Some homes take a vintage aesthetic to a whole other level, and instead of mere sofas and stylish sideboards, a living space becomes more like a time capsule. But no such space is as exquisitely curated as the home of photographer, Felix Grimm.
Living solo in his rented Berlin flat, Felix’s interior style has a refined sense of sentiment that strikes a similarity to the set of the Golden Girls, melded with a hint of Almost Famous. The warmth of his nostalgic eye is at odds with the concrete walls and low ceilings of the wider housing compound– a “plattenbau” in German, which loosely translated means “industralised building”.
From the outside, the flat’s utilitarian front belies the eccentricity within, save for the disco ball and suncatchers hanging on Felix’s balcony; “industralised” couldn’t be farther from his home’s panache.
“I think it gives you quite a good picture of what kind of person I am,” says Felix. “It’s a seventies-bohemian-eclectic-vintage-midcentury-secondhand jungle.”
And jungle it is. Given the multitude of plants taking up residence, Felix can hardly claim to live alone. The leafy tendrils of dozens of plants hang from the ceiling in macrame holders, each made by Felix himself. His intricate weavings, tasseled and toned in 70s shades, hang from hooks in unexpected places, like underneath the kitchen shelves where plants suspend casually – and inconspicuously – beside sieves and scissors.
“Without wanting to sound braggy at all, working as a photographer has given me a natural eye for shapes and aesthetics,” he says. “When I’m styling a room, I truly always think of what would look good in a picture and what looks coherent.”
A commitment to vintage living definitely isn’t as swift as shopping for interior trends in big brand stores, but with it, comes an ease of recognition for pieces which are just right. In Felix’s case, his interior style has given him an unfaltering belief that the right items will find him and not the other way around.
“I think the only piece in my entire home that doesn’t fit the mold is my bed,” he says. “All the dressers, the cupboard, the desk, the shelving – everything else – is either bought secondhand, at a flea market, created through DIY or simply a good street-find.”
This sense of happenstance and belonging, where things are brought together and eclectically coordinated, but somehow unified in a cohesive mismatch, is Felix’s modus operandi. “Everything has life, a story or something special about it,” he adds. “I’m surrounded by everything I love, which is a great boost of energy for me.”
There’s a magic to Felix’s nostalgia; maybe, in part, because of how consistently it flows from room to room, corner to corner, and quite literally. A colourful current in three tones – of rust, blush and traffic-cone-orange – are banded together like a rainbow and painted in winding dips across walls and around door frames. The walls themselves have become art and empty frames display the abstract shapes painted on a blank backdrop.
“My flat has massively changed since I moved in,” explains Felix. Having been here for three years after living with housemates previously, he quickly lay claim to making this space his own. “I’m pretty detail-orientated, which comes as a blessing and curse at the same time, but it feels much more personal and homely now.”
With a taste for DIY, Felix is setting his sights on a new flat, one he can start with from its barest bones. “I really, really want to move,” he says. “I’d love to start from scratch, build something new, and most of all, have a much brighter flat because if there’s one thing missing, it’s definitely more natural light. I would love that and I think my plants would too.”
Follow Felix @merakikollektiv