When Miriam Seixas, an interior stylist known on Instagram as @frau.kieselstein, decided to find a secondary apartment in Hamburg, Germany, the rental market was chaotic. Nicer units were flying off the shelves, so she decided to go a different route. Seixas realized there was an upside to choosing something untouched. “I wasn’t afraid of ruining a perfectly good renovation anymore. I had the freedom to do whatever I wanted,” she explains. 

Anne-Catherine Scoffoni

Living between Portugal and Germany, Seixas takes inspiration from her surroundings and the cultures of the countries she calls home. The attic apartment is only 650 square feet, but it’s packed with personality. Not able to make significant structural changes due to landlord restrictions, she added her touch to the stark space through low-cost means: styling (throw blankets everywhere) and paint (peachy pink in the entry; pale yellow in the living room). 

Sofa and Coffee Table, Hay. Anne-Catherine Scoffoni

Each room was an opportunity to experiment with both color and texture, like a Moroccan rug paired with a metal coffee table in the living space and a mint green table lamp with olive bedding in the primary bedroom. Adding flowers and a variety of plants helped Seixas bring more liveliness to the petite spaces.

Anne-Catherine Scoffoni
Cabinet, IKEA. Anne-Catherine Scoffoni

Seixas’s favorite part of the flat, though, is the kitchen. Her intention was to re-create the feeling of her childhood home, where everything from cooking to homework was done around the table. “I always wanted to have space for a lot of friends and family, just to talk the whole night together with a glass of wine and some nice food,” she says. Complete with intentionally mismatched natural wood and red-painted dining chairs, not to mention countertops in an unexpected pastel blue hue, the room is bright and airy. Two oversize windows flood the area with natural light. 

The highlight of the kitchen’s seating is a tiled bench with black grout and poppy red legs that Seixas DIYed during lockdown. Similar models were out of her price range, so she decided to try the trendy technique herself. Pleased with the results, she even created a couple of pedestals for her collection of plants in the living room. 

Anne-Catherine Scoffoni

Anne-Catherine Scoffoni

Still, despite budget-friendly tricks elsewhere (and though this apartment isn’t Seixas and her husband’s primary residence), the designer knew splurging on a couple of big-ticket items was a must.The rattan headboard—which she’d fallen in love with years prior—was one of those necessary investments. “Things that you use daily, like your sofa and your bed, should be good quality, because you use them so often,” she explains. 

Anne-Catherine Scoffoni

The priority for Seixas when designing any space, she says, is to curate a feeling. For this apartment, it was about maximizing comfort, knowing that living in the rental would be short-term (a few years, max). As the designer explains: “I wanted walking into the flat to feel like a hug.”

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