Flea Market Décor

NA­TURE RE­VIVED

A de­signer and pho­tog­ra­pher fills her home with na­ture-in­spired dé­cor to en­cour­age her work.

- By Wilma Custers Buenos Aires · Buenos Aires Province · Argentina · Tigre · Urbanism

See how this de­signer/pho­tog­ra­pher moved out of the city and filled her home with na­ture-in­spired dé­cor.

LEAV­ING BE­HIND HER UR­BAN LIFE­STYLE WAS EASY FOR THIS

AR­GEN­TINIAN DE­SIGNER. Set­tling down be­side a river in the tran­quil­ity of a ma­jes­tic na­ture re­serve was just as smooth. She had set her heart on a ne­glected cot­tage and con­verted it into a pri­vate jewel. Her fond­ness for soft tones, ro­mance and the beauty of na­ture re­flect her idyl­lic way of liv­ing.

LIFE CHANGE

Laura Peirano used to live in a rented apart­ment in Buenos Aires. And even though she was born in Ar­gentina’s cap­i­tal, she did not feel at home in the big city with the noise and the pol­lu­tion. She was miss­ing the peace and quiet of na­ture. In 2006, Laura spent a hol­i­day in the re­gion of the Paraná Delta, a ma­jes­tic na­ture re­sort just out­side Buenos Aires, and this hol­i­day led to her mak­ing a change in her life. “I felt the need to leave the big city and start a new life­style with the peace and si­lence of na­ture around me. I be­lieved that I would en­counter a lot more in­spi­ra­tion for my work liv­ing in the coun­try­side.”

Af­ter start­ing her search in 2007, she fell in love with the sec­ond home she looked at and named it Dominga. “It was love at first sight, and I im­me­di­ately knew this was the per­fect spot for me!” Even though the house still needed quite a bit of work, I knew that it was the per­fect place to live in har­mony with its sur­round­ings.”

ORIG­I­NAL CON­DI­TION

The cot­tage had been aban­doned for a long time and had been used by lo­cal fish­er­men on week­ends as a meet­ing place for their fish­ing trips. The con­di­tion of the stilt cot­tage was quite good, and Laura did not need to make any struc­tural changes. But it had been very badly main­tained and needed a good clean and quite a bit of paint to make it look new again.

SUN­ROOM

When you en­ter Laura’s cot­tage, you first step into the orig­i­nal con­ser­va­tory: a sun­lit space of­fer­ing a fan­tas­tic view across the gar­den and the con­nect­ing river. Laura of­ten sits and reads here. “I love re­lax­ing in this room. The cats al­ways sleep in the sun in this room, and I adore ob­serv­ing the dif­fer­ent scenes in the gar­den and on the river. It’s like a liv­ing piece of art, and it all looks very dif­fer­ent ev­ery day.” The great ben­e­fit of this room is that it be­comes a per­fect stu­dio for Laura’s pho­tog­ra­phy when the soft sun­light en­ters in the af­ter­noon.

OUT­DOORS

Liv­ing in a South Amer­i­can cli­mate, Laura spends a lot of time out­side. The huge gar­den around her cot­tage of­fers plenty of ac­tiv­i­ties, plenty to main­tain and plenty of in­spi­ra­tion. “I live right next to the river, but not many boats come by. Usu­ally just the boat that trans­ports peo­ple back and forth to Ti­gre and oc­ca­sion­ally lit­tle boats of lo­cal peo­ple. The rest is pure si­lence and na­ture around me.”

But the gar­den needed a good tidy­ing up too—an ad­di­tional chal­lenge Laura had no fear of fac­ing. She com­pleted this mis­sion by plant­ing her own plants and flow­ers: roses, vi­o­lets, pine trees, cos­mea plants, daisies and white wis­te­ria. She also cre­ated her own veg­etable gar­den.

Her fond­ness for soft tones, ro­mance and the beauty of na­ture re­flects her idyl­lic way of liv­ing.

