How to Furnish Your House German Style

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Love wood? Real wood such as pine, not wood veneer? Or perhaps you'd just like to revisit your German roots? Germans and German-Americans have a reputation as fine carpenters; witness the practical yet wonderfully clean lines of Shaker furniture. Research traditional or modern German decor for some neat and practical ideas for the home and patio. Read on to learn how to furnish your house German style.

Things You'll Need

  • Wooden bench
  • Wooden bedroom furnishings
  • Duvet and duvet cover
  • Pewter and Hummel figures (for traditional knicknacks)
  • Roll-up awning
  • Fresh flowers if available
  • Consider a corner breakfast nook. This also serves as your table for lunch and dinner. Traditional German homes utilize a corner wooden bench with a matching table as their dining space. Cushions may be placed on the bench. Often a long narrow wooden shelf extends above the bench for displaying items. Check wooden home furnishing stores or Ikea type stores, or have one custom-built. Make sure to choose solid wood such as pine. A corner bench may feature designs carved on the sides.

  • Use solid wood furniture for all bedrooms. This includes a bed frame, desk, dresser and bookshelf.

  • Place a glass vase of fresh flowers on the kitchen table and even in the bedrooms if available. A tasteful arrangement of dried flowers will also do in fall or winter.

  • Adorn beds with a fluffy thick duvet, now widely available in stores. Insert the duvet into a fresh, cool, clean duvet cover, often white or off white. In the Alps, and other areas of Germany, the housewives would regularly hang these to air outside.

  • In the family room or livingroom, collect pewter knick-knacks. Pewter is a great German favorite. Check eBay if you don't see these in local stores.

  • Select Hummel figurines or prints if you really want to go traditional. While contemporary Germans may scoff at these sentimental figures or characters (placing them in the category of garden gnomes), they still hold appeal for many older Germans and, indeed, German-Americans of all ages for their portrayals of children.

  • For the patio, enjoy a traditional roll-up awning (usually in neutral colors, like tans and browns). It features a wind-up handle that allows you to extend or retract the awning as you like.

Tips & Warnings

  • For Christmas, decorate your tree with white lights, not colored lights, if you want to go German style. Aim for elegance with your ornaments, not kitsch.

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