The Unassuming Minimalism of Vaders.Dye Tattoo by Deglan

An aesthete’s tattoo parlour clad in travertine marble turns tattoos into self-care.

The idea of a tattoo parlour may have once brought to mind dark, seedy, subterranean shops with flickering neon signs and leather-clad artists. But as tattoos become increasingly popular and the demographics of who is getting inked change (56 per cent of American women between the ages of 18 to 29 now have tattoos), there is increasing demand for shops that appeal to a wider clientele. One artist who is working to make sure everyone feels welcome in her shop, Vaders.Dye, is Melina Wendlandt, a prominent tattoo artist with locations in Berlin and Hamburg and known for her precise line work on celebrities, including Hailey Bieber.



When Wendlandt approached Berlin design studio Deglan to redesign her Hamburg shop with a lifestyle approach, founders Domenic Degner and Falko Landenberger were excited by the opportunity to defy the stereotypical tattoo parlour interior and reimagine what a more inclusive setting might look like. Given creative freedom by Wendlandt, the duo, whose style focuses on interiors and objects that juxtapose organic shapes with smooth surfaces to blend warmth and minimalism, created a spa-like environment that turns getting inked into a serene experience.



An awkward layout with a staircase installed in the ’90s separating the main and basement levels and a copious number of support columns was Deglan’s first hurdle. To hide the supports, the designers moved the bathroom upstairs, adding a modern free-standing stainless-steel cylindrical basin and a plinth for soap, and created an impressive reception with two large columns bisecting a wide counter, all clad in creamy brown Italian travertine. At the entrance, a curved V-shaped bench hugs the bulge of the wall and is accompanied by a pair of low amorphous coffee tables where guests can wait.





On the walls, which are plastered with lime and partially sanded, ebonized oak shelves, created using a similar technique to the Japanese shou sugi ban method of charring cedar boards, display glass vases, bowls, and other objects. Underfoot, concrete poured in situ and lacquered light beige complements the white hue of the walls and ceiling to brighten the deep, dark space.

The designers replaced the old spindly black staircase with a more seamless and elegant stairway with solid curved rails. Downstairs, the private basement area offers a place for the artists to relax and an area to photograph completed tattoos. The stainless-steel accents of the kitchen, also seen upstairs, contrast with the stone and wood elements for a visual dialogue between organic and manmade.




Another challenge for the designers was ensuring functionality while maintaining streamlined minimalism. Large stainless-steel carts on wheels conceal tattoo equipment. When not in use, tables fold up and are tucked into alcoves hidden by sliding mirror doors.

Degner and Landenberger honour the practice of Gesamtkunstwerk, combining multiple mediums for a singular creative work, and many of their interiors also feature furniture and items they have designed and handcrafted. At Vaders.Dye, their liquid-metal coffee table set at the entry, their ebonized oak pieces, and metal-finished lamps harmonize with the design of the space and the tattoos carefully produced within its walls for true Gesamtkunstwerk.





Photography by Eric Petschek.