A Mexican girl living in a german apartment
As you can imagine from the title, I am a 31 year old mexican woman living in Germany. I am originally from a small city in the Pacific Coast but I loved living in the big city. Almost seven years ago I decided to move from Mexico City to Berlin out of love (that is a story for another day), and I knew that a lot of things will be different from my home country. I thought about the language, the food, the people, the paperwork, but I didn't think about how life will be inside the house.
Let me explain, when you live in a city/country where the weather is almost the same year round, you don't think about things like where to store the winter clothing or that you have to put on and take off clothing everytime you go out. So I encounter the first big difference: the entryway
In Germany its not common to use shoes inside the house (total opposite of Mexico), so you have to take them off -along with your Jacket, scarf, gloves or sunglasses, depending on the season- the moment you walk inside, and do the same ritual of putting them on when you leave the apartment. Now, the question was: how do you fit all your jackets and shoes (and those of your partner, and let's be honest, nobody has only one pair of shoes) in a small space and make it look good?
It was at that moment that I discovered the power of a nice stool or bank to sit down and put on your shoes, a shoe cabinet to maintain the order, some hooks to hang your jacket and your purse, a tray to put down your keys and wallet, and a rug to make it cozier.
The next thing that I noticed in german apartments was the layout. I was used to having an open dining-living room space -and sometimes the kitchen as well-, and suddenly I was living in an apartment with doors everywhere! I must admit that this was a little unnerving at the beginning, but the secret to overcome this is to make every room a comfortable place where you actually want to spend time in. It doesn't matter if the room is small as long as it is a place that makes you feel good; some photos, art prints, candles or textiles can work miracles.
Although there are differences in the way of living between the two countries, having the opportunity to live abroad has been a wonderful experience. Not only because I am learning how to accommodate my needs (the old and the new ones) and those of my husband in a small yet beautiful space; but because it has brought out my love for interior styling. I have learned how to turn a space into a home by asking myself these questions: What do I need?, what do I like? and how do I make it special?. It doesn't have to be a designer piece or expensive furniture, It can be anything from a pillow cover to a photo frame with a picture of your family. For me, it's the little things that remind me of my beloved Mexico.
I hope you stay with me for the upcoming posts. Let me know in the comments if there is something you would like to read about.