A love of Vienna, old buildings and design

Vienna, december 2020

In his free time, Gregor Sideris blogs about travel and lifestyle on ‘TheViennaBlog.com’. He loves Vienna, travelling and beautiful design. He lives in a period apartment in the centre of Vienna, just a stone’s throw from the city’s famous Ronacher musical theatre and the historic Palais Coburg. We spoke to him about his blog, period apartments and interior design.

How would you describe yourself?

As a hybrid. I’ve been a marketing manager at a global IT corporation for over 25 years and keep myself busy in my free time as a photographer and travel and lifestyle journalist with my own online magazine (www.theviennablog.com).

How did the idea for your online magazine come about?

During my career, I’ve learned a great deal about digital and social marketing from experts in my field. Armed with this focussed marketing expertise, I gave free rein to my creative side and my photographic skills and developed an active online presence in my free time too. I wrote my first few blog posts and started to share my photos on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

Why did you create the online magazine ‘TheViennaBlog’?

It just seemed logical to me. I live and work in the heart of Vienna and love the city. During my numerous business trips abroad, I became ever more aware of what a great place Vienna is to live. And so I started to write about my Vienna – in English, of course, so that my international readers planning a trip to Vienna can find out all about the best experiences, institutions, museums, coffee houses etc. that the city has to offer.

What is it like to live in a Viennese period apartment?

You don’t live in it; you live with it. It’s perfectly imperfect – and you can’t help but love it. Viennese period apartments offer style, charm and good looks. They may not be very flexible but they have history and personality. The feeling you get when walking on old, creaky fishbone parquet or from the large double doors that welcome you home with open arms each day simply can’t be replicated in a new-build apartment. Nor would you get the ceiling heights of 3.80 metres and more enjoyed if you are on the bel étage. And even if not, there is still plenty of height to the rooms, which not only floods the apartments with light and gives them a spacious, airy feel, but also provides plenty of space for an impressive tree at Christmas. Gründerzeit architects focussed on creating stunning features: beautifully decorated façades and regal rooms for receiving and impressing guests – something that still works spectacularly well even in the 21st century.

What do you love about USM?

The best collaborations you can experience as a journalist and blogger are with brands that you have followed and loved for a long time. Some people may have already seen my enthusiasm for our new furniture on the Instagram live stream.

For me, USM is one of the brands that I’ve loved for years. I’m a huge fan of the company’s modular concept.

As some of you may remember, I already worked with USM Haller in 2017 to set up my home office – and blogged about it ((add link to post if desired)). At the time, I wrote of the launch of the new USM Haller E furniture system. To be honest, I loved the red USM shelf with the lighting system so much that I decided to prominently position it as an eye-catching feature in my home office area.

What do you particularly like about your new USM system furniture?

The design of our USM system furniture is the ideal fit for our typical Viennese period apartment. It provides the perfect contrast between old and new. With regard to the colour, I opted for neutral white as I’m going to paint the living room walls brick red soon. As a design classic that has already been around for many years and never changed its appearance, USM Haller furniture is timeless. Thanks to the many configurations that USM offers, I can now tailor my furniture to my specific needs and expand it whenever I like. USM furniture is highly versatile as it can be used for a multitude of purposes and in many different rooms. There’s therefore no doubt that the range of USM furniture in our period apartment will continue to grow.

What did you think of the configuration and delivery of your new USM furniture?

The best thing about USM is that you can use the interactive USM 3D configurator to design everything online yourself. This makes it possible to tailor the furniture to your specific requirements. When using the configurator, you can interact with the 3D model by selecting the modules to be added, edited or deleted. You can also choose from a whole range of different shapes and sizes, plus customisable modules like drawers and pull-out shelves in all USM colours and materials. The price of the furniture is calculated in real time. When you’re ready to order, you simply click the ‘Contact’ button displayed below the price and the USM team will contact you within 48 hours.

USM products are delivered by specialists. The friendly, professional fitters quickly constructed the new furniture so it could find its perfect place in our period apartment. Now all we need to do is paint the wall like we said we would.