Ulf is a good-natured German gentleman from Hamburg, who has been living in Romania for the last 8 years, and currently works in a representative company of a large German corporation, one of Europe’s leading suppliers of coating systems. He met his future wife, Doina, at his previous job working in the telecommunications and network infrastructure sector, in a Greek company with a branch in Romania.
Ulf has been traveling between different countries for almost 17 years due to his professional activity, he has worked and lived for different periods in cities in Germany, Africa, Greece, Holland, Hungary, and Switzerland, and now he lives in Bucharest.
So where is my home?
After I met Doina I knew that I wanted to stay with her in Romania, and a few years later, we decided to move together to a new apartment, preferably in a central area.
In 2019 we were expecting a child together, now we have a little girl who has grown up a bit and already understands 3 languages, Romanian, German and English.
During that time we were each living in a rental apartments, so the time was perfect for a change. We bought the apartment on blvd. Barbu Văcărescu in 2019 during the construction of a new residential complex, but the construction was delayed due to the pandemic. We actually ended up moving into the apartment at the end of 2021.
What was your approach for the interior design project?
Do it yourself. But with valuable strategic help from Andrei Gângă, the studio’s art director. Andrei came up with the idea for the central open space kitchen layout with a peninsula and snack table, with an opening to the living room and passage from the corridor.
The idea was for the peninsula with the drop-shaped wooden snack table to become a central place for socializing, an eye-catcher in the kitchen, which is what happened in practice. We love to have guests and everyone naturally gravitates towards the bar and the snack table.
We really enjoyed the personal approach, based on lifestyle questions, like an interior design therapist. It took about 2-3 hours of discussions with Andrei to design with us the shape and functions of the kitchen on a sketch with annotations.
Before the 3D renderings, we couldn’t imagine how they would fit together, but once we saw the 3D images and samples, everything became clear, logical, and absolutely wonderful.
What took a bit longer was choosing the colors for the fronts – wooden fronts versus frosted white glass fronts and quartz countertops. If you are a first-timer in custom kitchen design, it is difficult to choose from photos or samples at the showroom, you need to see the samples at home, in situ, in the actual light conditions.
The kitchen is a mix of individual styles, seen from the point of view of utility and functionality. Ulf is a ‘city boy, as Doina would say, he likes modern elements, minimalist style, and Italian design, see the choice of frosted glass for kitchen fronts. Doina prefers natural wood essences, natural textures, and a warmer, homely approach.
How was the interior design process after receiving the keys for the apartment?
The kitchen project really set the tone for the home design project. Also, the kitchen was the only furniture delivered before the rest of the furnishing and decorative elements. I worked from home in the kitchen on the peninsula with the construction site around me for a few weeks.
After the kitchen was set up, the ceiling had to be redone to install air conditioning in all rooms and it was very messy and tiring for a while, but it all worked out in the end.
We handled the interior design ourselves, without the help of a coordinating designer. It was a pleasant but stressful process, it also took much longer than we expected because there are many things to synchronize, specific procedures that need to be coordinated.
Looking back, sometimes we may not have followed the correct order of the works, which made everything more complicated, but now having learned from experience, we’ve grown into experts.
The two have rented many apartments over time. They had smaller 2-room apartments, but now they enjoy 4 rooms and a balcony, just behind the kitchen peninsula, with plenty of space for the barbecue, Ulf’s great passion.
It’s nice to settle down.
I love that we’ve managed to create with Doina a place of our own, personal for both of us. If you’re renting for short periods of a few years, you’re usually not investing in space and have to make do with what’s easily available.
I wanted a modern kitchen for a long time, like the ones I saw on LinkedIn and Pinterest, and with the new personal long-term apartment, I had the perfect opportunity.
We each brought a few favorite objects from our previous homes, such as vintage lamps, vases, decorations, but we both wanted a fresh start with new, modern, individually chosen objects and customized furniture.
What was our approach for the project?
Andrei Gângă, Art Director MyKitchen
It is a Nordic-style kitchen project with rigorous geometry and organization, yet still discreet, with a ‘German’ approach, which fully exploits the latest technology and materials, see the chemically sandblasted glass fronts, which capture the effect of translucency and visual lightness.
We always wanted to use the drop-shaped snack table from Zampieri Cucine, we admired it in the catalog photos, and we presented it to Ulf and Doina and they loved it. We created the kitchen around this focal point and separated the kitchen area from the living room with a peninsula.
The snack table is made of millennial oak wood – reclaimed wood – and represents the emotional factor that defines the timeless character of the entire project.
- Fronts for base and suspended units: White chemically blasted glass on Champagne aluminum frame
- Fronts for columns: ‘Grigio London’ veneer, 20 mm
- Worktop: Quartz Santa Margherita ‘Vermont’ (matt)
- Wall cladding: Quartz Santa Margherita ‘Vega’ (glossy)
- Front mask for the heating system with “Grigio London” with checkered effect
- Cladding with a hinged opening for technical access
- Zampieri Cucine “SEGNI” “Rovere Fossile” snack table – millennial excavated oak veneer
- Telescopic socket for countertop with 3 Schuko positions + 2 USB
- Lighting system
- Built-in appliances: Refrigerator, washing machine, ovens, induction hob
Thinking about your new custom kitchen?
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