Posts Tagged 'cantilevered chair'

…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!


personal bauhaus -1

bauhaus 01

Ok ok, it’s been a bit too flowery around here in the latest posts. So let’s go back to the roots of our own private interpretation of “Prussian Altbau grows bauhaus with a little help from recycling and IKEA”.

In our flat we had excellent raw materials to work with. First of all, a century-old oak herringbone parquet, restored to its glorious beauty. Oh, if you could hear the sound of it!

The flat has indeed great bones, namely its 4-metres-high walls. After lots, lots of research, we chose a warm shade of gray, in order to make the cold North-German winter light seem warmer. I agree with Bruno Taut: even under the strictest bauhaus constraints, white in Germany is treacherous, it can turn to “gray-ish white” very easily. White is abbacinante in Italy (can’t find the proper word in English…light so strong it makes you blind), but we feared it may turn into psychiatric-hospital mood under the Berlin sky…especially on bare walls.

I quite like the way – in Germany, mainly – wood is being refrigerated by adding stainless steel. I don’t know if this is quintessential to bauhaus, but it definitely is for me. This is the rationale for the IKEA table with stainless steel U-shaped legs, and for the cantilevered chairs found at a second-hand store, little Marcel Breuer mongrels with a couple of Wassily genes. You saw them dusty in previous posts.

Talking about stainless steel, MeinMann is still skeptical on this solution, maybe as a character in a novel in the ’30s who described this furniture as “dentists’ style”. We well see how we get along with these objects.

And the french doors? They match our Prussian beautiful bow-window, the stucco on the ceiling, all things which are so un-bauhaus. But even during bauhaus, people didn’t throw in the bin their Jugendstil apartments. The flats transitioned from one style to another. The Altbau was born under Historicismus, was raised under Jugendstil, but I like to imagine that it became adult and independent only with the bauhaus, in the ’30s.

Samovar, Lack and the 20s

Ikea arbitrage and metissage!

We needed to give some bones to the furnishing of the flat, so at last I did my Ikea expeditions. We  don’t like to live in a catalogue, but the store provides unbeatable solutions for basics, to be picked and mixed with less standardized and definitely second-hand pieces …or vintage, you name it! ;D


I did not care to do some planning online before taking the plane to Berlin, since I did not have exact measurement of the new niche for the kitchen. So imagine my suprise when I saw that in Berlin kitchen prices are not just “not aligned” with Italy (as a friend told us) but definitely lower.

Just compare the same kitchen, say for instance pages 42 and 43 from the  italian catalogue and german catalogue … For example, the most basic kitchen costs Eur 830 in Rome but only Eur 399 in Berlin. But for stylish kitchens the difference in prices is also huge! In the Wardrobe category sometimes prices are lower in Germany, sometimes in Italy…difficult to understand why…different production areas?

Well arbitraging Ikea Berlin-Rome does not make much sense because of the carry cost, but our friends in Tessin tell us that Milanese do visit the Swiss Ikea rather than the Italian one…so the balance must definitely be in favour of North-of-the-Alps pricing.

If you want to go beyond and not only arbitrage Ikea but also play around with it and “take the Ikea out” as they say, have a look to this crazy blog…Ikeahacker.

The metissage between old and new  is someting we love: last summer, before the refurbishing even started, the first items I bought were some cantilevered steel-leather second-hand chairs…cimg0104-macchia

and…this fantastic  samovar, from the russian flea market at Rathaus Schoeneberg, with its porcelain plug and bakelite handles (need to check its stamp though!).

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