Designer Julia White Plays With Spatial Perception in Her Funky Berlin Flat

Mirrored surfaces seem to disappear while terrazzo, parquet floors, and rough concrete give depth to the space.

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Project Details:

Location: Berlin, Germany

Designer: Studio Julia White / @studiojuliawhite

Photographer: Anne Catherine Scoffoni / @acscoffoni

From the Architect: "In 2013 , architect Julia White and her husband, Eliot, moved from New York to Berlin, where Julia founded interior design studio Wit & Woi before establishing a practice under her own name. Five years later, with a baby on the way, the couple started looking for a new place.

"They were particular in their search for a home since they wanted to design part of it themselves. When they discovered an ad for a building that had just started its construction phase, they saw it as an opportunity to buy something with the possibility of making changes.

"They secured an apartment on the fourth floor that was bathed in natural light and opened onto a large terrace, and, before construction was finished, got involved with the design. ‘The initial plan had both bedrooms open to the balcony,’ says Julia. ‘With that arrangement, it wasn’t possible to access the terrace at all from the living room. By moving the bedrooms to the back we were able to open up the access and make the common room more spacious. We eliminated one of the bathrooms and replaced it with our bedroom. By changing the layout over and over, we were able to even squeeze in a small powder room. We also developed the drawings for the electrical plans, the full bathroom with tile patterns and location of the fixtures and armatures, the layout of the parquet flooring, and changed all the door and window handles.’

"As for the interior design, the couple loves contrast: like the herringbone parquet in oak facing a ceiling finished in a very rough concrete look; or the sofa in olive velvet in relation to the pink armchair in pink fabric. ‘We also knew from the beginning that we didn’t want a white kitchen,’ remembers Julia. ‘We were very much intrigued by using reflective surface material. Especially for the island; it has an amazing effect. It makes it disappear and creates the sensation of open fluid space and doesn’t appear like a restrictive block. A little reflection here and there can have such a drastic effect on your experience of the space.’ 

"Also in the kitchen, terrazzo samples in different colors were ordered and tested in a 3D model before being chosen, not only their tones but also how they could be arranged: ‘Furthermore, we decided very early on to do without handles and rather have the carpenter carve in slots. We achieved a more slick look for the fronts which keeps all the attention on the beautiful and whimsical countertops.’

"Julia described her style as partly eclectic, modern, but also whimsical and definitely human-centered. ‘I like playfulness and layers,’ Julia says. ‘We both love interesting materials that make you want to touch them and look closer, materials that surprise you in a fun and entertaining way."

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