There a common critique of the Instagram generation that their – or our, as I count myself among them – appreciation of beauty (and reality) is only screen deep. and while the notion of portraying a certain lifestyle ‘for the ’gram’ may apply to some, it is certainly not the case for Nina Suess, blue-ticked Instagram royalty, model and purveyor of swoon-worthy OOTD to an audience of over 380 000 followers.
Case in point: Nina’s Kensington flat, a roughly 200-square-metre space the social media star fully renovated and decorated to reflect her love for fashion and create a quiet break from her madding schedule. of course, as any influencer knows, the key to success lies in careful collaboration.
For her home, Nina knew exactly who she would team up with: T.O Interior design founder Theresa Obermoser. ‘I was very familiar with Nina’s fashion style as I had been following her for years,’ says Theresa. ‘I am always fascinated by her extravagance. She always has one thing, which, for everyone else, is just too much, but she makes it work effortlessly.’ Before so much as flipping through a swatch book, however, Nina and Theresa embarked on an extensive vision boarding journey, which saw Nina outlining her ideals from the project: a sanctuary where she could relax in between travelling, a generous wardrobe and storage (naturally, given her line of work), and a space to serve as the domestic ‘face’ of her brand, to entertain guests and clients alike.
‘Working together together brought out the best in both of us creatively, as Nina is very extravagant and glamorous, whereas I like to create laid-back bohemian spaces. The meeting of these two worlds is what makes it so special,’ says Theresa.
The project started with completely gutting the apartment, reconfiguring the original four-bedroom layout into a generous living/dining room with two ensuite bedrooms (with the storage capacity maxed out) and a gym and study. ‘The apartment’s spacious open-plan living area affords the perfect space for nina to entertain business partners and friends, but its more hidden and private areas, such as the bedrooms, allow nina to unwind.’
When it came to appointing these spaces, Theresa went to the source for inspiration: nina herself. ‘I looked at each room as I would an outfit. on some days, you feel like dressing up with heels, but on other days you would be more laid back with sneakers,’ she says. ‘so each room has a different vibe, where she can almost match the space to her outfit.’ In practical terms, this meant starting each room with its own colour scheme, favouring a bolder approach to tones, texture and shape (think vibrant ochres, forest greens, black-and-white marbling, and brushed brass accents) that conveyed the homeowner’s specific brand of classic opulence but with a contemporary, perhaps even irreverent, twist.
The resulting interiors have an almost Parisian quality, thanks to the ornate cornices, wall panelling and Versaille-pattern timber floors, with just the right amount of charm and playfulness. ‘I love beige tones as they work in any setting. In a city-based project,I incorporate them for an elegant look, where I would not mix in rustic elements. I would rather combine them with luxe materials, such as velvet and silk, and integrate brass hardware,’ says Theresa. ‘It was definitely our intention to add serious glamour without it being glitzy and glossy.’ and glamorous it certainly is. ‘This place shouts Nina from every corner,’ says Theresa. ‘It is the most extravagant project we have ever done as I normally tend to tune things down, but here it was essential to stay truthful to Nina’s glam.’
More homes and style in our latest issue with design master Kelly Wearstler.
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