Nanda sitting on her golden Scott velvet sofa next to her Siam cat in front of a dark green wall.

Young bohemian: Nanda’s carefully composed home in Cologne

While her fellow students are still in flat shares, 22-year-old blogger Nanda's already furnished her two bedroom rental flat in Cologne. She shares a ground floor apartment in the hip Ehrenfeld neighbourhood with her boyfriend and two Siamese cats. The place is as tastefully curated as her Instagram feed, with an intriguing blend of modern and vintage design - and a touch of free-spirited quirkiness. Nanda told us how this eclectic mix came together.

Rental roulette

“We got this flat through pure luck - the real estate market in Cologne is a nightmare. We’d actually said yes to a different apartment, but 10 hours before we signed the contract they changed their mind. My tax accountant heard about our situation and connected us with the landlord of this place, a friend of his. We came over for a viewing a week later and took it straight away.”

Not so simple

“I was looking for a metal coffee table because I’m quite bored with the super-Swedish look that’s all about wood and simplicity. I found this on MADE.COM. I knew I wanted green as a key colour in the flat, so this Aula table with its green glass was the one.”

Untidy flatmates

“Amy and Sue have lived with us since August. To be honest, I rarely call them by their names - their nicknames are Mopsi and Mausi. Both of them love making a mess.”

Sofa, so good

“The velvet, the vintage feel: the minute I spotted the Scott sofa, I knew I wanted to save up for it. At first I wasn’t sure if I preferred it in orange or green. Then the gold version launched, and it’s perfect. It contrasts really nicely with the green walls, and it’s so comfy. I admit I bought it mostly for style reasons. But good looks and comfort? That’s hard to find.”

Online versus offline

“I don’t have a car, so I buy new furniture online - it makes life so much easier. But I get most of my vintage pieces from car boot sales and markets. The chest of drawers is one of the oldest pieces in the flat. It actually belonged to my great-grandmother. I was changed on it as a baby.”

Creative clique

“Art’s really important to me - I think it makes a room feel more alive. Quite a few of the pieces here are by people I know. My mum also has a lot of artist friends, so I might get my hands on some of their drawings, too.”

Work in progress

“The desk is a piece of solid wood, resting on old oyster cages. I’d love to turn it into a kitchen counter by making holes in it for a sink and stove. Then there’d be enough space in the living room for a dining table, so we could invite more friends over for wine - there’s nothing better.”

Changing tastes

“I’ve always been interested in style and aesthetics. And I definitely have my phases. As a teenager I was a skater - my room was covered in graffiti. That was followed by a pink period, which lasted about a year before my parents had to repaint my room white. And I’ve always been into Pinterest and Tumblr. I ‘like’ so many items, though - I’d need an entire house to store them in.”

A style education

“The motifs on these botanical prints are from old German school posters. And the chairs in the kitchen are from an actual school - they sold them when they were renovating. I love the green and orange - they fit in perfectly.”

The perfect start

“I like spending the morning in the kitchen, sitting at the table so I can see outside. The radio’s usually on, and I’ll drink a cup of Matcha green tea while checking my emails. When I need to prepare something for university, though, I’ll head to the library.”

Old opulence

“I was going for a slightly more baroque feeling in the bedroom: industrial meets kitsch. The Skye bed was ideal for this. It complements my heirloom pieces beautifully. The mirror’s from before the war, and the sewing box originally belonged to my mum, who’s a tailor. I keep my jewellery in it.”

Sharing is caring

“From the start of this project I knew I wanted to feature my home on my Instagram feed. Just because it’s so much fun. And one thing’s for sure: the apartment will keep changing. I’ve still got stuff in the basement, so there are things I can redecorate with.”

Article written by: Marius Thies
Photography by: Annika Feuss

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