Archive for the 'countryside in town' Category

AflatinBerlin on air!

If you understand Italian and want to know more about buying a flat in Berlin, listen to the interview on the Italiansonline WebRadio…please don’t laugh 😀

Click here and get to the mid on the streaming.


…and here are the flats!

color kitchen

It took some time, to refurbish them, to stitch up proper mini-websites, but eventually here they are. Click on the links on the right…

The 1920s flat has a surface of only 54 square meters – plus a mezzanine! – and is located in a beautiful Altbau. The 1960s flat is cuddly, only 30 square meters but its location is magic!

Both are located in the Bayerisches Viertel in Schöneberg…our ideal neighborhood!

The palisander sideboard…


The 60s flat is very small, yet it has a beautiful vista overlooking the park and the pond and a nice balcony. I wanted some sense of continuity between outside and indoor and this was the leading idea in looking for a wooden sideboard. A functional storage unit, possibly from the 60s. With burnished metal legs – not stainless steel – in “Swedish style”, as we call it in Italy.

The budget constraint was quite tight, at the same time I wanted to continue if possible on the handcrafted note, even if it had to be an industrial product. Since industrial objects of the 60s were produced on a smaller scale…there were chances to find something well manufactured. And once more I found exactly what I wanted.

I found a beautiful, simple and linear Musterring sideboard of the early 60s in yet another Schöneberg store. Palisander finish, brown mat metal legs: exactly what I was looking for!

The piece of furniture is perfect, as though it had been produced a year ago. And the other good thing is, after a bit of negotiation, it ended costing like a standard ikea sideboard, about 200 eur. Without flat packs and montage. Magic Schöneberg!


Blond plywood inside, with a removable shelf (functional), it still conserves its original sticker on the inside of one of the two doors. Voila’, a German iconic brand of the 60s! As I came back to Rome, I found in my inbox a message…my friend from Lugano had sent me this link…great minds think alike!

Three pillars of the living-room are there. Good value for money and all reincarnations of previous furniture lives. The only emissions were the 10 minutes of so by van in the Kiez. Zero packaging. Very umweltfreundlich!

As per the lighting, more second-hand will follow. One piece is secured (curious eh?), the other maybe is still waiting for me in one window shop…or maybe not…we’ll see. The table and chairs hunt will provide a bit of Abenteuer for next week, and with that the living room fourth and last pillar will be set.

Of course I am planning a linden-green wall against which the palisander cabinet will look even more gorgeous! Even in the winter we want to remember the green golden shade of the Linden trees…

The purple sofabed (or vintage IKEA)

More recycling and more second-hand! Or vintage IKEA…if you like the idea!

Our friends in Viktoria Luise Platz had just bought pretty sofa, but with hindsight it proved to be a dash too small. Coincidentally, I had a crush exactly on that shade of crushed plum purple, but that specific IKEA sofabed oh my god was no longer available in the catalogue…

Deal! With a little help by D. for putting all the pieces together in the right order, the sofabed landed in the 60s flat in good company with the green glass shelf!

After all, green and purple go well together, they are my favourite colors. And such a small flat needs easy pieces, but with a soul and an intriguing past!

Zero-emissions, and on budget…

The green glass bookshelf



In May I visited a dusty second-hand shop in Nolle and I fell in love with a small green glass bookshelf…it was even dustier than the shop itself, full of quincailleries, but I saw through all the clutter the simplicity and madness of the piece. The mad artisan who built it used only green glass panels. Nothing else. The four supporting pillars were made of glass panels, cut to mesure, four facets.

I am not very much into glass shelves, but I love green glasses, bottles, plates etc. So the shelf was unusual. So unusual I didn’t dare to buy it, but when back in Rome I asked my friend in Viktoria Luise Platz to adopt on my behalf the dusty orphan (another one, after the DDR benches!) because all of a sudden I had to have it! She was so nice to go and block the object at the store, even if the risk that someone else would fall for such a quirky piece seemed quite low to her…and I agree!

The reason why I noticed the little green orphan stems from a product presented at the Salone del Mobile, which I didn’t particularly like, but which titillated my interest in green transparent materials, like Linden leaves and green glass…

With an adventurous delivery – a massive glass shelf is neither light, nor easy to handle – the green glass shelf now sits in the little 60s flat.

Hand-crafted, original, unique, zero-emissions, recycled, sixty euros well spent!

Unfortunately no photos available yet, but that was just the beginning…the rest of the furniture would follow from this first inspiration…

Photo: treehugger

Recycling furniture and collecting ideas in Berlin

Yesterday I looked at magazines to take with me on my easyjet flight on monday…and I was surprised to see the cover of Elle Decoration, British edition. First of all, holidaying at home. Exactly our plan for this summer! And secondly, green. Lastly, a 60’s sideboard. Tout se tient!


But let’s proceed with order. In the recent posts several themes were launched.

– Green glass…

– Green bookshelves…

– DDR design…

– German iconic brands of the 60s….

Well, Elle decoration seems to follow Aflatinberlin steps! 😀

In fact part of the time spent holidaying in Berlin will be dedicated to the finishing touches and furnishing of the “cub” 60s flat. With items seen and collected over the past 2 trips to Berlin (with a little help from our friends in Viktoria Luise Platz), and with ideas pondered during the last 4 easyjet flights. Let’s see how all these items come together…

One year later…1 candle on the cake!


One year ago we started this blog. Two main reasons: to report about our “flat in Berlin” experience. And to keep track of our renovation adventure, which had just started and needed a bit of a public kick – an official timekeeper online!

One year later, we are going to spend soon our first ever real holiday in our flat in Berlin, having dedicated 1/4 of our weekends in the past 12 months to blitz-trips to Berlin in order to follow the renovation works, sort out paperwork, choose tiles, buy furniture and make the flat feel like our home in Berlin.

One year later, and 3/4 of a global financial crisis later, we’re happy about our choice. It is true, other real estate markets plunged so deep that now there are several “cheap” real estate markets in the world. But we were not just looking for a bottom-fishing real estate opportunity, we wanted something very specific: an apartment with good bones in Schöneberg at a reasonable price, not a seaside flat in Spain or a maisonette in England. In the meantime, garage prices in Rome plunged by 3%. Maybe the Italian real estate market will undergo a correction one day, but the reality is, a 1-car garage in Rome still costs more than a flat in one of the nicest areas of Berlin. Period. Continue reading ‘One year later…1 candle on the cake!’

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