A Berlin Apartment Inspired by Queer History

updated Jul 10, 2019

A Berlin Apartment Inspired by Queer History

updated Jul 10, 2019
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Name: Dean Sameshima
Location: Berlin, Germany
Size: 1,044 square feet
Years lived in: 10 years, renting

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When Dean Sameshima came to Berlin in 2007 to put on an art show with Peres Project, he didn’t expect to stay put for so long. What started out as a one-month stay quickly became three months, and luckily, he found this gem of an apartment at the end of his trip. “I fell in love with the space immediately and feel grateful for it every single day,” Dean says of his apartment, which is located in a hip part of Kreuzberg full of good restaurants, large flea markets, and beautiful parks. But best of all, his apartment gets of a ton of light and provides him with plenty of space for his queer art collection, silk screening supplies, and his sizable menagerie of plants (though he could always use more).

Dean is inspired by all things queer: gay literature, over-the-top campy elements, and vintage nude portraits. “When I was younger, I remember walking in the homes of older gay men with rooms filled with art of naked men — paintings, photographs, and sculptures,” he says. He wasn’t a fan back then, but he somehow found himself drawn to that aesthetic as he grew older. “I have recently realized I’m on my way to that and I love it.”

The walls of Dean’s spacious apartment are covered with his own original art pieces and photos, as well as prints inspired by his favorite authors, musicians, and filmmakers: John Rechy, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, and Darby Crash. Combined with dozens and dozens of plants, a generous amount of light, and plentiful imagery of the male anatomy (you’ve been warned), his apartment gives a vibe that is bright, refreshing, and unique. It’s unapologetically queer, just how Dean wants it to be.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Queer

Inspiration: Any plant shop

Favorite Element: Plants

Biggest Challenge: Finding room for more plants

What Friends Say: “Cool”

Biggest Embarrassment: I lived without furniture for a year.

Proudest DIY: My macrame plant hangers

Biggest Indulgence: Penis-shaped Ettore Sottsass Shiva vase

Best Advice: Flea markets!

Dream Sources: Flea markets


Vintage bamboo plant stand — Flea market
Black metal plant stand — Flying Tiger
Blue plant stand on wheels — Flying Tiger
Wood bench — IKEA
Rug — Flying Tiger
Console table — IKEA
Vintage magazine tray on wheels — Flea market
Brown East German plastic stool (used as a plant stand) — Flea market
Powder-coated plant stands — Ferm Living
Round side table – Muji
Shelves — IKEA
Vintage East German penis chart — Flea market
Sofa bed — IKEA
Mustache face pillow — Flying Tiger
Rug — IKEA

Bed — IKEA
Vintage wooden plant stand — Flea market
Artworks — Dean Sameshima (additional link)
Vintage Querelle poster — eBay
Vintage green East German lamp — Gift

Tables — Found on the sidewalk
Vintage bamboo bicycle plant holder — Flea market
Bookshelves — IKEA

Thanks, Dean!

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