“When I bought this apartment 10 years ago, the view outside was just bare concrete.”
But, being charmed by this quiet street and neighborhood in the Prenzlauer Berg area of Berlin, the decision was made to take a chance. And as the area developed and evolved, the optimism paid off. The previous view of concrete is now a charming landscaped courtyard, and sunshine streams into the space.
After the long standing renters outgrew the apartment and gave their notice, my client decided it was time to renovate and update the interiors.
The vision was to revive the original architectural details of this ‘Gründerzeit’ pre-war apartment from the early 1900s and contrast these with classic design pieces.
The old “Raufaser” textured wallpaper was removed and the walls sanded and smoothed allowing for more reflection and light. New cast iron radiators with beautiful patterns replaced the plain, standard box wall radiators. The original floors which had been covered in laminate were unfortunately too damaged to save. Instead, large oak planks were combined with tall skirting boards (baseboards in North America) throughout the apartment.
With a 60 m² / 645 sq. ft floor plan, the only way was up. Custom cabinetry designed by Christine White Design was built and installed by the craftsmen at Raumprojekt in almost every room. Clever solutions like the slim format washing machine tucked behind doors in the bathroom cabinetry and replacing the ancient bathtub with a modern shower helped to save space.
In order to create a comfortable and functional work and living space in the main room, wall mounted shelving was installed to house a large library of books. The classic Arne Jacobsen Society desk makes working from home a pleasure.
Ceiling high, minimalist cabinets in the kitchen allow for ample storage while the seating area by the window is complimented by the elegant form of Eero Saarinen’s Tulip Table.
A mix of ceiling, wall and suspended lighting highlights the 3.7 m / 12 ft high ceilings and facilitates the right illumination for every occasion.
Sometimes it takes faith, hope, optimisim and belief to envision what can become of a property 10 years into the future.