Franckly Friends: Pauline Deckert and Arash Ghassemi’s home in Berlin is filled with creative flux

Pauline Deckert and Arash Ghassemi have turned their rooftop flat into an eclectic Gesamtkunstwerk, a total work of art of different styles and eras. Design Stories visited the couple’s colorful home in Berlin – take a tour with us!

Pauline Deckert and Arash Ghassemi
Pauline Deckert and Arash Ghassemi in their living room. The white Peill & Putzler Mushroom lamp on the right is the first ever vintage piece Pauline acquired. The De Sede sofa was also found second-hand.

PAULINE DECKERT, the founder and creative mind behind crochet fashion brand Pauluschkaa Studio, lives in the lively area of Kreuzberg in Berlin with her boyfriend and restaurateur, Arash Ghassemi.

Their cozy rooftop flat is an ever-evolving playground for their intuitive experiments with colors and co-creation.

Hallway with blue walls and ceiling
The walls and ceiling of the hallway were painted blue to create a feeling of being underwater – a first strong impression of entering the flat by walking through a cave-like blue into the bright openness of the living room.

Hi Pauline and Arash! Thank you for showing us your space – there is so much to discover! What is the atmosphere the two of you aim to create in your home?
: “The most important thing is that we create a cozy space where we can enjoy ourselves, calm down and feel at home. When visiting us, most of my friends say they leave with the feeling that they were on a vacation – which is nice to hear!”

Arash: “We love spending time at home and starting new creative projects.”

We’d love to hear about your latest one!
Pauline: “We changed the wall colors in three rooms lately to warmer tones. We used to have cold grey tiles in our kitchen, and the kitchen was always cold. It was never a place where we would spend much time. Since we changed the color to a buttery yellow, it feels much warmer and more inviting.”

Arash: “And we also painted the walls and ceiling of our hallway blue, and now it feels like a little cave. You have the feeling of being underwater. If you ever come into the flat again, whether it is in two weeks or months, it’s going to look different for sure. Our home is always changing, it’s in constant creative flux.”

Kitchen with soft yellow tiles
The color of the wall tiles in the kitchen was changed from grey to a soft yellow shade to make the kitchen feel more inviting.
Alessi  Kettle 9093, blue
Pauline remembers growing up surrounded by Alessi objects. She found the Alessi kettle from her grandmother’s basement and took it with her to Berlin. “The little bird makes a whistling noise when the water is boiling. It’s so cute.”

What is your creative dynamic?
: “It’s quite complex since Arash and I are both people with strong opinions. We know what we like and what we want and backing up from that can be difficult sometimes. I am probably even worse than him! But he is a good listener, and often we end up co-creating. What mostly comes from me is playfulness and not thinking about things too much. I like to have lots of tiny, fun things everywhere. He is more minimalist. He needs to have a little space.”

Arash: “Even in regards to our apartment and interior décor, it’s always a bit back and forth with us. The flat would look different if only one of us made the decisions. She brings something to the table, and I might say no, at first. Then she convinces me, and I bring something to the table to make it more classic. It is a product of us both.”

Pauline: “My best-selling piece is my funny beanie and Arash helped me design it. Initially, it was in the style of a balaclava, and he kind of liked it but didn’t want to wear it – so we made some changes – until he did start wearing it!”

Pauline Deckert
Pauline sells her crochet designs on Instagram. Her brand has grown fast over the past two years, and she was able to hire her first employee.
Wooden pharmacy drawer
The large vintage pharmacy drawer system was the first item Pauline and Arash bought together for their new apartment. The vintage Casalino chair is by Alexander Begge.
Artemide  Tolomeo table lamp
The Tolomeo table lamp was gifted to Pauline by her father when she was a teenager. It has been part of her life ever since and currently serves as a bedside lamp on top of a vintage industrial drawer.

You mentioned the beanie! After graduation, you started your brand, Pauluschkaa Studio, and focused on your crochet work and creations. Was crochet always part of your life, or did you pick it up again at a certain point?
: “My grandma taught me to crochet when I was six. She showed me how to crochet little flowers and made pillowcases for me and my sister. I remember when I started, I was so impatient. It’s hard when you try it for the first time. I picked it up again and again over the years but never stuck with it for a long period until the pandemic hit.

“When I feel anxious and stressed out the most helpful thing for me is to crochet my anxiety away.”

I finished university when the pandemic was at its peak, and I was sewing all the costumes for my bachelor’s thesis at home. I also crocheted a costume and realized that I enjoy the technique. I have worked with it for over two and a half years now. When I feel anxious and stressed out the most helpful thing for me is to crochet my anxiety away.”

