Photographer and blogger Jules used to run a vintage stall at Berlin’s well-known Mauerpark flea market, where she developed her love of interesting objects and keepsakes. ‘Our home isn’t typically German,’ she says. ‘It would be nice to think of myself as a minimalist, but the truth is that if there aren’t plants and interesting books in a home, I feel something’s missing.’ She invites us to spend a day in her personal and welcoming family home.
We live… in a 97m2 apartment in an old building in Berlin. My partner Alhadj, our son Justus (seven), and I have lived here for five years.
A home needs a soul… Even if you live in a rental, find ways to make it reflect your spirit. Finding your own style is a journey that’s not always easy, but it’s cool.
I call our style… vintage meets Scandi.
Don’t get caught up in trends, let your home show who you are! ‘Home should be somewhere you can be yourself,’ says Jules. ‘I like to mix IKEA with personal things I’ve collected along the way. Everything has a small story to tell.’
Even if you don’t have time to sit down together for every meal, set up a table so it’s easy for everyone to share a dinner whenever you can. Jules’ family are often too busy during the week to have meals at the table, but they make a habit of sitting down for breakfast together every Sunday. ‘It’s important to have small rituals when we can all switch off and just enjoy each other without distractions – no work, no computers and no pressure to go anywhere,’ says Jules.
Even in a rented home, you can still find ways to update a kitchen. Use textiles to hide what you don’t want to see, or add boxes and rails to make the space really practical. ‘Our kitchen is small and very studenty,’ says Jules. ‘In an ideal world, I’d like to redo it and add display cabinets for my vintage plates, but we make what we have work for us.’
Give your sleeping space as much character as every other room with a picture wall above the bed. ‘I’m not a big traveller – I love sleeping in my own bed too much – so my bedroom needs to feel really special to me, says Jules. ‘The collection of vintage pictures and plates I’ve found over the years does that.’
Let the outdoors into your home with indoor plants, freshly cut greenery and botanical prints. ‘When you live in the city without any outdoor space, it’s nice to stay in touch with nature. I find plants calming and beautiful, so we have some in every room,’ says Jules.
Encourage kids to take the lead in designing their own bedroom. With wooden furniture and neutral coloured walls as a base, Justus has decorated his room with his favourite posters, maps and plants. ‘We wanted to give Justus a room he can grow up with, so that he can keep updating it and have a cool space to hang out in as he gets older,’ says Jules.
Jules has turned her rented apartment into a personal space for the whole family. Five years after moving in, it has everything she and her family need – a kitchen that’s just big enough for a weekly sit-down dinner, plenty of indoor plants instead of a garden outside, and a collection of keepsakes that make every room feel like home.
Photography: Polly Wreford
Styling: Abigail Edwards
Follow Jules at herzundblut.com