Michael Jung (@michaeljungofficialnews) is a multiple Olympic champion in eventing. With his wife Faye Füllgraebe (@faye4.4.21), who is an animal physiotherapist, he not only shares a love of equestrian sports, but also a cosy flat on the court of the Jung riding school in the Black Forest. Only recently, the two have converted the upper floor of the equestrian court in Horb-Altheim. Michael and Faye reveal more about themselves and their home in the following interview:
1. Michael, give us a brief description about your court, the house and how it came about that you developed the upper floor of the equestrian farm.
The court has been my home ever since I can remember. We moved here shortly after I was born. The building then became a multi-generational house, so to say. My grandparents, who have unfortunately passed away in the meantime, used to live on the top floor.
For me, the court means home. Here I am in my element. My father, who rode very successfully at competitions himself, built up the riding facility and trained me from an early age. To this today, we run the riding school as a family business.
Faye also comes from a family that loves riding. She moved to live with me in 2013. We are not only connected by eventing, but also by our work here in the stable. As a self-employed animal physiotherapist, among other things Faye takes care of our more than 30 horses.
Faye and I got engaged at the end of November. The extension of the top floor fits in with the new phase of our lives. We want to redesign our home for our future together.
2. What wishes and preferences shaped the style of your flat?
Here on the top floor, you could still clearly see the taste of another generation, which furnished itself differently and also built differently. After my grandparents had passed away, I kept it that way for the time being. But now it was time for a renovation. We wanted to make the flat more modern and contemporary. For us, this included an open living space and brighter colours.
3. The kitchen and living room are designed as an open plan. Was this already the case before?
No, we have only converted it now. We wanted it to be more open and spacious, with flowing transitions. That fits better with the modern attitude to life and the fact that people spend a lot of time in the kitchen, but don’t want to separate themselves there to cook, but also come across one-another for a coffee sometimes. The room should therefore be as inviting and cosy as possible.
4. What role does your kitchen play in your home?
We enjoy cooking and are very sociable. That's why the kitchen is already something like a centre of life for us. It's the perfect place for conversations and cosy evenings. I think we will spend a lot of time here with our family and friends. I'm really looking forward to that.
5. What did you absolutely not want to do without in your kitchen? What was essential for you?
In the past, people gathered around the "home cooker", and that's exactly the same for us. The cooker and oven were main focal points in our planning. Like everything else in our kitchen, the appliances and the associated working heights are individually adapted to us. We feel comfortable in this way and will have a lot of fun.
6. Did you have to consider anything particular when planning the kitchen? The building is probably quite old, isn't it?
The mansion is about 40 years old now. When we demolished the wall to create an open floor plan, a steel beam was used to stabilise it. We had to consider that. The design was also adapted to the individual circumstances of the room. But we were very free in the design.
7. The kitchen island has an integrated counter. For a snack between meals, when you need to be quick, or are you more of a connoisseur when it comes to eating?
That depends entirely on the time of day. In the morning and at lunchtime, we usually have a lot to do. Then things have to be quick. The counter is ideal for having a coffee or a snack during the break. In the evening, at the end of the day, it's quiet. You have more time to cook. That's when the gourmet in us comes through - because we also like to feast.
8. Hob extractor, wine cooler integrated into the side, fronts without handles and clear lines speak for a modern and clean design. What inspired you to create this style in the kitchen?
In the beginning, we browsed the internet a lot. We also looked through loads of catalogues. That way we already had a pretty good idea of what we liked. But the really decisive factor was the professional and friendly advice from our kitchen planner, who turned the many ideas into a kitchen that suited us.
9. Fronts in cement look combined with wooden elements - that brings warmth into the combined kitchen / living room. Is the kitchen a place of retreat for you after busy days at work?
It definitely is, and it's definitely the nicest place in the flat.
10. Do you find it hard to switch off, living as you do on a courtyard with a lot of hustle and bustle? What helps you to relax?
Switching off is not that difficult. We enjoy our life as it is. We both don't know it any other way and love what we do. Besides, we have a wonderful landscape here in the Black Forest and proximity of the river Neckar. We get to live where others go on holiday!
11. Besides all the training, travelling and hustle and bustle of appointments, is there also time for you to enjoy your own four walls?
Actually, there is little time. We travel a lot. That makes it all the more important to have a place where you can relax and unwind. True to the motto "There's no place like home"!
12. How did you come across the kitchens from Nolte Küchen?
Through our equestrian colleague Marcus Ehning, who has a long-standing connection with Nolte Küchen. His successful mare "Noltes Küchengirl" is almost legendary... Before that, we did not have much to do with the subject of kitchens. That’s why the impulse from Marcus was a great start.
13. What does "life in the kitchen" mean to you?
The kitchen is a place of pleasure. Here you can prepare and eat whatever you feel like. That’s not always the case when travelling. Especially at tournaments you are dependent on catering. At home, however, we can cook as we please - not only for ourselves, but also for family and friends who will certainly fill our kitchen with life! Here we can do whatever we want, just switch off and relax.
14. The Olympic Games are coming up in 2021. Michael, do you have to follow a special diet plan as a successful event rider? Does that influence your cooking?
Weight, nutrition and fitness are important, of course. But I have already instilled that in such a way that it doesn't particularly influence my cooking behaviour. We simply eat a healthy and balanced diet.
15. Which of you cooks the most?
That would definitely be Faye!
16. Have you ever done anything for your horses in the kitchen? For example, recipes for treats or something similar?
Of course! Didn’t we mention that we cook for family and friends? :))