Our New Berlin Apartment - Colour & Materials Board

With every interior design project, I learn things. With this particular project, I am learning surprising things about myself. The colour and materials board you see above is the first step in my newest and most personal project, our new Berlin apartment, which I will hereby refer to as the ONBA project.

What surprises me about this board is how warm it is. Due to my tendency toward a modern, minimal style, one could assume that a muted, cool colour scheme would be my thing. I think I sort of thought that too ... until now.  As I put this board together, I found myself choosing warmer, softer and somewhat richer and creamier colours. And they really make me feel nice. So I think I'll just go with it. What do you think?

This board represents the main living space. You can see on the floor plan in my previous post that the living, dining and kitchen areas are all included in this open space. The apartment has white walls throughout (which we will leave as such), a wood floor, white kitchen cabinets, and a dark grey countertop. That's what's there. Here's what we have and what we are keeping - our grey couch, our square glass coffee table with short, chunky metal legs, walnut low board with glossy black front panels, a painting that I love, and our glossy white dining table with four walnut stools. And finally, here's what I'd like to add or incorporate with what's been mentioned so far - warm metallic accents, (faux) fur and leather textures, a not-so-shaggy, ivory coloured area rug, and some white curtains for the windows. Usually I would go without curtains, but since we are on the ground floor, we will need them for privacy. I imagine that the accents and textures I mentioned will make their way into the space via some key purchases we need to make ... like one or two chairs, mirror and picture frames, lighting (floor and pendant), plant pots, a throw for the couch, maybe one or two cushions and other such decorative items. 

So the concept for the ONBA project is beginning to take shape.  We are moving in on the 28th of this month and I'm getting super excited! 

Before I sign off, I'd like to ask you, my fellow interior design enthusiasts, have you ever surprised yourselves with unexpected design and decor choices? Or would you say your tastes are rather unwavering?

Xx. Holly.


  1. This looks like the starting point of a fabulously stylish new home! I love the warm and cosy vibe of your mood board with various textures and warm hues combined with white. Looking forward to more insights:-)

  2. Love the concept and can't wait to see it live, dear Holly ;)
    And yes I do know, what you're speaking of. It's quite interesting how much we can surprise ourselves, right?
    I noticed, that the main tendence of what I like or not, hasn't changed that much. I still love clean lines and shapes, bright colours with some dark accents as well as pure and natural materials like leather and wood, but nevertheless I add more softer, warmer and cosier details then ever before and even some colours, from which I thought, I'd never go for, even if it's just for some accents pieces.

    I don't know, but maybe it has something to do with becoming softer and more gentle with ourselves, with what and who we are and with trying to just flow with the things, that life offers than fighting too much. Obviously that's all a sign of getting more balanced, that we even can see it in our living spaces ...

    Have a nice eve and happy packing and sorting things out ;)
    Lysann xo

  3. I've surprised myself too many time to count, Holly! It was that way when I graduated in interior design, and I find it the same way now that I'm doing art. Evolution is a good thing. :) I guess it means we keep embracing new opportunities to learn.

    I love your concept so far! Can't wait to see what you do!! Thanks for sharing with us, as always!

  4. How exciting! Can't wait to see it!
    Love the colours you've chosen.
    Have fun moving in!! speak soon! hx

  5. ONBA welcome.....!!! 28th, wow, that's next Friday....amazing and exciting all in one go...

    I LOVE your mood board and like what you've done with textures and accents. Yes, agreed, quite unlike you. I have had 2 faux fur blankets for about 12-15 years and I LOVE them. One is on my bed and gets used in the colder months. Yep, have it on right now:) and the other is kept for being cosy on the sofa. I wash them at 30 degrees and let them dry flat and they are both as good as new. In other words, invest in good ones!!!

    You seem to have most of the key pieces so accesorising will be fun. Please don't forget the pop of colour!!!!

    Do I surprise myself? No, because I'm aware that my taste is constantly changing and I have many different styles I like. If I were to do up my home again I would change it completely to what it is now. I like to incorporate the layout of the flat/building. I would always have texture and colour though but probably would have more of a mix of contemporary and antiques/vintage.

