Katra: Happiness Times Three
Have you ever wondered how Little Otja fans live and what kind of home decor tips they might have? Look no further: we’re introducing the #mylittleotja series, where we’re going to be spending some time with interesting individuals, who just happen to enjoy the company of our bunny rabbit. We’re going to ask them a thing or two about creating the home of their dreams.
SO, TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT KATRA...
I’m an architect, wife of a DIY-master called Primož and mother of three little girls: aged one, two and three. About a year ago, just before we got our third baby, we moved from the city of Ljubljana to a small village at the foot of the mountains.
WHERE DO YOU LOOK FOR BEAUTY AND INSPIRATION?
In the most ordinary things; at home, outdoors, while going for a walk…I think fresh air is great for coming up with the best ideas. I love drinking coffee and browsing Instagram, where I find a lot of inspiring, encouraging and interesting things. Of course, you have to take it with a grain of salt—it’s very far from an accurate representation of real life—but it can be a great platform for creative expression and connecting. I’ve discovered plenty of beauty in people through Instagram and it has only been confirmed in real life.
I haven’t really had time to look for beauty anywhere else in the past three years. I have a stack of books that are waiting for me, magazines and blogs to read, websites to explore…My ideas are piling up and I can’t wait to finally have more time to get some work done and fulfil my goals, like making some mood boards for the unfinished rooms around our house.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE?
I try to decorate in a simple, low-cost way (which doesn’t mean “cheap”), so that spaces feel authentic and emanate a kind of homeliness. I’m a very visual person, so on bad days, the sight of a neatly decorated corner can greatly improve my mood.
I mostly use calming and light colors; shades of beige and pastel tones. On certain occasions, I use something more vivid to achieve contrast and set the right mood. I like livening things up with different decorative elements made from natural materials, like woven baskets, linen tablecloths and bedding, wooden items, ceramics and wall art—as long as things don’t get too cluttered.
I love chairs, especially old discarded ones. We currently have at least five of them in Primož’s workshop, waiting to get a new lease on life.
IS IT HARD TO GET THE ARRANGEMENT OF YOUR FURNITURE TO MATCH WHAT’S IN YOUR MIND?
Actually, there’s a lot of moving things around, until I’m finally happy. :)
WHAT ABOUT DIY PROJECTS?
There’s a lot of them. Our kitchen is one, for instance, although it’s not finished yet. We kept it as true to its original form as possible and added some new elements that were either missing or really showed their age. We put new tiles up on the wall. My husband was hesitant to do so, but now he agrees that it looks great! We’ve also painted the cupboards — many times before we got the color just right. :)
HOW DO YOU SPEND TIME WITH YOUR KIDS?
Our favourite thing to do is to be outdoors, especially on the playground. We go and visit the animals around the village and admire the hills from below. Sometimes, we just hang out in front of our house. Right now, the girls really enjoy it when we give them some “important assignments” like gathering pears and tomatoes or sweeping the floor.
We find this kind of slow living in the village very fulfilling— it’s full of feelings, surprises and wonders, as the girls slowly develop into proper little ladies.
HOW HAS YOUR LIFE CHANGED SINCE YOU BECAME A MOTHER?
My life turned upside down! I feel that my husband and I don’t have that easy-going freedom anymore (which we loved very much). Even when we leave the kids with our parents and take a weekend just for ourselves, they somehow manage to sneak into our thoughts. I’m sure that every mother will understand what I mean. There is a lot of worrying involved, but having a family is great.
WHICH STORES FOR KIDS WOULD YOU RECOMEND TO OUR READERS?
My favourite is Mali Zakladi, where I find many wonderful products. On Instagram, I get inspiration from Fermivingkids, Belmam, Happy Home Shop and Little Otja too. There are really a lot of cute concept stores around and I think I haven’t even discovered all of my favourites yet.
WHAT’S YOUR IDEAL OF MOTHERHOOD?
I’m inspired by mothers both in the real world and on Instagram. I especially admire the ones who possess qualities that I occasionally lack myself. These moms have a lot of patience and have a great ability to get really immersed in playing with their children. And they are somehow always full of energy, even when they’re tired. But really, every mother that’s trying her best is an inspiration to me.
WHICH INSTA-MOMS WOULD YOU RECOMMEND WE FOLLOW?
As far as local moms go, I’m a big fan of Dear Kitchen; her photos are gorgeous and she has great ideas for games to play with kids. Also, Carica sveta with her knack for interiors and for making me laugh—a big plus! A recent ritual of mine is drinking coffee while listening to the Bazar of Words podcast by Sarah with tulips, the mom with the most beautiful voice and beautiful thoughts. I admire the creativity of The Mosquera family and their courage to go on dream vacations with two small girls. And I just have to mention Tamara Buh — her blog was one of the main inspirations to start writing myself.
DO YOU MANAGE TO FIND ANY TIME FOR YOURSELF WHILE LIVING WITH THREE LITTLE GIRLS?
I honestly admire all the moms that have learned to take some time for themselves. It’s something I’d like to learn myself...I can’t always have everything under control, right?
I get the closest when I write. And when I drink my morning coffee, which I keep making IG stories about. I really love it. Especially in front of the window, with hydrangeas blooming under it and the mountains towering over it.
WHAT’S YOUR ADVICE FOR CREATING INTERESTING CONTENT FOR INSTAGRAM?
To me, the most interesting content is the one that comes from within, from everyday thoughts and feelings. It is really important to be genuine. But of course, it’s a completely subjective thing.
WHICH THINGS COULDN'T YOU LIVE WITHOUT?
I can’t live without my morning coffee! Well, technically I can, but it’s really hard. And my phone. If you asked my husband, he’d say the same thing...and roll his eyes a little bit. He’s more old-fashioned when it comes to these things. The phone has become my office. E-mails, to-do lists, photo and video editing, scheduling, ideas, notes...it’s all in there. Sometimes I wish that I couldn’t live without a pen and a notebook instead. And a camera.
IS IT IMPORTANT TO YOU THAT PRODUCTS ARE ECO-FRIENDLY AND SUSTAINABLE?
The sustainability aspect of products is important to me and increasingly so. For example, our family uses glass bottles instead of plastic ones. And our shopping bags are made of cotton. Little by little, we’re edging towards being free from plastic packaging.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE ABOUT LITTLE OTJA?
A kind of simplicity and uniqueness, a certain special eclecticism. And the color palette. I found you more than three years ago, when I got my first nephew. And I still haven’t gotten bored of my cute forest friends — quite the opposite.