At Home with Fridlaa: Insights into a Stylishly Furnished Old Building in Berlin
I AM CARLA, LIFESTYLE AND INTERIOR BLOGGER ACROSS THE CHANNELS OF @FRIDLAA. TOGETHER WITH MY LITTLE FAMILY, WE LIVE IN AN 80 SQUARE METER OLD APARTMENT IN THE HEART OF BERLIN, WHERE WE REDECORATE, RENOVATE, AND DO EVERYTHING OURSELVES. FOLLOWING THE MOTTO: IT SHOULD BE BEAUTIFUL, NOT PERFECT!
How did the idea come about to share your home and your love for decorating
Interior design has always played a significant role in my life. I am originally a trained graphic designer, so I have an eye for colors and shapes. I gradually redesigned our apartment, painted, and tried out new things. It became more and more of a passion and eventually turned into my profession.
What makes your apartment so special?
Our apartment is located in an old building, which, for me, has a lot of charm. I can't imagine living in a home with ceilings only 2.50 meters high. High ceilings mean quality of life to me. The large rooms offer many design possibilities and allow for creative expression. I also really like the vintage style, which fits perfectly with the old building ambiance.
Kitchen planning in an old building comes with some challenges,
Actually, the kitchen has always been a little challenge, simply because the space is super small. But especially because the walls and floors are everything but square. Everything is crooked and uneven, the walls are made of wood, stone, or something else entirely. This means that drilling into the wall is difficult, and balancing furniture is also a challenge. That's why, especially for the kitchen, it was important to us to have professionals handle it, so we could get a well-thought-out solution that we can live with comfortably.
What role does sustainability play for you?
Sustainability is very important to us. That's why we made sure that our partner with whom we are implementing the kitchen shares the same values as we do.
And that's how we came to Nolte.
Learn more about sustainability at Nolte Kitchens.
What were the absolute "must-haves" for your kitchen?
My personal "must-haves" were definitely a good refrigerator and plenty of storage space. In our family of four, a lot accumulates, and it needs to be well organized and stored. But above all, we need space to cook together, try out recipes, and snack in between. So, we need a large countertop and storage space for additional appliances like kitchen machines.
What role does lighting play in interior design?
Light is an absolute game-changer for me in interior design. Even a room that looks very bare and sterile becomes atmospheric and cozy with light. The different lighting settings in the kitchen can create different moods. With warm light, I create a small oasis for enjoying a glass of wine in the evening. When I switch to daylight and brighter lighting, I have excellent working light for cooking and preparing dishes.
What went through your mind when you saw your new kitchen for the first time?
The first thing that caught my eye was, of course, the color, and I had some doubts about my decision. Originally, we had planned with an olive tone, and I still had this green with warm wood decor in my mind. But that quickly changed. Without decorations and plants, a new kitchen naturally looks bare and sterile. But as soon as I had styled everything, the lights were on, and the textiles were in place, I thought: Yes, this is exactly how I imagined it, and we can be happy here!
How would you describe your interior design style?
If I had to describe our style, I would probably say Hanseatic-Scandinavian with a "Touch of Grandma." We have many vintage items and a lot of second-hand pieces.
This suits me well because deep down, I think I'm a bit older than I look.
And where does the connection to Scandinavia come from?
I simply really like the Scandinavian style. Many design and decor ideas come from there, or at least the ones I like. And that's why "a lot of Scandinavia" automatically finds its way into our home. Sometimes vintage, sometimes like new, the mix makes it unique.
Do you have three tips to bring more coziness to the home?
My absolute secret tip is decorating with textiles. An empty, bare room quickly becomes cozy when I add a few cushions or blankets. The same goes for plants because their fresh green brings life to the home and lightens the overall look. And tip number three is lighting to create atmosphere and coziness.
How did you actually end up in Berlin?
After completing my studies, I moved to Berlin and initially took an underpaid job. It was a lot of fun and allowed me to settle in here.
I found friends and was able to take my first steps into the world of Berlin. Then, step by step, I continued to develop and ended up where I am now.
What defines the city for you?
Berlin is a wild mix of diverse people. It's like being abroad while still living in Germany, and I find that incredibly beautiful.
What are your favorite places in Berlin?
One of my favorite places in Berlin is Vabali, as I love saunas and spas. I can also recommend the "Döner around the corner," and another favorite place is, of course, my home. For those who like to stroll, I recommend Weinmeisterstraße; it's very charming. From there, you can go up to the Hackescher Markt with many cute little shops where you can find various things and new ideas. I would also recommend exploring the side streets. Just stroll around and look into the side streets to discover cool and unique places that are definitely worth seeing.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
I get my inspiration just like everyone else, from the media and magazines. It's mainly about seeing things and trying out new things. Sometimes I spontaneously go to a furniture or craft store. There, I might see an item and think, "Oh, I could use this somehow, I could create something new out of it." And so, the whole process starts, turning old into new. Recycling has been a significant theme for me since my student days because I didn't have much money back then. That means I sometimes found furniture on the street that maybe didn't quite fit my concept.
I would then renovate them, paint everything, or build something completely new so that they naturally fit into the interior. And we've continued to do that until today.
What does "living in the kitchen" mean to you?
Living in the kitchen means to me enjoying meals together because that's essential to us. Our kitchen is, in fact, one of the most frequented rooms because someone is always hungry here. That means we're either constantly doing something or sitting together while someone else is cooking. This defines the character of our kitchen and is still very important to us.
Discover many more inspiring real-life stories. Here are the Nolte Kitchen Homestories: