Let’s Celebrate! by Christina Schmidt of ‘Scandinavian Dialogue by Christinas Interiors’
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For our latest blog at Olson & Baker, we collaborated with Christina Schmidt of Scandinavian Dialogue by Christinas Interiors. Christina has over two decades of experience in the furniture & interior design industry, spanning her vastly successful retail career as one of the founders of Skandium, up to her recent venture starting her own interior design business.
We invited her to share some of her views and opinions on why we connect with the furniture that we buy, and what makes it resonate with us on a personal level. Each piece adds something different to our home, which by extension, is a part of our personality. Christina expands on this and offers her own valuable insight on this particular topic.
A jumble of thoughts
A jumble of thoughts are floating around in my mind. How best to connect reflections without sounding trivial? How interesting is it to find synergies around the decisions we make in life. Ultimately everything is related as it’s part of a bigger picture formed by one’s mindset, like a string of pearls, all intertwined. Our choices express our values, reflecting how we view ourselves and the world around us which is shaping the awareness of who we are.
Top ranking on our priority list of values should, I’d say, primarily reflect what makes us feel good, as it supports us. It helps being centred, building confidence, being strong enough to grow and support others to do the same.
Happiness is undervalued
Happiness, it looks like, is much undervalued, even frowned upon. It seems a new rule has quietly emerged where, if one is not fighting against something, one is judged to be superficial, even being a lesser person. I believe this brings with it much suffering, building a silent pit of agony without us realising it.
What we focus on gains power, likewise what we are against builds momentum, getting stronger. So, the very thing we do not want often becomes a giant, overtaking our existence. If we do not look for balance, finding small gems that line our road, we will soon drown in all the noise thrown at us.
Every day holds moments able to lift our spirit, offering small sensations of happiness, making for an upbeat mood, we need to be open to recognise these. Take a rest, breathe deeply a few times. We underestimate the power of breath, mostly ignoring it with shallow inhales, even though life itself is breath, without it there is nothing. Constant fighting is ultimately a fight against ourselves, wasting energy, leading to an emotional cul-de-sac.
Small things pave the way in how we value ourselves. Choices made out of routine are often triggering little joy with the only purpose to fill a ‘gap’. They are to be put in a big bin and thrown out. It starts with the small every day, oh, I need a cup of coffee, going to the chain store round the corner. I just need caffeine, no matter what. While the independent coffee place has made it their mission to make every cup as enjoyable as possible, enriching the moment and with the lovely coffee taste lingering for a long while afterwards, the upbeat moment is extended, celebrating quality.
Quality is care
Quality is care, love, knowledge made out of dedication, no matter the subject, all coming together to contribute something special. The coffee does not have to be served in the latest design innovation, but we can choose the quality and enjoy the moment manyfold. It is after all only in the moment we have the power, the past is gone, the future unclear, so staying in the moment gives the best chance to be in our power to manoeuvre life. And this goes for all aspects from small to large decisions, from what ice cream to choose to what sofa to buy.
Mindset is everything as it defines us, determines what we choose and why, shaping the ‘reality’ of our everyday. Once we understand, we and only we are the driver of our decisions, we enjoy the freedom to do so manyfold. Once the awareness is in place and the acceptance that we have power over our life, we relax and allow to revel in the beauty of the now, shaping the day. In times where mental challenges will become ever more pressing it is vital to build routines and mindsets that support our inner being just the same way as taking a shower every day.
A home is part of us
Supporting wellbeing and being an interior designer, I look at our close environment. A home is very much like an outer skin, it’s part of us, so not just the style and colour of our furniture makes a difference but very much the quality of components chosen, as how it makes us feel is the crucial part supporting our state of being.
What do we value, values are things that drive us. Sustainable furniture, designer furniture, forever furniture for life, or are we looking for a quick fix? We are part of a bigger constellation and the reasons for what is chosen and why have an impact on the state of what we call reality. The subconscious reads it and influences the mind and heart. In times when wellbeing and mindfulness, mental health and questions about integrity and truth are at the forefront, it includes also us and the choices we each make as we all are contributors to our surrounding.
Furniture for life
I love the detailed elements shaping a home where all parts are important, it’s fascinating to see the shifts happening when changing the elements. Many prefer furniture made with care by skilled craftspeople, long lasting furniture for life. And there is a reason for it, not just the quality and attention given to production but also knowing the pieces are part of an ecological sound sourcing system has great value.
Many brands have been around since the early 20th Century and made history, such as Fritz Hansen and Carl Hansen, no they are not brothers. Younger contenders are &Tradition, Ethnicraft, Case, Menu, Fredericia, Gubi, Magis, Skagerak, Stellar Works and many more, all offering timeless appeal with plentiful of quality.
They represent someone’s state of being in a positive way, holding values that influence all. They connect us to a circle of prosperity allowing everyone involved to thrive. From designer dining tables and modern chairs, from the materials sourced to the makers specialist knowledge, all will be part of defining who we are.
Carefully crafted pieces
There is a reason why an item has become a ‘classic’. It was created by passionate, knowledgeable masters of their trade and are loved by the many. A carefully crafted piece has its price. It simply takes time and care and with it we are cared for and for the item to be enjoyed for years to come. From the wallpaper to fixtures and fittings, furniture and artefacts, all can lift hearts but even just a simple candle on a table or the most beautiful shape of a chair can be contributors, making a world feeling special, with me at the centre, being the conscious conductor shaping my space.
Our physical world is a great mirror showing us who we choose to be. This has nothing to do with the monetary value or how much we own, instead how we treat our surrounding reflects our self-respect. And that is a good thing because space is very pragmatic, if something is not working, just change it, which will show an immediate result also in our wellbeing. Our space is our best guide, just follow your instinct and it will support the inner balance.
Once the idea being the master of our choice is accepted, we understand that emotion is key when picking the elements shaping a life well lived. Everyone has their own visual preferences and that is great as it brings variety and diversity, interest and excitement to the multitude of life.
Let’s always choose the best possible for the moment at hand, no matter where we are standing and watch the next step evolving, after all, each step forms the quality of the next one and if made with the best of intent, the road forward surely will be smoother. We are our environment, let’s take care of it and celebrate as much as we can, it’s worth it as it is our life.
Visit Christina’s Website at https://www.christinasinteriors.com/