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r Mrs Ludwig, what prompted you to give up classic interior design and open your
             own guest house in the Allgäu region?
             First and foremost, it was the compatibility of family and working life, but also the de-
             sire for change. My husband and I wanted to "get out of the city". In a classic scenario,
             I had lost my job after our daughter was born. I found a new one and the company
             was much more family-friendly, but the overall package did not work out. At first, I
             wanted to open a small café in Stuttgart, because I had always been interested in the
             gastronomic business. Twice our plans failed, even though we had already come quite
             far in the planning process – ultimately because of the costs involved and also because
             we realized that such a step is not exactly compatible with family life. We had no fa-
             mily nearby to support us, and our daughter's school enrolment date was getting clo-
             ser and closer. If we really wanted to change something, we had to make a decision.
             The idea of a "guesthouse in the mountains" kept popping up in our heads – at some
             point, at a later date. But then we thought to ourselves that you don't do something
             like that anymore as you get older. So, our fallback plan was born. We found the buil-
             ding. My husband found a suitable job almost concurrently, and then everything hap-
             pened very quickly. We dared "it" and moved to the Allgäu with child and cat after a
             tough conversion phase.

             r On online booking portals, guests repeatedly rave about your "attention to de-
             tail". What condition did you find your future guest house in and what changes did
             you make?
             We took over our house in an extremely well-kept condition. The fabric of the building
             was also very solid, but everything seemed "old-fashioned" and was really quite old –
             from 1985. No major investments or renovations had ever been made. Therefore, it was
             clear from the beginning that we wanted to give the house a completely new – our –
             character. I am convinced that such a small, anything but anonymous guest house can
             only work if you run it with all your heart. This should also be reflected in the interior
             design. Soon I began to buy things which, in my mind, merged into a harmonious over-
             all picture. Months before I started sewing cushions, ordering lamps and selecting floor
             coverings. The big objects we chose together. Since my husband is an architect, he too
             had clear ideas. We looked for craftsmen, which was not easy, drew pieces of furniture
             and got started as soon as we held the keys to the house in our hands. On the day of
             the handover some friends arrived with their axes. On the ground floor and on the first
             floor – here are four guest rooms – we knocked out everything in order to then create
             a new interior together with craftsmen and a lot of personal effort within two and a
             half months. We upgraded the three guest rooms on the top floor a little, but first we
             had to leave them essentially as they were. Our budget was more than exhausted. We
             struggled to keep the opening date but managed by working several night shifts. Since
             then, the remaining areas in need of improvement in and around the house are being
             worked on bit by bit. For example, we have converted the former basement bar, which
             used to be common in guest houses, into a lovely sauna area.

             r Tourism in the Allgäu region is subject to seasonal fluctuations. What is your oc-
             cupancy rate over the course of the year?
             Of course, there is still room for improvement in the occupancy rate. We are now in
             our third year and are still behind our planned "best case". This is because we do not
             have enough rooms for the high season. In the low season the weather often plays a  L I G H T   +   B U I L D I N G   2 0 2 0
             very important role. If nice weather is forecast, the calendar fills up at short notice,
             often abruptly, if not, it remains empty. There is not much you can do with marketing  8 T H ! 1 3 T H   M A R C H
             measures. Booking ability via large online platforms increases the occupancy rate in  F R A N K F U R T   A M   M A I N
             part, but is very expensive for us.

             r The Allgäu region impresses with its nature and numerous opportunities for
             sports activities. Which architectural destinations can you recommend to inter-
             ested guests?
             We are very excited to see the new thermal spa in Oberstdorf, which is being built
             according to the plans of Auer Weber Architekten. Bathing with mountain view! But  P E O P L E   L I G H T   O U R   W A Y
             we still have to be patient. The reopening is scheduled for 2023. The summit restau-
             rant of the Nebelhornbahn by Hermann Kaufmann + Partner offers a magnificent
             view of the mountains. Kilian Lipp's Kunsthaus on the Gailenberg in Bad Hindelang
             is also worth a visit. And on top of that, you can enjoy great art. The Heini Klopfer
             ski jump is certainly another special highlight, simply because of its location.
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