Interiorssneak peeks

A Beautiful Country Home in Rural Germany

by Grace Bonney

I find that most cliched phrases have a good reason for being so commonly used. And in the case of this German home tour, “When you know, you know,” is the motto of the story.

Writer Katrin Scharl and her husband Moritz, a software developer, spent the majority of their relationship living in Vienna and Berlin. Though they had never lived in the countryside, they were both intrigued by the slower pace of life, open space and fresh air. So on a whim, the couple visited a few homes in Brandenburg, a rural area near Berlin. Intent on finding a small fixer-upper, they saw a few houses they liked, but decided to take one last appointment to see a home that didn’t fit their original specs. Twice the size of the other homes they saw, this home had a grand brick facade, huge acreage and was recently renovated by the previous owners — not exactly the scrappy reno they had planned. But as soon as they saw it, Katrin and Moritz knew it was, “the one.” So they packed up their things and their pets (an Irish setter named Ludwig and four cats named Marlene, Lulu, Emma and Lutz) and moved to the countryside.

Though the renovations by the previous owner were done well, Katrin and Moritz wanted to do some more work to make the space their own. So for the past three years they’ve made budget-conscious changes to the house with an almost entirely DIY angle. From building their own deck and IKEA kitchen to transforming a previously unused garden (left fallow for 50+ years), Katrin and Moritz have put so much of their own hard work — and love — into this home and it’s easy to see how their hard work has paid off (those hand-painted kitchen floors are my favorite). I love how well Katrin has used paint and wallpaper to transform the rooms and I’m blown away by the walled flower garden, orchard and vegetable garden they’ve created in just three and a half years. Katrin says it’s their dream home and it’s clear to see why. Thanks so much to Katrin and Moritz for welcoming us into their home. xo, grace

Additional Sources:

-All paint colors are Farrow & Ball: Katrin used Cornforth White, Down Pipe, Oval Room Blue, Elephant’s Breath, Charleston Grey and Slipper Satin throughout the house.

-Furniture is mostly antique or vintage, mainly from eBay, some things are also hand-me-downs from family.

-Sofa in the living room, dining room table, beds, kitchen and shelves in the library are from IKEA.

-Yellow lamps in the guest room are from Habitat. Rugs are from Urbanara (urbanara.de). Blue chairs in the library are from Impressionen (impressionen.de). Most pillows in the living room are from H&M Home.

A Beautiful Country Home in Rural Germany on Design*Sponge
The exterior of Katrin and Moritz' home outside of Berlin. Katrin loves the unusual facade and finds it's helpful in directing guests. "We usually just tell people we live in the 'big red house.' Works every time."
A Beautiful Country Home in Rural Germany on Design*Sponge
When you enter the home you'll find a dramatic white staircase leading to the bedrooms and doorways to the library (pictured here) and the living room on either side. Katrin chose a bold wallpaper to make this in-between space feel special. "I'm a big fan of wallpaper. This is a vintage German wallpaper that I had years before we moved to our house. It has now found the perfect spot," she explained.
A Beautiful Country Home in Rural Germany on Design*Sponge
The home's library room is the perfect place for Katrin to work and read. "We would have loved to get custom-built shelves but that wasn't in the budget. So we got BILLY bookcases from IKEA and made a few tweaks to make them more built-in." she explained. Katrin calls this space her home office and loves the view of her garden she has from the desk. (Wall paint is Down Pipe from F&B)
A Beautiful Country Home in Rural Germany on Design*Sponge
This is the opposite side of the library room, which contains the blue chairs Katrin has "a love-hate-relationship with. Right now, it's more love." (Wall paint is Dove's Tale from F&B)
A Beautiful Country Home in Rural Germany on Design*Sponge
The home's previous owners stripped the grand double doors that lead into the home's living room. Katrin thinks they're, "a pretty combination of rustic and elegant."
A Beautiful Country Home in Rural Germany on Design*Sponge
The living room is Katrin's favorite space in the house. "It's spacious, gets a lot of light and there's lot of room on that sofa to cuddle with Ludwig!" (Wall paint is F&B Cornforth White)
A Beautiful Country Home in Rural Germany on Design*Sponge
Nestled to one side of the living room is the family's wood burning stove. "We love the wood stove, it's in constant operation between September and April and saves us a lot on the oil bill!" Katrin says.
A Beautiful Country Home in Rural Germany on Design*Sponge
The home's spacious foyer connects the living to the dining room. Katrin says, "This visual axis is what sold me on the house." A William Morris wallpaper design in the hallway adds a bit of color.
A Beautiful Country Home in Rural Germany on Design*Sponge
The dining room is connected to the kitchen and Katrin loves it so much that they use it every day. "It gets a lot of light and we love it in here. I made the paper flowers on the wall myself, everybody comments on them!" (Wall paint is F&B Cornforth White)
A Beautiful Country Home in Rural Germany on Design*Sponge
"Our kitchen is a labor of love and my favorite project in the house," Katrin says. "It is a simple IKEA kitchen that I painted myself. The checkerboard floor (another DIY!) is what ultimately transformed the room."
A Beautiful Country Home in Rural Germany on Design*Sponge
The kitchen faces north and the windows face a brick wall, so the kitchen isn't the brightest room in the house. But Katrin still wanted to add a dark accent wall (F&B Charleston Grey). She says, "I have a theory that you should paint dark rooms a dark color so that they look cozy and not dingy."
A Beautiful Country Home in Rural Germany on Design*Sponge
The upstairs hallway. "We have old beams upstairs which add so much character to the rooms. To add a little color I painted all doors a pretty blue (F&B Oval Room Blue)," Katrin says.
A Beautiful Country Home in Rural Germany on Design*Sponge
The master bedroom: "Our bedroom is hard to photograph, but here is a peek! A year ago we added an accent wall with some William Morris wallpaper which completely transformed the room. Its my fairy tale bedroom now," Katrin says.
A Beautiful Country Home in Rural Germany on Design*Sponge
The guest room: "This little room is under the gable and gets a ton of light. It has pretty doors to a small balcony, so l wanted to keep this room nice and simple so that our guests feel right at home."
A Beautiful Country Home in Rural Germany on Design*Sponge
Moritz built the deck himself and Katrin painted it a dark blue-grey. "We have the nicest view over the garden from up there," she says. "It was the best decision ever to build the deck, even if it was one heck of a project!"
A Beautiful Country Home in Rural Germany on Design*Sponge
Katrin calls the backyard garden "her happy place. We have a walled-in flower garden and a big veggie garden. The trees are old and you can't beat that view."
A Beautiful Country Home in Rural Germany on Design*Sponge

