As an advocate for «Wellbeing through Design» I recently launched my new blog series «Talking about the home», where I interview successful business owners about their relationship with their home. Many successful people are always on the go, some even have multiple homes in different countries. I wanted to know what home means to them and how it impacts their wellbeing and success.
In my first interview I presented a successful fashion and lifestyle blogger and in this post I’d like to introduce you to a talented artist and multi-entrepreneur Ina Dederer. Ina was born in Russia and together with her family moved to Bremen, Germany at the age of 11. She discovered her passion for painting at a young age. However, as she was growing up painting wasn’t considered a ‘proper’ profession, so she mostly pursued it as a hobby. However, deep down she always knew that she had a special talent. This became even more clear when her teachers started to ask her to help the other kids with their paintings. She studied at the Art & Design School in Bremen and later also educated herself in the field of Marketing. After various commercial positions, she then went on to work for Swiss Airlines as a flight attendant, which is what brought her to Zurich in 2007. In Switzerland she finally had a breakthrough with her art. People’s feedback and interest in her paintings, encouraged her to pursue a career as a professional artist. Delving into the art world she visited many art galleries and auctions around the world and soon branched out into art dealing. During that time she would organise exhibitions at her private gallery with the works of Picasso, René Magritte and Ferdinand Hodler just to name a few. This then led to her opening her first art gallery in central Zurich.
Her idea was to support talented artists, who might be too shy or just find it challenging to approach a gallery. She had met many artists like that over the years and they had become friends. This is how the name for the gallery INA DEDERER & FRIENDS was born. She believes that there is a special bond between the gallerist and the artist and the fact that she knows both sides, really helped her communicate with the artists and form meaningful partnerships. Her gallery quickly became known as the social gallery of Zurich, a place where art lovers, artists and art buyers would gather and enjoy themselves over a glass of wine, which is how I originally met Ina.
A couple of years ago she and her life partner launched the lifestyle magazine «Project Luxury & Art», which represents luxury lifestyle at the highest level in terms of art, culture, fashion, travel, aviation and business. «Project Luxury & Art», however, is more than just a magazine, it is also a lifestyle consultancy firm catering to high net worth individuals in Switzerland, Monaco and around the world. Her own art and her art dealership also fall under this umbrella. Running multiple businesses don’t leave her with much time for painting anymore, nevertheless, she just launched a new series called «Cultural Beauties» featuring women from around the globe wearing their traditional clothing.
Towards the end of 2016 the gallery was moved into their private home in Zollikon just outside of Zurich, where she welcomes visitors by appointment only. Here she holds private viewings as well as events, showcasing her own art and representing a number of local and international artists. This is also where I met Ina for our interview.
How important is your home to you on a scale of 1 – 10?
What does your home represent to you?
For me, my home is the place where I kick off my shoes and relax at the end of the day. I find comfort and safety in my home. However, much like with my art, I can also express myself through the interior design, furniture and decor. I think our homes represent each and every one of us. I love to play with interior design for that very reason, because it can change my mood and outlook.
Does your home reflect your personality?
Yes, we have different homes and the style of each of them reflects different aspects of my personality. In Zollikon for example I like simple and clean lines, which is important for me so that I can focus on my business.
How does your art influence the design of your home?
The artwork I display at home and now my new gallery really represents me and my taste. I have a few of my own paintings on the walls and also many works from the artists I represent at the gallery. I have to believe in them and their work in order to represent them and I would never put something on a wall that I don’t like myself. The art I hang at home really works with the interior design – the clean and airy space is given an injection of colour and life through the artwork.
How would you define the style of your home?
Our home in Zollikon is best described as contemporary and modern architecture, featuring clean lines and a neutral colour palette, which is very calming. Our style is represented by the idea that “form follows function”. Everything in the home must have a purpose, even if that purpose is solely aesthetic. We’ve relied on modern building materials like steel and glass to create reflection and maximise natural light.
What’s your favourite room in your home and why?
My second living room and atelier. It’s at the top of the house and I can look over the rooftops and onto Lake Zurich, the mountains and the city. It’s bright and quiet. I can sit here for hours looking into the distance, whilst I relax and find new inspiration for my art.
What’s your favourite piece in your home?
In our house in Switzerland, it’s the gas fireplace. We saw it at the Park Hyatt Zurich and immediately knew we wanted one in our home. It’s functional, beautiful and cozy.
Once you have designed your home do you keep it the same for a long time or do you make regular changes?
Normally, I only change the art and the decor. However, once we wanted to simply change the curtains in our Spanish residence and ended up doing a full renovation! After putting up the beautiful new curtains, we realised that they no longer matched the carpet and the furniture. Before we knew it, we were renovating the entire house…
Is it important to you what your guests think of your home?
More or less, yes, but I care more that all my guests feel welcome and comfortable at my home.
What do you spend most money on – health & beauty, fashion, travel or interior design?
Difficult to say, but I think my priorities change according to my needs in each aspect of life. When one part of life is balanced, or as balanced as it can be, whether that is an interior design project or my health and wellbeing, I find myself thinking about how I can restore balance to another part of life.
Do you believe that our homes have an impact on our wellbeing and why?
Yes, definitely. I think the aesthetics of our living space can make a big difference to not only our happiness and mood in general, but also to our productivity and subsequent success. It’s similar to the Chinese principle of Feng Shui, which provides a blueprint for charging a space with positive energy through its design. If you can arrange your furniture in a way that allows you to move around easily, maximising your space and making you feel more energised, then why wouldn’t you? You have to consider the colours you like, the style of furniture and the art, but also the activities taking place in a space. When we take into account all of these things – our lifestyle – we can design our home in a way that is suitable and inspiring on a daily basis. When my head is free I can focus on my business and its success. I therefore believe that the less distracted I am by things or pending projects (e.g. a wall that needs to be painted or a room that needs to be redesigned), the more I can focus and the more successful I will be.
Have you ever hired an interior designer? If yes, what was the most beneficial part of your collaboration?
Yes, of course. We travel a lot and spend a lot of time in our other residences in Spain and the South of France, so we are happy to have the support of experts. Interior designers have great access to manufacturers and bespoke craftspeople, which enables them to create one of a kind designs. I appreciate that designers visit design fairs and immerse themselves in the latest interiors trends and innovations – just as I do with art. I’m also happy when I only have to communicate with one person who’s responsible for getting the job done.
It was great to learn more about Ina, her background and her passion for art. Talking to her and looking at her paintings it becomes evident that she truly lives her favourite quote «Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.» (Thomas Merton). Her passion for art is contagious and it is clear to see that her home and business are in harmony, which contributes to her success.