Am Anfang stand eine Lampe

Ich habe einmal gehört, man sollte NIEMALS bei der Planung für ein größeres Styling, dabei spielt es keine Rolle, ob es sich um Mode oder Einrichtung handelt, mit kleinen Accessoires beginnen. Man könne sich dabei ganz leicht verzetteln. Ich wäre jedoch nicht ich, wenn ich mich an solche Regeln halten würde. Schon immer habe ich mich zu wunderschönen Einrichtungsgegenständen hingezogen gefühlt und kaufe diese auch, wann immer das Sparschweinchen es zulässt. Sehr oft handelt es sich dabei um Dinge, von denen ich noch nicht einmal weiß wann und wie diese zum Einsatz kommen werden. So wie bei dieser weissen Wagenfeld Lampe. Die einfache, pillenartige Form und die weisse Keramik haben mich schon immer sehr fasziniert. Da in meinen Einrichtungsstil nur sehr wenige schlichte und industrielle Elemente hineinspielen, wusste ich von Anfang an, dass ich die Lampe mit Elementen aus anderen Epochen mischen möchte. So kam es, dass ich mich bei der Gestaltung des Schlafzimmers auf die Suche nach einem größeren antiken Möbelstück begeben habe.

VORLAGE: Teil einer antiken Türverzierung
VORLAGE: Teil einer antiken Türverzierung

Der passende Wandbild für die Lampe

Fast hätte ich mich bei der Gestaltung des Schlafzimmers auch verzettelt, denn obwohl ich unbedingt die weiße Lampe hängen wollte, habe ich länger nicht das passende Gegenstück dazu gefunden. Da es sehr schwierig war in meinem Wohnort ein antikes französisches Bett zu bekommen, kam mir ein ungewöhnlicher Gedanke: ich könnte die schlichte Lampe in Szene setzen, mit einem selbst gestalteten Wandbild! So wurde die Idee geboren: statt eines antiken Möbelstücks musste ich mich nur noch auf die Suche nach dem passenden antiken Motiv für die Fotovorlage machen. Schnell habe ich das passende Objekt gefunden. Bei einer Schlossbesichtigung letzten Sommer habe ich an einer unscheinbaren Tür diese verspielte Bogenform gefunden, die bereits eine Rahmung vorgab. Ich habe von der goldenen Verzierung, die mich sofort an ein Bettkopfteil denken liess, ein Foto gemacht um es später und der Idee stand nichts mehr im Wege. Was im Schloss nur ein Dekorationselement war, wollte ich am Kopfende des Bettes im XXL Format befestigen.

NACHHER: das Foto wurde auf Holz gedruckt und als Bettkopfteil angebracht
NACHHER: das Foto wurde auf Holz gedruckt und als Bettkopfteil angebracht
DETAILS: die Holzmaserung ist auf dem Druck genau zu sehen und schafft einen wunderschönen natürlichen Effekt
DETAILS: die Holzmaserung ist auf dem Druck genau zu sehen und schafft einen wunderschönen natürlichen Effekt

Ein Holzdruck mit antiker Patina 

In der heutigen Zeit verliert man sich viel zu oft in der digitalen Sphäre. Ganz besonders mir geht es so, denn ich arbeite tagtäglich viel zu lange Stunden am Computer und sehne mich sehr nach ehrlichen, natürlichen Materialien. Ich wollte das Schlafzimmer so individuell wie möglich gestalten und auf alt gemachte Möbelreplika kamen für mich dabei nicht in Frage. Ich wollte ein Unikat mit Seele und Geschichte! Nachdem ich das Foto im Schloss gemacht habe, wünschte ich mir ein Kopfteil aus bedrucktem Holz. Die Haptik ist ganz besonders schön und durch die Holzmaserung bekommt das ‚vintage‘ Kopfteil eine wunderschöne Patina. Das Gewicht des Holzes trägt zur Wertigkeit bei, man bekommt sofort Lust sich in das neue, antike Bett zu kuscheln!

So einfach war das neue Bett fertig - einfach an die Wand lehne und fertig ist das neue antike Bett!
So einfach war das neue Bett fertig – einfach an die Wand lehne und fertig ist das neue antike Bett!

Vom Holzdruck zum Betthaupt 

CEWE hat wunderbare Formate für Holzdruck zur Auswahl und die Größe passt perfekt hinter das Bett. Damit die Holzdrucke am Ende die passenden Maße haben, habe ich meine Fotografie aus dem Schloss in zwei Hälften aufgeteilt, und diese dann auf quadratische Holzplatten von je 80 x 80 cm drucken lassen. Das allerbeste beim Bestellvorgang war jedoch, dass ich die Ausrichtung der Holzlatten von horizontal auf vertikal ändern konnte und somit der Effekt einer richtigen Holzwand verstärkt wird. Nun betrachte ich das schöne Schlafzimmer und komme mir vor, als würde ich eine Zeitreise machen. Meine Lieblingsstile sind nun in einem harmonischen Bild vereint und ich bin froh, das ich mich damals in die kleine weiße Wagenfeld Lampe verliebt habe, denn ohne dieses winzige Detail wäre die Idee mit dem antiken Kopfteil nie entstanden…

antikes Bethaupt - Foto auf Holz gedruckt
antikes Bethaupt – Foto auf Holz gedruckt
Details auf dem Nachttischchen
Details auf dem Nachttischchen

Here you can see how I turned a simple photo of an antique door detail into a wooden headboard. Now it feels like I live in a chateau ❤ A. xo

Visit Florence, Italy

Last summer we explored one of the most beautiful cities I have been to – Florence, Italy!  It was so interesting to see all of the places that have pulled Europe out of the Middle Ages into the modern world. The contrast of this trip to Italy has been so strong, especially after we have spent a gorgeous time in this  medieval village. Many of you know, that I was born on the Ukraine. I remember going through my aunties art history books that she has brought from her trips to Europe back to our small town in the Ukraine. It was Michelangelo’s works in particular that has put a spell on me and also one of the reasons I began my studies in art history… Seeing David in real life was mind-blowing and I love love love the image I took at the museum. Every time I look at the pictures from Florence, it not only reminds me of how beautiful Italy is, but it also reminds me of the significance and the power of art.  Come join me on my photo tour… I hope you like it just as much as I do…

A. xo

Firenze, Italy
Firenze, Italy
San Giovanni, Firenze, Italy
San Giovanni, Firenze, Italy
David, Michelangelo, Firenze, Italy
David, Michelangelo, Firenze, Italy
Firenze, Italy
Firenze, Italy
Basilica di Santa Croce, Firenze, Italy
Basilica di Santa Croce, Firenze, Italy
at the Galleria dell' Accademia, Florence, Italy
at the Galleria dell’ Accademia, Florence, Italy
XXL soap bubbles in Florence, Italy
XXL soap bubbles in Florence, Italy
at the Galleria dell' Accademia, Florence, Italy
at the Galleria dell’ Accademia, Florence, Italy
Boboli Gardens in Florence, Italy
Boboli Gardens in Florence, Italy
Uffizi, Florence, Italy
Uffizi, Florence, Italy
Firenze, Italy
Firenze, Italy
Firenze, Italy
Firenze, Italy
Boboli Gardens in Florence, Italy
Boboli Gardens in Florence, Italy
Firenze, Italy
Firenze, Italy
blurry view from the rooftops of Florence, looking down at the street market
blurry view from the rooftops of Florence, looking down at the street market

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