written by:
March 15, 2014
A design collaboration between European furniture manufacturer Vitra and lifestyle voyeur Freunde von Freunden lays out a blueprint for contemporary living in Berlin's Mitte.
Salon of the Freunde von Freunden X Vitra Apartment<
Salon of the Freunde von Freunden X Vitra Apartment

The web magazine’s collaboration with the Swiss design house Vitra is both a statement and showplace summing up their vision of modern living, and also showcases the work of other design studios such as New Tendency, which provided the white Sid & Chad vases.

Photo by Steve Herud

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Salon of the Freunde von Freunden X Vitra Apartment<
Salon of the Freunde von Freunden X Vitra Apartment

“We wanted to create a showplace for the community, a space to bring people together,” says Frederik Frede, the site’s founder and creative director. “The goal was to make it cozy, without the feeling of a showroom.” The designer pad also boasts an Epson projector and Burmester audio system.

Photo by Steve Herud

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Salon of the Freunde von Freunden X Vitra Apartment

Salon of the Freunde von Freunden X Vitra Apartment

Frede, along with architect Etienne Descloux and interior designer Katrin Greiling, created what he describes as a hybrid of Californian and Scandinavian styles.

Courtesy of 
Steve Herud
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Salon of the Freunde von Freunden X Vitra Apartment
Salon of the Freunde von Freunden X Vitra Apartment

Unable to remove the center wall, architect Etienne Descloux instead created a wood-paneled centerpiece for the apartment.

Photo by Steve Herud

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Salon of the Freunde von Freunden X Vitra Apartment

Tented fabric provides separation for the bedroom, and plays off the room's array of textures.

Photo by Steve Herud

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Kitchen of the Freunde von Freunden X Vitra Apartment
Kitchen of the Freunde von Freunden X Vitra Apartment

Ride the wave: The sleek, open kitchen, centered around the custom black marble island with none-too-subtle Southern California callouts like the surfboard in the corner, is Frede’s favorite room. The kitchen fixtures and countertops are by Miele and Dornbract.

Photo by Steve Herud

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Kitchen of the Freunde von Freunden X Vitra Apartment
Kitchen of the Freunde von Freunden X Vitra Apartment

Architect Etienne Descloux adjusted the original bathroom design to provide more space for storage in the kitchen. Bike by Mikili, flowers by Marsano.

Photo by Steve Herud

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Kitchen of the Freunde von Freunden X Vitra Apartment
Kitchen of the Freunde von Freunden X Vitra Apartment

Completed in early March, the apartment has already been used for commercial shoots, as a showroom for press days, and for dinner among friends and colleagues.

Photo by Steve Herud

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Bathroom of the Freunde von Freunden X Vitra Apartment
Bathroom of the Freunde von Freunden X Vitra Apartment

Hanging plants and an open shower accentuate the bathroom’s light, airy layout. Sink by Alape, shower and fixtures by Dallmer and Dornbracht.

Photo by Steve Herud

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Salon of the Freunde von Freunden X Vitra Apartment<
Salon of the Freunde von Freunden X Vitra Apartment

The web magazine’s collaboration with the Swiss design house Vitra is both a statement and showplace summing up their vision of modern living, and also showcases the work of other design studios such as New Tendency, which provided the white Sid & Chad vases.

Photo by Steve Herud

After years exploring and exposing the homes and workspaces of creatives, the chic Berlin-based web magazine Freunde von Freunden (friends of friends) just turned a lens on its own apartment, partnering with the Swiss design house Vitra to make a statement and showplace summing up their visions of modern living. Their design collaboration in the Mitte district, completed earlier this month, adds a new spin to the classic creative aphorism: good designers borrow, great designers collaborate.

“We wanted to create a showplace for the community, a space to bring people together,” says Frederik Frede, the site’s founder and creative director. “The goal was to make it cozy, without the feeling of a showroom.”

Frede, along with architect Etienne Descloux and interior designer Katrin Greiling, created what he describes as a hybrid of Californian and Scandinavian styles, with smart touches like a cadre of mis-matched black chairs offsetting the photos, ceramics and curios in the living room. The Swiss company’s furniture had appeared in so many of the website’s photoshoots that they were a natural choice as a partner, along with Artek, the Finnish concern they acquired last year. Frede enlisted other friends of the site, such as Bless (light switches and cables), New Tendency (lamps) and the Fundamental Group to finish outfitting the apartment and expose up-and-coming local designers.

Renovations on the 65-square-meter (700 square feet) flat started last summer, with a focus on community space, such as the custom black marble kitchen island, and clean and sober design. Descloux altered the kitchen and open, Asian-style bathroom to provide more space. The focus on black furniture creates unity across the space and allow other design elements to stick out.

“Initially, we tried to make it one room,” says Descloux, “but we couldn’t tear down one wall, so instead we turned that wall into a wooden wall of sorts. It was really more about optimization than a full-scale renovation.”

So far, they’ve used the space for commercial shoots, as a showroom for press days, and just for having dinner with friends and colleagues. For Frede, the only letdown is he has to leave his design playgrounf and go back to his current apartment. “Now, regular life is a letdown,” he says.

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