Sometimes I look through the homes we feature here at Design*Sponge, and a color that a homeowner selected — or the light that streams into the room in the photo I’m looking at — invokes a certain feeling within me. It’s like hearing a song that instantly transports me to a time or place in my life. Such is the case with the home of Daniela Schinke, a teacher and blogger based in Kassel, Germany, that she shares with her husband and her two youngest children. I look at the pictures of Daniela’s home and suddenly I hear the beautiful piano playing of Emahoy Tsegué-Maryam Guèbrou, an Ethiopian nun. The muted tones of the home blend together from one room to the next like a well composed song, tying each hue together seamlessly.

Dating back to the 1880s, the house was formerly part of an old monastery complex that was partly destroyed during World War II. Once rebuilt, two rooms ended up with slightly higher ceilings in addition to some very low-height rooms. Based in a small district within Kassel, Daniela shares this about her rented home of now 19 years: “We live close to fields and meadows. We always say we live in a village in the middle of the city. The infrastructure is very good and you can do everything on foot. Cafes, shopping and the tram are practically on the doorstep. [We can find ourselves] in nature […] in two minutes; Here we also have a beautiful, wild allotment. Our district has been incorporated very late and impresses with its originality and the many half-timbered houses. Many young families want to live here, so the housing market here is very rare.”

After previously living a short time in a more newly constructed flat, Daniela realized that it didn’t work for her needs — she values a home with history and patina. “[This current] apartment was in a very bad condition and was not nice when I moved in, but she had potential,” Daniela reflects. “We changed and renovated a lot when I moved to it; on the beautiful old floorboards stuck dark grey carpet and the floorboards had to be freed from ‘ox blood.’ The old doors and skirting boards were all freshly painted and the kitchen completely redesigned; Here, PVC stuck in the tile design on the walls. We partly designed the kitchen ourselves and built it together with a friend. At that time, we partly used the old kitchen furniture and varnished it (and now white again). Also the tiles and the floor in the kitchen received a freshness cure.”

“I love to decorate my apartment regularly and to renovate it every once in a while,” Daniela continues. “So I paint every now and then the walls in other colors.” Scroll below to get a beautiful peek at Daniela’s home, in its current state, before she makes one of the frequent changes that she tends to make around the house. Follow her on Instagram to see what changes she makes next in her home. —Erin

Photography by Daniela Schinke

Image above: “I enjoy change, playing with colors, beautiful pictures; I love to discover old furniture and to combine it with beautiful, simple design pieces. A mix of old and new embodies for me more personality in living than a uniform look. When setting up [a home, these factors are] important to me: color harmony, joy of trying and especially [making it feel livable]… This is not an exhibition space, but a home! ” Daniela shares. 

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