Suggested For You


  • The entry way combination of wallpaper, white railings, and wood molding is perfection. I adore!! the wood moldings and paint color combinations you chose. The house just looks like a wonderful place to be.

  • It’s amazing how the tall, tall ceilings affect the quality of the spaces inside. Beautiful color and finish choices by the owners.

  • I stayed in a friend’s home in a small Brandenburg town near Belzig and the layout is very similar! It’s a traditional style for the area and the beams are a dead ringer. Beautiful home.

  • Oh my gosh! That kitchen is the bee’s knees! I love that it looks modern, yet has an aged feel, too. And the light woodwork and doorways and all that jazz… swoon!

  • Katrin and Moritz have created a beautiful home and garden. It really is a dream, a dream achieved by hard work and very good eyes for color and style. Their use of wallpaper is inspired. I’m glancing round my home to see where i could put small areas of wallpaper!

  • I don’t think I’ve ever loved​ a paint colour palette before!! The whole house renders me speechless!

  • I’ve been following Katrin’s blog for awhile now, and am glad to see her home here! The pictures she posts from her garden, especially throughout the summer, are very happy-making.

  • Wow! That is so beautiful, calm and serene. I would need a bit more color myself, but still I am so impressed.

  • So gorgeous! I’m usually not such a fan of so many neutrals in one place (like all those greys) but they’ve made it work so well I could see myself living here anyway. Such a relaxed feeling through the whole home!

  • I love the Arts and Crafts William Morris wallpaper and really like how the outside of the building hints at a few different styles; and blends them seamlessly together. The internal doors are delicious too!

  • man I would love to walk through this home in person, and ask a million questions about picking the perfect paint color and hanging art. what a lovely uncluttered, but personal home. and i love the contrast of the busy exterior with the very, very calm interior.

  • Such a very beautiful, calm home!

    I’ve been looking at Farrow and Ball colors and it’s great to have so many (inspiring) references here. I noticed that the Additional Resources notes Slipper Satin, but I didn’t see it called out anywhere in the pictures themselves. Would you mind confirming which shots have Slipper Satin in them (I’m assuming it’s used primarily for trim) if possible?

    • Emily, the bookshelves in the library/my home office and the kitchen cabinets by the wall are painted Slipper Satin. And a few more pieces of furniture that aren´t pictured in the tour. Slipper Satin is a funny color, it works great on furniture but on walls it reads to beige for my taste.

      • Katrin, thanks for the feedback. It’s such a pretty color on the card but I’ve been holding it up to the walls and trying to figure out if it would read as too beige.

        You have a beautiful, inspiring home!

  • What a beautiful, wonderfully decorated classic home, with such fabulous custom finishes! It’s both cozy and cool. A felt ball rug would be the perfect finishing touch for any space!

  • Das sieht wirklich gemütlich aus, schönes Haus, würde ich glatt einziehen, wenn es in Süddeutschland wäre!

  • Gorgeous house, you must be very proud of all your hard work! Can you tell me more about your kitchen floor, what materials you used and how you did it please – it looks great!

  • Hi Katrin,
    I’m normally not a wallpaper fan, but this one looks absolutely lovely. I know you wrote the wallpaper is vintage and you’ve had it for years, but do you recall at all which company it was from?

  • The library looks really great. Could you please describe what yu did to the billy shelves to make them look that way. Thank you!