Step Inside the Coolest Shared Flat in Berlin—That Was Renovated in Just 10 Days

I’ve actually always lived with great friends. Most of the time, it doesn’t feel like a shared flat because we complement each other so well. That’s why I have such a good vibe with the flat. There are so many people who move because they’re living in unpleasant situations, but I never had that. Of course, living together can sometimes be very intimate, and there is of course friction from time to time, but we are now at an age where we communicate more openly and respectfully. And so far, everyone has been very respectful of my objects and furniture, and that’s really important.

Materials like aluminum and stone don’t necessarily look uncomfortable

Back to the design. You used a lot of cool materials and colors—how do you manage to keep them from looking uncomfortable?

I’m of the opinion that it is a fallacy that metallic surfaces always appear cold. As far as the feel is concerned, at the end of the day they always reflect their surroundings. When the sun shines into the living room, for example, it immediately appears much warmer. The light-filled hallway also conveys a certain warmth. We were lucky with the basic structure of the home.

There is no color here.

No, for me the structure of the materials is more important. The question we are often asked at Vaust is: “Is this also available in color?” And the answer is not no, because of course we don’t design neutral spaces, but that the color comes more through the material, through reflections, and the materiality always brings a colorfulness with it, and that then later captures a spectrum of colors.

But that’s usually only the case with reflective materials…

If you use plaster, it’s a very raw, natural material that has a colorfulness in its basic texture, and for us that would be the finish, for other people it’s like a kind of canvas that is then painted again. We actually rarely do that at Vaust because the materials per se already have such a beautiful texture. But everything has to correspond to an overall concept, it has to serve an aesthetic. This very natural look paired with contrasting materials corresponds to the aesthetic of our studio, and that’s also what happened here in the flat.

That’s why everything seems very clean. Is that the recipe for a coherent overall concept?

Yes, but it’s something that happens intuitively. I haven’t made a real project out of the flat—of course, I’ve done more than the average consumer, but that’s probably also a kind of occupational disease. Acting more intuitively is perhaps something I’ve developed over the years. Sometimes I can’t explain it, but I know that I can simply rely on my creative intuition. But the flat has also grown. Because I’ve lived here for 13 years, it was the final steps that led to the complete picture. But now I’m totally happy with the result.

Did you also buy a lot of new furniture when you renovated?

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