A HAPPY END­ING

Laura trav­els back to Buenos Aires on a weekly ba­sis to keep an eye on the shop where she sells her self-made prod­ucts. Some of the prod­ucts she sells in her shop are post­cards, en­velopes, bags, lamp­shades, stor­age boxes, pho­to­graphs, cush­ions, plaids and other dé­cor ac­ces­sories. Each prod­uct is made by Laura and her mother. Dur­ing her stay of two days she vis­its her mother, vis­its friends and keeps up with some cul­tural ac­tiv­i­ties. “I like these weekly trips, but I like it even bet­ter when I hop on the boat again in Ti­gre to travel the last hour of the trip back along the river to Dominga. Be­cause that’s where I be­long.”

“I be­lieved that I would en­counter a lot more liv­ing in­spi­ra­tion in the coun­try­side.” for my work

 ??  ?? THE IM­AGES ABOVE THE FIRE­PLACE were all taken by home­owner Laura Peirano. “My fa­vorite theme is na­ture. I just walk around with my cam­era, and the sub­jects are all there for me. To­day I also sell my im­ages to mag­a­zines in Ar­gentina and also get as­sign­ments from them. Themes that I work on may vary from still lifes to dec­o­ra­tion ideas to com­plete in­te­ri­ors.”
THE IM­AGES ABOVE THE FIRE­PLACE were all taken by home­owner Laura Peirano. “My fa­vorite theme is na­ture. I just walk around with my cam­era, and the sub­jects are all there for me. To­day I also sell my im­ages to mag­a­zines in Ar­gentina and also get as­sign­ments from them. Themes that I work on may vary from still lifes to dec­o­ra­tion ideas to com­plete in­te­ri­ors.”
 ??  ?? EV­ERY PIECE OF FUR­NI­TURE in the liv­ing room is sec­ond­hand; Laura finds her trea­sures at flea mar­kets and junk shops and is given pieces by friends who know about her pas­sion for re­dec­o­rat­ing fur­ni­ture. The arm­chair was reimag­ined by an up­hol­sterer in Buenos Aires, and the cush­ions were made by a lo­cal seam­stress. “I pro­vide the fab­rics and the idea, and they do the job,” says Laura.
EV­ERY PIECE OF FUR­NI­TURE in the liv­ing room is sec­ond­hand; Laura finds her trea­sures at flea mar­kets and junk shops and is given pieces by friends who know about her pas­sion for re­dec­o­rat­ing fur­ni­ture. The arm­chair was reimag­ined by an up­hol­sterer in Buenos Aires, and the cush­ions were made by a lo­cal seam­stress. “I pro­vide the fab­rics and the idea, and they do the job,” says Laura.
 ??  ?? WHEN YOU EN­TER LAURA’S
LIV­ING ROOM from the con­ser­va­tory, you im­me­di­ately spot the beau­ti­ful cab­i­net on the left. “I painted it many years be­fore I moved here, and I cov­ered the doors with im­ages of birds. I found these im­ages in books about na­ture and took pic­tures of those beau­ti­ful draw­ings. I en­larged them and used them to dec­o­rate my fur­ni­ture.”
WHEN YOU EN­TER LAURA’S LIV­ING ROOM from the con­ser­va­tory, you im­me­di­ately spot the beau­ti­ful cab­i­net on the left. “I painted it many years be­fore I moved here, and I cov­ered the doors with im­ages of birds. I found these im­ages in books about na­ture and took pic­tures of those beau­ti­ful draw­ings. I en­larged them and used them to dec­o­rate my fur­ni­ture.”
 ??  ?? THE PER­SONAL
TOUCH in the back­ground of Laura’s cab­i­net was also a re­pro­duc­tion of some im­ages from a book. Above the cab­i­net is a photograph of Laura which was taken many years ago by a close friend.
THE PER­SONAL TOUCH in the back­ground of Laura’s cab­i­net was also a re­pro­duc­tion of some im­ages from a book. Above the cab­i­net is a photograph of Laura which was taken many years ago by a close friend.
 ??  ??
 ??  ?? IN THE SAME OPEN SPACE as the liv­ing room, Laura cre­ated a kitchen with a din­ing area on the other side of the room. The only thing she en­coun­tered in the cot­tage that looked any­thing like a kitchen was the an­tique white stove. “This be­came the first chal­lenge: to cre­ate my own kitchen,” she says.