Ingmar Relling Siesta lounge chair
Before Pauline and Arash took over the flat, an architect custom-built the staircase shelves to access the attic and create storage space. The Siesta lounge chair is by Ingmar Relling.
Red Bisley drawer
The red Bisley drawer holding the stereo system was found at a private house sale near Hannover, where the couple also acquired the red print now hanging above the drawer.
Concrete chess table
Pauline and Arash started playing chess during the pandemic, and Arash decided to design a dedicated chess table. He built the table out of concrete and ordered hand-cut tiles from Morocco. Funnily though, once he had built the table, they stopped playing chess.

You studied costume design. Does this show in your creative work and in the way you decorate your home?
Pauline: “While fashion design is very industry-focused and has more rules to it, there’s much more creative freedom and character as well as space for experimenting in costume design. I think you can see that both in my work and our home interior. I am interested in everything and nothing at the same time and draw inspiration a little bit from everything. I’ve never been attached to a specific era or designer, and I think you can see that in our interior décor as well. It’s built mostly around what feels good and intuitive.”

I can imagine that crocheting is quite an intuitive and meditative practice. Would you say intuition and improvisation are important parts of your work?
: “For sure. If I have an idea, I pick up my crochet straight away and see how things flow. I would rather try something twenty times than write down a pattern. I started to make my colorful pieces because I had a bag full of wool scraps and leftover colors. I intuitively began to crochet with one color, then moved on to the next one. And that’s how I noticed that I am quite good at color combinations. My work is mostly very intuitive.”

Do you have specific color combinations that you keep coming back to?
Pauline: “I like to combine everything with a chocolatey brown, and I like complementary contrasts like purple and yellow or green and red. Also, everything goes well with blushy baby pink. Keep that in mind!”

Home studio with vintage drawer
Pauline’s studio has large windows that fill the space with light. The large drawer and worktop is a vintage find from Hanover and the centerpiece in Pauline’s home studio, often covered with colorful threads of wool and crocheting tools.
Ikea Niels Gammelgaard shelves
The Niels Gammelgaard shelves are vintage Ikea. In the original version, the shelves are black and each of the edges is painted in a different color. “I saw the shelves for the first time in a friend’s kitchen and fell for them,” says Pauline.
Bruno Rey chairs
Pauline and Arash were lucky to find two original Bruno Rey chairs second-hand from a seller in the south of Germany. Arash is thinking of creating a special corner for them in his new restaurant.

How does your environment influence your creative work and your design sensibilities? Where do you get your inspiration?
Pauline: “When I crochet, I mostly like to be alone. I love being at home, working in my studio or the kitchen, and listening to audiobooks. I am really into fantasy stories with witches and vampires – they transport me into another world.

I get inspired by the most random things. In Berlin, every day is different and it’s a busy city, which I like. There’s a huge cultural offering, so many exhibitions, and so many different people. I love watching people when I am outside on the streets. So, if I notice someone in a nice color-coordinated outfit, I might use that color combination for one of my beanie designs when I am at home. Sometimes I take sneaky photos of things and people while pretending I am doing nothing.”

Vintage dining table and chairs
The dining table was found in a vintage furniture store in Kreuzberg, and the chairs are second-hand. The pendant lamp is from Copenhagen, and the table lamp used to belong to Pauline’s grandparents.
Niko June vase
The vase on the kitchen counter is by Niko June, who upcycles plastic containers into sculptures. Pauline added blue color drops to the water and chose decorative kale as the flower arrangement.

What is your favorite place at home?
: “It’s the dining area with the open kitchen. Whether it be enjoying our morning coffee together or a home-cooked dinner with friends and family, it’s the place where we come together.”

What about a design piece?
: “For me, it has to be my grandparents’ old lamp that sits on our dining table. Arash repaired it for me after a little accident last year when it fell and broke apart. I hold it very close to my heart.”

Arash: “And for me, it’s our vintage De Sede sofa. I looked for the perfect sofa for ages and found this one, which was a true bargain but just needed some touch-ups.”

Get inspired

Kettle 9093
Montana Furniture
Couple sideboard
Rey stool
Componibili Bio
Unikko Puffi pouf
Lahden Puukalusto
Display cabinet
Tolomeo table lamp
Colour carpet No. 5

See also:

More pre-loved design treasures at Franckly >

Text: Dörte de Jesus Images: Kerstin Müller

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