We take a look at Decologist Cally O’Loughlin’s light and airy flat in Berlin, beautiful mix of old and new, textures and muted colours. Read for loads of Scandi inspiration.
When did you move into your home? what made you choose it?
I have lived here since winter 2014. Funny enough, I chose this apartment out of necessity! The rental market was so saturated and I needed a roof over my head quickly. The apartment was really run down and nobody wanted it, can you believe!? When I visited it I immediately saw its potential, luckily as a designer and I knew that with a lot of hard work it could be a great home. For the first few months, I spent a lot of time renovating it from sanding the floors to breaking down fake walls and brightening dark corners. The space had a lot to offer, it just had to be realised.
Can you describe your home’s style?
I have to admit the Berlin style has rubbed off on me massively through use of white walls, wooden floors, palettes for a bed, minimalism etc. If I had a bigger space I would be bolder with my design but for now, the minimalistic/Scandi approach comforts me. I like living within my means and I hate waste and abundance of stuff, so I try to reduce commodities and create a calm space to be in. I strive to have an eclectic style but this takes time as you build up the best and oddest things only along the way in life. One of the ‘rules I follow’ is to keep furniture low to the ground and clutter to be high up, hidden away near the ceiling.
What was your vision for your home? What inspired you?
At first, the vision was to live in less of something that looked like a dumping ground! Once I achieved that, my vision was to take advantage of living in slightly northern mainland Europe and use German and Scandi influences in my style. I wanted lots of tapered legs, string design and mid-century classics that were authentic, new and old. You could also say I am inspired a lot by nature. I’m a bit of a naturalist, my favourite place to be is outdoors so I like to bring a bit of that into my home. I do this with lots of browns through wooden furniture, neutral tones elsewhere and by adding green through plants. I love plants, eventually I want to have an indoor jungle.
What particular aspects of your house do you particularly love?
First off, it’s the high ceilings. Mine are 3.4 meters high. It makes changing a lightbulb a nightmare but it makes a word of difference when it comes to the space feeling airy and big. I try to take advantage of their height as much as I can and constantly draw the eye up. The other special aspect of this home is that the building was built in the year 1900 which adds so much character to such a small space. There is an old built-in AGA cooker in the kitchen and heating system in the living room. Neither work -although I was told maybe the ‘hausmeister‘ could get them working again- but they leave beautiful sculptural objects behind that I use to store away my clutter through all their secret doors. The AGA cooker makes me feel like I am in an old farmhouse which is one of my greatest dreams to live in, so that has to be my favourite aspect!
Where do you shop for your home? What are your favourite brands?
I shop for my home everywhere really. The local eBay classifieds are some f my favourite secret sources. You can find great vintage pieces or pre-loved design items for a portion of the price, and also go to a lot of flea markets and find a lot of interesting things thrown away on the streets. Many of my art pieces were found that way, just objects that I think are beautiful I will collect and hang them in a way that gives them importance. I went through the skip of a local art school once and found all these amazing wooden easels all broken up. The broken parts were stunning and so full of character that I have them hung all around my home. Some of my favourite items I made myself, like the console table in my hallway and my kitchen cabinet handles that I made from avocado stones. When I do actually do a shop some of my favourite brands/shops are Ferm Living, BoConcept, Hem, Muuto, Hay, Normann Copenhagen, Anthropologie, String, etc.
What’s your dream item for your home?
My dream item would be a grand piano! I really cannot think of anything more special and joyful to have in a home, would happily have that and not much else. It is beautiful in its form and powerful and monochrome and imagine how inspiring it would be to play it all day long. If I can’t have that, I will go with a free standing pedestal bathtub.
Which is your favourite room/part of your home?
I have to go with the main living room as it offers the most amount of light. There is a french window off that room so I can technically be outside while enjoying the comfort of my home which is such a pleasure.
If you had one design super power what would it be?
Just one!? Ok, my design superpower would be to be able to magic natural daylight in places where there is none. Rather than create the illusion of daylight, I would like to magically place windows in spaces and for it to be done within a matter of seconds, at no financial expense and without making a mess.
Love Cally’s Style? work with on recreating her signature Scandi look, start your project today!
Cally O’Loughlin, interior designer and stylist. http://www.callyoloughlin.com/