In a quiet area outside the centre of Barcelona, lies the home of Katty Schiebeck. Having been curious about architecture and spaces her entire life, Katty spends her time running her interior design business, Katty Schiebeck Studio, as well as curating inspiring content for the wildly popular Instagram account, @somewhereiwouldliketolive.
Originally hailing from the small town of Colonia in Uruguay, Katty always knew that she wanted to see the world. By the time she had turned 19, Katty had moved to Montevideo, where she was working as a model. But Katty had set her sights even further than the capital of her home country, and there was one European city, in particular, that had drawn her attention: “I was fascinated by Barcelona. At that time, it was the city that everyone was talking about – a city known for its design and creativity, and with a climate and size that provided an excellent standard of living. So, I decided to give it a go,” she says simply.
To say that her gamble paid off would be an understatement. Once she had moved to her dream city, Katty found work at one of the city’s top real estate agencies, which is where she got acquainted with the world of interior design. Katty started advising clients on how to carry out renovations and refurbishments, and as she grew more confident and knowledgeable, Katty knew she had found her passion. Today, Katty is a founding partner and Creative Director of her own interior design business, Katty Schiebeck Studio, which today is made up of a team of 12, and has gained huge international renown, with her designs appearing in magazines throughout the world and have been shared countless times on design-focused social media platforms like Pinterest and Tumblr. Her signature style combines modernist Scandinavian influences with a contemporary Barcelonian aesthetic, playing with soft, fluid lines that contrast bold, unexpected shapes and material choices – always in a palette of calming neutral tones.
In addition to running her Studio, Katty is also one of the faces behind the wildly popular Instagram account, Somewhere I would like to live, which has over 700.000 followers. Run as a joint project together with photographer Ruben Ortiz, the two curate inspirational photos from locations around the world. “Somewhere I would like to live started as a blog,” Katty explains, “The idea was to store anything we liked or found inspirational. Then out of the blue, we got a mention in The New York Times, and people started paying attention to the blog. Then the real explosion came when we started on Instagram.” Much of the content is dominated by beautiful interiors, inspiring homes and intruiging, eye-catching architecture – but their feed is interspersed with a hearty dose of whimsy, which often come in the form of irregular, quirky artwork or natural wonders.
Much like the Somewhere I would like to live’s home feed, Katty gathers inspiration for her work from a multitude of sources: “Trips, books, nature motivate me... plus, the access we have to information, the fact we can easily find out what's going on anywhere in the world. It's an enriching process as far as creativity is concerned and endlessly inspirational.” When Katty approaches a new project, her main objective is to enhance its architectural potential. This approach is also evident in her home, which has a crisp, bright and minimalist feel: “I started by turning it into an open space as much as possible, so a few walls had to be pulled down in order to give it a roomy feeling. I had the original wooden floors put back in, which subsequently defined the colour scheme: a palette of wood, white and sandy hues.”
When at home, Katty spends the most time in her lounge area, where the Catalonian sunshine filters through greenery and large windows on each side, filling the room and achieving a light, airy expression. This is where her favourite piece of furniture, the Rico Sofa from ferm LIVING, stands in front of her favourite spot in the apartment: the fireplace. One reason why home may be so important to Katty is because she spends a great deal of time away from it due to her job. She laughingly explains how there is no such thing as a regular workday for her: “Every week is different. Right now, we are working on projects in Barcelona, Geneva, Nice, California, Indore, Oporto, Lisbon and Doha – we are involved in designing the interiors of the new Qatar palace for the royal family there. I think the most regular part of my working day is the daily 90-minute yoga session that I always try to squeeze in.”
More than just the place she comes home to after a long day, Katty’s home is both the source and the synthesis of what she does for work. “Where I come from, home and family are very important. It’s something that I take very seriously into account in my designs,” she explains. “I feel that nowadays, more so than ever before, digitalization is taking over our lives and it’s important for us to foster emotions. A home is an emotional nest and in every project of mine, I try to convey the calm and serenity that I remember from my childhood in the small Uruguayan town where I grew up.”