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A sneak peek inside a Berlin apartment

Alissa Ugolini—homify UK Alissa Ugolini—homify UK
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Among the most interesting projects we have on homify, is the interior design of this apartment in Berlin. Bustling German capital, home to all facets of design, and destination of thousands of tourists and migrants, suitcase in hand looking to gain a foothold in the city. Berlin has something to love; it is not the prettiest city in the world, and its climate is far from ideal, but its past, open mind, and simplicity, create place that is full of contrasts and diversity—traits which are unique and irreplaceable. If you have visited this wonderful city before, you will know exactly what we mean.

Prenzlauer Berg is located north-east of the city, and is a must see neighbourhood for travellers and residents. The story of this suburb is no different to many of the others, Bohemian style buildings built over two centuries ago, that were consequently damaged during World War II. However, on August 13, 1961, two walls divided the territory in two, leaving this neighbourhood on the side of the GDR. After the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989, Prenzlauer Berg became the home to many artists and people who want to live alternatively, and therefore, became one of the trendiest places to live in the city. Inside this old building, we find an apartment of 119 square metres that has had its image renewed from outdated to contemporary and minimalist.

The starting point

Studio Martti Mela was approached by a couple to acquire, and redesign this Prenzlauer Berg apartment. The apartment in question had to have a modern look, and meet the needs and demands of a contemporary lifestyle. The result, as you will soon see, was outstanding for both the occupants and designers. The apartment went from outdated, to bright, airy and minimalist. 

The kitchen

The old partitions were pulled down, and a new spatial layout was decided upon. In this operation, two rooms were merged and converted into the large kitchen, as can be seen in these two images. White was chosen as the star colour for all panes and spaces, including the walls, ceiling and floor, creating a clean and bright interior. At time, white can be a colour abused by those who seek a create minimalist interiors, but as you can see here, white has been used with a different character. In an attempt to create an impersonal atmosphere, the historical detail has been stored in elements like natural wood flooring and the curved shapes of the windows. To add a touch of contrast to the space, stainless steel and black have been employed to break up the monotony. 

The dining room

Adjacent to the kitchen is the dining room. To communicate both spaces, a passageway was opened up underneath the load bearing wall. Here, the stunning original cornice work has been maintained, as well as the sleek white theme from the other rooms. The room is saturated in natural light, bouncing off from all the white surfaces. The sofa in the background helps to offset the timber coloured table, and creates a dining atmosphere that is warm and inviting for guests. 

The living room

The living room is one of the few rooms of the house where the flooring breaks its colour homogeneity. Here, fabulous parquetry floors with herringbone pattern, add warmth to a room where the furniture and decorations are scarce. The black colour is used subtly, and is scattered through various rooms in the house. The grey curtains, white lamp and muted decorations create the most elegant combination possible with white. 

The bedroom

It comes as no surprise that the bedroom has followed the style of the other rooms. Filled with light, white and simplicity: a bed, two small pieces of furniture and two grey curtains create contrast and are very useful to keep both the heat and cold out in different seasons. 

The balcony

For those who have spent long amounts of time, and different seasons in Northern Europe will understand how precious, and important it is to make the most of the time you can spend outdoors. Perhaps it is most ironic, that the country where summer lasts less than two months, that the sunny days can be counted on the digits of our bodies. But it is precisely for this reason that warm, sunbathed days are cherished, and Berliners are so keen to take advantage of these opportunities. In this case, when blessed with a balcony, it is important to design a little pocket of space that will make you the envy of all your friends. In an attempt to make the area as tropical as possible, a wooden mat, clear chairs and lush green plants have been added to bring an air of freshness and warmth.

The bathroom

If the balcony is one of the hidden treasures of this house, expect to be surprised when you see the bathroom. The bathroom is full of contrasts; cool pastel colours and material finishes have been played off against dark tones and warm materials. The flooring for the shower is somewhat of a marvel—slate coloured timber slats subtly divide the two spaces from one another. 

Surprise… a sauna!

With one final surprise, we finish this ideabook. Next to the bathroom, we find an authentic Finnish sauna. It is clear that every whim and desire of the home owners has been met.

If you enjoy minimalist design, feel free to check out the following articles:

An Australian lake house and

A stylish London home

Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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