Legal & Interior Consultant • 3 Children • Berlin, Germany
Our muse Anna Cor lives in Berlin with her husband and their 3 children. She shows us around her beautiful apartment and introduces us to her adorable family. Read her insider tips on how to spend a perfect day in Berlin!
You studied law and work as a legal consultant for an NGO. In addition to this full-time job you recently started your own freelance business as interior consultant and stylist. How did this happen?
Anna: I just like to be engaged in interior design and two years ago I rebuilt our apartment from scratch. I often change things and I especially work a lot with color. Some of our friends really liked what I did and asked me for help with their interior. My design also appealed to their friends and it has been continuing like this until today.
How would you describe your home?
Anna: It’s our family home and feels like a retreat for all of us. A big city like Berlin is always loud and in motion and can be so impressionable every day. That can be exhausting, especially for our children. Therefore our home should be calm and comfortable. We have a lot of space for family living, but also for individual interests.
The colors in your apartment are astonishing. The wall paints but also the colors of the furniture, lighting and accessories add up to a beautiful harmony. What advice can you give us about choosing colors for the home?
Anna: Only choose colors you really like and not too many. Once you are aware of the color range you prefer, it is easier to select the colors for your walls, furniture and accessories. And then you can always add little accents in order to break up the primary look.
You live in Berlin with your husband and 3 children. Is it true that Berlin is a very family friendly city?
Anna: Yes, I would say that´s true. It is fairly easy here for parents to combine family and work. There are adequate childcare options and full-time schools are standard. Children are most welcome everywhere, Berlin has great playgrounds and parks and museums for children – it is like a world especially for little kids! The children grow up in their neighborhoods like in a village, they do things together in groups – also without parents – it is a little bit like it used to be in former times. Nevertheless we do sometimes feel a lack of nature and time – probably like many modern families today.
What else do you love about Berlin?
Anna: That Berlin is mainly free of narrow-minded, uptight people. You don´t get judged and can live a free life.
Berlin has several interesting neighborhoods. Why did you choose to live in Berlin-Mitte?
Anna: Flo and I lived for a long time in Kreuzberg in our own apartments. When we were ready to move in together we couldn’t find an appealing place there. The part of Berlin-Mitte where we live now, was at that time mainly un-renovated and pretty affordable (we were students with a child). On top of that it was incredibly central with adorable apartments and open spaces. We don’t live in our original apartment anymore, but we moved just one street further: it is a very pretty, calm oasis in Berlin-Mitte, with all the things that make life good right outside our door step: great coffee places, wonderful and unique stores, very good infrastructure in general, a playground, a small park, a great farmers market on Fridays, where we always meet friends amongst many other things…
How does your ideal day with your children look like?
Anna: Coffee and croissants at the playground, meet up with friends, read books together, and just spend time together…
For a family visiting Berlin for a few days, what would you recommend them to see and do?
Anna: Kids love the Museum fuer Naturkunde. The JOINin! Museum for Children is great for a rainy day and the Jewish Museum offers interesting tours specifically for kids.
In good weather: take a stroll on the Museumsinsel and along the Spree. Right were Monbijou Park is you’ll find a small beach bar at the water and also a kid’s pool where the little ones can splash around.
On weekends (Saturdays and Sundays, weather permitting) the Berlin Thai community meets up at Preussenpark in Wilmersdorf, better known as the Thai Park. You will find endless rows of blankets and portable mini kitchens and you can try all the authentic food (careful: order mild!). It is wonderful there, like having a picnic in a mini Bangkok.
Sundowner – or with kids more likely – breakfast on a parking lot rooftop: enter through the shopping mall Neukoelln Arcaden on Karl-Marx-Strasse, take the elevator to the 5th floor and head up the ramp to the rooftop. The place is called Klunkerkranich: Mon to Sat 10am-midnight, Sun 12am – midnight, HTTP://WWW.KLUNKERKRANICH.DE
Our kids also love the Botanical Garden in Berlin Dahlem. There are impressive glass houses with cacti forests and palm trees.
And your favorite local spots for some time without the children?
Do you think Berlin has a specific family-style?
Anna: I think Berlin is also quite laid back when it comes to fashion – cool, not overstyled, but thoughtful at the same time;)
What is important for you when choosing clothes for your children? Do you have some favorite brands?
Anna: For my boys it is important that the clothes are simple and comfortable. They don’t like prints very much. They prefer labels such as FUB and Gray Label. For my little daughter I like combining liberty fabrics with simple pieces. Quality is very important to me and she should be able to move around comfortably. I have some pieces of mimmi likes and poudre organic. I also like Tocoto Vintage a lot – simple beautiful fabrics with playful details.
Your boys are 8 and 6 and your daughter is 18 months old. What do they play together? Do they have toys they are specifically attached to?
Anna: They mostly play things together that involve motion: spontaneous find and go seek, playing catch or they just goof around. Building blocks and wooden animal figures are for all ages and they enjoy playing with them together. The boys like pushing their sister quite fast in her doll’s stroller - it makes her laugh so much! All of them have their own Waldorf doll, which looks exactly like them – a mini-me so to speak. They love those dolls very much. The youngest boy still needs all of his stuffed animals, particularly his two Steiff bears and the small Nanchen terry carrot, which he’s had since he was a baby. The bigger boy has already passed that stage – at the moment he is probably most attached to his LEGO. Surprisingly our little one already loves painting a lot. At night she always needs her musical sheep next to her in bed.
I really enjoyed spending time with you and your family. The atmosphere in your family seams very relaxed and harmonic. Do you have something like a parenting philosophy?
Anna: No, I don’t. Like they say: happy parents have happy kids. That nails it I think. You have to make sure that you yourself are content and relaxed. That’s what makes kids feel safe and secure and happy, most importantly.
Thank you Anna!