In Berlin’s Schöneberg district, a residential area of leafy streets lined with trendy cafes, grocery stores and a weekend market, Tatjana Sprick found her sanctuary.
Born and raised in Düsseldorf, Sprick, who formerly worked for Adidas, Costume National and Yohji Yamamoto, has had a long career in fashion and design, with previous posts relocating her to far-flung places from Mexico, New York and Munich to Paris, Morocco and Rome.
Each time, it was diving into a brand-new culture and learning about a new way of living – I’ve been dragging most of my furniture around the world, says Sprick.
When she felt it was high time to put down roots in her hometown of Berlin, she set out to find a flat with just the right amount of space in an ideal location. Serendipitously, Sprick came across the listing for her current flat online and visited it on the same day. Despite the home not having been renovated since 1976, she was instantly drawn in by the promise of its size and layout. There was amazing light as soon as I entered the room and I was very much attracted to the classic turn-of-the-century shape of the apartment, she recalls.
To carry out the necessary renovations, Sprick enlisted Berlin-based BCO Architekten. The work began with pulling out the carpet that covered every inch of the flooring, as well as the wallcoverings, low ceilings and wood panels. Only after transforming the structure was the architecture firm able to treat the space as a blank canvas, ready to be remodelled to its new homeowner’s satisfaction. One of her motivations for converting the functions of every room in the house was to devote more square footage to the bedrooms, bathrooms and kitchen, which benefited from minimising the size of the halls. In these types of houses built in the early 1900s, the kitchen was always in the back, she explains. There were also typically these endless hallways that led to very tiny bathrooms and bedrooms, as was the case in this unit.Four years later, the beauty of the home, Sprick says, is in its multifaceted personality. It was important for her to imbue a specific sense of atmosphere into every room, depending on its function and location. Unafraid of committing to colour, she assigned hues to each area. The kitchen, originally located in the back of the flat, was moved to the centre of the abode – an extended passage connecting the front and back areas of the house that’s termed the Berliner Zimmer, an architectural feature unique to 19th-century German structures – and has been transformed into a warm, comfortable space with dark emerald walls that set the mood for quiet moments and intimate conversations.
Meanwhile, the bathroom adopts an indulgent quality with its black walls, though accent wallpaper by Piero Fornasetti by Cole and Son adds a touch of whimsy to the otherwise austere space. In stark contrast, the living area and dining room – which Sprick also treats as a home office – feature all-white walls, their brightness amplified by large windows that allow natural light to flood in. You can see there are very different areas, styles and moods, she says. You go from white walls and lots of light as you step into the flat to a very cosy red entrance, then to a deep green kitchen, a black bathroom and a pale blue bedroom.
Indeed, the distinctly designed rooms reveal interesting nuances and layers that reflect on the homeowner, whose collection of heirlooms and accessories accumulated through years of travel commingle with brand-new purchases and conceptual furniture pieces, such as the bright yellow conceptual chair in the foyer by designer Eyal Burstein.
Mirroring the curious and free-spirited attitude of the owner, the result is a home that’s truly personal and unique, and firmly removed from any of-the-moment trends. Sprick concludes: It’s quite an eclectic mix of things. Everything I’ve kept here has sentimental value to me.
This article appears in our January 2019 issue, out on newsstands this week.
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