Trine, the artist behind the brand Eloeil, is a master at creating amazing handmade items. From ceramic pieces to wall hangings, each item is made with love, and it shows. Trine’s pieces of art are one-of-a-kind, and so is her home, with its many unique vintage and handmade items. Step inside and explore Trine’s amazing minimalist one-floor bungalow. It makes us want all the handmade pieces in her shop to decorate our own homes, and we’re certain you’ll love her pieces—and her home, too!
Tell us about your home!
We’ve lived in this house for 10 years. We came here by coincidence when we’d outgrown our Tel Aviv apartment with the arrival of child number three. We lived very central and close to the beach, but were very sure that if we were not going to be in the city center, we’d skip suburbia and go all the way out. So we rented this place for a year to begin with to check out the countryside living. We’re still here 10 years later. The house is basically open space connecting entrance, kitchen, dining and living rooms. Then we have four bedrooms and a guestroom.
It’s a one-floor bungalow-style house at the end of a road in a small village. Our backyard extends into fields, lemon trees and dirt roads. We have chickens and try to grow a few things in the garden, too. However, to be honest, we’re not super gardeners, so over the years we’ve boiled it down to a few things that work for us, like herbs, artichokes, peppers and various green leaves like bok choi and kale.
It has the best light in some rooms/areas and the worst in others. It’s an old house, which has resulted in a love-hate relationship. I love old houses, but it can best frustrating, too. We have days where we’re ready to move, and days where we wish we could grow old in this house.
For me, this is the place where my kids grew up, and for that I’ll always love and cherish it, but being an old rental, I also know our time here will end sooner or later. This obviously limits how much and what you fix and change in the house. That can be frustrating, but on the other hand, it’s also liberating in the sense that you stick to what there is and work around that. When we first moved in, I hated the terrazzo-like tiles, but they grew on me and today I love the floor. Still, if it was my own house, I’d switch to wood floors in a heartbeat. I’m from Denmark and wooden floors are just softer and sound better. They’re softer and cozier. The only place we did a bit of reconstruction was in the kitchen. Today, that is the center of the house.
How would you describe your home décor style?
In a way, it seems funny to me to talk about a décor style. I’m not sure what that would be called, and I never really thought long and good about what I like. I just know when I like a piece of furniture or décor, and if it’ll fit into our space. What we have now feels like a naturally and organically created space reflecting who and where we are now. We have pieces that were in my childhood home, somewhere in my room from when I was a toddler. We have pieces brought home from traveling, furniture found in the streets of Tel Aviv, a couch friends left behind when moving, antiques that have been in my family for generations, thrift finds and handmade solutions. All of it mixed with IKEA and other new pieces, but generally we don’t spend much on furniture. That said, I’m sure my Scandinavian heritage shows in the look and feel: I like natural materials, light, simplicity and function.
What’s your favorite part of your home?
My studio/work space. It is actually the dining room corner connected to the kitchen and hallway. We always eat and hang in the kitchen or the living room, so I use it as my workspace. This area has the best light, especially in the afternoon. It just makes me happy to be there, and that light always stops me in my tracks and puts a smile on my face. It’s just so beautiful.
When did you start ELOEIL? What made you want to start your own business?
I started selling my work online a few years ago. Very small scale in the beginning. In a way, it’s still that way. It’s a one-woman business all the way through. I have periods where I work less or close down entirely, when we go to Denmark or travel. It was never really a conscious decision that “now I’m opening a business.” I’ve always created and made arts and crafts, some periods more than others. When we moved countryside our boys were toddlers, and I was at home more than before. I also tend to think that being surrounded by nature was inspiring for me. As they’ve grown, I’ve had more time and energy to create and at the same time I also got more engaged in social media, which has been really inspiring. Not only creatively, but also to see how it’s possible to mix creative small businesses with family life. Slowly I started selling some of my work, and it just grew from there.
You share your personal and business account on Instagram. Do you see your brand as an extension of your personal life?
Absolutely. My Instagram started as a personal feed. I used to have a blog called Et Lille OEjeblik, which in Danish means A Little Blink-of-the-Eye Moment. The blog satisfied an urge to share our life, as I was alone with the children a lot after we moved out of the city, and it served to keep family and friends updated. Later, I shortened it down to ELOEIL when I opened an Instagram account, and that became the name of my business, but the name is rooted in reflections of our life. I know many people are exactly the opposite, and that it feels wrong to mix their personal lives with their business online, and I totally get that. I too have considered if I should split the two, but this is what it is. My business is me, and my Instagram feed is my life, the curated, beautiful parts of my life, yes, but true. I don’t share everything and keep a lot of our lives out of the Internet, especially concerning the children and even more now that they’ve grown older and have their own opinions about social media representation. But I feel that what I do share is honest, my work and what I love and live for. I know it sounds corny, but that’s how I feel.
