Inspired By Creatives Living In Berlin

July 13, 2011

It’s no secret, Berlin is the creative capital of Germany. While Hannover may have just been voted the greenest city in the country with 20% being parks, forests and gardens (we have the largest natural city forest in all of Europe behind my house), Berlin definitely has earned its reputation as an international city where creatives work and play. It’s an inspiring place – gritty and pretty in some parts – eclectic, quirky, etc.  The cost of living is still relatively low compared to other cities in Europe, especially for the types of living spaces that you can rent in comparison to say, Hamburg, London or Copenhagen. It’s nice to be able to actually afford to live nicely while still pursuing creative interests and even starting your own business. Right!?

Inspired By Creatives Living In Berlin

So many love Berlin for many reasons, but for me, I feel inspired when I’m there surrounding by its 180 museums, stores, quirky districts, flea markets, Turkish market, exhibitions, random art galleries sometimes hidden behind buildings, music fests, cheap eats… That is why in mid October I will co-host yet another creatives & bloggers meet up there in collaboration with some incredible people and sponsors so we can make it happen – inspire each other, share, learn and create a positive energy that will motivate all to leave with a good feeling of community and support. We need that. I’ll post more about the event as plans are confirmed.

Inspired By Creatives Living In Berlin

Loved this video of Berlin-based fashion designer Esther Perbandt, her clothing is amazing and I like how she collaborates with others who inspire her to create her collections. See her workspace here.

Inspired By Creatives Living In Berlin

Great room divider idea!

Inspired By Creatives Living In Berlin

Fun, quirky table

If you are curious about Berlin and the types of people living there then you have to check out “online interview magazine” (or blog), Freunde von Freunde. I’ve talked about them before, but they have lots of new content and they are even taking their concept to London and Paris to spotlight creatives living in those cities as well. I was selfishly hoping we could keep FvF for ourselves in Germany, but that’s okay, their goal is to open eyes and share what’s happening all over Europe and so by creating new city spotlights on their site, they are able to reach more people. Good for them.

Inspired By Creatives Living In Berlin

Inspired By Creatives Living In Berlin

I must admit though, major cities get plenty of press when it comes to who is living in them and how they live and work — there is no shortage on the web of inspiring homes in Paris and London. Same goes for print publications as well. But most of the world isn’t really in the know when it comes to what Berlin is like, or even Germany and the creative indie scene here for that matter as in who lives there, the cost of living, what people do for fun, what people are creating and where. Before I started visiting in 1999, I had no idea what was going on in this part of the world when it came to design and art. With so many in this country working hard to make a name for themselves (and for their country), there has been a lot of change in the last decade so definitely visit FvF to tap into what is going on in Berlin — a fascinating, creative German city.

Inspired By Creatives Living In Berlin

Inspired By Creatives Living In Berlin

Inspired By Creatives Living In Berlin

My hope though is that instead of focusing on London and Paris because those places get plenty of attention, that FvF will share the way people live and work all across Germany and German speaking countries — not just Berlin but in Hannover, Hamburg, Munich and over to Vienna, Zurich, etc. And of course, cities that don’t get so much “love” outside of Germany like random towns in Belgium or even parts of Poland. I mean hello, who wouldn’t love to see how creatives live and work in Warsaw with English text so the rest of us can learn? Sign me up. I’d love that. There are plenty of us with interesting lives who live in un-hip cities that may even be called boring cities — but we are still doing creative work so I’d love to see more diversity online and in print when it comes to showing how and where people live. But Berlin is a great start, and while it’s a massive city, it’s still underexposed to the rest of the world so I’m all for FvF and their mission in opening eyes to what’s happening there. Great stuff.

(images: FvF)


  • Reply Nicole July 13, 2011 at 1:13 pm

    Thanks for the great post! FvF is one of my new favorite blogs/sites — every time I see a new interview, it makes me want to quit my job, start creating, and redo my whole apartment; there are just so many inspiring people! (But you know, one step at a time..)

  • Reply Elissa July 13, 2011 at 1:39 pm

    Oh, I wish I could go! I loved Berlin when I got to visit for a few days in college. All of Potsdamer Platz was under construction and I’d love to see what it looks like now. The city had so much energy at the time, it was a lot of fun!

  • Reply Michelle July 13, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    Even though Germany has never been high on my places to visit I have a growing amount of interest to visit Berlin (and perhaps other cities) for the reasons you mention in this post. I will have to start saving the pennies.

  • Reply Jennifer July 13, 2011 at 2:32 pm

    That was really interesting…I’m visiting Berlin for the first time in October and I’ll soon be on the hunt for places to visit/eat etc. Can’t wait!

  • Reply Emily July 13, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    Enjoyed this post. So dug the vibe in Berlin when I visited last week, esp. an up-and-coming east neighborhood where I got to see a friend’s altbau. The whole city’s got this great creative buzz—I wish I could’ve bottled it. Re: creatives in unhip cities—-I would looove to see more on that—sometimes Readymade does some profiles like that. I’m not usually living in the hippest of places but am always striving to be creative.

    • Reply decor8 July 13, 2011 at 5:27 pm

      @Emily – Readymade tanked, did you hear that? They are no longer publishing…

  • Reply Eleanor July 13, 2011 at 2:53 pm

    Sounds exciting! I especially appreciate your point that there is lots of creative stuff going on in other cities besides some of the obvious biggies.

