Barbara Becker: "Living means giving yourself space."

What is your favourite colour for home interiors? Probably beige; at least, that is the answer given by 30% of people, followed by yellow and orange. Despite numerous interior design guides, furnishing tips and styling recommendations, many people rely on understated beige because it is such an unselfish background for furniture, fabrics, carpets and complimentary wall paint colours. And yet, it is especially patterns and colours that move us, that create the intended mood and are an expression of our personality. Barbara Becker has set herself the task of designing products that match so perfectly that colours and patterns, depending on the style theme, can wave goodbye to understatement. And ultimately, the best style guide is always individual personal taste. However, what does "living" actually mean? How do I find my personal style of interior design? Which wallpaper goes well with my bedroom? Which cushions match what wallpaper? b.b. home passion supplies many of the answers.

What does "living" mean?
Wanting to be somebody else is a waste of our own personality. How we live is an element of that personality. Many things become a part of our life: A favourite jumper, a favourite handbag, a favourite song, a favourite place where we like to retreat to because that is where we are closest to ourselves. This place should be home. This place and many others that literally give our life, our longings space: a place where we work, a place where we spend dramatic as well as cheerful times with friends, a place that is the family's small universe. And that is why everyone should furnish their home with love and thought. Living means giving your own life space and time. Your own four walls are like a small treasure trove in which you keep the things you have experienced, collected and shared. Even when we are travelling and staying in strange hotel rooms, small personal possessions allow us to feel at home wherever we are.

What is the secret of good interior design?
When is a piece of furniture or an object considered "good design"? When it moves people and inspires immediate enthusiasm. And that, really, is all there is to the secret: People and their needs must be the focus of all considerations and design processes. Every woman, for example, has many different faces: business woman, mother, temptress, flower child... The current collection's three style themes address these different faces in a playful way. It may be a coincidence, but then again it may not, that all three themes have meaningful female names. Carefully matched product concepts, wallpapers, carpets and fabrics ensure that individual taste is turned into a well-balanced home outfit.

How can you successfully combine two different interior furnishing styles?
What happens when the adventure of "living" is increased by the "couple" factor? For many couples, furnishing a living space together is the first serious test their relationship has to undergo. People's needs are numerous, diverse and frequently completely different: Whilst one person is looking for an oasis of calm high above the rooftops of the busy city, the other might long for conviviality, an ordinary life and cultural events; whilst one person might enjoy being surrounded by their past in the form of numerous mementos, the other might live totally in the present and might need plenty of scope to reinvent themselves time and again. Thus, purism often clashes with a knick-knack culture, antiques with modern furniture, African art with graceful objects designed by young, contemporary artists. However, properly equipped, furnishing a joint living space can also become an exciting journey of discovery to the foreign continent of the other's preferences. And often, individual small living oases are a good solution. This allows different furnishing styles to live harmoniously side by side under one and the same roof. There is nothing wrong with hiding the sensuality of Scheherazade and the 1001 nights behind closed bedroom doors whilst the lightness of the wallpaper patterns in the Moana range used in a dining area, for example, is bound to affect everyone who enters the room and creates a shared feeling of well-being.

What is the biggest misconception about design?
There is a persistent rumour that it is always the currently most fashionable car colour that influences our perception of colours in all areas of life. After an extremely strong trend towards white, we are currently seeing a trend towards brown in the automotive sector. Seven percent of all newly registered cars are already that colour. However, it seems likely that the colour green will be gaining in popularity in future. It will take around four to five years for the new colour trend green to become noticeable on the streets. In the automotive sector, colour trends are an indication of the clash between a society's over-mechanisation and its inner values. Green symbolises the loss of traditional values such as trust, morals and property. Popular patterns and colours in interior design evolve independently. They are the result of a dialogue between the latest fashionable colours and people's desires. Colours are great for creating a certain mood; for example, a living room kept in earthy shades with a few brightly coloured accents, as exemplified by the Aponi range, can communicate calm and safety. This effect is enhanced by fabrics, cushions and carpets. In this kind of situation, it is OK for the wallpaper to "call the design shots".

How do I find a design concept that is right for me?
Design concepts are like cooking recipes: At the beginning, there is always the question: "What do you fancy?" Meat or fish? Potatoes or rice? This collection's current style themes are not recipes but three whole menus compiled for you to choose whatever takes your (living) fancy! Carefully matching the patterns and colours of a particular theme world, you can easily choose the wallpapers, carpets, fabrics and cushions that will make a well-balanced whole. Before a collection is finalised, the designers working for the individual partner companies have carefully thought about colours, patterns and a wide range of different fabrics and their properties. This creative process continues until really everything - wallpapers, fabrics and carpets - matches perfectly and allows you to create your own well-balanced living environment. It results in room concepts that leave plenty of scope for individual tastes and do not dictate style.

How does b. b home passion know how people want to live?
Of course there are no fail-safe certainties – courage, an appreciation of new ideas, excellent powers of observation and empathy are just some of the qualities called for. Otherwise, this would not be as much fun as it is, would it? And apart from that, all of the designers in this universe might otherwise end up designing the same things! It is the excitement resulting from the interaction of a wide range of different influencing factors that makes the whole thing so interesting. Each designer adds their own perception and understanding of aesthetics to the mix. They discuss, try out, design and sometimes also discard. Sometimes, these brainstorming sessions result in a pattern that everyone loves straight away. And then, at the next session, the envisaged colours look completely different, we discard the pattern and start from scratch. However, there are also designs where we know immediately that they will be a success. As was the case, for example, with the floral pattern from the "Moana" range, or the colourful feather motif. The wall projects such joy and lightness into the room that everything seems possible. Who would not want to drink their first cup of coffee of the day in such a kitchen? Sensibility plans living spaces, but passion furnishes them. b.b. home passion has this passion.

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