Ten years ago, blogger, content creator, and photographer Jules Villbrandt made two major life decisions. After graduating from the University of Arts in Berlin, she founded the design “bloggazine” Herz und Blut, and she moved into the apartment that she still lives in today. It’s hard to say which choice has been more transformational.
Herz und Blut, which is named after a German expression meaning “from the heart,” produces curated articles, imagery, and events—and happens to be an official partner site of AD Germany. For the past decade, the brand has been and continues to be Jules’s creative livelihood, while her apartment has been her home through it all. The place has grown with Jules over the years, and now has a brand-new kitchen to show for it. A room that was once fit for a student has been transformed into a functional yet beautifully delicate space. Here is how Jules created the kitchen of her dreams.
Kitchen location: Set in Berlin’s hyperurban, international Wedding neighborhood, Jules’s kitchen is located in a historical building constructed in 1902.
The before: “Before the renovation, it was a classy student kitchen. It was low-budget but also the best place to host kitchen parties. After nine years, it was time for a change. I was ready for something new,” says Jules.
The inspiration: “I love Pinterest and quickly found a picture of my dream kitchen. This was the start of everything. It became clear that I didn’t want to have upper cabinets and tiles anymore,” Jules explains.
Square footage: 8 square meters (which is about 86 square feet)
Budget: Jules didn’t give herself any parameters—she just started to overhaul.
Counter: Fenix: “The counter is made out of Fenix, a really resistant material,” Jules says of the indestructible product she chose for the high-use area.
Floors: “Prior to the renovation, there was laminate all over,” Jules remembers. “We kicked it out and restored the old wood floor.”
Cabinets: Reform Basis Cabinets in Olive
Backsplash: KeraBad Brushed Copper Aluminum. “It’s so funny that I get so many questions about my backsplash. I really wanted to have a copper one, but it was hard to find, and so I went with this aluminum version. I love it,” Jules says.
Paint: “I used just a normal white, but I'm already thinking about trying something new,” admits Jules.
Appliances: Smeg Refrigerator
Lighting: Connox Midgard Modular Wall Lamps
Shelving Unit: Kaari Wall Shelf With Desk by Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec
Most insane splurge: “The Kaari shelf was always on my wish list and was a real dream-come-true to purchase,” says Jules of her priciest item.
Sneakiest save: Jules and her dad did most of the renovation work themselves, which saved a significant amount of money.
The best part: “I don’t know where to start—I just love everything,” says Jules. “The kitchen was really a life-changer for me. Every morning, I have a big smile on my face when I enter the room.”
What I’d never do again: “I think I would do everything again,” Jules says. There’s nothing like having no regrets.
Final bill: Jules spent around €12,000 (which is about $13,000).
Originally Appeared on Architectural Digest