One thing that really hit me when first coming here was the German love affair with wood panelling.
Back home in England, pretty much the only places that are decked from top to bottom in tongue and groove – or worse still, wood effect laminate panels – are older Chinese takeaways. Sure, wood effect flooring has experienced a surge in popularity but I suspect that is only because it is durable and easy to clean in these hectic time. Other than that, the only time you see anything clad in timber is the smoking rooms of ancient country houses, gentlemen’s clubs or on the side of bath tubs in nautically themed bathrooms.
In Germany, however, the story seems to be different. As you can see from the two pictures of our house, we have copious amounts of it. The kitchen must have several acres of the Black Forest stuck to its walls and ceiling. In fact, the only spaces that were spared are the garage and utility room. Some of it is fake, some of it is real, but all of it is simply too much.
We looked at many houses before settling on this one, and I cannot recall any that did not have at least one room with wood boldly cladding a wall, ceiling or both. To be fair, all places we looked at did need modernising so I suppose such cladding on German interiors is akin to the stone cladding that adorned the exteriors so many British houses during the Eighties.
Anyway, it was just an observaton, and call me a hypocrite if you must but we will in fact be keeping some of it. The real wood stuff we have is of very good quality, but it will not be left with that grim brown wood stain (nor the Lino), instead it will be brought up to date with a splash of colour.
Oh and by the way, the pictures are of the house as it was the day we moved in. Honest.