In The Berlin-Wedding District, The Founder of Herz und Blut Magazine Has Redesigned an Altbau-style Family Home



Julia Villbrandt and Alhadj Diallo, Justus 14, Jolanta 2 years old

She is a long-time friend of The Socialite Family. Julia Villbrandt (a.k.a Jules) has a sunny personality and a genuine and infectious laugh, and we have been eager to introduce her to you. A multidisciplinary aesthete, the founder of the online magazine Herz Und Blunt and of the production studio Maison Palmë, with whom we share a love of images and stories. But that’s not all! In her family apartment in the Berlin Wedding district – in the north-west of the German capital – the thirty-year-old fondly expresses her vision of a cheerful, multi-faceted interior design scheme designed around the lives of four people. The first step was to deal with the lack of light in the apartment, with its small windows, unusual in post-war architecture, and create an inviting atmosphere. The photographer has warmed up the space with earthy and ochre tones, enlivened by touches of pink, to create a dialogue between the arts and the different eras. Here, space is given to her extensive collection of paintings. An accumulation of works by Johanna Dumet and Dora Földes, accompanied by a selection of works dedicated to great masters. Think Picasso and Mondrian. A mixture of influences from the past and the present is also reflected in the furniture. Alongside “vintage 1960s pieces from her grandmother” sit “designer items from top brands and local Berlin designers”. So it’s not surprising to see two of our pieces that she’s found, our sculptural Gioia table lamp and our wood-framed Cavallo armchair. Two creations with a retro look, chosen for their “classic design combined with a modern vibe”, that bring an inimitable French touch to this multi-influenced setting in their own unique way.




Juliette Bruneau

Photos and videos

Valerio Geraci


Jules: Can you introduce yourself, please?


My name is Jules Villbrandt; I was born and grew up in the north of Berlin. Since 2006 I have been living in Berlin-Wedding, where I landed by accident. At that time, it was pretty easy to find an affordable apartment. I fell in love with the area and moved there. I studied communication in the social sciences and economics programme at the University of the Arts in Berlin. While I was studying, I worked in a large fashion shop and sold handmade jewellery at flea markets. Around 2010, writing your own blog was becoming more and more popular, so I started. I bought a good camera – mainly to take pictures of my son Justus – but it soon became more than a hobby. Previously I had no idea what a photographer’s job involved. As soon as I had time, I started watching tutorial after tutorial and took billions of photos. At the very beginning of my career, I photographed so many weddings; it was incredible. In addition to portraits of people, I became interested in the places where people live and work. This is how the lifestyle magazine Herz&Blut came into being! Subsequently, six years ago I founded the production studio Maison Palmë, where I work with my sister Maria. This studio is more than just a work space, it is our second home and it has also become a production company. At Maison Palmë, we also organise events and art exhibitions. What I like about this space is that it changes day by day. I am looking forward to the next projects we have planned.


Tell us about your upbringing. What sort of environment did you grow up in, and how did that influence your perception of what is beautiful?


I grew up in the countryside, close to a huge forest. Berlin was only 30 minutes away by train, so I could live in both these two rather different worlds. My mother is from Lithuania, and because of the Cold War, she couldn’t visit foreign countries and experience their cultural life as she would have liked. So she decided to fill our family apartment with art books, which very quickly introduced me to this type of reading. As well as being an avid reader of such books, I’ve also started an art collection since the Covid pandemic in 2020. I particularly like contemporary artists like Conny Maier, Stefan Marx and Ben Crase. I am also very proud to have collaborated with artists such as Charlotte Adam, Dora Földes and 44flavours, whom we welcomed to Maison Palmë in 2022 for their opening.

As you can see, I’m not a minimalist person. I’m a collector and an art lover, and I like to stay at home, have guests, relax, and be with my partner and the children.


We are here in your Berlin apartment. How did you design it?


The housing market in Berlin has changed dramatically in the last ten years, and it has become very difficult to find a new apartment. Since we moved in, we’ve changed the use of the rooms quite often, and then we decided to knock down the wall that connected the living room to the kitchen. This was a great decision. Berlin’s Altbau apartments are charming, but often difficult to furnish. The kitchen is usually relatively narrow, and there is normally a large connecting room with a small window. It is commonly known as the “Berliner Zimmer”. I think we’ve made the most of it here. Generally speaking, I love the way things evolve and change in our apartment.


In a few words, how would you define your style?


As you can see – and as anyone who follows me on Instagram will know – I’m not a minimalist person. I’m a collector and an art lover, and I like to stay at home, have guests, relax, and be with my partner and the children. My home is my happy place. It’s my playground. You can find vintage 60s pieces from my grandmother alongside designer items from big brands and local Berlin designers. It’s an eclectic mix, and I like it. As far as colours are concerned, I generally prefer natural colours.


Here, the emphasis is on accumulation. So how do you reconcile your concern for a lavish décor with the comfort of a child-friendly space for your little girl Jolanta?


I don’t hide anything from my children, and I don’t restrict them from anything concerning our interior decoration. I prefer to explain and show them which pieces are fragile and need care. It’s been OK up to now. (Laughter)


Your interior design includes our Gioia table lamp and our Cavallo armchair. What made you choose these pieces?


The Gioia table lamp is a piece I’ve always admired. I like its playful shape and its French style.


What does The Socialite Family mean to you?


The Socialite Family has been and still is a great source of inspiration for me. I feel very honoured that you’ve come to my home to visit me. What I like most about the “Socialite Family” media imagery is that there’s always something new to discover. Whether it be from the point of view of colours, styles and genres. I also like the French look, both in the shape of your products and in the design of your retail spaces. Your designs have that elegant 60s feel without being old-fashioned. I’d say it’s classic design meeting modern vibes, and I love that!


What are your favourite addresses in the Berlin-Wedding district?


The Wedding district of Berlin is a special one. It is and was mainly a working-class area. People went home to sleep in their houses before returning to work in the morning. As a result, this part of the capital has no centre, not even a theatre, but it is nonetheless multicultural. And if you take a walk through the alleyways, you’ll find lots of nice and affordable places! If you’re looking for authentic, high-quality, handmade German bread, you should check out Hansis Brot in Tegeler Straße. Wedding is also home to a Michelin-starred restaurant, Ernst, which has a little brother, the Julius Bistro, which is also excellent. The interior design, the bar food and the French toast are just incredible. In summer, don’t miss the Humboldthain outdoor swimming pool, right in the middle of the park. Enjoy a dip in the water, then take some time to taste the best ice cream in the world at the Gerichtshöfe (Gerichtstraße 12). 12/13). The shop looks as if it’s arrived in a time machine and landed in a wooded spot from the 80s, but trust me, the ice cream is great!

I don’t hide anything from my children, and I don’t restrict them from anything concerning our interior decoration.

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