I first met Philipp and Becca a few weeks ago but I had heard about them for a few months. We have loads of mutual friends and several people had told me how great their house was. I asked for an intro from a friend and they were gracious enough to let us come into their home and photograph it. They spent the past year redoing their home and it turned out amazing.
Philipp and Becca Biechteler
PB/ Branch Manager for SunTrust Bank
BB/ Freelance artist and designer, currently working in home improvement television and commercial film production.
PB/ Augsburg, Germany
BB/ Moved frequently as a kid, Don't really feel a strong connection to any one place in particular.
PB+BB/ Atlanta, GA
Favorite book/Movie/Band/TV Show/Restaurant:
PB/ Moby Dick
BB/ would have to be "The Bell Jar" by Sylvia Plath. Her syntax is so incredible. After reading it I always feel like she is narrating my day. I only wish she had written more.
PB/ Good Will Hunting
BB/ The Royal Tenenbaums by Wes Anderson. Pretty much everything Wes Anderson does, I fall in love with.
PB/ Elliot Smith
BB/ I could honestly never pick a single band, there is so much amazing music out there. I always try to support local music and indie artists. Currently I am listening to the band Native America quite a bit, and Dent May's gorgeous song Endlessly... basically on repeat.
PB/ 60 Minutes
BB/ I'm not big on TV, but if I'm watching it, I want to laugh. I got mildly obsessed with this Brit comedy called "How Not to Live Your Life." It's absolutely ridiculous and incredible.
PB/ 246 (in Decatur, GA)
BB/ Philipp and I really love H. Harper Station in Reynolds Town. I like the modern twists they put on traditional southern dishes, and the classic cocktails and service is always on point.
Favorite place you have traveled to:
PB/ Sienna, Italy
BB/ For our one year anniversary we drove from Philipp's parent's home in Germany through Austria and down into Italy. We traveled through the Tuscan wine country and around to all these tiny villages. We ended up spending most of our time in Sienna. It was warm and old and beautiful, everything that I imagined Italy would be. The people there were so friendly and welcoming.. Ahhh, I wanna go back right now.
Next destination on your list to travel to:
PB/ New Zealand
BB/ Scandinavia would be a dream come true.
What you like about your city:
PB/ The integration of nature, parks, lots of trees, space
BB/ We really love the lushness of Atlanta thanks to it's many parks, green spaces, and preservation of trees within the city. We enjoy park lounging with our dogs, Ruby and Cricket, especially on the big stretch of lawn at Oakland Cemetery. We're continuously impressed with the art and music scene, and with organizations like The Living Walls Conference and We Love ATL that work so hard to enrich Atlanta communities with stunning Murals and local photography. The food scene is killer and the people are friendly, retaining all the charm and hospitality that the South is known for. Additionally we appreciate the affordability of Atlanta compared with other cities of its size.
Reason for moving into current home:
PB/ Inexpensive, clean slate, remodel/fixer upper
BB/ Our house was in pretty rough shape when we decided to purchase it, but we both saw great potential in what it could become. We knew that we wanted to live in East Atlanta, however most of the renovated homes within our price range wouldn't accommodate any growth for the family that we plan to have in the coming years. Additionally unlike many of the mid-century homes in the area, our house has a basement (filled with water at the time of purchase) which we were able clean up and turn into a two car garage, and a rather sizable front and back yard. Even with all the progress that has been made, we have a long way to go. Sometimes it can be overwhelming, but we are always proud when we think about the condition it was in a only a year ago, how far we have come, and that our sanity is still intact... for the most part.
PB/ European, mid modern, contemporary
BB/ I was raised by a very thrifty and unbelievably determined Mother who, from the time I can remember was hauling my brother, sister, and I around to secondhand shops and yard sales just about every weekend. She taught me how to scope out a thrift store like nobody's business, and how to alter garments I found to achieve whatever style I was going for, without having to spend a fortune that we didn't have. Once I became a home owner those skills carried over into my design aesthetic within spaces. I find great pleasure in scouring dusty old stores for that amazingly crafted, incredibly affordable piece of furniture, hauling it home, refinishing it with my husband, and having a truly one of a kind piece. Coming from Europe, Philipp has a more minimalist and functional approach to design which I think balances nicely with my flare for funky and eclectic, in turn creating a space that is clean and modern, but still interesting and homey.
Favorite or most meaningful piece in your home:
PB/ My dresser, old and great detail
BB/ For me, the most meaningful place in our home is the bedroom. One thing we both agree on is the sanctity of the bedroom. We never have a never will put a television in our room. It holds our bed, which is surrounded by photographs of loved ones and cherished places, and our pet's beds. Keeping it minimal and clutter free allows me to really wind down and relax when I am there. Unless, of course, I end up playing for hours in my incredible walk-in closet.
Biggest challenges with your space:
PB/ Open layout was not possible due to City restrictions/building code
BB/ Holy Hell, this past year has been full of so many challenges. Buying a home in such terrible need of repair, commuting 140 miles round trip nearly every day for 6 months to work in the sweltering heat (thank God for Holy Taco and their incredible margaritas waiting for us at the end of the night, otherwise I wouldn't have made it), missing out on friend and family functions only to make more trips to Home Depot in a day than ever thought humanly possible... a horrendous case of poison Ivy that covered Philipp head to toe after tackling the jungle of weeds in the front yard. I could go on and on, but in the end, it really has enriched our lives and taught us so much.
Dream house and city:
PB/ Mid Century Modern, Auckland, New Zealand
BB/ Right now our dream is just for this house to be done! However, we would love to one day raise our children abroad, possibly moving back to Philipp's hometown in Germany. As long as we are living somewhere progressive and rich in culture, we will be happy.