Former New Yorkers Land in a Beautiful Berlin Apartment (And Learn You Have to BYO Kitchen) — House Call
Name: Alana, her partner and cat
Location: Berlin, Germany
The basics: 9 months, rented | 1,800 square feet
Seeking a slower pace and a bit more space, Alana and her partner relocated from New York to Berlin. They found this airy stunner and set about making it the perfect place to work, entertain and relax.
Tell us a little (or a lot) about your home and the people who live there: I live with my partner, Adam, and our awesome cat Olive. We all lived together in New York for about a decade, and Berlin is our escape to peace, quiet, patio space and cheap beer!
What is your favorite room and why? Although I think other rooms in our apartment might be more thoroughly ‘designed,’ or furnished, our kitchen is absolutely our favorite place. It’s the first time in our life where we’ve had a table that can really sit a nice, big dinner party full of friends or family. We used to have dinner parties in New York, but everyone always sat hunched over their plates on our sofa. We love to cook and entertain, and this is fulfilling a major dream of ours – plus, there’s space for dancing! Also, when we moved into the apartment, the kitchen was just an empty room. In Germany, it’s common for people to ‘bring their own’ kitchen (!), so we had to design this ourselves. Even though it’s IKEA, it still brings me a lot of satisfaction knowing we planned that out.
If you could magically change something about your home, what would it be? Honestly, it’s hard to complain about this space. That said, there’s a word in Berlin that describes a sweet little neighborhood as a ‘kiez.’ You know, you walk outside and there are cobble stoned streets and cafes. We’re in a more central location so don’t have a kiez right outside, but can access lots of them very easily. If I could change one thing, it would be to take this amazing space and place it on the cutest, quietest, quaintest street in the city.
Which fictional character would be most at home in your place? Ha! This is a hard question. Adam and I really love to host so I’d like to think we could make anyone feel at home.
Alana’s words of wisdom: It doesn’t have to break the bank. I love sourcing beautiful things online and there are great second hand communities like Etsy or eBay that if you know what you’re looking for, can make decorating a dream.
Also, Pinterest! If you’re looking for a specific lamp, or faucet, or paint color, or tile, just search for it on Pinterest. You’ll find all sorts of inspiration and sources. A dream!
My other piece of advice is to start with the rugs, but that’s just my own personal strategy for getting started. I always feel like a rug grounds the room, sets the tone, and gives you a palette to play with.
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