  • Reply JuLi July 13, 2011 at 3:11 pm

    Hey, you forgot to mention the Ruhrpott! Kreativeklasseruhr.de is a relatively new plattform that tries to bring creatives from all the cities in this area together. I think the creative scene around here is just starting to grow stronger and connecting and finding some kind of common identity. So I’m really curious how it will evolve and I’m sure we’ll see a whole lot of great stuff in the coming years! :)

  • Reply Cookie Cutter July 13, 2011 at 3:17 pm

    I can’t get my eyes off that quirky wooden table. I LOVE how raw it looks!

  • Reply Shari July 13, 2011 at 3:19 pm

    I love that divider wall… all the fonts look really cool. Berlin is on my list of places to visit, for sure. As is Germany, in general. It looks beautiful!

  • Reply desiree - Vosgesparis July 13, 2011 at 4:18 pm

    Berlin is high on my ‘Places I need to see’ list…. So who knows I might even combine it with a next bloggers meeting! I think it will be a city I love as I love the big historical buildings like we see in Rome and the big allee ‘s like in Paris But I think there will also be that industrial feeling at the same time that I like so much.

    I love this post and I start to love your way of thinking and writing more and more everyday. You are such a great writer and I am not ‘sucking’ up here! Can’t wait to discover FvF!
    Thanks again for a great link and of course thank you so much for your post about my home It brought even more new bloggers to discover ;)


  • Reply Kit Mitchell July 13, 2011 at 4:19 pm

    Love Germany and this post! I so appreciate your spotlight on fantastic talent in Berlin!
    Tschüß, Kit

  • Reply Katie July 13, 2011 at 4:43 pm

    Holly, I love how you look for design and creativity in places that others don’t always recognize. This is why I keep coming back to your blog!
    I’ve only spent a little time in Europe, and that was working at youth camps in the countryside as a high school student. That time got me dreaming of traveling and exploring the cities we passed through. Your posts continue to feed my wanderlust!

  • Reply O July 13, 2011 at 7:11 pm

    ppst, it’s called ‘Freunde von FreundeN’, you forgot an ‘N’ there. x

  • Reply Thomas July 13, 2011 at 7:53 pm

    I so agree with you!

  • Reply Trina July 13, 2011 at 9:33 pm

    My boyfriend is from Berlin and we’ve talked about going there sometime soon. This post is getting me even more excited to check it out! I am forwarding him this link immediately.

  • Reply Paula Jo July 13, 2011 at 9:50 pm

    Lovely pictures! I love Germany, and Berlin is a fantastic place to visit.

  • Reply Genelle July 14, 2011 at 5:58 am

    Liebe die Vimeo (not sure is that’s proper German but I tried!)! Great idea to transfer one form of art to another! Incredible fabric and painting!

  • Reply Ginta July 14, 2011 at 9:31 am

    oh, I wish I could go!
    one of my recently acquired friends live in Berlin, so, I guess I’ll visit the city more often!

  • Reply Mark July 14, 2011 at 8:49 pm

    Holly, I agree with you about recognizing the work and lifestyle of creatives all over the world, not just in hip cities.

  • Reply Elise at RoseyTeaParty July 14, 2011 at 8:54 pm

    I love the table made of planks! I am in the midst of making a headboard similar to it.

  • Reply Saija July 15, 2011 at 4:31 pm

    Nice! FvF is absolutely one of my favourite sites too! ( And so is yours:)) I love and admire that relaxed, bohemian atmosphere in all those apartments. And I’m really happy to see Berlin finally at next week! Last year I visited Cologne and Bonn. :)
    Thank you for your nice blog!

  • Reply Amyshka at Kiwi Chic July 16, 2011 at 12:18 am

    Totally agree. I’m from New Zealand and have travelled around the world a bit – the best places I’ve seen were not Paris and London – more like Copenhagen (LOVE), Vienna, and Santiago, Chile. So much life and creativity going on. Berlin was awesome too.

  • Reply meagan July 16, 2011 at 12:56 pm

    would absolutely LOVE to see Berlin – Germany in general in fact… Next Euro trip for moi for sure.

  • Reply Christine July 18, 2011 at 9:13 am

    Dear Holly,
    thank you for this post, it’s so true. I just moved to berlin exactly for the reasons you claimed. Coming from hamburg I enjoy the creativity in every part of the city. There is so much space to fill and so inviting to find your niche. Although it’s hard to find customers for my products since the Berliner love it, but don’t have the money to pay for it…
    I’m looking forward to hear more about your creatives & bloggers meet up…

  • Reply Agata July 21, 2011 at 10:31 am

    I would love to see more from the East ! Warsaw sounds great! I’m polish but living now in NL. I’m sure that new inspiration will come from there soon, and you have a great idea! ;-D

  • Reply Freunde von Freunden September 16, 2011 at 6:43 am

    Hey Holly,
    love the article and thank you and everybody else giving us so much love. We went international with Paris and London first because we have friends there. But we expanded the concept so we can report about any creative friend anywhere in the world and in germany in the future. Right now it is just a logistic matter for us and every city and region has to be planned – but hit us up if you want to help and suggest anything. We reached to Vienna and Zurich. We will be in Hamburg and Munich soon. We have friends in Warzaw. But if you want to help or suggest anything – just hit us up. And please say Hi when you are in Berlin in october :) Thank you.

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