At first, it’s a bit disorientating to step out of a lift – playing loud disco music – onto an empty rooftop terrace. But we’re immediately stunned by a magnificent view over Berlin’s skyline. “Hello, hello, hello, come in, come in – do you want a tea, a smoothie maybe?” We’re ushered over the terrace into Cloudy Zakrocki’s Berlin base: a top floor apartment in the city’s hip Mitte district [“No need to take your shoes off!”]. As Editorial Director, Cloudy is the creative force behind the German branch of Refinery29, a female-focused lifestyle publisher. It shows in her home. Inspired by many trips to LA, her one bedroom is effortlessly cool – displaying vintage gems, a penchant for souvenirs and an admittedly envy-inducing array of plants. In fact, there’s a lot to be charmed by here. Luckily for you, we’ve picked our favourite parts:
Thanks to Cloudy’s collection of elephant figurines, perhaps? “In Feng shui an elephant with the trunk pointing upwards and facing a window brings good luck. Once, I had an awful fashion week. When I arrived back home, I immediately knew why – my housesitter had turned all my elephants away from the windows!”
“I am an incredibly sociable person and love to have friends around me. In the summer, we often chill on my terrace. In winter, I organise cosy evenings at my home: we order take out food and chat through the night. I hosted a New Year's Eve party, for everyone I know in Berlin – I think it was a good start to the new year for everyone who came.”
We can totally get on board with Cloudy’s Type B decorating style
Cloudy’s only interior tip: Relax. “I’m not convulsively following a style. I buy the pieces I really want – and add other furniture as I go. This laid-back approach has actually left me with zero chairs for a year. But it also makes my apartment my own.”
And have you seen the plants?
“My style is mid-century meets LA. That’s why I wanted all these plants: Aloe Vera, Bird of Paradise, ZZ plants. That lush, natural look you see everywhere on the West Coast – it’s a lightness I really wanted to capture in my home.”
The interior expertly balances design classics with secondhand finds
“I found my vintage sideboard for €20 – I’m not fussy with stuff I buy. But for years, I’ve had two items on my wishlist: the oval Tulip Table by Saarinen and the cult coffee table by Noguchi. I fulfilled both these wishes and still enjoy these extraordinary pieces every day.”
“It’s important to keep friends and family close. My friends know about my love for souvenirs and vintage, they contribute heavily to my collection. One of my best friends recently gave me a Nazar amulet from Mykonos. Some other very good friends gave me a picture of Johnny Depp from Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas. Another best friend painted me and gave me the sketch. I need personal elements in my apartment.”
A Madonna photograph, imagery from Refinery29 shoots, paintings done by family and friends – there are loads of unique pieces throughout the space: “My godfather was part of the team that produced The Smurfs. He actually drew the cartoon series – I’m lucky to have some of the original foils framed in my kitchen.”
“I believe in the universe and astronomy. To be honest, also think there’s something in astrology. To me, it’s just obvious how influenced we are by the sun, the moon, the stars – even the tide and nature in general. The star motif is something I find myself drawn to – it’s on my shoes, clothes, bags. A tattoo will be next.”
It’s the perfect cosy-yet-sexy retreat: “Before I moved in, I travelled a lot and never really understood why people relied on their bedroom being a sanctuary. That’s completely changed. Now, I love having enough space to spread out and chill for hours. I usually have only one evening a week for myself – and that means: favourite food, favourite series, favourite bed.”
The apartment has the roof terrace of our dreams
“I love my roof terrace! It’s become a real meeting place of all friends that live in the area. Sometimes they just ask for my key to hang out here when I’m travelling. They even gave me a rooftop shower as a present for those hot Berlin summers.”
And we mentioned the frankly beautiful view over Berlin, didn’t we?
“To me, Berlin is currently the greatest city in the world. Nowhere else can you develop as freely as you can here. You have so many career opportunities and at the same time have the security of a socially minded state like Germany. In Berlin you meet so many different people from so many different cultures – it broadens your horizons. You can have the best fine-dining experience but also eat the best kebab around the corner. And it’s super green, the quality of life is incredibly high. Here you can work, celebrate, chill, dream – Berlin is everything and nothing, but above all, exactly what you make of it.”
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Article written by: Lisa Wenske
Photography by: Anna Cor