Welcome to my budget-friendly, minimalist home. For a little bit of background, I moved into this apartment in March 2017. We are almost done furnishing it but still plan to buy a couple of rugs before winter and add a few art pieces that my husband currently has in storage in California. The total cost of furniture/housewares so far is less than 2000 EUR, with the main costs being the sofa, mattress, and washing machine.
Entering the apartment, you walk directly into the living room. We don’t have a genkan (which I believe the western world needs to adopt asap) but we have a mounted shoe closet by the door. On top, we keep an umbrella, sunglasses, keys and any important letters we need to take care of.
In the center of the room is this HUGE green Ikea sofa. It’s where I read, watch Netflix and cuddle with my husband. It’s also big enough for a guest to sleep comfortably on.
In front of the sofa is our DIY Club-Mate coffee table. The great thing about using drink crates is that when we move we can just take these back to the supermarket across the road and they will be reused or recycled! The top of the table slides off and stores our tools and cables. To watch movies and documentaries, I simply pop my Lenovo Insta – Share Projector on the table and watch on the large white wall opposite.
On the right side of the coffee table is my husbands record player, again using drinks crates as furniture! Music is really important to my husband so I wanted to give this a prominent spot.
To the left of the coffee table is the desk area. This is the least organized area so far, we need to find a storage solution for some of our equipment. We (and when I say ‘we’ I mostly mean my husband) have minimized a lot, but there is still stuff we need for work and play.
On the other side of the room is the cat corner, where they have a fountain, auto-feeder, and some cat grass. The auto-feeder is great for regulating their food and making sure they get fed and the same time every day. We also have a fire extinguisher mounted on the wall, because SAFETY!
To the right of the cat corner, you enter our kitchen. The kitchen came pre-installed in this apartment, personally, I would not have chosen white but I don’t really mind it either.
We also have a little nook in the kitchen that is perfect for a two person table. I got this from IKEA and upgraded it with a poster and some plexiglass to add a little color to the space.
Moving onto the balcony, you can see the windows that made me fall in love with this place. With a feature like this you really don’t need anything on the walls.
Our little balcony garden is one of my favorite spaces. We are still learning a lot, but it’s a fun process! So far we have tomatoes, mint, basil, carrots, courgettes, potatoes, Hokkaido squash and lemon thyme. Everything on the balcony can be eaten, and tending to the garden is relaxing. The cats also love hanging out here, taking in all the scents on the breeze!
Moving into the bedroom, probably our most ‘cluttered’ room of the apartment. On the right wall we have three large green dressers which contain our clothing, bedsheets, towels and anything else we need to store. Jake has a little cardboard bed to the side.
You might not have noticed but there are NO closets in our home. No secret little rooms to stuff full of unsightly things. Our suitcases and coat rack are behind the door to the left, but that’s about as hidden as it gets!
Across from the dressers are two metal shelves that I picked up for 10 EUR each. The top shelf houses a bunch of plants (8 to be exact), a poster from one of my favorite Godzilla movies, and a little figure of Mothra. (Side note, we name our plants after people we love. This one is named after Alan Rickman.)
On the second shelf is my #crew. Well, the only crew I really want to be a part of! Star Trek TNG was a huge part of my childhood and some of the ideas presented there helped me form my own beliefs. Gene Roddenberry didn’t just make a TV show, he told a story about how to be better people. He made the future of humanity look bright and beautiful rather than dark and scary. I wanted to be Deanna Troi, a character who was smart, gorgeous, but most importantly kind (and Marina Sirtis is pretty badass too).
The other shelves are filled with camera equipment, books that are not available on Kindle, and a blanket that serves as our cat Fionna’s bed. We plan to add some more plants in the near future.
Our bed is just a memory foam twin size mattress, again from IKEA (delivery is expensive here, so we got the basics from IKEA so that we would only have one delivery charge). Above it hangs the biggest map of Berlin I have ever seen. My husband got this from BVG which runs all the trains and trams in Berlin. We like picking out spots on here for day trips.
Our bedside tables are (again!) made out of drink crates, and mine has a little Chewbacca who holds my iPad and Kindle, as well as my Natural Cycles thermometer and phone charger. There is also a little Bowie doll, because Bowie.
As you can see the apartment is mostly minimalist, with a few geeky touches here and there. We would like to add more color, but don’t really want to buy more stuff, so I suspect it will just continue to get greener as we add more plants.
I haven’t included the bathroom because I am planning to do a zero-waste bathroom story soon. Thanks for reading, and let me know if you have any questions in the comments!