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A Lovely, Inviting Berlin Flat Decorated on a Small Budget

Tjena, hur är läget? Or perhaps I should say 'hallo, wie gehts?!' Since today I'm taking you on an apartment tour in one of my favourite cities: Berlin! Oh, how I love that German city - it's buzzing with creativity and has a really special vibe. This lovely apartment in the Prenzlauer Berg district belongs to 34-year-old fashion stylist Juliane who was born and raised in Berlin. Her flat occupies a building dating back to 1900 and is blessed with 3.5 metre ceilings and beautiful stucco. Juliane has been incredibly smart with her budget, sourcing many items on eBay or the high-street and loves to make regular updates. Here's a little more about Juliane's home, in her own words: 

Maison du Monde mirror, sofa from IKEA

What's your background?
I left home after I graduated in fashion design back in 2009. I lived in Rome, Italy between 2009-2010. After I came back, I worked as a fashion editor and then decided to work as a fashion stylist, and this is what I do today. 

Your fireplace is a real focal point - can you tell us more about it?
I always wanted a big fake fireplace and was looking for one on Amazon etc. But due to my small budget, especially at the beginning when I had just moved in, I bought a lot on eBay and a woman was giving away this fireplace for free! It's super big (130 cm x 130 cm) and wasn't painted. I used simple paint lacquer from hardware store Orb. Most people who visit my place think it's always been there. One of my friends wasn't convinced at the beginning and asked why I wanted something so big in my living room! But as soon as I added the colour and decorated it, she got the idea. It has also been green before, so who knows how long the blue will stay!

Fireplace before:
Fireplace in green:






"The green was also a simple mix from the hardware store. I love all the colour cards and it's actually quite cheap. Sure, I love Farrow & Ball but sometimes, cheap doesn't mean bad quality. And the good thing is you can match the lacquer with the exact same colour."

Fireplace today:


The wall has been painted in 'Hochzeitsblau' from the new heritage series by Schöner Wohnen 

Who do you live with?
I have no pets or anyone else living in my apartment. So, it's just me and exactly 19 plants. I'm always counting them when I water so I don't forget any of them!

A group of vases from H&M Home and Søstrene Grene make a lively display on the mantel piece. 

When did you move in?
I've lived in this flat since Summer 2018, it used to be my boss's apartment in fact. 



Are you inspired by a particular interior style?
It's hard to say what interior style I like the most, because for me, it's like fashion. I never wear the same outfit twice in a row. With my apartment it's the same. I love making changes: some new curtains here, and new pillows there. 


IKEA kitchen cabinets have been painted in Graphite chalk paint from Rustoleum

Where do you shop for items for your home?
I love going to fabric stores or markets. I also like to use things I bought for a different purpose. Last time I ended up using a curtain for a DIY project and gave my headboard a completely new look!

I'm not sure I've ever seen such a narrow bathroom! Did it present any decorating challenges? 
Hahaha, yes! It's actually quite typical for these old Berlin buildings. My parents tell me that back in the day, people didn't even have a shower - just a toilet and the shower was added later. In my old flat, the bathroom was bigger, but it had super ugly tiles in aubergine. So, I was glad at least, that this one is in simple white and beige. Where the shower is today used to be a little storage room with a connecting door to the kitchen.

When I first came to look at the bathroom, I knew it would be a real challenge and that I would have to act really smart. No super big wall cupboards etc. Pinterest helped me a lot. I decided to go for a simple mirror with a wooden shelf beneath which my dad built for me. When my four-year-old nephew first came to visit my flat one Christmas, he couldn't believe how narrow my bathroom is and whispered: "Your bathroom is super skinny! Santa won't fit in here."

Curtains from Zara Home, Storage from IKEA, side table found on Ebay. 

How is life in Berlin right now? 
Quarantine is a big word here at the moment. Today, some shops reopened but everyone has to wear a mask when we go to the supermarket etc. I do take some long walks outside or ride my bike, but I am very lucky to have a balcony with sun 24/7. 


Thank you so much for taking the time to tell us more about your home Juliane! Stay safe and well :)

****

I'm feeling really inspired by the fireplace idea. It just goes to show you don't need to spend an arm and a leg to create a fabulous focal point!

Is there anything that stood out to you?

If you're curious to see more pictures of Juliane's home, hop on over to her Instagram here: @ps_ihomeyou.

And how about peeking inside a few more Berlin homes today? Here are some of my all-time favourites:

The beautiful Berlin home and country retreat of Our Food Stories
Get the look from a serene family home in Berlin
A lovely understated, warm and inviting Berlin home

I can't wait to take my girls to this city, I've been planning it in my mind for years! Until then, I'll be taking inspiration from these lovely apartments and dreaming.

Have you ever visited Berlin?

Have a great start to the week friends!

