about us
Elisabeth and Velvet
Welcome to TE ESSE
the destination that praises a mix and match sensibility
What is Te Esse's mission?

Te Esse explores the vast space of inspiring ideas and possibilities with an open mind and the conviction that good design begins with an even better story.

Who do we serve?

Our mission statement appeals to anyone who pursues a more meaningful life, embraces slow living and delights in all the little things in life that matter most.

So who's Te Esse?

Te Esse is not about one single person. It is much bigger than that. It is more of a mantra that continues to expand and mature in this journey and shall not be “boxed in.” Ultimately, it can mean different things to different people and that’s the beauty of it all.

A Quick Word About Us

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Hello everyone. We are Velvet and Elisabeth, two sisters, moms and design addicts with an engineering discipline who believe that true beauty is never perfect.

We share a passion for design, eclectic trends, “out of the box” spaces, and love any style that is an outcome of diversity and individuality. We also enjoy striking good conversations on topics that run from design to culture, and travel to fashion as much as any other girl. 

As such, this joint project began with an emphasis on simple, honest design, but aspires to foster a community where we share ideas, inspiration sources, trends and tips, explore endless possibilities and laugh over a few (or more!) homemade stories that celebrate being. We seek to be your source of fun, creative, intriguing inspiration that will brighten your life. 

Thank you for getting to know us. XO,

Velvet signature

About Velvet

Hi, I’m Velvet Karatzas, a Greek born with a German mom, who studied civil engineering in the UK. I launched my career as a civil engineer some 22 years ago, but soon turned to interior design – my passion. My engineering discipline though combined with my artist’s psyche, gave me a strong backbone for developing my skills in design.

Naturally, my creative process evolved over the years and helped me build an inner confidence for exploring possibilities without the factor of “fear.” This allows me to design for clients and channel their own distinct style without overshadowing them. Currently, I’m based in Athens, Greece, living under a sea of sun with my beautiful family while designing, consulting and blogging away.

So how did the blog come about?

Back in 2015, I founded this blog that I named “Te Esse” that means ‘be you, be yourself’ in Latin. I know it is easy to pronounce, but not as easy to remember. Unless you know what it means. However, at the end of the day these two words describe best my philosophy in life.

Being as opposed to doing has always been my ultimate pursuit. And you can not pursue anything successfully unless you are truly yourself. Therefore, I choose to do things in my very own way as opposed to following all that is mainstream.

At first I thought I should “record” my appreciation for design, arts and architecture. However, I began sharing trade insights based on years of experience and inspiration sources for like-minded creatives. And that’s pretty much how I embarked on this blogging journey…

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Velvet on a sailing boat's deck wearing a navy blue windproof jacket and a pair of jeans

Being as opposed to doing has been my ultimate pursuit.

Over time, the multiple facets of my personality got me telling stories also, especially about discoveries I make. These stories are driven by my increased levels of curiosity for all that’s happening, inspiring, trending and connecting, with sprinkles of real life homemade experiences, fostering a strong sense of a mix and match sensibility. The outcome is a sincere, reliable, resource for your projects and a fun, pleasant read during your coffee break (or lunch break). So, stick around, peruse TE ESSE and see what it will mean to you…

Cheers!

Elisabeth at Hyde Park in London.
About Elisabeth

Elisabeth is also a civil engineer. She launched her career almost 20 years ago. With the birth of her first child though, she decided to be a stay home mom. Now, she is the senior contributor of this project. She teamed up with me in 2017. At first she edited, but now she keeps things running smoothly in every possible way including anything that might go wrong! But she’s mainly the driving force in making this blog even better. She has a great eye for what is needed to complete the ensemble. Because of her outspoken, bright personality, she also handles most of the social media and manages many of the preparations that go into the posts.

The Blog

At TE ESSE, we share our good times wherever we go, publish interviews, editorials, trend reports and reviews, setup beautiful tablescapes while having as many laughs possible along the way. Every week we share inspiration on Style and Design. You will also find lifestyle tips and hacks, an occasional music playlist and other interesting essays meant for inspiring laid-back reading in your leisure time under Lifestyle. As for those of you who aspire a better well-being than do check out our fitness motivation thread with short videos on our YouTube channel, with workout routines from our fitness coach Ifiyenia Koskina. You will find them all under Wellness.

One thing I really want you all to know is that I don’t post just for the sake of posting. I post about the things I like, inspire me and motivate me or give me food for thought and challenge me. At a time when everyone is in a rush, I like to use this little web space as a creative outlet where my values for a slow living, but a good one at that prevail. Thus, it would thrill me to have you join us! Please, make sure you also check out our policies.

A ceramic jug with greenery on a tray as decor in the foreground and a sofa with pillow in the background.

Press Awards

This year has been a real treat for us. We managed to get both shortlisted for the prestigious Amara Interior Awards and picked as one of the top 50 decor blogs by Lawnstarter. Woo hoo!!

Amara Interior Blog Awards Badge for Shortlisted Blog

Best Written Blog – International Category

The Golden Home Award badge from Lawstarter.com for the Top Home Decor Blog 2018.

Made it to the TOP 50!

Read more

wowcushions

We are also proud for being selected just recently (in February 2019) among the ‘Top Interior Design Blogs That Rock The Web’.

The Conseiller en Decor bagde award.

Next, we were awarded the Consellier en Decor award!

Last but not least, we were selected as one of the “Best Interior Design Blogs: Top 100 Influencers You Need to Know If You Love Design”.

Reach Out
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Mails

We love to hear from you should you wish to share with us any ideas, thoughts, or concerns. Please feel free to write to Velvet and Elisabeth at info@te-esse.com. For more details see our Contact page.

Getting Social

You can follow our journey on YouTubeFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. Be sure to subscribe to stay in touch with us and be part of this like-minded community.

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Some facts about me: I’m also a self taught artist. I love to paint with oil colors, my favorite medium and have sold two of my five paintings. Back in 2003, I designed my own working desk that I use till today. That’s when my interior design journey began consciously. As a genuine design lover, I designed my own wedding shoes to fit my gown and had the wedding favors done myself.

Some fun facts about Elisabeth: she’s the definition of a “posh bohemian.” She’s got green eyes, but no one ever noticed that till she graduated from High School! She loves lipsticks, bags, shoes and sunbathing! She’s also totally into home decorating and a little obsessed with flowers and plants, but no one holds that against her! How could we?