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Freunde von Freunden

My friend Jeannette reminded me of this great interiors/lifestyle site based in Berlin called Freunde von Freunden that I’ve been meaning to tell you about for months. If you’re curious to see how lots of creative people live and work in Berlin, this site is for you. There are interviews (some of them in English), video, and most importantly — lots of inspiring interiors to enjoy. I think you may like seeing what old German city apartments look like — at least in the altbau buildings (photos of them are here thanks to Google images) – which basically means “old building” in English but goes a bit beyond that as I’ll get into below…

Freunde von Freunden

The altbau is typically very charming as many are Jugenstil dating back to around the 1900’s; I live in an altbau and some of the features in my building include huge windows, a balcony, soaring ceilings and original wood floors — some of us are lucky to have the herringbone hardwood floors which are quite handsome. Also the building entryways are typically grand and very large. Unfortunately, just like old buildings in the states, landlords tend to modernize them by removing the beautiful old details to install more “functional” and very typical things like boring bathroom tiles (replacing the gorgeous old tile), but if one is lucky enough they can still find an altbau apartment that has many of the original details still intact.

Freunde von Freunden

I laughed when I saw this bathroom above. These windows are so typical here in most of the government buildings, law firms, doctor’s offices, museums, etc. I guess that this could be only in the big cities, but in my city many old buildings are occupied by businesses. The bathroom above looks just like the one where I had to go to sign off on some paperwork recently. I don’t know, I love these bathrooms. Whenever I am in old buildings I want to photograph the bathrooms. Strange hang up of mine. Perhaps I should do it? Hmmm…

Freunde von Freunden

I totally love this kitchen. It’s feminine but not too much… Someday I will have either vintage Belgium or Portuguese tile in my kitchen OR hardwood floors. Help me to get rich and famous so I can fulfill my dying wish, please? Thank you. :)

Freunde von Freunden

Oh I like the built-in shelving in this kitchen above and that print, yes, that is a great one. Did you notice the detailing on that antique cabinet? I bet a husband somewhere just about died when his dear frau painted that cabinet white, but honestly I’ve seen them in their original state (regular wood) and they just don’t have the same sex appeal. I know, I know, antiques lovers everywhere are cringing as I speak…

But back to Freunde von Freunden, it’s a terrific site founded by Berliners Frederik Frede and Tim Seifert with beautiful photographs taken by Ailine Liefeld. Some say it is like The Selby, but I don’t see that — I find it to be a different experience entirely. FvF focuses on featuring those who are creative and working in creative industries and not so much on hipsters or how edgy one can be…  or how racy even… Though I love The Selby it really does focus on the uber hip which is why we love it whereas FvF tends to tap more into real people and they dig deep into the world of those featured, capturing some of their life through video (not all, but some) and it is Berlin-focused so the local content is especially nice for those who are either living elsewhere but are Berlin-curious or who live in Berlin or nearby, like me, and have no clue who really works and lives in Berlin because like any big city, it’s often hard to find other creative types and typically you either find them at parties, exhibitions or online — at least that is how I find others who are working in creative industries.

Freunde von Freunden

Freunde von Freunden

Freunde von Freunden

You can ask anyone in my life and they’ll tell you that I have wanted a black Kit Kat clock (I call it a Felix clock) since I was 18 years old and saw one in the home of my friend in Boston. I can’t believe I still don’t own one. This photo above sent me over the edge, I may just have to hunt one down… I wish someone would buy the rights and reproduce them in ceramic (the one above is plastic) without the jeweled eyes (the vintage ones are ceramic with jeweled eyes).

There are so many amazing people who live in this fascinating city and because it is still so affordable, it continues to draw artists and dreamers from all over the world which is exciting because it’s rare to find a city that has beautiful property left that is also in good neighborhoods and affordable! Plus, Berlin is great for families and lots of the apartments are quite large so there is room to spread out a bit. I like that for many of the FvF interviews, they show the workspace of the person interviewed, which often means showing two separate spaces — the living space and the office or atelier. They recently interviewed an American artist living in Berlin, Kelsey Brookes, and I found the way he got into art so fascinating and since the interview is in English, I encourage you to read it here because it’s pretty inspiring how this guy found his calling.

Freunde von Freunden

Freunde von Freunden

I want glass domes and a mirror like that, don’t you?

Freunde von Freunden

The photos throughout this post are some of my personal favorites, though you really need to dig in and spend time on Freunde von Freunden because it is a great way to blow off a few hours. :) I am now a regular Freunde von Freunden reader and look forward to seeing who will be featured next.

P.S. This site made me realize that the author of those Japanese Paumes books need to do a Berlin interiors book, huh? I mean, there is none for Berlin yet and why? I haven’t the slightest clue… Especially after visiting this site!

