Svedbergs Magazine - Cecilia  Möller Kirchsteiger

Cecilia Möller Kirchsteiger 

Hi there, Cecilia! Tell us a bit about yourself.

I’m a small-town girl and the youngest of three who grew up in Mantorp. For the last around ten years I’ve worked as a full-time freelance photographer with focus on interior design, and over the years I’ve shot many ”at home” features all over the world.

How did you get interested in interior design?

When I started shooting interior design stories, I began to see interior design in a different way. I bought lots of home design magazines, to learn some photographic techniques, and I really got hooked on interior design. But I’m not the type that repaints all the walls every year, or throws out all the furniture on a whim. When I design interiors, I often settle into what I create, and that’s how it stays for many years. And I never buy anything unless I know where I’m going to put it.

What’s the best thing about your job as a stylist and photographer?

The freedom to plan my days my way and to work creatively for the joy and inspiration of others. My creative job often feels more like play and shooting interiors is a bit like playing with a dolls’ house. I can’t see myself in a job that doesn’t give me the same freedom, although it’s definitely a case of “freedom with responsibility”, since I’m the sole earner for the business.


Svedbergs Magazine - Cecilia  Möller Kirchsteiger

Tell us something people usually don’t know about your profession?

Probably how much planning and administrative work being a photographer/stylist with your own business involves. It takes a lot of hard work and research to get the clients and the assignments.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

All the homes I’ve visited over the years, with wonderful, creative design solutions, and also Pinterest. When we started sketching the house I put a lot on Pinterest, in folders with inspiration for the house’s interior and the different rooms. By collecting the images you like in a folder, you can find a common theme for all your preferences and go with that.

Tell us about the house you’ve just built. What were your first ideas and did your dream house get more complicated?

I’ve dreamed of building a house in the country since 2014, and worked really hard and long to make this dream come true. When Sebastian and I got together in 2019, it turned out he had exactly the same dream. Just six months later, we stood on what is our site today, looking at the birch grove. Just over two years later, we moved into our dream house that we designed ourselves, based on our needs as a family. Fundamentally, the house is inspired by the Swedish barn house tradition, with its slatted black windows, iron vitriol facade and simple design, but since my husband is incredibly tall, we built the house as two full storeys, in contrast to the traditional barn house.

What do you like best about your house, and what would you do differently today?

Hard to say. I’m really happy with where we’ve built the house, and its surroundings here, with panoramic views of Östgötaslätten (the East Gothland Plain), while the floor plan is perfect for us. Every room is used the way we planned and we don’t seem to have any space that isn’t used. We spend most time in the kitchen, and this was the room we started with when we drew up the floorplan. It’s a big and airy room, with light flowing in from three sides, and it’s perfect for entertaining guests.  I don’t think there’s much we’d do differently today; maybe a door placed differently, but that’s not really an issue. One thing to remember if you build your own house is how the surroundings, like completing a garden, creating outdoor spaces, laying gravel, and so on, can cost a lot of money. It all adds up really quickly.

Svedbergs Magazine - Cecilia  Möller Kirchsteiger
Svedbergs Magazine - Cecilia  Möller Kirchsteiger
Svedbergs Magazine - Cecilia  Möller Kirchsteiger
Svedbergs Magazine - Cecilia  Möller Kirchsteiger
Svedbergs Magazine - Cecilia  Möller Kirchsteiger

What are your best tips to create a cosy and inviting home?

I think in opposites, such as hard and soft, square and round, and dark and light. I don’t want a room with only square furniture, for example, but break this up with a round table, a round lamp, round wall mirror, or rounded chairs, to give a sense of balance. I also soften the look with textiles such as cushions, sheepskin, blankets and rugs, to give a cosy feeling and also dampen noise. Wooden furniture and plants are easy on the eye and also vary the impression. In terms of colours, we go for wood, stone, green and blue, but instead of putting colours on the walls we used the big blue cupboard in the kitchen, as well as posters, textiles, paintings, urns and plants to add subdued colour tones. This also helps to create a calm and peaceful impression.

How do you manage to have a trendy and nice decorated home with a toddler?

First of all, we put things away, all the time, and we’ve also made sure there is good storage where she likes to play the most. In our living room we have a cabinet under the TV that is deep enough to store her books and favourite toys. So once she’s asleep, it takes just five minutes to tidy up. We also switch between her toys, so that not everything is available at the same time, as we have a box in the garage to store things she doesn’t play much with. When we switch her toys back, she takes great joy in playing with them again as if they were new toys.

Can you share your best tips for Instagram-friendly pictures?

Two simple tips to take better interior design pictures for Instagram is to think in depth and lines. Make sure the lines are straight, which means that the vertical lines from walls and cupboards, for example, are parallel to the sides of the frame, and that the horizontal lines (ceiling, floors, counters, etc.) are parallel to the upper and lower edges of the frame. In terms of depth, it helps to remember to have something in the foreground, something in focus, and something in the background, to give the picture depth. As a bonus tip, I can only repeat what I said earlier about working with soft and hard, square and round, and dark and light in the same picture. It’s usually good to have plants in the picture, too.

What’s your recommendation for anyone wanting to grow on social media?

Difficult question, but I think it’s a matter of being true to oneself and daring to try out new functions and expressions. An awful lot of people publish content on social media, so to stand out from the crowd it’s a good idea to test different paths and dare to play around with what you publish. Dare to try out a reel, write in a different way, and put a text on a picture. Interaction is also a major important aspect of social media, so engage with others and respond to others who engage with you.

What trend have you personally spotted for 2023?

In terms of interior design, I think we’ll continue to see a lot of wood in both kitchens and bathrooms. I’ve also seen how cornflower blue and red are appearing more and more, as people get tired of beige, that’s been around a while, and have an urge use a lamp or chair in a brighter colour, to get a stronger contrast?

Svedbergs Magazine - Cecilia  Möller Kirchsteiger

Instagram: @cicimollerkirchsteiger
Age: 38
Profession: Photographer
Residence: Östergötland (East Gothland), outside Linköping
Who lives here: Husband Sebastian, their daughter Elsie, aged 2, Cici’s daughter Adrina, aged 14, soft-coated wheaten terrier Elza, aged 4.
Current project: We’re finishing decorating our living room and Elsie’s room, and also  planning our kitchen garden and making plans for the spring.

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