Handmade Apartment in Germany

I’m thrilled to share this apartment with you today, it’s so welcoming, organized, happy and ‘real’ and since this apartment dweller is also my friend I can say that her home truly reflects her personality 100%. This space belongs to my dear pal Anne in Hannover, Germany and she is just as excited as I am to share her apartment on a blog for the very first time. I hope that you will make her feel welcome because I can tell she was a bit shy about the whole home tour thing but I’m very happy she did it because I think her place is adorable.

A few deets on our apartment dweller: Her name is Anne Wendlandt, also known as Enna, and she is a product and graphics designer, online shop owner and she has a lovely storefront (I featured a tour of her shop here along with her photo) recently featured in the popular German magazine, Princz. She clearly has a lot on her plate, but she loves her work and is very talented and dedicated to what she does.

Anne lives with her boyfriend in a 65 square meter apartment or roughly 700 square feet directly in the city, her district is called Hannover Linden which is about 15 minutes by train from my place. One of the many things I love about Anne’s apartment is that at least 40% of what you see she has made with her own hands. Pillows, curtains, art, lamps, wall hangings, bags, crafty things, the patterns that you see on a variety of items like trays and clocks… I have a lot of creative friends but she is by far one of my most creative. Below you’ll find lots of photos along with questions Anne has answered for us regarding her decorating style and life in Germany, too.

Welcome to Anne’s Homemade Apartment. I love her front door!

What inspired the decor of your living room?
It took me a while to put this apartment together because I pretty much started from scratch. My former apartment was tiny and all I had was some basic IKEA furniture. When I moved in, my budget was very limited but I refused to just go ahead and buy everything at IKEA just because it’s cheap. So I was patient and kept looking for furniture at thrift and charity shops. The first thing I bought was the Scandinavian style sofa from the 60s with two matching chairs. A little later I found a secretary with sliding doors next to the dumpster behind my shop. It’s missing one leg but you can’t tell, since it’s in the back. The sideboard is another find from the charity shop.

How about the kitchen?
The kitchen was a mess when I moved in! There was nothing but the stove and ugly papered walls. I took advantage of the fact that there were no tiles and decided to make something very unique. I didn’t even ask the landlord for permission - I wouldn’t have accepted a NO anyways :-). So here’s my space invaders kitchen. I was inspired by the works of a French street artist. You can find his mosaic invaders on walls in New York, Barcelona and lots of other places.

And the bedroom?
All the rooms in the apartment are very colourful, so I wanted the bedroom to be more neutral - a place to relax and calm down. I created a little forest by putting cut-out wallpaper trees on one wall. Then I picked the same shade of warm grey and painted the opposite wall. The black and yellow accents bring in some contrast to all the cream, gray and white in the room. We love hanging out in there. It’s so sunny and placid.

How would you define your personal style?
Playful, graphic, inspired by childhood memories, with vintage influences.

What do you love most about living in Hannover, Germany?
First of all, this is my hometown so I naturally feel attached to this city through all my memories and little stories that belong to certain places. I love that it’s so green and it’s just the right size. It is so flat that I can ride my bike anywhere without having to go up and down big hills. I don’t have a car so I value Hannover’s great public transport system. Living close to my family and friends makes this city even more attractive. Objectively, Hannover has a growing art and design scene which I’m proud to be part of.

What do you do in Hannover for fun/inspiration?
One of my favourite things is riding my bike across town, soaking in all the different impressions: the great “Eilenriede” park, the “Maschsee” lake, …people with all the different styles and cultural backgrounds. I go to the “Strandleben” bar right on the riverbank in the summer, watching the sunset and sipping a cold drink. Boy, I can’t wait for summer!

Have you ever lived anywhere else in the world, if so where and for how long?
I was an exchange student in Hazleton, Pennsylvania back in 1997-98. I spent a year there, went to high school and experienced classic suburban American teenage life. :-)

Did your experience living in America influence your personal style at all?
Perhaps living in a wooden house in the middle of the forest with deer, skunks and bears jumping around has influenced me in a way. I am always drawn towards the woodland theme and you can find trees and forest creatures in most my designs.

What did you want to be (as a child) when you were a grown up?
I aaaalways wanted to be an artist - interrupted by a short period of wanting to be a vet, until I realized I’d have to see little creatures suffer and perform surgery. :(

How did your family encourage you as a child?
All the women on my mother’s side of the family were artists, only my Mom herself being a physical therapist who attended a Waldorf school. Our house was full of old paintings, art supplies and creative activities. Drawing was my favourite thing to do as a kid and I remember some of my playdate friends being so annoyed because I was the girl who always wanted to draw.

Do your parents have an interest in what you do, even now that you’re in your late twenties?
Definitely! They live in the same city so they stop by at the shop regularly and help out wherever needed. I’m very happy to have their support, whatever my plans are!

What is your educational background?
I went to art school and have a degree in “visual communication” - another term for graphic design.

What are some of your future goals (business and personal)?
I have to admit that currently, my urge to make big plans is a little bit on hold. I’m very happy with my shop and my career as a designer. I just keep going and wait for what comes next. I feel like anthing is possible: bringing in a business partner and sharing a bigger shop, relocating to another city or even another country, … we’ll see! A smaller goal, I am already working on is getting more organized and structured, as I tend to let the creative chaos overflow.

Tell me about the friends you have in your city…
Most of my friends live in Hannover Linden. I actually don’t have to leave this neighborhood very often, it’s all here! I enjoy having someone stop by in the afternoon, friends will join me for coffee and pastries at the Portuguese café next door and that way I get a refreshing break from work every once in a while. Some of my older friends have moved away from Hannover for college or business opportunities but I try to keep them updated regularly on what I’m doing. They find it exciting to watch my business grow and see my products in magazines and such. I’ve also become friends with other young entrepreneurs who also have shops or art galleries locally. We get together on a regular basis to make plans and to encourage and support each other - and for fun, of course!

When you need feedback on a design or decision, who do you turn to? Working by myself all day, it is very important to get some kind of feedback on the things I make before going into “mass production”. My boyfriend Claudio is usually the first person who gets to see a new design and he’s become a very good reviewer, always offering constructive criticism!

Thank you Anne for visiting me today on decor8, I’ll be seeing you in person soon sweetie! Thanks for stopping by. :)

If anyone has a question for her, please comment below.

(images from anne wendlendt)