“Colorful, Bright, Happy and Child-Proof” in Berlin

We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
1 / 6
The living room (Image credit: Andreas Süss)

Name: Ingeborg, Anton and their two daughters
Location: Pankow — Berlin, Germany
The basics: 5 1/2 years, rented 68 square meters (732 square feet)

Ingeborg and her family have added color and character to their starkly white apartment. With little adjustments for every major life change, the apartment has been made to fit the family as it grows.

Tell us a little (or a lot) about your home and the people who live there: Anton and I didn’t feel at home right from the start. That was mainly because we didn’t have any furniture, and no money to buy some. We slept on an inflatable bed for the first two months. This apartment didn’t have the charm that older buildings (Altbau) have, and when it was empty the only thing you could see are plain white rooms. We bought our furniture step by step. With every paycheck we went directly to IKEA.

Eleven months after we moved in, our first daughter was born. At that point our apartment was mostly furnished. The arrival of our first child rocked our world and also changed our perspective on our living space a lot. So some things had to change again. Now, four and a half years later, we have two daughters. Elif was born in 2015, and our apartment is a happy colorful place where we all feel very much at home. The apartment is quite small, that is a big challenge. In the future, I plan to create enough private space for every family member.

In a small place, it is really important not to clutter. We cannot buy furniture or decoration on an impulse, and we have to consider every item we get. The size of our apartment will become an even bigger challenge when the children get older, but I am up for that! I love bright colors and I am really happy that Anton gives me free rein in decorating our home. Nina’s art and the beautiful photos of our children really make our home complete, but of course, there are still a lot of projects unfinished. Or even unstarted. But that is ok.

If you could magically change something about your home, what would it be? I would like a bigger bathroom with a window in it. A bigger window in the small bedroom would also be a big improvement. Maybe the windows in our place could generally be a bit bigger, because the views are very nice and our house is surrounded by trees. But that will not happen, so I try not to focus on that.

What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? Our latest purchase is our pink kitchen…. Both Anton and I really enjoy nice home made food and our new kitchen is a big improvement! We saved up for this kitchen for a long time and I am very happy now that we have it. My focus is now on finding nice items to decorate it with. For example: I got a very beautiful tea set from a nice lady in our neighborhood. She inherited it from her Grandmother. The set was made in the GDR and I think that is very appropriate for our prefabricated apartment (Plattenbau) in East Berlin.

Which fictional character would be most at home in your place? Pippi Longstocking

Ingeborg’s words of wisdom: Don’t be afraid to use color.

Thanks, Ingeborg !

• Interested in sharing your home with Apartment Therapy? Contact the editors through our House Tour & House Call Submission Form.