At home with Patricia Back from Atelier Lune
LIFESTYLE, Living, People
Patricia Back is 48 years old and together with her husband Patrik they have three children. Herman, 15 , Stella ,13 and Kalle, 9. Born in a small Swedish village called Köping and when turning 20, living in Stockholm , the Swedish capital.
Patricia always wanted to do something creative and started to work with one of Stockholms most trendy shops at NK.
It was really fun, and it was the favourite shop for many celebs. Even big names as Cher, Annie Lennox and Goldie Hawn did some shopping when I worked there, and I still have the receipt from Cher somewhere.
One of their customers was the editor in chief of the second biggest fashion magazine in Sweden, called Damernas Värld (Women’s world). That is how Patricia landed a job as an assistant. Two years later she was the fashion editor. Which included lots of travels for shootings and fashion shows.
But as the years passed by, I had my first child and with the second child, I didn’t feel like I could go on like this anymore. A stressful job with too many journeys. I was asked to run the fashion/lifestyle at the new and popular lifestyle magazine called MAMA, which suited my life as a mother of two (later three) much better.
Five years passed by and Patricia had her third child. Blogging became bigger, something new. Getting stronger and a new era started. The online era.
The competition was a fact and in the magazine business, people started to talk about the death of the print magazines. Magazines cut budgets down, many lost their job, and less people had to work even more than double to manage the new budgets.
The already stressful business got even worse, and speaking for myself I ended up badly burned out.
This is when a new chapter started in her life.
After being sick for one year, Patricia was still too weak to go back to work, and the family started to look for plan B.
Through her husbands job in the Swedish military ( he has been working as a fighter pilot ) there are possibilities to work abroad. Earlier she loved her job too much to quit, now it felt like a good idea.
There was a job in Aix en Provence, France which suited the family’s situation just perfectly.
We wanted to live close to town and big enough to have a pool. Something important for the kids to look forward to, because it can be hard to leave your friends and start all over in a new country.
The family found the house of their dreams. The famous artist Paul Cezanne, painted many of his masterpieces right in their garden (an old neighbour said). The house is located on a hill, with the famous mountain St. Victoire in the back.
Patricia about her interior style: I guess it is a mix of everything, maybe that’s why I love to style and shoot. To be able to change between all kinds of styles. Everything from the minimalist clean look, with few key pieces, but I also love the bohemian style, a mix of old and new. I am really weak for the new raw looks, like concrete, wood and marble with iron or copper and huge glass windows. Add some statues, art, ceramic and beautiful floors and a huge old golden french mirror and I feel like home!
And about her life abroad: During the years we missed almost nothing about Sweden (except our family) though it is incredible easy to find friends in Aix. Especially through the kids’ school. I think I never had so many friends in my life than during these years. Everybody is so open minded and longing for company.
It was just some kind of food and candy that we missed, but then we found IKEA, and voila….
In the beginning you love everything, but after a while as years pass by, friends are leaving and new ones are coming, and after 3 1/2 years you almost feel that you are the only one left. It is quite demanding to create new contacts all the time even if its fun to meet new people. After a few years, everything starts to be normal everyday life. You feel like – if we are staying we need to dig more into the french life, instead of living like we are on vacation all day long.
If I would meet a family that is thinking of moving abroad, my advice would be: Go, you will never regret it, for me it is the best I have done after having my kids.
So after a few years Patricia felt that she wanted to create something. So she started Atelier Lune. A home accessories brand that creates curtains and pillows from washed linen with metallic prints.
I started to design curtains and cushions, which I think really can change a room in a quick and easy way. Everything can be for a baby room as well as a teenager room. The curtains can be a canopy , ‘a door’ hung in the classic way or tied with a big knot. For me it is important how a kids room feels and looks, the childhood goes by fast but your memories of it stay forever.
Today Patricia is happy with her own company, where she can work when she has time and nobody than her decides what to do or not. She admits that she does miss the exchange and brainstorming with colleagues. Trusting herself and her feelings is a new challenge.
Patricia’s design tips for the kids room: One is to bring in adults stuff if you have the possibility. Like a big old chandelier instead of a typical childish lamp, just to break the look in a room. Or a really old chair, I always find contrasts interesting. Modern with a few really old things. In a kids room I like the curtains to be soft, you want it to feel cozy. And that is what textiles do. Don’t be afraid to use some gold, like an old hook or a mirror in gold, it is so beautiful to hang kids bags etc on there. I also prefer rattan baskets for toys instead of the plastic ones. Don’t overdo the room, use key pieces. A beautiful carpet can never be wrong, that’s another key for me. The walls and floors should be in basic colours. You can add stronger colours through textiles. This way it is much easier to change if you get tired of the colour.
And fashion? You want to create a basic wardrobe! It’s gonna be a lifesaver I promise, even if it sounds boring – it’s not, it looks stylish and classic.
You need jeans, a t-shirt, a blazer, a jacket, sweater & cardigan and the little black dress, that is the base. Buy a bag that you really like, more classic then hippie if I may say so. Then you can mix this wardrobe with cool shoes, belts, and whatever style you want, more rock or feminine? I love designers as Isabel Marant, where I can add some hippie/boheme stuff each summer. The Swedish winter girl in me likes the masculine look. Like the Swedish brand Hope – minimalism perfection and their trousers and shirts can never go wrong. The key when it comes to fashion are the contrasts, making everything more balanced.
The family just recently moved back to their house in Stockholm. Let’s see where life brings them next …