Merged Worlds A Portrait of Interior Stylist Wolfram Neugebauer
A Portrait of
Wolfram Neugebauer’s answer to what he does is simple: “My work revolves around all things that are beautiful,” he says with a beaming smile. Neugebauer trained as a decorator thirty years ago, and has since worked as a stylist and interior designer, first with fashion brand Wolfgang Joop, then freelance. In everything he does, his vivid, warm personality shines through, be it breathing new life into a window display or styling a cosy dinner setting. He is currently on the last lap of launching his first collection, which will feature handcrafted lifestyle and interior objects and is inspired by Neugebauer’s positive, buoyant attitude to life.
In Hamburg’s Winterhude neighbourhood, just a stone’s throw from the Alster lake, Neugebauer helms Die Remise, a studio and retail space and a serene oasis amidst snug eateries, fashion-forward boutiques and independent galleries. We met the creative to talk career, style and his notion of beauty.
How do you define your role?
First of all, I always have to consider the various individuals I work with. In a way, I’m an actor; you work with a minimalist approach on one project, and with a more opulent focus on another. It really is an act, as every world wants to be depicted differently. When decorating private apartments, I delve into a person’s mind and surroundings; they have to feel comfortable, not me. I can only pass on my inspiration, my sentiment. An apartment needs to have a soul, it has to grow.
Where do you go to find inspiration?
I’m very aware of my surroundings and always have my eyes wide open. I’m inspired while walking around the Alster lake or visiting galleries, I love discovering and exploring new cities and often take roads less travelled. Almost all eras in history inspire me, which very much connects to my way of living.
How can we picture that?
At home, I’m surrounded by furniture and accessories from all over; some have lived with me for decades. It’s about creating a construct of different styles that yet become harmonious. Things have to have history and a story to tell. To me, it’s important to understand that a person doesn’t live in just one world, but that a person’s life consists of many merging worlds. That is what I try to pass on to people when I visit them in their homes or meet them on shoots.
What meaning does beauty hold for you?
Beauty is everything that you treat with love. It can be an individual’s action or smile, a sweater you have worn for years or a city that has a special meaning to you. Everything that makes you happy.
How does that notion connect to your philosophy?
I strive to pass it on to others. I put my heart and soul into every project and hope to open people’s eyes.
What helps you feel at ease?
Minimalism makes me feel calm. In general, I’d love for people to look more to the smaller things in life, and find more happiness in them. In my professional life, I’m naturally surrounded by pops of colour all the time.
How do you incorporate colours?
Yves Saint Laurent once said that all colours match, and that rings true. Colours are powerful and stimulating, just like the mixing of eras, styles and cultures – it’s incredibly enriching to be open to that.