Posts Tagged 'gemuetlich'



sleeping in

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Last weekend, first night in the flat! The flat needs still a bit of work on the storage units, so there are still tools and paint around the living room. But bathroom, kitchen and bedroom were up and running. And anyway, no hotel or B&B had been booked…so I would have slept in the flat no matter the situation.

Tests were ok and with flying colours…

Opting for a big shower (2m x 1m) rather for a bathtube was definitely a good idea, especially with the rainshower set. The snowy and icy cold weather in Berlin provided the ideal test also for the heating system below the dark anthracite grey tiles of the bathroom. It’s a pleasure to walk barefoot on something very similar to stones warmed by the sun. Our personal zero tolerance for bathroom furniture – except from a built-in small cabinet – also gives to the bathroom a nice mineral feeling, quite warm thank you to the mixed use of mosaic and milky-white tiles on the walls.

The kitchen test was limited to a good cup of tea as I had not bought groceries…in the picture you see a gorgeous constructivist-looking IKEA teapot. I bought the bold zinc letters forming our logo (RC)^2 last summer in NYC at the Anthropology store on Madison. Oh boy, at that time we just had the keys of the flat and the project was just a sketch done on the table of our favorite roman pizzeria while brainstorming with our architect. I can’t believe that sketch is now reality…

The living room hosted still a bit of work in progress, but it’s the only room which retained its original destination, albeit slightly modified by the disguised presence of the kitchen and by a mimetic mezzanine. The Rundbogenfenster – sort of bow window – was refurbished but untouched. A kind neighbor who lived 1945 in this Altbau building said that we are lucky to be on the front side of the building, which was not damaged by bombs and this explains the fact that these windows are only present on one side of the house. As the oak original flooring and ancient bamboo internal ceiling structure.

The bedroom is fully furnished even if curtains are badly needed in order to guarantee some quiet sleep, the 2 windows are indeed big and flood the room with light.

My brother and I bought a small radio-alarm clock in order to have some familiar noises around us. We were surprised by how silent the flat is, good 1900’s isolation, I suppose. We could hear steps on the kerb covered with icy snow during the night.

I hope that on the next trip MeinMann will be able to join me to Berlin, to see the result! He found this flat during our second flat-hunting campaign, back in november 2007, we signed the contract together in december 2007 and since June 2008 – when we finally got the keys – it’s been my task to commute monthly to Berlin.

I am now on first-name terms with a few cafe-keepers and shop assistants, I’ve found out what I can get at Aldi and what deserves a trip to Kaiser, learned the ropes on the comprehensive pillow offer in Germany, become an expert in return Blitztrips to IKEA in under 1 hour…the Kiez is my oyster.

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I am looking forward to enjoying together the Gemuetlichkeit* of our flat, after all this busy-bee activity and all the research and big and small decisions. We deserve at last some farniente in Schoeneberg, going to the market in Winterfeldplatz, buying a Bund of flowers or listening to a nice record at home…

*=something more than cozy…warm, intimate, comfortable, good to stay in…something that cats master very well as you can imagine

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The Flat is almost ready!

Well, our goal was to be ready for the Berlinale…we’re almost there!

I was in Berlin at the beginning of the week and we just need to finalize the storage in the corridor, plus buy and fix the washing-drying machine, but all in all the Flat is ready!

I also met a new neighbour who just started her renovation…we had a good chat on bathroom tiles, old windows and optimal resizing of those awkward post-war floor plans!

It’s a pity we will not be able to be in Berlin for the Berlinale though…but just a few days later. So, it will be soon Cleaning Time, taking away that fine invisible dust, placing the brand, new furniture at the right angle, starting to work on the lights, unpacking cutlery, pots and pans, cups and glasses. And the Samovar!! The soul of the flat…

Textiles were purchased in Rome at the Fiera del Bianco in january, very nice and very good value for money…a luggage full of linen and pillow cases in fantastic hues.

We are indeed satisfied. The prussian soul of the flat is now showing all its potential and the high ceilings are fabulous, still we applied the good Bauhaus rules and with its clean lines, the flat now looks liveable and warm, as though it had always been like this. Gemuetlich, precisely.

The best part of it!

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Photo: Stripedcat (taken in a Berlin B&B last summer…)

Over the past two years we’ve been fantasizing about how to furnish our flat…we bought countless books (also more serious ones than the one pictured here!) and german interior decoration magazines, especially during our KaDeWe grocery trips…

So Christmas will be spent in Rome, cosy cosy, lazy lazy, busy busy with new plans for our new Berlin flat!

Merry Christmas!

Sense and sensibility

Verkauf dich nicht,
Berlin,
Jung bist du nicht,
Du alterst so schnell

It’s not just about investing. The Herald Tribune article did trigger our curiosity and investigation on the prices of property in Berlin. But there are countless places which seemed “undervalued” and full of potential, especially looking east. Yet, we would not buy our flat anywhere.

Berlin means something to us. It’s a town who shows the scars of history.

Like Triest, on the hedge of history and on the border between two words for decades. Places where the word “across” meant so much. Gorizia and its wall.

It’s simple. We feel gemuetlich, like in Caffe’ San Marco.

In Berlin we feel at home.


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