    I love that you include us in your journey and can't wait to visit you. xxx

  6. Holly this is great. I'm enjoying the insight without feeling like a voyeur ;-)

    Your mood board works really well. I must confess I couldn't have the faux fur, but that would be my only change. But it's your place and I know it'll look great. I'm a little surprised that I don't see more grey, but then you have a grey sofa.

    I think I surprised myself when I went for a pink sofa. We've had it for 7 years now and I still love it. It's a beautiful fabric. I would say my style has matured, but never really changed.


  7. Loving your mood boards and your entire thought process! Your home is going to be something very special :))

  8. Holly, I'm really liking what you have planned for ONBA. I also appreciate that you're giving some insight behind what you're thinking.
    Last year, we moved into a new place that is a Spanish style home built in the 1920's. It has a ton of character (which I love), but it forced me/inspired me to sway more towards new purchases that were vintage to help balance out all the mid-century modern furniture we already owned. To do this day, I still feel like our place could benefit from someone's trained eye to give it one last touch and make it all come together. Someday. ;)

  9. To all of you, thank you so much! Such encouragement and insightful comments ... I am so lucky to have you as readers :)

    @Lysann: Sounds good what you say about balance and accepting ourselves, being softer and gentler.

    @Danie: change, evolution ... also things I like.

    @Tina: I really like how you expect and accept change. In combination with what's been said, I realize that this is probably a great way to give ourselves a chance to grow and evolve more easily, without extra struggle maybe... Good tip on the fur blankets, thanks!

    @Gerard: G! My husband said the same thing about the fur blankets. "Um, Holly, I don't think so..." I foresee having to use my patience and discrete perseverance on that one :) By the way, I imagine the furs I would choose would be much more on the grey side ... I just couldn't find a good image. So yes, more grey to come. Your pink sofa is quite the surprise! But it looks absolutely amazing. Proof that surprising ourselves leads to great things :)

    I'd also like to let you all know, that I will be m.i.a. from the blogosphere until second week of October probably ... moving next week and starting the new job, I imagine will be physically, emotionally and intellectually draining (but in a good way), so I don't think I'll have much left in me to post on my blogs. I hope you can also forgive me in advance for probably not visiting your blogs as much as I'd like to during that time. But I hope to be back as usual by mid October :)

    Big hugs and best wishes to you all!!
    xoxo Holly.

  10. exceptional style...yes, so warm and inviting...and modern. crazy for the painting, sofa, and black and leather accessories...uber sharp, holly. xx

  11. Wonderful palette Holly and I'm really enjoying following your proceed too. My taste seems to change far too often. I am continually drawn to Scandinavian design and the very neutral palettes in other work. My own home however has stronger accents and even a hand printed classic wallpaper in the bedroom! Faux fur I think will be great because you will incorporate it so well and with taste. Happy Sunday lovely xx

  12. Greetings from Holly to Holly! *smiling* Like your Blog and like your new home! ... also thinking of creating a white, grey, brown room too (since a few months)

  13. What a warm, cozy and lovely autumn mood dear Holly!
    It fits wonderfully to the season you'll be beginning to set up home again.
    Fall marks new beginnings and so does a new home :) It will be gorgeous for sure!

    The tones of the painting are stunning and calming at the same time! I wonder how it has slipped my attention when visiting you...

    Here is to a all things well during movement and the whole transitional period. Take your time and enjoy every bit of it. It shall be mostly enjoyable, even though some tiredness seems to accompany such phases, too.

    Warm hugs from the other side of the woods ;)
    xoxoxo Iro

  14. ooh, Holly. this is very exciting! Love the mix of materials and the warm tones...but I've always been a warm toned kinda gal. Surprises? Hmm, would have to say that my recent inclinations to modern design have surprised me. Used to think it cold and vacant but there's a simplicity and beauty in it. Anyway, can't wait to observe and learn from this process. Happy designing.

  15. I love it Holly - this palette appeals to my calm, purist side. So comfortable to live with. Enjoy the process!