IN THE SAME OPEN SPACE as the liv­ing room, Laura cre­ated a kitchen with a din­ing area on the other side of the room. The only thing she en­coun­tered in the cot­tage that looked any­thing like a kitchen was the an­tique white stove. “This be­came the first chal­lenge: to cre­ate my own kitchen,” she says.
 ??  ?? FIRST LAURA PLACED a large cup­board for stor­ing her elab­o­rate col­lec­tion of crock­ery. “I started buy­ing some kitchen­ware when I lived in
Buenos Aires, but through­out the years it went slightly out of con­trol. This is why I now choose to col­lect dif­fer­ent items: linen nap­kins, table linen, fab­rics, ew­ers etc. The only prob­lem is one day I won’t be able to store [ev­ery­thing] be­cause my home is not so big.”
FIRST LAURA PLACED a large cup­board for stor­ing her elab­o­rate col­lec­tion of crock­ery. “I started buy­ing some kitchen­ware when I lived in Buenos Aires, but through­out the years it went slightly out of con­trol. This is why I now choose to col­lect dif­fer­ent items: linen nap­kins, table linen, fab­rics, ew­ers etc. The only prob­lem is one day I won’t be able to store [ev­ery­thing] be­cause my home is not so big.”
 ??  ?? above: THE REST OF THE KITCHEN was de­signed to pre­pare meals: a sink, a cooker, a work­top and some ex­tra op­tions for stor­age, like shelves and sep­a­rate cab­i­nets.
above: THE REST OF THE KITCHEN was de­signed to pre­pare meals: a sink, a cooker, a work­top and some ex­tra op­tions for stor­age, like shelves and sep­a­rate cab­i­nets.
 ??  ?? right: A LOT OF THINGS in Laura’s home can do dou­ble duty, like cush­ion cov­ers might one day be­come per­fect for win­dow dress­ing and be turned into blinds. “It’s fun think­ing about a new way of us­ing ob­jects and ma­te­ri­als. But the next month I might put up tra­di­tional cur­tains again ... My in­te­rior con­stantly changes,” she says.
right: A LOT OF THINGS in Laura’s home can do dou­ble duty, like cush­ion cov­ers might one day be­come per­fect for win­dow dress­ing and be turned into blinds. “It’s fun think­ing about a new way of us­ing ob­jects and ma­te­ri­als. But the next month I might put up tra­di­tional cur­tains again ... My in­te­rior con­stantly changes,” she says.
 ??  ??
 ??  ?? THE MOOD BOARD in the back­ground is an ev­er­chang­ing way for Laura to ex­press her cre­ativ­ity and find in­spi­ra­tion when she is work­ing on new projects. Laura uses old books, in­te­rior mag­a­zines, her own pho­to­graphs, let­ters, notes, feathers, etc. for creat­ing a new mood board over and over. Some­times she even dresses up in dif­fer­ent styles of the past and takes pho­tos.
THE MOOD BOARD in the back­ground is an ev­er­chang­ing way for Laura to ex­press her cre­ativ­ity and find in­spi­ra­tion when she is work­ing on new projects. Laura uses old books, in­te­rior mag­a­zines, her own pho­to­graphs, let­ters, notes, feathers, etc. for creat­ing a new mood board over and over. Some­times she even dresses up in dif­fer­ent styles of the past and takes pho­tos.
 ??  ??
 ??  ??
 ??  ?? LAURA’S BED is pale blue and cre­ates a soft con­trast with the wooden walls, which are painted white. The bed is cov­ered with a vin­tage jacquard plaid and home­made cush­ions. And the wall above the bed shows Laura’s dis­tinc­tive sig­na­ture too.
LAURA’S BED is pale blue and cre­ates a soft con­trast with the wooden walls, which are painted white. The bed is cov­ered with a vin­tage jacquard plaid and home­made cush­ions. And the wall above the bed shows Laura’s dis­tinc­tive sig­na­ture too.
 ??  ?? THE LARGE DESK of­fers plenty of space for Laura to work on her de­signs, pho­to­graphs, prints and draw­ings.
THE LARGE DESK of­fers plenty of space for Laura to work on her de­signs, pho­to­graphs, prints and draw­ings.
 ??  ??
 ??  ?? THE SPARE BED­ROOM is both a guest bed­room and Laura’s ate­lier.
The wooden walls were painted blue and give a fresh ba­sis to the room. The bed is cov­ered with a vin­tage quilt with a flo­ral de­sign and filled with home­made cush­ions.
