When I first went into this apartment I gasped the little sigh of “yey”, this is the Europe
I dreamed of. These are the kind of timeless gems I have seen in films, the ones advertising agencies try to recreate to sell furniture and the ones that draw the British and Americans to Europe for these enormous romantic spaces.
Johanna, is a press agent for Schaubuhne, one of Berlin’s most cutting edge theatres, and Andreas an art director/ picture researcher/ photographers agent (no one really knows, even he, he says modestly, what he actually does); suffice it to say that Mario Testino is one of his nearest and dearest and he jets of to New York, Japan, Paris, Zurich, Vienna and London for work. Johanna spent a year living in Florence and speaks perfect Italian and together, as well as raising three beautiful kids, they produce a yearly travel magazine called Il Paradiso.
This duo, and their home, really epitomises for me a Europe I love. A Europe where almost everyone speaks a minimum of three languages, where apartments are filled with huge windows, high ceilings, herringbone floors and natural light; and where the style is a mix of one-off design pieces, thrown in with handed-down gems and flea market finds. This place has all of that, but the whole thing seems so underplayed and elegant.
The yellow spinning chair, which sits in the window, is a reupholstered Gio Ponti; there is a black leather Le Corbusier sitting in the entrance; the low slung corner sofa has been providing a jumping board for kids, a reclining delight for visitors and a cosy vibe for Andreas since he was a student and now for his whole family for over ten years; the chairs around the table come from Johanna’s father’s doctor’s surgery in Hamburg and there is a beautiful scuffed leather Eames in their room, below (just visible behind the red ball).
And this cabinet, above, looks like a masterpiece of mid-century design!