At home with Karina Kreth, Creative Director of Krethaus
Furniture, LIFESTYLE, Living, People
Today we are traveling to Argentina. Buenos Aires to be precise. We meet with the Creative Director, Karina Kreth, from the children's furniture brand Krethaus. Please prepare a cup of tea and enjoy a very enchanting conversation.
When we asked Karina to introduce herself so that we could write a nice intro before the interview – two things happened. We loved her even more and the intro just wrote itself. This is what she said:
I think defining yourself is difficult. But I would say that I’m always keen on learning more in order to build on my universe. I feel the constant need to learn more every day, and right now I’m doing a Masters in architecture, which makes me really happy. I am someone who mediates with family, work, friends, trips and everything around me. I’m thankful and incredibly happy. I’m not afraid of chaos or conflict; I always find a way to transform discord
We love her enthusiasm and the desire to look forward. Learning new things, discovering and achieving. It is refreshing and encouraging.
Karina lives in Buenos Aires, Argentina with her lawyer husband Eugenio and her two sons. Franco is 22 and studying bio engineering (unfortunately he was on a trip during the photo shoot) and Euge is 9 and really restless and wants to know everything!
An architect with an unconventional professional path.
I live as I work, not separating myself from my history and I like it that way. I enjoy watching, re-thinking, re-framing, re-formulating and identifying the worth of an experience to inform each of my projects.
Together, her architecture, research and design office – Karina Kreth Studio – and Krethaus, the children’s furniture brand that she founded with her sister Vanesa, complete her universe.
The family wanted to live in a place with great architecture; somewhere where they could live out their piece of history together.
They now live in the Recoleta area of the city, which is full of immaculate architecture. It is classic and quite conservative.
The house was built in 1932 by the French architect Paul Eugene Pater and was initially conceived as a renting building of what is today the French Embassy in Buenos Aires. It is filled with beautiful details and character from its time.
Argentina is a country of immigrants: the majority of people have grandparents who arrived in the early 1900s. Karina’s paternal grandparents, for example, were Prussians and from her husband’s side they were Spanish, and the family carries certain traditions from both backgrounds.
Luna: Your house looks incredible and so inspiring! How do you manage to keep it so tidy, full of treasures and cool art objects and kids around?
Karina: Our aim is to keep it as tidy as possible and when the mess piles up, together, we put everything away. The house certainly isn’t always spotless – we are just willing to keep it tidy. Also, it’s important that every little thing has it’s defined place beforehand, that way is easy to know where everything goes.
Can you share some great ideas on how to decorate a cosy and yet modern home, just like yours?
I very much believe that no house is ugly or beautiful – it’s the way we compose it that defines it. It is important to build a dialogue with what makes us feel comfortable and what doesn’t – learning to find beauty in things that aren’t beautiful but stir something unexplained in us.
Did you always want to create something for children?
No, I never thought this would be the case! It came up when I was pregnant with Eugenio, having left the world of film and moved back to architecture. It was clearly my son who inspired Krethaus.
Karina, you are the creative soul of Krethaus. Where do you find your inspiration?
I find the inspiration in the day-to- day, in observing and analysing each project. The studio is a great lab of ideas for Krethaus actually, but it’s not a place where I find inspiration. Without even realising it, my mind is working all the time – noting and contemplating details in different disciplines that later on form an idea. I think that this is the case with all architects: composing the infinite succession of experiences is what makes and defines our work.
What is the most important aspect, in your eyes, for good kids furniture?
It’s undoubtedly about the materials: having the best quality posible and the respect for them when making the pieces.
Can you share a top tip for parents who start looking around for nursery furniture? What is the most important thing to watch out for?
Children become the most important thing in our lives, that’s why I speak of the materials being noble and of high quality. Little ones spend a great part of their early lives playing and building their own universe in their bedrooms, so in a simple yet fresh way we need to respond with brilliant design to accompany them in the first moments of their life.
Photos: Celeste Najt
And we would love to hear some thoughts about fashion from you too. You look so trendy and stylish. What are your favorite brands?
Thank you… I love fashion and to me it’s about character and attitude – building and taking apart pieces that come together in different ways each day. I enjoy wearing clothes I’ve had for a very long time. I might reach one morning for a pair of trousers that I haven’t worn in years and still get a lot of pleasure from them.
For clothes I love Argentinian Brand JT. For bags it’s all about Want Les Essentiels’ simple and timeless styles. For shoes, I go to Alain Tondowski and Rochas.
Did your style change since you became a mom?
I don’t think so… I’ve always liked dressing up and putting on costumes!