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Home story: Selina’s Scandinavian lifestyle

Selina (@seli_schne) and her husband Sebastian live in the beautiful Lahn-Dill district in a neighbourhood of the town of Haiger. Selina works at a bank in Sales Management/Marketing while Basti has a job in the metal industry. Basti has been playing football in the position of centre forward since his childhood. Selina’s passion is dancing. She also likes to bake, is a lover of films and TV shows and a very family-focused person. To find out more about Selina and her home, read our interview with her:

1. Your sister lives right next door. How did that come about?
After my husband and I got married in 2016, we started looking for a property. My parents were building their second house at the time. So from the time I was a small child, I had this dream of one day building my own house. After a year of committed searching, we finally found the perfect property. It was large enough and my younger sister and her partner were planning to return from Munich to their home region to also make their dream of a home of their own come true, so we decided to divide the property. That is how we came to own our dream home.

2. Your sister also has a Nolte kitchen. Did you influence each other while planning and designing your homes / kitchens?
Of course we exchanged ideas and we also went to various kitchen showrooms together. But most of my inspiration came from Instagram. I had some very nice exchanges on there.

3. How would you describe your kitchens? What do your kitchens have in common, where are the differences?
Selina: Our kitchen is easy to describe: timeless, straight lines, mat white and handleless.
Ylianna: All of that goes for our kitchen as well, except we chose a mat-white concrete combination.

We were immediately of one mind about the hob. We both definitely wanted a downdraft extractor fan. Our hobs and dishwashers are identical. Our ovens both have a steaming function, but Ylianna preferred a model with a concealable door. With regard to the fridge, we decided on an extra-large fridge. My sister has a slightly smaller version by the same manufacturer, but to make up for it, she has a separate deep freezer in her kitchen. Ours is in our utility room.

4. What do you like best about each other’s kitchens? What would you have done differently?
Selina: What I like a lot about Ylianna and Freddy’s kitchen is the large fixed window in front of the hob, which goes right down to the worktop. It offers a great view onto the patio, which will hopefully be finished soon. I also love that they managed to find a space for the deep freezer in their kitchen. It’s always difficult to say what I would have done differently in their place. Of course, different people have different tastes. But I would have chosen higher cabinets. In hindsight, I would have loved to expand our own kitchen and do away with the pantry instead. Because I love black so much, I plan to replace the tap with a mat black tap with an extendible spray head.

Ylianna: What I like a lot about Selina and Basti’s kitchen is the timeless, white design and the hob facing the dining table. Another really practical feature is the large fridge, which, in hindsight, I would have also installed in my own kitchen. I would not have changed anything in their kitchen – they have optimised their use of the available space and the kitchen fits perfectly into the interior design style.

5. You have a prefabricated house. What do you need to take into account when planning a kitchen in a prefabricated house? Were there limits to your kitchen plan? When and how was the kitchen plan integrated?
First of all I can only recommend that you plan the house around the kitchen, if you consider the kitchen an important feature. In hindsight, I would have loved to have a backup kitchen right behind the cabinet wall through a fake cabinet door. Unfortunately our floor plan made that impossible. Maybe it’ll work out when we build our next house. For prefabricated houses, proper planning is everything. It’s important to have an expert kitchen designer at hand, who knows exactly where to put which connection point.
After all, in a prefabricated house you can’t change your mind afterwards. We had to submit our kitchen plan even prior to sampling.

6. What role does your kitchen play in your home?
A huge role. It is the centre of our home and is the first thing you see when you enter.

7. What did you absolutely not want to do without in your kitchen? What was essential for you?
Definitely a large fridge and a surface-level hob with a downdraft extractor fan. That's because conventional cooker hoods give me the shivers. And we wanted our kitchen to be handleless.

8. Why did you decide on an open-plan kitchen? Do you have any advice for making open-plan spaces cosy?
I think what made us decide on an open-plan kitchen is that you can communicate with other people in the house, even while you’re in the kitchen. That makes cooking or baking much more fun. Besides, this concept suits our modern lifestyle best. 
My advice for cosiness: Don’t use more than two different floor coverings for an open-plan living area. That creates too much restlessness and breaks up the space. We chose parquet flooring for our whole house. That type of floor brings a basic warmth to the house. Up to now we’re happy with this floor covering in our kitchen, too. Of course, we take extra care, but you would do that for any other floor covering, too, if it was new.

9. What advice would you give other people for planning their kitchen?

  1. Take your time with planning.
  2. Don’t just follow current trends, but keep in mind that you may have the same kitchen for the next 20 years. Ask yourselves whether you’ll still like this front or the other 5 years from now.
  3. Include as many pull-outs/drawers as you can. There’s nothing better and more practical.
  4. Have the courage to choose a downdraft extractor fan instead of a conventional cooker hood.

10. Are you a tidy person or do you have days when the dishes pile up in your sink?
I’m absolutely a tidy person. I’m a little like Monk. I need everything to be spick-and-span and can’t stand unnecessary junk on the worktop.

11. Why did you choose Nolte Küchen and how did you discover Nolte Küchen?
My parents had a Nolte kitchen installed in their second house, with a large kitchen block and an encased large wall of tall cabinets. I immediately fell in love with the look and quality.

12. What are the defining features of the current Scandinavian trend and what inspired you to choose the Scandi style?
I was definitely inspired by Instagram. I simply love the mix of warmth and minimalism. I also like to add a little touch of Industrial or Boho style.

13. How did the Scandi style affect your kitchen plan?
Because white kitchens with a white worktop are fairly common in Scandinavia, the Scandi style affected my choices somewhat. On the other hand, I think I would have chosen this kitchen even for a different interior design style, because it will probably always be fashionable and timeless.

14. The style of your home is Scandinavian and minimalist. What do you like about this interior design style? And: Does it reflect your personality?
I think this style suits me well. I’m a straight-forward person, I’m direct and honest. On the other hand, I often let my heart lead me. These two parts of my personality are also reflected in the style of our home. I also like to declutter constantly. My motto is: Less is more.

15. What are your three design tips for a Scandinavian look?
I think you should stick to the colour scheme. If you combine wood with white, black, grey and gentle earth tones, you can’t go very wrong. Add a touch of green here or there with a few plants - although I must admit I really don't have a green thumb at all. But otherwise, follow the motto: Less is more, but do what pleases you.

16. They say: You're never really done designing your home. Do you redecorate often and / or do you decorate by the season?
(Laughing) Yes, that’s true. It feels like you're never really done. I often feel the need to rearrange pieces a little and I’m constantly decluttering and making space. Afterwards, I feel unburdened. Speaking of decluttering: The kitchen cabinets are next on my to-do list.

17. Does your home have a colour scheme?
Definitely! Mat white, mat black, wood, grey and soft earth tones.

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