Niki

Photography courtesy of Juliane / ps_ihomeyou

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A Serene Swedish Home In A Berlin Rental

I seem to have fallen into a phase of featuring homes of expat Scandinavians right now - and based on the messages in my inbox, I'm not the only one feeling inspired by them. So, today I thought I'd share the home of a Swede living in Berlin! Ellinor Belvén was born and raised on the island of Kungsholmen in the centre of Stockholm. Ellinor moved to Berlin around 8 years ago and founded SALTY Interiors with her friend Annetta in 2016. I caught up with her to find out more about her home, her journey to becoming an interior designer and how living abroad has influenced her style. Welcome to Ellinor's world! 

Have you always wanted to be an interior designer?
Ever since I was a child, I was exposed to art and music. I started singing in a choir at the age of 6 and continued my journey in music schools all the way up to high school. In addition to the music, I had lots of interaction with architecture and interior styling, as family members were working in the field. Leaving the music path however, I started a new journey into the business administration field with my University degree (Master's in Business Administration & Economics). I worked a few years with numbers, but soon felt a great need of surrounding myself in a creative atmosphere again. And so, after moving to Berlin, I was able to combine my financial skills with the creative, and I worked as a buyer in the e-commerce interior market. This opened up new possibilities, and in 2016 I quit my day job and created SALTY Interiors with my friend Annetta. We have been running our SALTY business for 4 years now and are really happy to see the success we’ve achieved. All those long hard hours are so worth it!

Can you tell us a little more about SALTY Interiors?
SALTY Interiors is a creative agency specialised in interior architecture and visual content creation. We work closely with private clients, interior brands as well as real estate agencies to provide expertise in every work field. We are passionate about creating comfortable and beautiful spaces, working with natural and sustainable materials, as well as keeping the aesthetics light with a minimalistic warm touch. Annetta & Ellinor; both coming from Nordic countries (Iceland & Sweden), we were raised surrounded by design and a general understanding about form and interior style. With a background in interior sourcing & buying we started our business in 2016 and since then we have combined our strength in buying and our desire to create. We look at each project like an empty canvas and an opportunity to create something unique.  

Your home is beautiful, when was it built?
I moved into this beautiful “Altbau-wohnung” (the name in German), which is a house built sometime before the 1930’s. It has the typical “Altbau-features” like high ceiling (approx 3.30m), stucco and ornamented double doors between the two big connected rooms. It’s a 2 room + kitchen apartment, which measures around 75 sqm.
  

How did you approach the interior? 
Since it’s a rental flat, I didn't want to put in too much money into renovation, so I simply did what I could with a small budget. That meant a lot of time spent painting walls! In the two big rooms (living room and bedroom) I have painted the walls in 4 colours, all very different, but still coherent with one another. In the living room I have warm grey on three walls and deep forest green on one wall, and in the bedroom three walls of beige, and one wall of dusty pink. Since the rooms are connected with the double doors, it was important that the colours fit together, in any way you turn your head.









Would you say your style is still very much Scandinavian or have you been influenced by German / Berlin style? 
I would say my style is very Scandinavian. The one element that I love about the German/Berliner mindset however, is that people would prefer to give away old furniture than throw it away, which means that there is furniture on the street (“Zu Verschenken” - to give away) everywhere. I have several pieces of furniture in my flat that I found this way, my kitchen table and bed headboard for example.

Table from Nor11, sculpture by Kristiina, Cooee 'pastille' vase

Despite being fairly minimalist, your home still looks lovely and cosy, how did you achieve this? 
It’s very important to me that my home feels cosy and inviting. I want to be able to relax and feel at ease, and safe in my space. I work a lot with coherent colourways (as already mentioned) and a lot of textiles make any room feel more comfortable. I also love plants and have lots of them on every windowsill and on every table. 


Where do you shop for pieces for your home?
I use a lot of different sources for my interior pieces, either it’s brands that I work with, old furniture that I brought from Sweden when I moved, or I find furniture on the streets of Berlin. But of course, I have my fair share of IKEA furniture too. The trick is to mix old and new and make it your own style. 

And finally, can you share your favourite interior instagrams with us? 

What a lovely, calm home! 

I love the idea of finding items out on the street - they leave pieces out like that in Copenhagen too, but sadly not in Malmö. Do they do this in your city? It must save so much hassle - and also reinforces the idea that one man's trash is another man's treasure! 

Got a mo? See more pictures of Ellinor's home on the SALTY Interiors instagram feed and the latest swoon-worthy projects by SALTY Interiors here

Other beautiful Berlin homes:


Have a great day - halfway there folks! Wooop! 

Niki

Photography courtesy of SALTY Interiors

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The Beautiful Berlin flat and Country Retreat of Our Food Stories

Do you have a favourite creative you follow? A person or company where everything they share is simply breathtaking? Culinary-wise, mine is Our Food Stories. And judging by their almost 1 million followers on instagram, I'm not alone! I was crazily excited to catch up with Nora and Laura, the creative duo behind the brand to find out more about their recipes and work, how to achieve that 'moody' visual aesthetic, Design Tales and their beautiful abodes.



