At home with Julia Ballmaier
Interior designer Julia Ballmaier lives with her husband Horst and her sons Joshua (13), Oskar (8) and Otto (6) in a spacious old apartment in Fulda. The furnishing expert loves it colorful, creative and unconventional. LUNA author Anne-Catherine Scoffoni visited her in her personal Villa Kunterbunt.
Not everyone enjoys the pleasure of waking up to the scent of fresh bread every morning. Julia Ballmaier and her family do. Directly in the center of Fulda, above a bakery in a medieval house, is the 124-square-meter apartment of the interior stylist, blogger and author. The mother of three sons seems to have an endless creativity and energy.
By the way, the bakery under her flat belongs to her father-in-law. “Being closer to our family was the reason my husband and I moved back to Fulda eight years ago,” she explains. Previously, the family lived in an apartment in Munich.
“The apartment in Fulda has been empty for quite some time and I felt that it was just waiting for us and that we make it our home,” says Julia Ballmaier. “We immediately fell in love with the crooked, dark wooden beams. Every corner in this house has its own story, “she enthuses.
The upper floor was uninhabited for 50 years.
“It was in terrible shape and was full of useless stuff my father-in-law kept there.” It took a total of 18 months for the major refurbishment work to be completed. It has been invested in a new roof, a modern heating system and completely new power lines. The old wooden floorboards were sanded down and recessed. They give the rooms a warm atmosphere.
Julia had no special style in mind when it came to setting up the apartment, but she knew from the beginning that she wanted a colorful, happy home and not a lifeless museum. She chose many of her favorite designs and colors and mixed them together creatively.
“When it comes to decoration, everything inspires me. I tend to store things in my head until the whole thing reappears in the right mix, “explains Julia. There are cheerful patterned wallpapers next to rare finds from the flea market, various Ikea furniture in addition to vintage ones.
Fresh spirit for old rooms
If you move your life into a 500-year-old apartment, the visual result could well be rather traditional. The opposite is the case with Julia Ballmaier. Everything in the apartment looks very lively and fresh. Julia masterfully combines the whites of the walls and beams with cheerful wallpapers and patterned fabrics. The sofa in the living area or the lampshade in the dining room are true eye catchers, without distracting from the overall concept.
The result is a fresh, inviting and appealing atmosphere. Julia put special attention to the family dining room. It is a bright, cozy room, and you can see when entering that it is the heart of the apartment. The interior designer loves to sit here with her family. “Here we spend most of our time together with board games, eating, watching TV, doing homework, listening to music, and everything that’s part of life,” she explains.
Another important point for Julia was the design of the children’s room. They were decorated according to the personality and age of their three boys.
In Joshua’s room, a blackboard was mounted on the back of the closet: it does not only make the wardrobe more flexible, it also gives Joshua a way to be creative. The highlight of the teen room is the sofa area. Here the 13-year-old can hang out undisturbed with his friends. The fresh turquoise of the walls is seen again in some pieces of furniture, which is pleasantly harmonious.
Oskar and Otto’s room is even more playful. Here the place was optimally used with additional cabinets and a double bed. “To live well does not have much to do with money, but rather with the courage to do things differently and to follow one’s own intuition. I do not debate for hours. I just trust myself, “says Julia Ballmaier. With her instinct, she has managed to create a lively, colorful and familiar home.