Where contrasts are in perfect harmony.
(2 1/2 minute read)
If you’re an interior enthusiast then it’s likely that you’ve seen Christoph Kümmecke, or rather his Berlin apartment, before; and I can confirm that both are equally charming and tasteful. Over a cup of coffee we talked interior, the soul of a home and life in Wedding – a district that is allegedly ‘up and coming’ for some years.
For many Berliners, Wedding is among the preferred areas – how did you end up here?
On an a warm Sunday in spring years ago, I went on a bike tour with a friend to discover the northern parts of Berlin that were, by then, still unknown to us and I instantly felt excitement rushing through me. I loved Wedding’s dynamics, contrasts and hidden beauties. So I made further trips here to discover the African and the English Quarter and then knew that this is where I want to live.
So was your attraction to Wedding love at first sight?
Well, more like love at second sight, unconsciously, but a love that manifested itself over the years and into a true feeling of home and Heimat. I first moved to Wedding six years ago and have been living in this apartment in the English Quarter since three years. This area in Wedding is so diverse and without any classic milieus, people from different social and cultural backgrounds have been living here together since centuries. Wedding is authentic, it is trashy and raw, yet lovely and seeing those things coexist in commune, makes me especially happy.
Your place is like a calm oasis in the middle of this loud area – an important contrast?
Yes, my apartment is located in one of the busiest areas of Berlin and this dichotomy is essential to me. It includes both extremes of this wild town and I benefit from it in a positive way; I absorb all those energies and bring them to the calmness of my home, and in this space and quietness they can enfold. And it is this dynamic of Berlin which give me valuable strength and inspiration.
Your flat plays an essential role in your life then?
Totally. With it I created a world to escape to and decelerate from the wild world outside, an oasis and a calm anchor. I love and value each piece in it and every aspect of it, I surround myself with things that give me great pleasure every single day. Also my apartment is my bastion of strength and calm – close the door, stop and inhale, and feel at ease, at home.
Some go as far as to say that the apartment is a window to the soul. Would you agree to that?
Most definitely, even though this probably does not apply to everybody. I personally am very chaotic in my head, and I appreciate and need my home to be quiet, structured, to have a certain pattern, in contrast. Of course I display personal objects that I have inherited or that I acquired and hand-picked over the years. So you can say that through my curated home, my inner state of mind is revealed, more or less.
And what does your home say about you?
It tells of certain melancholy, a love for detail and a longing for nature.
You mentioned that you curate your home. How do you choose the interior?
I actually pick furniture or pieces quite intuitively, but mostly it comes down to less is more and quality over quantity. I combine design classics with contemporary design objects to create a certain area of tension, of contrasts altogether. The color palette is lead by nature and brings a calm harmony to my four walls.
Are there objects or parts of your flat that you like most?
Thinking about it – not at all. Each room and object is somehow special to me, but I do love the views out of my windows that all lead into surrounding greens. In summer I find nothing more beautiful than to lie on my bed with the balcony doors wide open, to feel the evening sun touch my skin softly, and to get inspired by the sheer light and warmth of it.
You work as a PR consultant for design and interior brands. Are you sometimes allured by interior and design trends?
Through my work I see new interior trends and topics on a daily basis. Still I see it as a pleasure to visit interior and design fairs and to discover new trends and design brands, especially small and unknown ones. This also happens through social media! I indulge in this and draw inspiration from it, but in the end I personally respond to ‘trends’ rather matter-of-factly.
Back to Wedding – what are your favorite places?
The parks here are among the most beautiful in Berlin –Rehberge with the Plötzensee or Schillerpark that is not far from my house; Müllerstraße with all its shops and absurdities and overall craziness. I visit my friend Dora in her vintage shop Grus Grus, the team of Herz&Blut in their wonderful studio MaisonPalmé, Chris Glass at his aptm or Jessi Joyce at Baldon – all of them live or work in Wedding too and have created wonderful and inspiring spaces. You can also find me at Café Pförtner or at Café Dujardin.
Lastly – Berliners have been saying for years that the Wedding is ascending: most definitely or never, ever?
That has happened a long time ago already but (thankfully) no one really noticed…