I also sometimes feel I should be more professional about social media, engagement and marketing, but it tends to weird me out. I stopped using hashtags a long time ago, and I don’t have any apps or tools with statistics of likes and followers. It’s not that I think it’s wrong, it’s just not where I am right now. It might change in the future, but for now I don’t have the mindset to go into it.
What advice do you have for other artists looking to have successful businesses with handmade products?
As much as I appreciate how my small business has grown organically and shaped itself around my life, more than the other way around, I think there are advantages from approaching a business much more structured and set long-term goals. I am constantly trying to clean up my process and I’m still struggling with finding the right workflow, thinking ahead in terms of taking in orders and managing my time. When I sometimes consider if I’m ready to take a new a next step, I know that it would mean getting help to organize my business and my workflow. Structure and planning makes it all easier, and I’m sure I could have saved myself from a lot of worry and frustration if I had started out with a plan.
Creatively, the most important is to be honest to yourself and your work. It’s a cliché, but it’s true. There are many trends in arts and crafts out there, and it’s easy to be swept away. I mean, we all get inspired, Instagram is an incredibly inspiring place, but be careful when you get in to that gray area where creation and copying overlap. We tend to be influenced by the same trends, and ideas grow organically and collectively in the creative space of social media, but it is a fine line and you need to tread it carefully. If you feel honest and true to yourself in your work, it’s just going to feel so much better, whether it’s a commercial success or not.
What’s your idea of a perfect morning?
Early, calm, quiet and the smell of coffee.
Any artists you’re currently loving?
There are so many artists I love and admire, from the iconic artists like Matisse, O’Keefe, Picasso, Rothko, etc. Among my favorites are those that are primarily working with shape and form in all its beautiful simplicity. Danish mid-century furniture maker Finn Juhl is really a master in organic shapes. His chairs are functional sculptures. I only recently discovered the work of ceramist Lucie Rie, which I find very inspiring, and American sculptor Ruth Asawa is another favorite. I also love environmental art like Andy Goldsworthy. On Instagram, I love to follow and swoon over the work of many talented and amazing artists. A few that I have been following for a long time and always return to admire are woodworker Ariele Alasko (@arielealasko), painter John Zabawa (@johnzabawa), ceramist John Born (@humblematter) and painter Ronan Bouroullec (@ronanbouroullec).
Antique Map of Denmark (similar)
What’s your current beauty routine?
I’ve never had much of a beauty routine, and I rarely wear makeup. For the past few years, I’ve tried to better to my skin, and I have a few basic products from Kiehl’s that I like and use daily, but it’s not coming natural to me. I forget or can’t be bothered. I’ll probably never be a long bath, facemask and 10 different creams kind of woman. I’m getting better to care for myself, though, and seeing in the mirror how I’m getting visibly older is definitely a good and gentle reminder to treat my skin with TLC.
Any fun plans for ELOEIL next?
I’m currently working on some Christmas décor ideas. I hope that they’ll be ready for Christmas (did I mention I have an issue in planning my schedule and timing?). Lately, I’ve also taken time out to play with shapes and create unique ceramic pieces. Originally, I started working with clay to do exactly that: Take a big lump of clay and hand-build objects with no exact idea of how it’ll end up. I’ve missed that, and recently I allowed myself to take some time out for that. It’s really in line with the whole staying true to yourself and not only take the safe road, creating what is a success, but also what nourishes your creative soul. I hope I’ll be able to keep that going and explore this path even more in the future. Maybe even add some of these pieces to my business.
Photography by Nirit Gur-Karby
Shop Her Home:
Bistrot Chairs (similar)
Antique Map of Denmark (similar)
Antique Flower Print (similar)
High Table (similar)
Headboard Cover (similar)
Insect Print Poster (similar)
Vintage Plaid Throw (similar)
Taxidermy birds: Thrifted
Most kitchen inventory on the shelf: Handmade ELOEIL or thrifted/family hand-me-downs
Most artwork in dining room/studio: Handmade ELOEIL or thrifted/family hand-me-downs.
Paintings: Cacti watercolor by ELOEIL, oil paintings: Passed down from family.