Wednesday, April 9

Unexpected Guests: Nina van de Goor.

We're dropping in on a favorite design blogger of mine, Nina van de Goor of the Netherlands. Nina is a 25-year old Dutch student, and self proclaimed design•art•craft•ceramics•vintage• thrift store•fabric•fashion junkie, who runs the wonderful design blog ninainvorm. Her posts are always so colorful and full of her inspiring photographs of her beautiful homes (past and present!), as you will soon see. Thank you Nina for taking the time to let us know more about you. For more about Nina, be sure to stop in regularly to her blog!

Where do you live?
I live in the Netherlands, in a beautiful historical city in the south of the country called Den Bosch. It’s not a very big city (a little more than a 100,000 inhabitants), but it’s a really nice place to live.

What is your idea of a perfect day in your city?
There are many ways in which I enjoy living in my city. One of them is to go to a bar with my boyfriend on Sunday evenings, bring some books and magazines and read and chat while drinking coffees and having dessert. The so-called ‘Bossche bol’, a local type of pastry which consists of whipped cream filled choux pastry with chocolate all over it is my favorite.
Another favorite way of spending a relaxed day in my city is walking to the city centre, visiting all my favorite thrift stores and buying a large bundle of fresh flowers on my way back home. The fact that my arms, back and shoulders hurt after dragging all my treasures home on a lucky day is a less favorite part of this type of perfect day, by the way ;). We moved to a more quiet and green part of the city centre a few months ago, and our new apartment has a big roof terrace and is very close to one of the largest parks of the city, so I also hope to spend some perfect days outside our house when spring and summer are finally coming.

What don't you leave home without?
Wallet, phone and keys. But most of the time I bring my big handbag too, which is filled with pens, little pieces of paper, chewing gum, old train, theatre and cinema tickets, all kinds of brochures that I got somewhere sometime, receipts and what more that I should already have thrown away a long time ago. I used to snatch those little sugar packets from bars and other public places and put them in my bag, with all kind of romantic ideas that one day they might serve as some kind of emergency ration. But I quit doing that because the packets used to get ripped open in my bag so everything in there ended up covered with sugar. Once in a while I turn the whole bag upside down and throw away all the un-useful stuff…

What's your favorite local shop?
I love charity shops, mainly because the feeling of adventure that comes over me when I go there. Most of the time all you find is crap, but you never know, sometimes you find real treasures.

What's one thing about you that would surprise people?
Phew… I already find it hard to imagine what they would not be surprised of. Is it weird to say that I have no idea what other people think of me? And therefore have no idea of what would surprise them and what not? Maybe it surprises some people that I’m not always this happy-go-lucky person. Some people see my colorful home and clothing style and assume that I must be this ever-happy and cheerful person. Unfortunately, that isn’t always true. Loving cheerful colors isn’t the miracle recipe to being happy all the time, though being surrounded by happy colors certainly adds a lot of happiness and fun to my home and life.

Who are your favorite artists? And why?
Oh, this is such a difficult one… I like art, craft, music and other cultural expressions in many different ways. I couldn’t call just one person my favorite. I love the work of Charlotte Salomon, a talented painter who was killed during the Second World War. I also really like the more abstract work of dutch painter Klaas Gubbels and the graphic work of graphic designer Dick Bruna. My uncle, Theo van de Goor, is a great painter and graphic artist and he makes some amazing objects and sculptures. Rob Ryan is one of my current favorites, I’m the lucky owner of some of his screen printed tiles, and would love to buy one of his larger screen prints some day. I recently discovered the work of Katie Vida and Karine Leger, I think both are very talented painters. But I also keep finding great artists on Etsy, and I love the work of blogger’s favorites such as Lisa Congdon, Camilla Engman and Elisabeth Dunker very much too, like all of us!

Where do you find inspiration?
Mainly in books, blogs and magazines. Vintage stuff especially inspires me: old children’s books, packaging material, patterns and fabrics…Other people’s work inspires me; I’m not that talented that I can create anything out of the blue, without looking at other examples or ideas. Sometimes I have a great and sort of original idea (at least I think so), but most of the time I get inspired by what other people make.

Who do you admire and why?
I admire a lot of people! I find something admirable in almost everyone. I like people that are courageous, honest and open-minded, and that go their own way. I often struggle with what I want to be or do and what I think I should be or do. I admire people who are at ease with who they are, without being arrogant or very selfish.

What's the last great book you read?
I always forget… Right now, I’m reading Naomi Klein’s The Shock Doctrine, which isn’t really a beautiful novel, but quite a shocking book actually. I loved Khaled Hosseini’s books, which I read quite a while ago. I also read a lot of non-fiction and interior decoration books.

What's your favorite film?
La meglio gioventu, an Italian movie about two brothers growing up in the revolutionary Italy of the nineteen sixties and seventies.

Who would you like to sit down to tea with?
I wouldn’t necessarily want to sit down and have tea with them, but I would love to have met ceramic designers such as Stig Lindberg and Eva Zeisel, to talk about their work and learn from them. On a more personal level: just with nice, friendly, humorous and serious people.

Do you have a guilty pleasure?
Night-eating. I often wake up and just need to eat or drink something sweet. I often find candy wrapping papers in my bed the next morning…Another guilty pleasure is reading the last page of a stunning book that I'm in the middle of, to see if it has a good ending.

