photos: Robert Kleinfeld
Of all the things that people say about Berlin, one thing that I can hardly argue with is the fact that it’s not exactly the prettiest city I’ve ever seen. There are obvious historic reasons for that, but it doesn’t excuse that Berlin lacks a certain amount of color, expressiveness and playfulness when it comes to its appearance. It’s a shame really, there would be so much potential for it. But the architecture and city designs stays quite tame, plain and low-key.
There are a few examples that bring a bit of excitement into the cityscapes such as the many street art murals, some hidden architectural gems, a few iconic sights and a couple more interesting buildings. I’m glad we have those. But they are surrounded by so much grey it’s sometimes just hard to see them. The beauty of Berlin really often lies in the details. And for those we have to look more closely.
Photographer Robert Kleinfeld did just that for his new photo series Minimalist Architecture. With his photographs he brings out some vivid colors, fascinating textures and strong contrasts that might get lost in the bigger picture, but totally stand out when you put all your attention to them. I especially enjoy the contrasts of the bright buildings with their sharp lines and the almost stylized blue skies. It’s a pleasure for the eyes to see Berlin with such majestic blue skies after we’ve seen mostly grey in the last few weeks.
It’s Spring and you know what is one of the favorite rituals for Germans to do in Spring? Bringing everything back in order in the house. We also call it “Frühjahrsputz” meaning Spring Cleaning. Of course in Berlin this means finally bringing all the beer and Club Mate bottles that have piled up in the corner back to the Späti to receive some Pfand, changing out some Automaten photos from some ex lovers with new ones and bringing that stack of vintage clothes that become unfashionable back to the vintage shops.
But if you really want to be a pro about the Frühjahrsputz you also have to consider some re-styling and re-decorating. Because every year is different in Berlin and this should also reflect in your own four walls.
We teamed up with the interior experts of Granit who recently opened their first store in Berlin on Rosenthaler Straße in Mitte to come up with some interior ideas that reflect the spirit of Berlin. Granit hails all the way from Sweden and naturally the Berliners are eating it up as they love everything from Scandinavia. They offer interior products as well as household and office accessories with a very minimal, timeless and iconic design. It’s a total match made in heaven with the style of Berlin that has a quite raw, industrial aesthetic.
photo: Marlen Müller
Lina Jachmann’s new book Einfach Leben, the title meaning live simply, is a lifestyle guide that escapes the usual traps of this kind of literature: it’s neither about fast trends nor is it pretentious or preachy. On the other hand, it provides you with a lot of practical insights into the minimalist lifestyle based on portraits of (extra)ordinary people who have found ways to incorporate this philosophy into their everyday lives to make them more sustainable. Since quite a few of them are somehow linked to Berlin, we’re introducing them and their alternative habits we could all learn from below!