The Etsy Blog

Featured Seller: Domestic Stories Shop

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

Tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Iro. I’m an interior design consultant and I’m madly in love with style, photography, everyday domestic life and traveling. Chocolate, strawberries, dogs, French and good design are some of my soft spots. People truly connected to who they are attract my attention and gain my respect. Kindness moves me.

I’m originally from Greece, but today I’m happy to be setting up a new home with my partner in a maisonette close to Frankfurt, Germany. I spent quite a few years teaching English to children and teenagers, but nothing could beat my passion for creating aesthetically beautiful and functional interiors. Step by step, I developed my hobby into a job, and planning and renovating interiors has been my main work for the last few years. Domestic Stories Shop came to life as a place to accessorize your home with pretty pictures and other objects. It’s my creative outlet where I share my love for beautiful homemaking worldwide.

Apart from creating things, what do you do?
When I don’t work on projects, I often post on my blog, sharing my own work, inspirational posts about life or featuring the work of wonderful others. Then I might dive into my favorite lounge chair in the living room, soaking in the sun or watching the rain fall, listening to my  favorite music, reading beloved decoration books, going through magazines and sometimes indulging in some simple philosophical readings. I also love to bake organic cookies and chocolate soufflés, take walks in the nearby woods and  by lakes, and escape on long weekends to my favorite European destinations just to come back inspired, refreshed and ready for the next cycle of creativity.

What would be the title of your memoir?
And I Love You She Said. I find that love is a higher intelligent force in life, a quality that injects everything with wonderful light. From loving a human, to life itself, to the things we do, true love brings out unique, amazing outcomes. The moment I realized that the presence of love is important in my life, everything started tasting differently and the seemingly impossible became possible.

Where does your inspiration come from?
Nature, traveling, music, feelings, and a general love for life.

What does handmade mean to you?
It means made with an intention of expressing one’s self, made with love and care, influenced by the person’s way of thinking and their view on the world. It is made while actually being in love with the whole creative process. Handmade means uniquely precious.

Who has been most influential in your craft?
Rather than focusing on one single person, I prefer to mention some common factors in all the people whose work I deeply admire: a sense of balance, of tranquility and a great love, passion and respect for life and its blessings. Whether creating interiors, styling for commercial reasons, photographing, or keeping beautiful handmade shops, these people manage to have a distinct personal mark, while always presenting a fresh view. Their clear intentions and exercising of their talent fascinates and inspires me.

When did you know you were an artist/maker?
I have always been clear about the pleasure and happiness the creative processes brings me. Being aware of the artist inside of me is the most important thing. It has always been there.

How would you describe your creative process?
It’s a creative dance, a state of absolute engagement where time is forgotten. It’s a state where heart, mind and soul meet, all tuned with each other, a state of the self’s perfect expression, where everything is allowed — mistakes included — only they aren’t regarded as such. It is all about giving birth to ideas and visions, making the intangible tangible, and sourcing from within.

I mainly work from home in a creative studio situated in the winter garden. The natural light is marvelous for product photography, while the big table allows for meetings with clients where plans and mood boards are viewed. There, over tea, coffee, cookies and an inviting atmosphere,  we discuss the plans for their interiors – whether it is a complete makeover addressing the space’s architecture, or a minor space renewal where we choose new accessories.

If you could peek inside the studio of any artist, designer or craftsman (dead or alive), who would it be?
I’ve been meeting so many wonderfully creative people through blogging who I consider to perform an art in what they do. Making a meal, photographing the process and writing a blog post about it is for me a form of art. I am always in awe when I visit Lakshmi’s blog Pure Vegetarian, I’d love to be close to her or simply observe the process she engages herself into when cooking, styling her images and photographing.

What handmade possession do you most cherish?
A handwoven bamboo bracelet that was made on the spot and sold in the streets of Thailand. It was a present my partner brought me from his last trip there. I also cherish a delicate heart-shaped clay bowl made by a Greek ceramist and given to me as a present for my first home in Germany by a precious friend.

How do you get out of your creative ruts?
Accepting that creativity is not and should not necessarily be on a constant flow has proved helpful. Taking a break is always a good idea, tuning in to my inner self in order to understand current needs. I also find that de-cluttering our living space, gardening, walks in nature, long weekends in favorite places, or just relaxing are some ways to open up and allow space for new creativity to flow.

Where would you like to be in ten years?
Somewhere in a summer house preferably by the sea. Enjoying the presence and company of my partner, silently reflecting how love and work conquer all. Still creatively expressing myself through designing and styling simple, beautiful domestic lives, while writing books about it.

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