What would you eat for your last supper?
Probably Indian food, or a good pizza Napoletana.

What is your most treasured belonging?
My vintage Terlenka elephant, an old advertorial object. It’s such an unique object and it always makes me smile when I look at it.

What's souvenir did you bring back from your last trip?
I’m leaving for Sicily tomorrow, who knows what I’ll bring... All my last trips were to Italy, and I mainly bring nice dresses home (I always buy dresses everywhere).

Greatest indulgence?
Dresses, red shoes, chairs and mid-century ceramics. I have more summer dresses than I could ever wear in even the best Dutch summer (I brought about 20 of my favorites for a two week holiday in Italy, but I brought quite a lot of them home unworn because I was in my bikini and easy dress almost all the time) I also love vintage red pumps and boots: when I see a pair that fits me, it’s hard to resist. I also have a chair fetish and never have enough vintage ceramics.

What is your idea of living hell?
Torture and living under a tyrant’s regime. But, closer to home, having to move house and pack all my stuff again.

What are some of your favorites websites/blogs to visit?
I visit many art, craft and design blogs, many of those have already been mentioned here before quite often. Some current favorites: Tiny Red Design, the blog of talented artist Thereza Rowe; Ellmania, a Swedish blog with some great interior-eye candy; Door Sixteen, I love to see how Anna decorates her house with many great mid-century finds; Olivelse, this is a french blog, but you don’t need to understand the language to enjoy the beautiful photos.


Anonymous said...

What an excellent post! Thank you - I love snooping in other people's houses.

Whits42 said...

I agree! thank you for doing posts like's so nice to step inside other's creative spaces for a few minutes :)

Anonymous said...

Thank yous o much for sharing that great interview and the pictures!

Darling Dexter said...

So lovely! Such a nice interview with delightful pictures :)

Anita said...

Oh my goodness, what a nice afternoon treat. The charming photos caught my eye, but it was the mention of Den Bosch that made my heart skip a beat!

My husband and I made a Dutch friend through an online game almost a decade ago during college (when it was still sketchy to say you had internet friends). Through some fortunate events, we were able to visit her in Den Bosch. The charming city just captured my heart...the fresh flower market, wheat beer at a sidewalk cafe, the Bossche bol, the Binnendieze...thanks for stirring up some very fond memories! I hope to make it back there some day!

Unknown said...

it's so funny she should mention her habit of getting up in the middle of the night to eat sweets -- i was just making fun of my roommate the other day for the very same tendency, as i'm always finding starburst & other candy wrappers around the house in the morning (that she often doesnt have much recollection of)! so funny.

Anonymous said...

I love her decorating style. I wish she would set up an etsy shop- i love her illustrations/drawings.

sfgirlbybay said...

i'm glad you all enjoyed it as much as i did! and yes, we should encourage nina to start an etsy shop with her ceramics, as well!

Anonymous said...

I adore Nina's super fun home! I especially adore the glass topped coffee tables seen in the photos; any chance of finding out what they are/where she procured them? Because that would be just grand. Thanks for an entertaining post!

Unknown said...

what fun art, style and taste. the pictures of her home are so pretty...i agree bright colors don't solve the world's problems (or your own) but they sure help. wonderful interview.

kk said...

It is amazing that even with so much stuff Nina's home feels so warm and inviting (and not cluttered). She has such a fantastic eye, and I also love being able to peek into other people's homes (especially when they have such great taste!).

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for your great work Victoria. I love it that you found all the matching links, especially the one with the 'bossche bol'! It makes me really proud to be featured on your lovely blogs.

Thanks everyone for the nice words! About the coffee table(s): I don't know who designed them, but they're certainly mid-century. One of our coffee table's is actually standing in our shed right now, waiting for a new home... Anyone close to Den Bosch can come over to pick it up!

I'm leaving for Sicily now; it was great to see the interview posted before leaving on my holiday!

Heather Moore said...

Fabulous interview! I love her style.

Anonymous said...

An excellent post. The pictures are beautiful and I love the colours Nina puts together in her home. It is fresh without being clustered or overpowering. Wonderful interview and thank you for sharing. :)

K said...

I'm IN LOVE with the "You bring light to the world..." artwork on Nina's wall. Could you share information on where I might be able to locate a print? It looks like it could be a Rob Ryan piece, but I was unable to locate any evidence if it on his website.

Thank you!

sfgirlbybay said...

I think you can find Robert Ryan's tiles (it's a tile) in his etsy shop MisterRob:

Unknown said...

Graet post!!
I visiy your and Ninas blogs almost daily!

dailydesignspot said...

that truely was a great interview.. she sounds like a real nice person.. haha.. i sound like a compliment robot.. haha.. i realy did enjoy it and i LOVED all of her little finds.. this coming from a complete thrift store junkie.. i like the addiction to be honest

K said...

Thanks Victoria,

I didn't see the specific tile I was looking for at Robert Ryan Etsy store, but it's always fun to have something to hunt for!


Anonymous said...

all of these photos are soooo inspiring. and hell yes, that elephant would be my very favorite thing in the whole world. that was the first thing i noticed!

matte stephens said...

Vivienne and I actually have had tea with Eva Zeisel. Last September we visited her home in NY.

sfgirlbybay said...

what an awesome visit that must have been, matte!!