THE SPARE BED­ROOM is both a guest bed­room and Laura’s ate­lier. The wooden walls were painted blue and give a fresh ba­sis to the room. The bed is cov­ered with a vin­tage quilt with a flo­ral de­sign and filled with home­made cush­ions.
 ??  ?? THE BATH­ROOM at the end of the cor­ri­dor is tiny, but Laura man­aged to give it a per­sonal touch by mak­ing a small wooden unit for stor­age and styling it with pretty, ro­man­tic things.
THE BATH­ROOM at the end of the cor­ri­dor is tiny, but Laura man­aged to give it a per­sonal touch by mak­ing a small wooden unit for stor­age and styling it with pretty, ro­man­tic things.
 ??  ??
 ??  ??
 ??  ??
 ??  ?? LAURA FOUND the white cup­board in Buenos Aires and painted it white. The glass win­dows were cov­ered with one of her fa­vorite pieces of vin­tage fabric. The rest of her large fabric col­lec­tion is stored in­side. On top she keeps a small part of her col­lec­tion of vin­tage ew­ers.
LAURA FOUND the white cup­board in Buenos Aires and painted it white. The glass win­dows were cov­ered with one of her fa­vorite pieces of vin­tage fabric. The rest of her large fabric col­lec­tion is stored in­side. On top she keeps a small part of her col­lec­tion of vin­tage ew­ers.
 ??  ?? clock­wise from top left: “THE ROUND WOODEN BENCH is bright green to­day, but next week it might be soft pink,” says Laura. “It just de­pends on my mood and what I would like to ex­press.” •• LAURA TAKES
PIC­TURES and uses her own pho­to­graphs and im­ages in books for her draw­ings of plants, flow­ers, birds and an­i­mals. These draw­ings are used to pro­duce cov­ers for note­books, which are sold in Laura’s gift shop in the cen­ter of Buenos Aires. •• LAURA SITS
WAIT­ING on the wooden steps of her stilt pier to be taken to Ti­gre. She adds: “The pier of ev­ery house in this re­gion needs to be high be­cause the height of the river can change dra­mat­i­cally. This is why all houses are built on stilts.” •• LAURA SPENDS her days de­sign­ing, pho­tograph­ing, tak­ing walks in na­ture and mak­ing boat trips on the river. “In a place like this you learn that na­ture takes its time for ev­ery­thing, and as a hu­man be­ing you re­spond to this: you only do one thing at the time, and stress no longer ex­ists.”
clock­wise from top left: “THE ROUND WOODEN BENCH is bright green to­day, but next week it might be soft pink,” says Laura. “It just de­pends on my mood and what I would like to ex­press.” •• LAURA TAKES PIC­TURES and uses her own pho­to­graphs and im­ages in books for her draw­ings of plants, flow­ers, birds and an­i­mals. These draw­ings are used to pro­duce cov­ers for note­books, which are sold in Laura’s gift shop in the cen­ter of Buenos Aires. •• LAURA SITS WAIT­ING on the wooden steps of her stilt pier to be taken to Ti­gre. She adds: “The pier of ev­ery house in this re­gion needs to be high be­cause the height of the river can change dra­mat­i­cally. This is why all houses are built on stilts.” •• LAURA SPENDS her days de­sign­ing, pho­tograph­ing, tak­ing walks in na­ture and mak­ing boat trips on the river. “In a place like this you learn that na­ture takes its time for ev­ery­thing, and as a hu­man be­ing you re­spond to this: you only do one thing at the time, and stress no longer ex­ists.”
 ??  ?? EV­ERY PIECE OF FUR­NI­TURE in the con­ser­va­tory was found at a flea-mar­ket or sec­ond­hand shop in Buenos Aires. “I love chang­ing the look of my fur­ni­ture for my pho­tog­ra­phy. For this rea­son, I fre­quently change the col­ors of each piece,” says Laura.
EV­ERY PIECE OF FUR­NI­TURE in the con­ser­va­tory was found at a flea-mar­ket or sec­ond­hand shop in Buenos Aires. “I love chang­ing the look of my fur­ni­ture for my pho­tog­ra­phy. For this rea­son, I fre­quently change the col­ors of each piece,” says Laura.

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