Tina's Berlin Artist Apartment

House Call

Name: Tina
Location: Freidrichshain, in the heart of Berlin, Germany

This is our eclectically designed two bedroom holiday apartment rental/home in Berlin’s hip Friedrichshain district, in the former East Berlin. The apartment is situated in the heart of the famous Simon Dach Strasse, a vibrant tree-lined street filled with street cafes, restaurants and bars. The apartment was built in 1905, surviving the wars. Simon Dach Strasse is a popular spot with students, artists, young families as well as young Berliners.

The apartment emanates an eclectic and contemporary character with retro-style furnishings collected from the weekly flea markets across the street. Its filled with artwork from friends and also myself.

When we bought the apartment over three years ago, it took a lot of negotiation to move in, as tenants tend to live in apartments for a life time in Berlin. The tenants take everything in Germany, including the kitchen. But we did have a sink, toilet and bath, and one light fitting left for us which was great news. We moved in with a few small suitcases all the way from australia. We slowly collected our furniture from the flea market next to the apartment. we had to remove a few walls to open it up, to make it more open planned to suit our life style (it was a range of rooms/it was sort of two apartments). We had to build a new room for our two year old son. and build a new bathroom. The hardest thing was renovating when you don't understand the language . Getting something as simple as the right type of glue takes a lot of animated body language! We had to strip back generations of wall paper. We did most of what we could ourselves as we didn't have much of a budget to work with. We had no car, and we transported most things by bike or using our poor baby stroller. It was difficult living amidst the renovation with our one year old son at the time.

We live between Berlin and Australia, so we wanted a relaxed European base when we were there, but to holiday rent when we are not there. Our Australian base in Port Douglas, 'the Port Douglas Artist Cottage, was profiled on apartment therapy in May.

MORE INFO: Berlin Artist Apartment

Thanks, Tina!

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Janel Laban is the Executive Editor of Apartment Therapy and has been working here, at the dreamiest of dream jobs, since March 2006.

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