What a pleasure to feature you on MSH. We'd love to hear a little more about who you are and what you do?
We work as a photographer and food stylist. Laura studied photography and Nora actually fashion design. We have work together on our brand 'Our Food Stories' for almost 5 years and love it! Since we have a huge passion for design we decided to start an interior-Instagram Account as well. When we are not in our studio in Berlin, we love to photograph productions in our second home in the countryside, close to Berlin.

I love what you guys are doing creatively with Our Food Stories. Where did your passion for food / cooking come from?
We have both always loved good food! But when we met, it was really difficult to go out for dinner together, as Laura has so many food intolerances. So we started cooking together instead and had so much fun developing new recipes. Just before Laura finished her studies, we decided to share our recipes and pictures on a blog and we've never looked back.


What inspires your recipes / shoots?
Ingredients-wise we often get inspired by the changing seasons. And from the photographic point of view we love to roam in the countryside to find hidden corners at a lake or in the woods and these spots and memories always inspire us for dreamy photo shootings.


You have a very distinct photographic style when it comes to food photography - how did this develop? 
Thank you!! It just came naturally. When we started photographing food, our style was actually quite bright and clean, as we photographed only in our kitchen at home in Berlin. Quite soon we needed more space though and had the possibility to use Laura’s fathers house in the countryside for a while as a studio, as he didn’t used it during that time that much. There the light was more moody, we had plenty of old rustic tables and always found some interesting wooden boards in the garden. So our style changed of course!

This yummy looking gluten-free pumpkin seed berry cake features in their book Dialogues.

Do you have any advice to anyone looking to recreate the same dark, atmospheric look in their own photography?
 We are huge fans of natural light photography. So if you want to create this moody look, we would suggest shooting in a room with a small window and without direct sunlight. You can also use a black background, but you don’t even need that, if you just watch the light and get a feeling for it, when it’s best and at which time it helps you to create the effect that you want.

Do you each have your own skill set, if so how do you tend to divide tasks?
We always develop the recipes together. But Nora always cooks, I’m cleaning in between :) and then we do the styling together and I shoot the pictures. But the photo shooting process is always a moment where we work together. 


Seasonal recipes like this glutenfree pear cake can be found over on the Our Food Stories blog.
You divide your time between two (beautiful!) homes, can you tell us more about them?
Thanks a lot! We have a flat in Berlin which is close to our studio. Our countryside space, is a little flat in the house of friends, which we completely renovated. It’s so wonderful to live in a house with them, we're very grateful for this! Together we share a wonderful garden, which is our all time favorite photo shooting spot during summer.


Laura & Nora's Berlin apartment is near to their fabulous studio where a lot of the the culinary /photographic magic happens. Because of the creative chaos that often comes with photo shoots (although looking at the pictures, that's hard to imagine!) the pair like to keep their home pared-back and calm. Enjoy the tour!


"We love the mix between old and new things! Our home in Berlin is more modern, with new danish design interiors." 






GET THE LOOK







Laura & Nora completely renovated their two room flat in the countryside just outside Berlin from scratch. It's part of a larger house owned by friends and offers a completely different creative setting for their work. Let's take a peek inside...



"Our home in the countryside is more rustic, but also with a modern influence."





The pair recently renovated their kitchen in the country and opted for the black METOD-LAXARBY kitchen from IKEA. There's a great write-up about it and before and after pictures here.

Laura and Nora's fluffy friends Collin & Carry often make an appearance on Our Food Stories and Design Tales. They're super cute (and looking very mischevous in this picture, don't you think?!

 "The way we choose the style of the interior comes quite naturally and is also kind of indirectly dominated (in a good way) by the space itself, its aura and its architectural character."


"We try to create a calm and relaxing atmosphere at home and this is what we love most! We have so much chaos during photo shootings, that we value a calm yet cozy home a lot!" 




GET THE LOOK:

1. FRAMA shelf library desk / 2. Taccia table lamp / 3. Aesop soap / 4. By Mölle linen bedding
/ 5. &Tradition Fly sofa / 6. Industrial pendant lamp / 7. Aure print / 8. Vintage chopping boards
9. Tea towel / 10. Industrial scissor lamp /11. Silke Bonde 'dew' art print / 12. Saxe chair By Lassen
13. Marshall speakers

If you loved their homes as much as I do, and don't already follow their blog  Our Food Stories and instagram feeds @ourfoodstories and @designtales - they're a must!! Who knows, you might even feel inspired to whip up a plum pie this evening (although I can't imagine mine looking quite like theirs!). You might also be excited to hear they have a book out too:





"Our book 'Dialogues' is a collaboration with Frama Cph. We love their work and have a lot of their beautiful furniture in our home. To work on a book together was such a great experience! The book is a mix of interior/design content and recipes and we hope, that it will be inspiring for others!"


Dialogues is available here.

Thank you so much for sharing your trade secrets and beautiful abodes with us Nora and Laura!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and see you Monday!

Niki

PS I can't wait to get out in the knee-deep snow (such a kid!).


PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF ©OUR FOOD STORIES.

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