Posts Tagged 'gemuetlich'

…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!

user friendly?

It is always difficult to figure out the exact ergonomics of a living space, first on the paper with the architect project, then when you do some little changes as work unfolds. Again when you have to furnish the place and imagine how you will move around in the house.

This week A flat in Berlin underwent its user friendliness test. Even more demanding: a”friend friendliness” test!

Friends flocking to the city for the Bread and Butter fashion week stayed at our flat. Rome’s monsoon season was responsible for their adventurous arrival in Berlin at 2am at Schönefeld, but eventually the ladies were able to take a well-deserved night’s sleep in quiet Schöneberg, before tackling their busy schedule of meetings at the fair the next day.

Apparently the user friendliness test was passed with flying colors! They found the right things in the right drawers, they liked the big window and the solutions we adopted. Nutella and Wasa in the pantry were a welcome comfort food after their long hours in the aircraft stuck on the tarmac waiting for takeoff… 😀   I know the feeling!!!

The Ironed Curtain

CIMG0010

I hate watching TV in the afternoon, but the Giro d’Italia speeds through Friuli Venezia Giulia,  across the plains, and heads to my Triest! How beautiful to see views of the Adriatic Sea!

I also hate ironing, by the way.

But ironing my new Berlin curtains while watching the ciclisti speeding across the Karst along the Gulf of Triest is a must!

In Berlin there are no blinds. So if you want to sleep you need curtains. I do not particularly love them but I like my 8 hours of sleep.

I went to a professional Gardinen stylists to hear the prices. I was looking for a cotton, mature plum, contemporary fitted heavy curtain. They didn’t have exactly what I was looking for…they were bordering on bordeaux and that’s not my cup of tea. Anyway. Made to measure, consider Eur 810 for our tall and large bedroom window. Argh! More expensive than my sliding-doors white gorgeous IKEA wardrobe!

An emergency solution was needed. I had indeed spotted my favorite color with the nice metal eyelets in the curtain department at IKEA, but the size didn’t fit. But…you just need to buy 2 sets of curtains, and add those missing 30cm by sacrificing one set. The remaining curtain can be used to double up the fabric which hangs in front of the window, in order to make it even darker. The part which hangs in front of the heating does not need to be too thick, in order to let the heat through.

The mature plum color is quite neutral, for summer and winter. It fits very well with white and beige panaches, or with lime green and brown. With pinks and magenta, or with any shade of yellow. So there’s plenty of room for playing around with colors in the bedroom, and little constraints

They metal eyelets are very bauhaus and absolutely not romantic and fluffy. They fit with the very simple stucco on the ceiling. They are linear and practical, the curtain can slide fast on the rails and believe me, when the ceiling is 4-metre high, that helps.

IKEA arbitrage tip: purple Merete curtains are only available in Germany, not in Italy. The price in Italy is Eur 39,95. You will not be surprised to hear that the same product (declined in more colors) in Germany is only Eur 29.90. So, two sets for 60 Euro…and I love purple

just DIY it!

ivory-towel attitude

cimg0399

I admit, I am fond of haberdashery, DYI and papeterie. These were my favorite shops when I was a kid. In the 70s bricolage was all the rage and these were the shops I would visit together with mum or dad. Looking for the right tools to scrap paint from a wall, or for a new elastic textile-rubber waist band for the pajamas.

At that time you would repair things. So as a kid and teenager I helped in all sort of manual work in the house, except electric stuff and car maintenance where my job was limited to “hold this and don’t move”. This does not mean I was good at it or that I enjoyed all chores. I loved knitting but I hated embroidering. I loved gardening and I hated sand-papering wood planks.

It seems now that the only thing people need to “repair” is the skin (from our stressful lives, from the sun…). You buy buy buy and never do maintenance to objects or simply repair them.

Living in a flat is not so conducive to manual work (where do you store all the tools?) but there are some things that help us in focusing on MAKING things rather than buying them. The obvious one is cooking. Another one could be recycling.

So my latest recycling has something to do with haberdashery. When you merge two “homes” – MeinMann’s and mine, 10 years ago – you suffer from an overflow of stuff. Kilometers of excess white fluffy towels were stored away in boxes with cedar wood. So when it came to buying the stock of towels for The Flat in Berlin I resisted the temptation to grab the towels at IKEA, which was the easiest option, and rather trans-shipped our pristine excess inventory from Rome, courtesy of easyjet. More space in the wardrobe in Rome!

In order to make things easier when there will be friends staying at The Flat in Berlin and in order to have some fun, I popped down to one of the last haberdasheries of our Quartiere in Rome and bought the fantastic fettuccia. Yes, like fettuccine. It’s bias banding, a colored textile tape. Washing-machine safe.

Like glasses in a party, each couple of towels has been color-coded. It’s a fresher look, it costs 1,90 eur and it is practical, especially if you don’t like color towels, you have one bathroom to share and you don’t want it to look like a souk.

But the nice feeling is, you buy the tape by the 10cm, not by the meter or in a plastic conditioning. It’s fantastic to be able to buy as much stuff as you need, not an inch more. And to have your tapes wrapped in a tiny piece of paper. I love this feeling.

cimg0023

worm, chrysalis and butterfly…

cimg0197

This is the butterfly…a bedroom full of light, the bed facing an enormous double window overlooking the chestnut trees, new oak floor and travertino paint for the walls.

cimg0127…the necessary chrysalis…

cimg0023

And this was the ugly worm we bought…poor thing it was ugly but with lots of potential! This is the same room as above, here as a post-war kitchen.

Before the war each floor of this Altbau had just 2 enormous buergerlich flats, with chambres de bonne and the like. Each flat was then divided in 3 flats. Our worm – pardon, our Flat – didn’t have any bedroom, just a big living room with a bow-window, a kitchen and bath both with windows, and a roomy dark corridor for a total of 54sqm.

We torn the wall down (even if we never liked Reagan, we did as he said 😀 ) and transformed the neighbouring bath and kitchen into a nice bedroom with a superb double window.

So now The Flat has a double bedroom and, thanks to our architect, the living room goes back to its pre-war destination. (Er…what about kitchen and bathroom then?!)

Goldbären and Golia

cimg0345

Goldbären and Golia side by side. Goldbären for gemütlichkeit, Golia for simplicity. Goldbären because in Berlin the house is a shelter from the cold and the rain, like a cavern for the fatty bear. cimg0346

Golia because we need to remind ourselves that every object needs to have a precise function, and the only decorative items must be transient and lightweight, like a bunch of flowers, a colourful pillowcase, but furniture and walls need to remain plain and quite neutral, without constraints.

cimg0347

Goldbären because it’s süß, Golia because it’s strong…and both because I wanted to put something in the budget IKEA jars I had bought months ago!


Enter your email address to keep track of what's going on at AflatinBerlin - check your Inbox (and Junk mailbox too) to activate the subscription!

Join 10 other followers

Archives

Blog Stats

  • 37,653 hits