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Homestory: Traditional meets modern

The initial plan: a flat in an historical building in a big city with stucco on the high ceilings and a terrace.
The final realisation: a large new house in the countryside, without stucco, with two terraces and a garden.

After several years in the capital, Julia (hanghaus15) returned to her home region and built a detached house with her partner in a peaceful community in Lower Austria. The floor plan was largely self-designed and much of the work on the house and its surroundings was also carried out by the owners themselves. Views and light were two main reasons for choosing the plot. The house, located on a south-facing slope, has both. In addition, the interior design combines the modern with the classic and gives the new house a special charm. Next year, after moving-in in spring 2021, the garden and outdoor facilities will be completed.

1. In one of your posts you write about love at first sight where your kitchen is concerned. Why do you think that was?
As usual with love at first sight that’s hard to explain, but everything is just perfect. Beforehand I had no image of my dream kitchen in mind and thought there would be a long selection process. In the end I probably fell for the mixture of classic and modern design. I love Art Déco architecture and this kitchen design is strongly inspired by it.

2. How would you describe your kitchen?
Unique but not obtrusive, simple but not boring, a classic but not old-fashioned.

3. A kitchen like yours is quite rare! How do your guests react to it?
Most people that visit us are quite surprised – but positively. (At least that’s what they say 😉)

4. Did it take some courage to choose a design this unique?
I don’t think the design is so unique that it would require a lot of courage. Maybe it’s just not the kind of kitchen you would expect to find in a new building in Austria.
I can only advise people not to let trends guide their decisions too much but to listen to their heart and choose what they really like best.

5. What image did you have in mind for your kitchen at the very start?
As I already mentioned earlier, I barely had any images in mind. One thing I definitely didn’t want was a visible cooker hood.
And I absolutely had to have a separate pantry directly adjacent to the kitchen.

6. What was your kitchen planning process like?
On that topic I would like to say that we ended up rejecting practically every plan we had about three times over during the construction phase.
Walls were removed again, light outlets cut into the concrete ceiling, windows relocated... so it almost goes without saying that the kitchen layout was changed again at the last moment.
What helped us the most was to model the kitchen with cardboard boxes while the building was still in its shell phase in order to see what working in the kitchen would look like.
Together with our very patient kitchen designer we finally found a perfect solution for us.

7. What material is the worktop made of? Why did you choose that material?
We chose a 3 cm thick board made of white quartzite. I like the look of marble – but we were advised not to use it in a kitchen.
With its look, low maintenance requirements and practically indestructible strength, the quartzite meets all of our needs for a worktop.

8. Were you considering choosing long handles?
Actually we weren’t even looking for an alternative to our handles. But some of the cabinets in the kitchen were equipped with finger pulls or push-to-open.

9. The lit glass cabinet is a special highlight! How did you come up with that idea?
Once again I’ll have to get back to what I said before. We saw the glass cabinet in a magazine and immediately started to wonder where we could integrate one like it in our layout. Like other elements, it moved around quite a bit during the planning process. In the end the glass case found its place at the heart of the kitchen. The light band can be adjusted seamlessly from cold to warm white and we often use it as mood lighting in the evenings.

10. What did you have to take into account because your house is built on the side of a hill?
The main difference from a house built on a level plot is probably the additional effort required for building the bottom slab. It is, of course, necessary to compensate for the incline in order to get a level living surface. On the south side we filled in nearly a full storey. For locations on very steep slopes, a split level house can be advantageous.

11. Your house is built in the “Bauhaus” style. What exactly does that mean?
Although the “Bauhaus style” is technically not a clearly delineated style, when the term is used colloquially it usually refers to modernity in architecture and design.
Function takes complete precedence over form, or to put it simply: “form follows function”.
In the design of our house we were actually somewhat inspired by Walter Gropius – one of the founders of Bauhaus – and the Master’s Houses designed by him in the city of Dessau.
It was important to us to have two full storeys available without any inclined surfaces. In addition the overhanging top floor protects the living area from overheating in summer.

12. You say that you don’t really like cooking or baking. Did the kitchen change anything about that? Or is it still mostly your partner who whips up your meals?
I spend long hours at the office and come home late, so I usually don’t feel like putting great effort into cooking. I often just don’t have any ideas. Besides, I’m a total salad junkie, so I rarely bother to fire up the stove. My partner is somewhat more willing to cook – but we could probably both use some lessons 😉

13. In general light and colour play an important role in your home – why is that?
Studies show that colours affect your feelings, they have an effect on your happiness and rouse emotions. People are all different and, of course, so is their preferred colour scheme. I’ve always been a fan of colour. Be it in fashion or in art. Our house reflects that. Aside from the ceiling you won’t find a single white wall. While I often like houses with simple white, black or grey designs in photos and paintings, I would not want to live in them myself.

14. How would you describe your interior design style?
I would describe my style as “colourful modern-classic” with a few hints of mid-century modern. But in general I very rarely stick to guidelines – luckily my partner’s taste and mine are similar 😊

15. In one of your posts you write that you like “everything as long as it’s not ordinary”. What do you mean by that?
Well, I think I was born with a taste for the extraordinary 😊 
Where interior design is concerned that means: I’m fascinated by furniture and objects that you can’t find in every household. Objects that tell a story or are just different from current trends.
I also love combining the old with the new – and we frequently did so in our house.

16. Where do you find all those unique treasures?
I like to browse second-hand and auction platforms. For instance, the bar stools in our kitchen came from a restaurant in Vienna and the designer lamp above our kitchen island was also a second-hand find I got at a low price. Once in a while I find things at flea markets – we bought three paintings at a market during our most recent holiday in southern France.

17. What does life in the kitchen mean to you?
As we only moved in a few months ago, I really can’t answer that yet - but thanks to the open-plan design, our kitchen is not just a means to an end but a place that invites you to relax and enjoy. I considered that important for all rooms.

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