From chaos to calm, Weserstrasse, Berlin

This beautiful space in Weserstrasse was not anywhere near being used to its full potential. The rooms were overwhelmed by clutter and life, a life well lived that didn’t have time for being re-designed. It’s often the case in Berlin that people move in as a couple and end up as a family, with no time in between to reflect, or create space.

The interior project involved aiding and abetting the family’s busy lifestyle; creating calm zones, implementing systems, warming up the sharpness and easing the feeling of dredge that had come from the clutter. Through the harmony of space, zones and colour. Even simple changes like repainting and organising this cabinet made huge differences and increased the feeling of calm.

This lovely cabinet had been half painted, badly. It was bulging at the seams with stuff and the top of it had become a dumping ground for things with nowhere else to go. So we started again. A nice uniform cottage white paint and a cluster of potted plants on top transformed it completely.

Here is a snippet of the how things looked before, below.

The wall behind the sofa was covered with a pebbledash wallpaper that we scrapped off to reveal lovely smooth walls. I decided to lean towards soft grey/blue tones, with a lighter shade for behind the sofa and a darker richer tone in the corridor. I have used this blue with so many projects, as it’s a safe and elegant bet, and extremely calming.

The dark blue walls in the corridor created a kind of framed edge around the sofa area which was further enhanced by the door frames opening into one another. The inexpensive but old Ikea light was given a lick of paint to freshen it up. 

The art is a mismatch of Cocobird designs, kids’ footprints, a treasured poster and some special drawings from the past. We used the frames Rosa already had, and gathered some of her favourite pieces which were also hung in the hallway.  

The Art corner was another success. At the other end of the kitchen this corner was a scuffed dirty white, from years of overuse, spilt coffee, parties and becoming the recycling and scribbling area.

Seeing as the children always want to be where the adults are I decided to reinvent it
as an art corner and paint the walls black with chalk paint. 

We made a little desk from simple wooden drawers, from the hardware shop, which we painted. Even the pipes and radiator got a lick of paint, so as to really freshen up a neglected area.

The corridor was a huge challenge. As you can see below, it needed turning from a cluttered gangway into a room of its own and I think we managed that.

The ceilings were very low so we took the risk of knocking them down and to our joy discovered very high ceilings. It was a lot of mess and the whole place needed re-plastering and re-wiring. But the high ceilings changed everything. The laminate floors were ripped up, and although below, some of the wood was nice, it was not good enough to use so new planks of wood were laid, and varnished. 

I decided that Farrow & Ball’s deep Stiffkey Blue paint (inspired by Eva and Ant’s living room wall colour) was modern and cool, but also cosy. It made the corridor which is relatively wide and now with new high ceilings felt more spacious, become a place of its own, as opposed to a passing through zone. The William Morris wallpaper (similar to the one used in Ritterstrasse) added an old English charm. The clients Rosa and Loki are an English/German couple and this was in-keeping with their love of the countryside and cooking and combined the idea of a cosy English, as well as modern, European home.

Using everything we could find we tied to add a kind of fun and vibrancy to the previously dark corridor.

The door was painted a white, and freshened up the previously unnoticed yellowing door. The mirror was a street find that has a mini light in it and worked perfectly in the entrance, and I used some art to hide the cabling and electricity box.  

Finding solutions to simple problems is often the case in these projects!

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