Posts Tagged 'IKEA'

…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!

love at first light

I had been looking – unsuccessfully so far  – for bauhaus lamps during my latest weekends in Berlin. But this time round I badly needed to get some lamps in the living room. We need enlightment during our berliner weekends…


Unconvinced I went to the IKEA round the corner. I had seen a number of times their lamps offer and nothing really inspired me. Älang looked too late-1990s. Stockholm had nothing to do with the flat and was too shiny. The cone-shaped lamps look too IKEA to feel real. I think IKEA has some great pieces of design, but I don’t want to feel like I’m living in a catalogue.

So I thought to get some cheap paper Noguchi-style lamps, such as Storm, in order to solve the problem with an emergency solution and look for proper lamps with more time on my hands.

But then, I came across a new design, which was not yet on the paper catalogue I had perused on the plane. It was the perfect product! Heavy it was, made of metal, mat finish, and that sounded good…with a”capsized wok” shape which I found very functional and yes, very bauhaus.

The other bauhaus thing is the dimmer. A beautiful, functional, simple steel button very visible and easy to find, not those hideous plastic sliding boxy switches getting in the way on the floor (even classy Artemide makes such mis-bauhaus mistakes), or those very anglo nasty little hard levers hidden too close to the lightbulb.

So these lamps did respond to a few basic bauhaus rules of thumb, and I got the standing and the table versions. In black. Drop-dead gorgeous. Almost broke my back carrying them around in the store but hey I had found the perfect lamps!


The quality of light is golden and warm, which complements the masculine and serious shape of the lamp. The designers A. Nilsson/H. Preutz/T. Eliasson in my opinion wanted definitely to honour the 80th anniversary of bauhaus with this product. And even if this is not true, it shows that sometimes, waiting for the right encounter pays back. Love at first light.


IKEA arbitrageurs: this lamp is more expensive in Germany than in Italy. We discussed on this blog already about price discrepancies at IKEA and so far I had spotted that kitchens and curtains were much more expensive in Italy. Probably for lamps the elasticity of demand is lower in Germany than in Italy?

The Ironed Curtain


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

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