My Berlin Kitchen- Part One

This process has been excruciating. Our beautiful pre war apartment did not come with a kitchen, or any lights, or any cabinets of any kind. Tis normal here. That means however that until we got the keys I couldn't measure or really get down to designing the kitchen. So six weeks of living without an actual kitchen has been pretty terrible, not the worst, but pretty terrible. Luckily the landlord provided us with a little stove and a sink to get us by. My industrious husband found a little refrigerator on Ebay (they use Ebay like Craigslist over here) so we were functional. 

Fast forward to today and our Ikea kitchen is being installed. Not without issue but I'll get to that. My main inspiration was this image and the Tobi Fairley designed kitchen from her Riverside Penthouse project.

See more of my inspiration here. 

Now onto the kitchen Tobi designed. I normally don't love beige. I do happen to be completely attracted to this tone of beige lately though. It has grey undertones rather than yellow. All of the 90s beige was yellow undertones and it just feels dirty now. But what I truly love is the combo of the beige and lavender. I mean gahhhhh! I've been trying to work lavender into anything for the last couple of years. This lavender as a MODERN accent is very special. Not too sweet. Not little girl lavender. 

OK my decision to go with Ikea. While in the states I design custom kitchens with custom, usually job built, cabinetry I just don't have those resources here. Sure I'll get them, but in the meantime we need a kitchen. And we're renting. And honestly Ikea cabinets have the best efficiency and organization for our small space and large needs. 

After seeing this Ikea kitchen I figured I could pull off the look in a different but satisfying way. 

So after designing it all I realized it was too boring for me. So blah. We can't change the backsplash, it's white square tiles. We have a galley kitchen, nothing like this or Tobi's open concept with island layout. When I laid it out it felt very mom jeans normcore. While normcore is really hot in Berlin right now I'm just not into it. I'm too normcore naturally, it doesn't look stylish it looks Jerry Seinfeld.

So here we are with my plan for a green kitchen. Green! I love green. I had an angel reading a couple of years ago saying I should wear more green and I'm trying to go literal with that, whatever that means. 

I incorporated the beige to break up the green. You're looking through the window seeing the radiator BTW. The pantry cabinets step back to leave room for the door to open. We have to have the washer and dryer in the kitchen. Well at least the washer because it needs to use the sink plumbing for water. While I suppose we can put the dryer anywhere with an outlet I prefer to not have a dryer in my bedroom or living room. 

The counters are a marble look solid surface material. To be honest I'm not sure what it is. It's not like anything I've seen and no one's been able to translate it into anything meaningful for me. And honestly I don't care. It's a good look, solid surface, and I'm moving on. This shows wood floors but we don't have wood floors sadly. We have white squares. Lot's of white square tile in Berlin. 

Well our kitchen didn't turn out like this. Many changes were made on the fly during installation yesterday. They're finishing up today so we'll discuss more soon. Crazy how my inspiration picture isn't at all what I ended up designing. That's how it goes. Take inspiration and make it yours. I'll leave you with a shot of end of the day yesterday. Don't judge. 

Please email info@jamiehousedesign (dot) com for design inquiries. We're scheduling both full service and House Delivered projects right now. We look forward to speaking with you! 

JHD at a Glance

Hallo, wie geht es dir heute?

I've relocated to Berlin and opened a JHD outpost here. I know it's a bit out of the blue. It's been a dream my husband and I have held for a long time. We decided to take the plunge when AJ turned one. It's taken longer to be settled than we could have ever imagined. How naive of us. That seems to be how it goes with me, always assuming things will work out. And they do. But not necessarily on my timetable. 

Katie Steele, design assistant extraordinaire, is running the JHD Houston branch. Thank goodness for Katie.  

We've settled into a darling old apartment in the Prenzlauer Berg area. Our lifestyle without a car, walking around the corner to dinner/ groceries/ coffee, parks on nearly every block, has certainly upgraded. One huge difference is the apartments here do not come with lights or kitchens. So we're still awaiting our kitchen install. I'll post more about that soon. Here is Berlin as seen by me:

Berlin- Jamie House Design
Berlin- Jamie House Design
Berlin- Jamie House Design

Auf Wiedersehen!

Please email info@jamiehousedesign (dot) com for design inquiries. We're scheduling both full service and House Delivered projects right now. We look forward to speaking with you! 

My Living Room

Since I shared the space that inspired my living room I should share with you my living room. Perhaps I'll go room by room with our house. I LOVE this house. I feel personality in architecture and space and our house is very matronly and sweet. She's not fancy, but she's caring. 

We live in an 1920's bungalow in the Historic Houston Heights. I am absolutely respectful of old houses and sincerely appreciate the craftsmanship of old homes. They have an integrity that I seek to preserve. 

The space is a long open room that combines the living room with the dining room and essentially an entry. I changed up the layout by reworking the lighting. I moved the fan from the "TV" area to the middle of the space. The original dining pendant remains in its place but I found a matching one on Ebay that is on the opposite side of the fan. Changing the lighting in this manner frees the room up to be used as is best for the occupant. For us that means the dining room is closest to the front door with the living area taking the rest of the room. 

So here you see the before. So. Plain. TV at the front and dining at the back. I switched it. Besides changing the lighting I added built-ins, crown molding with drapery pocket and draperies. 

This after is a bit more pulled in but it shows the new front door and dining built-ins. For small homes built-ins are really the only way to go. Even as people that don't keep a ton of stuff we still need these built-ins for sanity. Otherwise a small space can feel disheveled with a quickness. 

The fireplace remains the same but the pink ceramic tile hearth was changed to a travertine herringbone mosaic. The built-ins flanking the fireplace and extending to the ceiling change the entire feel of the room. It feel spacious and open. Exactly opposite of what so many assume will happen with built-ins. And who doesn't love a drapery pocket? I love simple drapery panels in a sleek drapery pocket. Because of the age and style of the home I used the crown molding to create a drapery pocket. A great option is to build it into the sheetrock. Then it appears your draperies are ascending from the ceiling! 

The gallery wall. This wall behind the sectional is long. I found a few pieces of art that I liked for the space, large art, very large art. But nothing completely grabbed me. So I started collecting art, some I made but most was found at estate sales and local artists. The key to a good gallery wall is to mix paintings with photography, color with black and white, framed with canvas, and have a great variance of sizes. Then just pour yourself a glass of wine and start at one side working your way to the end. 

I've always been quite private about sharing my personal spaces, as they tend to be a bit more eclectic than spaces I design for others. I do know it's fun to see where designer's live. So I hope you enjoyed! Email me any questions you may have.