Books + Magazines, Decorating Tips, Travel

The Homes of Freunde von Freunden

January 20, 2012

Isn’t it inspiring to see how people live in other parts of the world? If you hop on the train near my house and travel for 90 minutes just east from here you will be in Berlin and I’ve said it a million times already but that city is nothing short of inspiring. The many apartments and homes there blow my mind too because the old buildings ooze with character because all of the original details that make me so happy from ceramic-tiled stoves to herringbone wooden floors and original ceiling medallions (not the plastic press and stick kind!) are delightfully intact.

The Homes of Freunde von Freunden

I first introduced you to interiors blog/website Freunde von Freunden when they launched but they’ve since published a book based on their site that I flipped through in their cafe and thought it was nice and definitely a great way to give the creative community in Berlin a platform to show how they live, work and decorate there. Love it! I visit Fvf a few times a month for inspiration and comb their wonderful stories and videos for inspiration yet I always find myself back on their Berlin-based properties which are cleverly cool though admittedly mismatched, wonky, undecorated, edgy, unedited, yet still super appealing, charming and a delight to behold. Berlin style is very laid back, lived-in and personal and I find that alone incredibly inspiring.

The Homes of Freunde von Freunden

The Homes of Freunde von Freunden

The Homes of Freunde von Freunden

The Homes of Freunde von Freunden

The Homes of Freunde von Freunden

The Homes of Freunde von Freunden

Fvf has recently expanded their views outside of Berlin to include studios and homes in places like New York City and London. I selfishly hoped they’d venture further to explore places like Poland, Czech Republic, Croatia, Turkey, Russia and even more German cities but it doesn’t look as though I’ll get my wish anytime soon as the more popular locations (London, NY)  seem to be calling their creative hearts.

I believe strongly though that whoever starts venturing into the lesser-known spots (not just the recognizable design meccas – too easy!) to find inspiration and shoot homes that they could OWN a completely uncharted market — especially in cities that you barely see in glossy mags and books. It takes risk and courage but I’d love to see someone do something that hasn’t been done yet. Most publications here and especially in the UK and US simply don’t have the budget to run to Warsaw for a shoot so I wonder why Fvf doesn’t just jump in and go for it? They have a wonderful platform for this and are evidently very creative and not geographically challenged at all – Berlin is only a trade ride away from the often unexplored east. If I had a crew of people and the budget for it, I’d do an entire book centered on creatives living and working in cities like Moscow, Budapest, Bucharest, Warsaw, Prague and yes, Berlin (of course). Just a few thoughts…

Homes shown in this post are from Magnus Reed in Berlin-Schöneberg, Rebecca Lamarche-Vadel in Berlin-Mitte and Silke Neumann in Berlin-Moabit. Such beautiful light-filled spaces and gorgeous classical details!

(images: Fvf)


  • Reply KAAM January 20, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    I think this site is one of the reasons whay I want to move to Berlin in April:D

  • Reply Rebecca January 20, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    When I was at uni I did a small tour of eastern europe and visited places like croatia, hungary, czech rep, germany and many more! Budapest and Prague were just two of the most beautiful cities I have been to and I would definitley be interested in finding out more about peoples lives and their homes there!x

  • Reply escapade January 20, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    I love the ‘perfect imperfection’ of these spaces, there’s something that seems quite haphazard and very lived in – but all the little personal details are what make them really beautiful. That shocking pink wall is pure happy energy!

  • Reply Will @ Bright.Bazaar January 20, 2012 at 12:23 pm

    I’ve felt a real draw to hot pink recently, so this is inspiring me to no end, Holly! Have a lovely weekend. xo

  • Reply cafenoHut January 20, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    I am really curious about people’s life which lives in another countries. How does they live during the winter or summer… What kind of food they eat, what does they do on their free time…
    I would like to have your book with great pleasure, if you do it.

    Happy Weekend.

