They say that if you do what you love, you’ll never work another day in your life.
Zurich-born Valerie von Meiss embodies this ethos and more, having turned her greatest passion – specifically collage art – into a recognised profession. After studying International Communications in Paris, she worked in advertising for several years in Amsterdam, before moving to Berlin, where she founded Curve in 2017, an art space for contemporary collage located, of all places, in her own apartment. The century-old building in which Valerie’s apartment can be found is located in Berlin’s bustling Mitte Kiez neighbourhood, among galleries, restaurants, trendy boutiques and concept stores. The white-washed building features a magnificent (and for Berlin, quite unusual) grand spiralling staircase. For Valerie, it was love at first sight.
She reminisces: “What I liked best when I first saw the empty apartment were the very high ceilings, the beautiful old wooden floors, but also the apartment’s quirkier features, especially the curved hallway. I was also very surprised to find, behind a door in the hallway, some steep stairs leading up to a tiny guest room underneath the roof.”
Charmed by the apartment’s imperfections, Valerie chose not to renovate it, instead painting the walls in subdued colours in a natural paint made of clay: wedge wood green for the kitchen and entrance, ice blue for the bathroom, slate grey for the Curve gallery space, and a shade of Misty Mountain for the bedroom. Measuring at 775sqft, the flat has everything one could need within a very proportionate layout. “Opposite of the entrance lies my bedroom, and next to it is the salon,” explains Valerie. “The Curve connects all the different rooms and acts as the signature feature of the apartment. That’s why I chose to use this long curved hallway as my exhibition space for collage art”.
True to form, Valerie’s style is personal and elegant, contemporary yet casual. “I love to find and mix vintage pieces with sleek, modern design,” she says. “I’m especially drawn to the ‘50s and ‘60s – in Berlin, you can still find quite reasonably priced pieces. As I lived in Zurich, Amsterdam and Paris before settling in Berlin, my interior is a mixture of objects and trouvailles from these cities. I visit flea markets, but I equally gravitate towards contemporary design and some of my favourite pieces were found online.”
As for her impressive art collection, Valerie calls it her true passion. Indeed, her bedroom hosts a part of her collection of contemporary collage art – all the better, she admits, for her to admire the artworks while lying in bed. “I was and still am influenced by my mother’s joy of collecting photography,” Valerie elaborates on her artistic tastes. “Today I really enjoy discovering new talents in photo art and design, visiting inspiring art fairs like UNSEEN in Amsterdam, Photo Basel and Photo London.”
What, in her eyes, makes this place truly special? “The fact that my corridor functions as my gallery space, and that therefore I can work from my favourite place in Berlin – my home.” With inspiration to be found in every corner (and curve) of this apartment, it’s little wonder that Valerie has more than enough to share with friends, art lovers, and Berlin as a whole.
This article originally appears in our November 2018 issue.
Photography: Reto Guntli for Living Inside
Additional text: Gavin Yeung