Elif Kücük is a historian, , and blogger who lives in Berlin, Germany with her partner, Senthuran Varatharajah. When they were submitting the application for this apartment, the couple knew it would be a long shot. They had been immediately attracted to the high ceilings, elegant bifold doors, and airy brightness — and so was a crowd of about 50 other people, all eagerly filling out their own applications.
Much to their surprise, they got it! “It was a miracle,” Elif shares. The early-20th century apartment in the quiet Schöneberg neighborhood was a welcome retreat from the bustling nightlife of Berlin. But it wasn’t all smooth sailing. The landlord had done a spotty job renovating the place. Right from the start, the couple had to contend with peeling wallpaper, finicky floors, and troublesome doors and windows — all detracting from the natural beauty of the space. Add to that their limited budget as students, and they faced an uphill battle molding the apartment to their liking. Instead of a move-in-ready design, they had to be patient and flexible with their space and budget.
But Elif and Senthuran embraced the challenge, and discovered that, for them, a successful design is one that is constantly changing. After four years, their apartment is still a work in progress, as they continually and lovingly redesign it according to their changing aesthetics. They’ve been able to integrate old and new, updating the Art Nouveau structure with clean, modern elements, and with great care for the details. Click through to see Elif’s photographs of this Berlin beauty! —Hanh