  • Reply holunder January 20, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    i love the website! and i love too see how other people live. this ist not stalking right ? :) will have a look for the book aswell.

  • Reply lebenslustiger January 20, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    I think, you are so right on with your advise and I hope they (or someone else…) will hear you!! We have this saying in Germany: “Sometimes you don’t see the forest because of all the trees…” :)

  • Reply Heather B January 20, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    I noticed that there are cinder block/plank shelves. Normally, I consider those to be the exclusive purview of college students and first apartments but I love how the owner used decorative cinder blocks. Somehow they managed to move it from “making do” to fantastic! I love that, so much so that I might consider that to be an option for shelves… I love all if the pics, but that is my favorite idea!

  • Reply Hella January 20, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    A lovely book, it’s already on my wishing list. I like the edgy, raw look of Berlin.
    I so hope someone reads our comment on homes and appartements in Eastern Europe – I would love to explore that! We already know LA, New York and London homes, but I bet there is a world of quirky and creative design to explore in Prague or St. Petersburg! Go East!

  • Reply Frede January 20, 2012 at 3:17 pm

    Hey Holly,

    thanks for the post and we appreciate your post.
    Thanks for the kind input and here is also a little update.
    Istanbul is already in the making and first stories go online next week.
    And we are also working on the eastern expansion. Too close to ignore :)

    hope to see you again some time soon.


    • Reply decor8 January 20, 2012 at 3:19 pm

      @Frede – This is great news and I’m happy to hear about your eastern expansion. Yes, they are too close to ignore and there is so much to be discovered there. I wish you great things!

  • Reply Jamie says dream January 20, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    I love Freunde von Freunden! Very neat and matched interiors are not really my bag. It’s not something that will ever be a reality for me, and I’m not sure I would be comfortable with it either. I like the bohemian and artsy attitude :-)

    I would really be interested in home tours from the cities you mention. Hope Freunde von Freunden will do it sometime, or someone else.

  • Reply Jamie says dream January 20, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    Oh, I just read the response from Freunde von Freunden. They are doing it, how exiting! :-)

  • Reply Ericafpc (Erica Cottrill) January 20, 2012 at 6:10 pm

    Simply charming!

  • Reply Frede January 20, 2012 at 6:12 pm

    @holly – forgot to mention vienna, hamburg and munich ;)

    • Reply decor8 January 20, 2012 at 6:29 pm

      @Frede – Very exciting to hear and don’t forget me in Hannover!

  • Reply Bonnie McCarthy January 20, 2012 at 6:22 pm

    I love seeing how folks really live in different countries! Holly, I am inspired and motivated by your observation of seeking out lesser known places/homes/areas to photograph -I am trying to do this with my own blog from an American point of view, and I hope you are right! Fingers & toes crossed!

  • Reply dialoguewithspace January 20, 2012 at 10:44 pm

    simply beautiful !Love the dinning table

  • Reply Frauelein SoulFood January 21, 2012 at 4:15 am

    Thank YOU!! For introducing me to FvF! I have been getting inspiration from it for several months now, but had forgotten how I had found it in the first place! Now I remembered! Along with your Blog it has prime position in my bookmarks bar! Good point about the latest interviews, I really liked that the “originals” were in German, made them feel somewhat more “underground/Indie”, because the creatives being interviewed were fresh and undiscovered, to me at least, now it appears to be becoming a bit too much like The Selby. We already know the NY kids are cool cats, lets hear it for the creatives in Germany!

  • Reply Saskia January 21, 2012 at 2:57 pm

    We’ve all seen so many stylish New York and London homes (and Stockholm, Paris, Berlin etc). How much more exciting would it be to discover some lesser-known spots …! I totally agree!

  • Reply Brooke H January 22, 2012 at 7:14 am

    That painted star on the parque floor is amazing! What a bold yet chic statement.

  • Reply meg January 23, 2012 at 4:46 am

    Great picks. Those unexpected elements in each of these interiors are killer. Love.

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