It may be the last thing you’d expect to find sandwiched between a Kreuzberg Shawarmaladen and seedy gay party cave Schwuz, but down a forest gnome-sized stairwell hides Mitten im Walde, a tiny handicraft heaven lined in tree branches and packed high with a mixture of handmade furniture, design objects and clothing – from bonnets to baby bibs, lampshades to necklaces, paintings to porcelain.
Originally from the Black Forest state of Baden-Württemberg, Berlin-based artist Silke Wamhoff opened the collective workshop-cum-boutique with the handy help of furniture designer Nora Wagner. Wamhoff and 11 diverse designers saw and sew in the in-house Werkstatt and then sell their wares in the comfy, log cabin-like store.
Each designer spends two full days a month in the shop to offer advice and anecdotes to customers. Though Berlin suffers no shortage of arts-and-crafty indie co-ops, the items at Mitten im Walde are a cut above. Brazilian Elza Geisenheimer’s cuddly kids’ pillows and toys (from €15) are adorable, Marina Schäfer’s fantastically debonair hats (from €130) look deceptively antique, while Renate Weber’s cashmere scarves, woven with gold and silver, are stunning (around €220).
There’s also a selection of cute mobile phone covers (€9), Illumen circular lampshades with printed Berlin maps and images (€49, photo) and beautiful furniture, which you can buy – or even rent!