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smow Homestory: At home with book author and content creator Igor Josifovic-Kemper

Igor Josifovic-Kemper's world of plants and books in his Berlin home

Beige may seem at first glance somewhat plain, uninspired even, but for Igor Josifovic-Kemper it is a canvas on which he unfolds his creative vision. Rarely has a colour fitted so well into a home as it does into Igor's: his calm manner with his mischievous smile is reflected 1:1 in his home. Not loud, not intrusive, but endlessly engaging.

Igor's special interior design style is probably not only due to his understanding of art history and his strong knack for interiors - Igor's husband comes from Brazil, where the two also share a second home. Here in Germany they live in a small apartment in Berlin, where mid-century and Scandinavian influences meet Brazilian details. Igor regularly shows the result on his Instagram account igorjosif.

Even if he would no longer describe himself as such today, Igor is one of the very first generation of interior bloggers. Together with the Dutch designer Judith de Graaff, he started the plant blog Urban Jungle Bloggers in 2013, around which a true community of plant lovers has now developed. The two also publish books together on the subject.

Urban Jungle Blogger Igor

At home with Igor Josifovic-Kemper

smow at home: Between art, ceramics and urban jungle at home with Igor

Mid-century design icons, Brazilian art and Scandi classics

In Igor's home, mid-century elements, Scandinavian chic and Brazilian details merge into a harmonious whole. Igor intuitively understands how to add a personal touch to any space while maintaining a consistent aesthetic; every piece of furniture, every plant and every piece of decoration is carefully selected and fits seamlessly into the overall picture.

Igor's deep connection with art is evident when looking at his home, and when he explains the background to specific works of art it becomes very clear why the graduate economist is now studying art history. His furnishings are a skilful mix of design classics, USM storage solutions, Scandinavian collector's items and souvenirs from travel, all in a discreetly neutral palette of brown and beige, surrounded, it goes without saying, by his very own urban jungle.

A favourite corner: A Vetsak Sofa offers a relaxed place in relaxing colours

That Igor has taste can be discerned from the smow x KLEKKS wool blanket

About Igor

We spoke to Igor about his interior design style and his design favourites. Welcome to Igor's world, where beige is brought to life in sophisticated ways.

smow: Igor, please briefly introduce yourself!

Igor: My name is Igor and I live and work in Berlin. I am a content creator and author of two books. I'm also studying for the second time.

smow: On your Happy Interior blog you have been sharing a wide range of topics from plants, travel to interiors for 13 years. What exactly do you enjoy about it?

Igor: The topics are basically my passions - I love a beautiful home, travelling and plants. So it was almost natural to start a blog on these topics back in 2011. That was the beginning of the Happy Interior Blog.

smow: Today is much more about fast-moving content like Instagram posts or Reels. A blog that is still being filled and maintained has become a rarity, are you an old school blogger?

Igor: That's right. I wouldn't even call myself a blogger any more, because I no longer write regularly on the blog. This is now reserved rather selectively for topics where I want to tell and show more than is possible on Instagram & Co.

smow: Many older readers will know you, and your Munich apartment, in context of the hashtag #urbanjunglebloggers. Where and how do you live now?

Igor: I moved once in Munich and my followers were able to see the changes and new furnishings, and I now live in Berlin. The new apartment is not just a new space, but also a new home with a new look and feel. I believe that our homes change as we do - we develop and change, and that is also reflected in the interior styling.

Inviting and cosy: The kitchen with the Vitra Standard chairs by Jean Prouvé

Classic reading corner with a Thonet Lounge Chair 119 F and Panthella lampby Verner Panton

smow: And you're back at school?

Igor: Yes, I decided to study a second time. I already have a Master's degree in international economics, but I always wanted to study something else: classical archaeology and art history. So I'm realising that dream now

smow: Where do you get your inspiration from?

Igor: Sounds trite, but from life, that's how it is. Life and what surrounds us is sometimes much more inspiring than we believe it to be. Sometimes a walk is enough for me to get new ideas, sometimes it's travelling or trial and error when redecorating.

Igor's place for creative work: An Eiermann table from Richard Lampert with Vega Chair from Carl Hansen

Classic meets classic: Tripod floor lamp from &Tradition at the Eiermann desk

smow: What excites you most about interior design?

Igor: That you can "materialize" your personality to a certain extent and make it visually accessible to others.

smow: Do you have a favourite designer or manufacturer?

Igor: I'm always too enthusiastic about different designs and designers, so it's hard for me to limit myself to just one. For example, I love mid-century design from Brazil by designers like Sergio Rodrigues, Lina Bo Bardi, and Percival Lafer. But classics like USM Haller are also perennial favourites

Central piece in Igor's apartment: the USM Haller unit with plant inserts

smow: How would you describe your style? And what is important to you about in terms of furnishing?

Igor: I would describe my style as personal above all. My home has a mix of Brazilian design and art with classics from Scandinavian design and is rather neutral in colour scheme with lots of earth tones, light and dark contrasts, green and blue as splashes of colour here and there.

smow: What was your first piece of designer furniture?

Igor: I think it was an Eames chair from the 1960s that I still have.

Scandi classic with its own place on the USM units: Monkey by Kay Bojesen

CH25 Lounge Chair: Scandi classic from the 1950s

smow: What makes your channel different from other interior accounts?

Igor: I think especially the "Brazilian touch" in design and art - at least I haven't seen that on other accounts in German-speaking countries.

smow: You recently added an Eiermann table from Richard Lampert to your interior. What was the motivation?

Igor: First and foremost the start of my new studies. I needed a bigger desk so I could spread out all the books and work properly.

Perfect for immersing yourself in art history: Igor's new Eiermann table

smow: What is a no-go for you in interior design?

Igor: It's a no-go if you do something with your home just because you think it's trendy - but it doesn't correspond to your own personality or character, for example.

smow: What do you enjoy most in the Interior Bubble?

Igor: The lively exchange and the generally friendly atmosphere.

smow: Which piece of furniture is at the top of your smow wish list?

Igor: I'm actually still missing a desk lamp! I'm toying with the Demetra Tavolo from Artemide or the Kaiser Idell from Fritz Hansen.

Potential desk lamp: Demetra Tavolo from Artemide

Also on Igor's wishlist: Kaiser Idell lamp from Fritz Hansen

Igor's reading corner in the living room

smow shorts for Igor

Your first sentence to an unexpected visitor?
Hi, come in!

Your favourite place?
On my Vetsak sofa.

A purchase fail?
A coffee table that is too small.

Mountains or sea?

Which interior favourites can you never pass up?
Vintage ceramics. when I see some I always have to take something.

White or coloured walls?
White ones or those with a very delicate, neutral tone.

Curtains, yes or no?
Yes, made of linen.

You collect ...?

Dog or cat?

Film or music?

Your biggest quirk?
Always tidying up...

Thank you very much Igor!

h2.Casual elegance in beige to restyle

#smowathome with Igor in one image: plants, art, ceramics, travel souvenirs and the Scandi monkey in a beige frame

Beige tones may not like to be in the spotlight, but they bring incomparable relaxation into the homes of their residents. At Igor's home we find a mixture of urban jungle, personal and individual decoration far away from mass trends, accents in blue and green tones, mid-century design icons... and always beige. This creates this casual cosiness - half German, half Brazilian, which we fell in love with.