Talk about your style. I think it would be a bit much to call it style. It’s more like a feeling I’m trying evoke, mainly of warmth and coziness, especially with the long dark winters here in our parts. I love natural things, wood, plants, lots of light neutral colors & fabrics and candles.
Do you have a favorite room in your home + why? The living/dining room and our bedroom. Our bedroom is easy; we have nothing in there except our big bed, nightstand, and some greens & candles on the fireplace. There is almost nothing on the walls. It is my place of sanctuary, quiet and calm, after a day of visual and sensory overload that it almost a given when you work as a designer and/or have an online presence of sorts. The living/dining room is just super cozy with furry rugs, many pillows, and lots and lots of fairy lights and candles.
Where does your inspiration come from? A big inspiration is my mother. She always knows how to get the best out of what you already have, let it shine in new ways or use it for a different purpose. I very much believe in up-cycling and going through your storage first, before going out and buying loads of new stuff, only because you saw it in a magazine. It is such a nice feeling to use “old stuff” you’d totally forgotten about and give it a second life in a new prime spot.
For ideas on “small-item-decorating” (how does everyone’s coffee table look so put together?) Pinterest is queen.
Tell us about some of your biggest achievements and challenges. Turning my boyfriend’s old student pad into a warm, cozy and tidy living space, without him going totally nuts and not breaking the bank, I’d say that was the biggest challenge and achievement in one. It took me a good 3 years in total, but with that last coat of white paint we applied in the entryway, kitchen and living room last week (hence the white walls with no pictures hung yet), I am well on my way.
Name 3 pieces that define you + your space. I don’t really feel defined by any of my furniture, but I sure do have some favorites: One – my Dad’s photographs. He was a wonderful artist and I love having his work around me to look at everyday. Two – lots of linen pillows, wool blankets and furry carpets, because coziness is key, always. Three – our dining table. It is from my boyfriend’s parents and he grew up having most of his meals at that table. It’s beautiful, full of marks and scratches that tell some of the history of his wonderful family. I absolutely love it, crooked or not.
Biggest splurge and biggest steal: Probably the biggest splurge was the bed, a beautiful custom-made wood piece. Although, it was my boyfriend’s splurge, not mine. Biggest steal: Oh so many, Amsterdam is a dream when it comes to finding furniture on the streets, ha. But if I had to narrow it down, probably our antique world map (Is it antique when it’s from the 1950’s?). I spotted it high on the walls in an old thrift store, although to this day, my boyfriend claims he was the one who spotted it first. There was pretty much only junk there, except for this map and at 40€ it was such a steal. It is a great conversation starter and wanderlust encourager.
What are some of your go-to places when it comes to shopping for your home? Maarktplaats.nl, which is like the Dutch ebay and Hema.nl (another Dutch favorite). The streets of Amsterdam. Thrift stores and flea markets. Ikea for plants and candles. Sometimes the H&M home section.
Do you have any DIY tips to share? I’m only really into the super easy DIYs, honestly. But there is one simple tip: Paint stuff! Walls, chairs, shelves, lamps, frames; you name it, chances are, I spray-painted it :) Seriously though, nothing is more satisfactory than giving something a second life, that otherwise would have landed in the trash. Waste of money and energy averted! Also, old jam jars as candle holders and reupholstering chairs with new fabrics.
Any advice? Plants make everything better. In every room. The more the merrier. Candles make everything better, too, at any time of the day. Also, fairy lights! Always and forever. In general though, take your time. I know it can be so tempting to rush out the minute you feel the redecorating itch, only to end up with an exact replica of an IKEA showroom. (I’ve certainly made that mistake too often). Write down your ideas and wish list items, and just give yourself some time to look for and find them and when you finally do, it will be so much nicer, and probably with a fun story to it, than buying everything off the rack.