(images: Freunde von Freunden and Ailine Liefeld)

Posted in Decorating Tips on January 06, 2011

Have Cake Will Travel Blog

One of my readers over at haus maus, artist Nicomi Nix Turner, left me a great link to a food blog called Have Cake, Will Travel. Have you seen this gem of a site? If you are dieting, you may not want to, but hey, the photography is very inspirational so just focus on that — the lighting and angles and props as you try not to notice the amazing food. :)

Have Cake, Will Travel

Have Cake, Will Travel

Have Cake, Will Travel was founded and is written by foodie Celine Steen who was born in Switzerland but currently resides in California. Her blog focuses on mostly vegan recipes and she prefers taking photos of her yummy concoctions in natural morning light with her Nikon D700, fitted with a 50mm f/1.4 lens. I love when photographers reveal what equipment they’re using… but even more so, when they share the beauty that comes from their soul through a lens. Magic.

(images:celine steen)

Posted in Bloggers on January 05, 2011

Photographer Melanie Acevedo

As I was writing 8 Interiors Books On My Wish List For 2011 on Real Simple earlier today, I bumped into the online photography portfolio of Melanie Acevedo and had my own little swoon party at my desk. Ah, yes — Melanie Acevedo, that Melanie… the one who shot tons of interiors for Domino magazine. Here are a few favorites of mine, though you simply must see her site for many more inspirational images that you’re sure to love.

Photographer Melanie Acevedo

Her website is this gorgeous space where you can spend lots of time being dazzled and ooo-ahhhed. You can also walk away feeling a little bit uncool because it seems her clients are either famous, rich, gorgeous or all of the above but that is the magic of a great photographer so perhaps if Melanie shot an image of you at home it would be equally stunning.

Photographer Melanie Acevedo

Photographer Melanie Acevedo

What a great way to kick off 2011 — with gorgeous rooms and inspiring homes by the oh-so-talented Ms. Acevedo.

(images: melanie acevedo)

Posted in Inspiration on January 05, 2011

Let Us Hope

Well hello there lovely people in blogland, how are ya? Happy 2011! I can’t believe we’re here, we just stepped through the door into a new year and I’m ready to rock ‘n roll though I had a slow start thanks to so many late nights – my schedule is totally out of sync and though I’ve not traveled lately, I feel jet-lagged from running 100 miles an hour in December only to face a week of vacation where I did absolutely nothing for 7 days. I fell completely out of my normal routine. How about you? Are you fired up for a new year, getting a slow start, or?


I heard some of my friends reporting that they now need a vacation after Christmas vacation. What is with that anyway? I usually need a vacation after a vacation but a vacation after Christmas vacation, well that seems to be on the mind’s of many lately because the season seems to be an awful lot of work, doesn’t it? And for those of us who freelance, lots of our money comes in December so many are working day and night the entire month so when the 1st of January comes, there is this huge crash that can be seen and felt — especially here online where most of us pool together in our communities to wax on about our crazy freelance and/or creative careers and how horrible December really was. If you are one who needs a break after the holidays, then go ahead and please, give yourself some down time now (while you can) because I think the first few weeks of January allow for a little goofing off. Give yourself a few Fridays off and you’ll soon be back to your normal self. At least I hope… Which brings me to the whole theme of this post: HOPE.

What is so great about a new year anyway? Why does everyone get so excited about a new year, a clean slate, a fresh beginning? I mean, really…. All this clean slate stuff simply translates to is working our butts off for the next 12 months to fill the slate. Well my friends, it’s all rooted in HOPE and that what is a drug of choice for me. Count me in, I’m a user of hope (in healthy doses) and love it.

Hope is great, addicting even, and I’ll tell you why. If you have hope, you have everything. You have something to live for, things to look forward, the golden WHAT IF. You hope you will find your prince charming, you hope you will lose 10 pounds, you hope your boss will give you a promotion…. And then you set your mind on these things that you’re hoping for and start to carve out ideas, plans, goals, that just might turn your hopes into a reality. For me, sometimes just that feeling of hope is enough as so often when dreams become a reality, you’re not nearly as impressed or amazed as you thought you would be — that whole hoping part actually felt better than that whole reality part.

HOPE is good stuff. The feeling of it and the looking forward to part of it along with the what if, just maybe, and quite possibly bits… All of it is magic.

Hope can mean, “To look forward to with desire and reasonable confidence.” It can also be, “To feel that something desired may happen” and “A feeling of desire for something and confidence in the possibility of its fulfillment.”

That is why hope is good and that is why I am inspiring you today to jump on the I HOPE bandwagon along with me for the month of January and write down what you HOPE will happen to you this year and then get your rear in gear and try to make a few of those things happen for yourself. Realize though that some of those things simply won’t happen — but hope anyway because the feeling alone can give you quite the buzz you need to press on.

I think this image from TineKHome, showing us a teaser of her upcoming Spring collection, is a hopeful image. It’s clean, airy… and hopeful. It welcomes you to think about the what if. When I look at this image I hope of what Spring may bring, what Summer may feel like, how Fall may turn out and Winter, well let’s not talk about winter. I’m cold enough already.

Welcome to a new year! What do you hope for this year?


Posted in uncategorized on January 05, 2011


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