Contemporary Meets Art Nouveau Architecture in West Berlin

Contemporary Meets Art Nouveau Architecture in West Berlin

Abe Martinez
Jun 29, 2016
(Image credit: Abe Martinez )

Name: Clare, Jakob and baby Nikolai
Location: West Berlin, Germany
Size: 122 square meters (1313 square feet)
Years lived in: 2 years

Jakob and Clare moved into this West Berlin home a couple of years ago, and have since added little Nikolai to the family! Light-filled rooms and tall ceilings are balanced with a contemporary mix of furnishings and stunning architectural detail. Clare, a collage artist, has added to the loveliness by making sure the walls are adorned with both her artwork and the talent of their close friends.

Clare writes: "We moved to Berlin in 2014 from Los Angeles. Our apartment is on the top floor of an old Art Nouveau building in West Berlin. The building is a historical monument and the detailing is incredible, including original moulding and stained glass. It has been renovated to its original beauty."

(Image credit: Abe Martinez )

Clare points to Berlin itself as a big source of inspiration for the design of her home, but she also finds inspiration from a more specific source: "...the Bauhaus archive! It's so rad. Such timeless and yet revolutionary design. I just want to pick up the exhibits, haul them into a truck, and take them home. They still look contemporary and perfect—almost 100 years later."

(Image credit: Abe Martinez )

Much of the home features a soft, calming neutral palette, but two surprising sources of color are architectural. The bathroom features bright green tile that was restored to its original, historic hue. In the living room, a bold cobalt blue tile furnace is another reminder of the home's past.

The only drawback, as with many older spaces, is the lack of storage. In fact there are no closets to be seen in the whole apartment. The family has compensated for this by using the space under their bed and adding two external dressers in the master bedroom.

(Image credit: Abe Martinez )

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: Mid-century/Contemporary

Inspiration: The city itself

Favorite Element: The windows and high ceilings

Biggest Challenge: No closets

What Friends Say: Comfortable and inviting, that it reflects us

Biggest Indulgence: The black imitation Eames chair

Best Advice: Go slow, use the space

Dream Sources: Design Within Reach, Etsy, homemade ceramics, wall tapestry

(Image credit: Abe Martinez )

Thanks, Clare and Jakob! (And special thanks to Jenny Carlson for her German language expertise.)

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