Artist and illustrator Caleb Screpnek relocated from Canada to Berlin in 2014, and in 2016 he was lucky enough to move into this charming apartment in Prenzlauer Berg.
His living space is a natural extension of who he is as an artist, with every conceivable space bursting with creativity and style. Having an almost obsessive attention to detail, he combed through flea markets and scoured Kleinanzeigen to find the unique paraphernalia and furniture that make his home so special.
When did you move into your apartment, and how did you find it?
I moved in in 2016 and found it through a friend of mine who was moving in with her boyfriend.
What area is it in, and what do you like about the area?
It’s in Prenzlauer Berg next to Kollowitzstrasse. I like that the area is vibrant with quaint markets and cosy cafes. It’s one of the few neighbourhoods in Berlin where leisurely walking is truly a pleasure.
How do most people describe your apartment when they see it for the first time?
People often say they feel like they’ve stepped into another world. They’ve described it as a bohemian museum, a jungle, a place they’re not sure they could live in but would love to spend some hours.
How would you describe your decorating style?
Kitsch maximalism. Bohemian Grandma. Polynesian autumn.
What do you draw your inspiration from?
I think a lot of childhood fort-building, and picture books with woodland dwellings set the foundation for my inspiration. The rest comes from all over, including music, Napolitan nativity scenes, treehouses and more.
What’s your favourite room in the apartment?
They each have a place in my heart, but the salon would have to be my favorite. It has the most beloved antiques, the treehouse nook and DJ booth. It’s also where I spend the majority of my time.
Where did you get your furniture?
From eBay Kleinanzeigen and three flea markets. The private stands at Mauerpark, the little-known Hansa Markt, and an indoor one which has changed places three times in the past years and has now disappeared.
What are some of your favourite pieces in the apartment?
The portrait of Princess Diana, the jukebox cat palace, the golden wheelchair.
What’s your favourite feature of the apartment?
Hard wood floors and the ornate moulding along the painted ceilings. The apartment has something still grand about it, although it’s clearly seen a lot of years and tenants and hasn’t been kept in pristine condition.
Is there a particular object that people are most drawn to or comment on the most?
The golden wheelchair and Princess Diana painting usually capture most people’s attention. The second story sofa is also a winner as everyone loves to climb up and feel like a kid again.
What’s the most sentimental object you have?
Most likely the wheel chair. I got in a bad bike accident several years ago and I saw many clubs and festivals on it, wrapped in Christmas lights. It’s been with me ever since and is where I sit while painting or drawing.
What’s the weirdest object you have?
A painting of a sexy demoness connected by the tongue with a dragon which one can only see whilst sitting on the toilet.
What’s a fun fact about your apartment?
There are 67 plants and not one of them is real.
Got tips/advice for furniture shopping in Berlin?
Be patient, use ‘saved searches’ and notifications on the eBay Kleinanzeigen app and get to the private stands early at Mauerpark on Sundays.
Anything else you want to share about your home?
For me my home is a natural extension of who I am as an artist. In a city of artists and eccentrics, it’s surprising to me that there aren’t more homes like it.
- See Caleb’s work at screpnekstudios.com