Five questions with Sarah Van Peteghem of Coco Lapine Design

Belgian born blogger, interior stylist and interaction designer Sarah Van Peteghem has her fingers in many pies. Her penchant for Scandinavian style is well-documented at Coco Lapine, where she dishes up inspiring interiors from around the world every other day. Now based in Berlin, we caught up with Sarah to find out why she started her blog and how her surroundings inform her personal style.

You are originally from Belgium but now live Berlin. Why the move? How does each place inform your interior taste and style?

About four years ago I moved to Berlin and started to work [in the city] as a designer. It was the first move that my boyfriend and I made together and we were facing the challenge of decorating a home. Looking for furniture in a new city was a challenge, but little by little I found the places where I could get the items I liked. I'm mostly inspired by Nordic design elements, which I like to combine with the rough industrial look that Berlin offers. I'm very inspired by the cosy coffee places in Berlin, and find the same vibe in Antwerp as well. I like to combine this cosy feeling with the neutral and colder Nordic style, so I guess I was influenced by Berlin and Belgium, but also very much by my visits to Sweden, Denmark and Finland.

When and why did your blog begin? What do you look for when it comes to choosing what to share with your readers?

I started blogging around the same time we moved to Berlin. I was so excited about my hunt for inspiration for our own home that I wanted to share it with other people. More and more I became passionate about both blogging and interiors and now they have become an irreplaceable part of my life. The things I write about on my blog are what inspires me, but now I'm also able to share pictures of my own home and of the interior styling jobs I do. This way I try to give back to the community and inspire other people not only with my hunt for inspiration, but also with my own style.

Your blog and Pinterest boards suggest a love of monochrome, with blacks, greys and whites taking centre stage. What you love about this look? How can readers make it work at home?

I love monochrome interiors because they have this sense of calmness over them. I like colours as well, but within measure and carefully chosen. The good thing about these neutral tints is that everything almost always fits together. In my home I find that it works best if I keep the furniture mostly neutral (white, black and woods) and be a little bit more adventurous with the accessories. This way you can try a new colour palette without spending a fortune and if you get tired of it, you just have to change a pillow cover, and not buy a whole new set of furniture.

Your personal style is recognisable and consistent across your blog and home. Do you think it's possible to develop your personal style with online inspiration, while managing to avoid emulating someone else’s?

Finding your own style is a process. It helps to get inspiration by looking at other peoples interiors and think about what it is exactly that you like about it. Is it the way colours are used, do you like a certain product in the home or do you just like that it's clutter-free for example ? All these things can point you into the right direction for you interior without having to copy the entire style. I would also suggest to take small steps if you aren't sure so you learn about your style along the way. If you're not sure, don't buy everything at once, do it rather gradually. If you are experimenting with a new style, try out with a small accessory first, just to test the waters.

As the weather gets cooler, what are your favourite things to do during a weekend at home?

I love cuddling up in the couch under a warm blanket with a hot cup of tea or coffee. To me, this is very relaxing in winter and is my definition of me-time. I usually light some candles as well, and read magazines or watch TV. Even though the [Berlin] winter can be super cold and long, I do cherish these cosy moments at home as well and am kind of looking forward to them already.