Home Tours

Home Tour: Iris Rietbergen + Her Favorite Corners

January 28, 2013

I was thinking recently about ways in which I can show more gratitude. Then it hit me that as an author, it would be nice to do a personal snapshot on decor8 highlighting homeowners found in my latest book. I read lots of beautiful books that fellow authors have written but I rarely learn much about the people behind the gorgeous rooms shown throughout.  My blog is a great place to begin sharing their stories so I’ll begin with a mini series called Snapshots of Home that will begin with this post!

Home Tour: Iris Rietbergen + Her Favorite Corners

This mini series will appear weekly (or as they are submitted to me) highlighting the beautiful homeowners behind my latest book, Decorate Workshop. I’ve sent each homeowner a list of questions and asked each to snap photos from their home of things that make them happy. The first in my series is Iris Rietbergen, a talented Dutch interiors stylist, web shop owner and blogger and here is her snapshot of home.

Home Tour: Iris Rietbergen + Her Favorite Corners

Hi Iris! First of all, can you tell us what you do for a living?
Iris: I’m working as a freelance stylist. I help people to create their own personal home. This could an entire home from start to finish or to help decorate a specific room. I also love to do photo styling. Especially in personal homes, because they give a lot of inspiration true their own style. I always find them (personalized spaces) the most inspiring in magazines. And since the beginning of October 2012, I’ve started my own little web shop, Visje bij de thee, with a selection of inspiring items that will help you to create your own home sweet home. It’s really great to search for special items! I would also like to do some more renovation projects in the future. I’ve renovated 4 houses myself (well of course with a builder) but it would be great to do this for other people as well.

Home Tour: Iris Rietbergen + Her Favorite Corners

Where do you live?
Iris: I live in Amsterdam in a house from approx. 1900, it’s 105 m2, everything is on one (ground) floor and there is also a large basement for storage. The house has a lot of height and old features. I live with my husband and two children, Merel who is 5 years old and Jip who is three years old and our dog, Guus.

What is your favorite thing about Amsterdam?
Iris: That you can take your bicycle and explore the whole city. In Amsterdam you have such lovely neighborhoods, each of them have their own character. With their own little shops, cafes, restaurants and parks. And it’s quite a safe city. I feel really privileged to live my life here with my family.

What are 5 of your favorite shops in Amsterdam?

Iris: The Weldaad, Sukha Amsterdam, BonBonBoutique, IJM (they are open once a month on the weekend) and Sky Fashion. I must add that there is one shop that is from Dutch designer Piet Hein Eek, based in Eindhoven, that is my favorite favorite shop ever! I’m a big fan of his designs, but I also like the ceramics by his wife Jeanine Eek Keizer very much. The shop and workplace is in an old light factory from Philips. A visit feels like being in a candy shop!

Home Tour: Iris Rietbergen + Her Favorite Corners

Now let’s talk about books!

Is this your first time in a book?
Iris: Yes, this is the first time that my home is featured in a book – Decorate Workshop!

What did you enjoy when Debi and I worked in your home?
Iris: First of all you are both such sweet people! Very relaxed, although I know you had a tough deadline! And I like it when people bring good energy (like you both did). I knew a little bit of the work of Debi before she arrived because of the interior books she did with stylist Emily Chalmers. So it was an honor to meet her in person, this can also be said about you too, Holly. I really enjoy your ideas of sharing and all the lovely things that involve the wide range of interiors instead of keeping everything to yourself. And you bring it with a smile. Interiors are a bit like the cherry on a cake in the daily life. So… I especially enjoyed your company and humor, and the sack full of ‘power’ seeds from Debi, ha ha (munchies Debi brought that we were eating…)!

Home Tour: Iris Rietbergen + Her Favorite Corners

What do you love about interiors books in general?
Iris: That they give inspiration. I like to see all the different houses/interiors that show the own creative style of the residents.

What do you think of Decorate Workshop after you saw it?
Iris: What I really like about the book is that it takes you step by step through different homes and rooms but also gives you smart tips and tricks and how you can decorate your home in many different ways. The book also helps you to find your own style and to help create your own space. What fits with you as a person. I especially like the part about layering pattern. I find that the most inspiring part because a lot of people find that difficult, but actually it’s the most fun!

Home Tour: Iris Rietbergen + Her Favorite Corners

What is one of your favorite photos of your home that Debi took?

Iris: The photos of my kitchen with the dining table (page 108/109) – the dining table is shown above. It’s the heart of my house… Where we cook, eat, play and enjoy a good coffee, tea or glass of wine.

What are some of your favorite blogs and magazines?
Iris: Funny enough they are mostly magazines and blogs about FOOD! I have a soft spot for good food (I like to cook), all kind of fabrics, cutlery and tableware. For instance, Donna Hay magazine, What Katie Ate, Carline van Oel, and Studio MHL.

What attracts you to blogs the most?
Iris: When you can see their own style in the different items/features they collect for their blog. The love for pattern, colors, design mixed with vintage, etc. I’m quite a visual person.

Home Tour: Iris Rietbergen + Her Favorite Corners

What is your passion and what inspires you?
Iris: I’ve always loved to create little homes since I was child, that I call a nest. I think it is so important to live in a surrounding that reflects who you are. It should be warm and safe place to grow (in as a person). I’m not someone who follows trends simply because they are a trend but I do believe that an interior will always grow, becoming more and more a reflection of you, because you are always learning as a person. That’s the pretty thing of life! I like to show that also with the products in my shop. They are not very trendy but they are mostly handmade products that have their own unique value.

And what about inspiration…
Iris: For inspiration I just open my eyes and look at the world… I love the architecture from different cities to a humble little barn in the French countryside. In Amsterdam, a lot of people live here from different cultures so they bring their own colors, patterns and food. I see it as privilege to be part of such a diverse city. Though, more specific, I love colors, fabrics and patterns… I find those things all around me — On a little vintage cup and saucer, paint on a wall in a cafe, fashion, or in nature. I’m grateful that I live in a country where we have four beautiful seasons. If you really look hard there is so much to enjoy.

Home Tour: Iris Rietbergen + Her Favorite Corners

What are some favorite things in your home currently?
Iris: I’m a bit of “in love” with my vintage bowls with little flowers (shown in the photo above). I’m also very fond of the color, like I call it, red cabbage/deep eggplant. It is such a beautiful “accent’ color in a bowl, a cup or a chair. Love to mix it with pale blue/grey and a touch of ochre… And I’m enjoying my dinner table with a large wooden bench, pale grey, from Piet Hein Eek. I’ve had them now for 5 years and I’m enjoying them more every day, really! Also a plaid blanket from Scholten en Baijings. It was a present from my husband and it was on my wish list for a long time, I just love the bright funky colors!

What are some dream items you’d love to own?

Iris: I would love to own one day the fixed lounger of Floris Hovers in grey. Some more tableware from Jeanine Eek Keizer. There is a very special story behind this by the way. Jeanine collects all different old tableware, cup and saucer, plates etc. They are not matching (complete) anymore and a lot of people are not interested in them. She will give them a special color bath and they become matching again true their new colors. It is such a great idea and really pretty!

Home Tour: Iris Rietbergen + Her Favorite Corners

Home Tour: Iris Rietbergen + Her Favorite Corners

When it comes to colors, what palette are you drawn to for decorating currently?
I always like a neutral basis, but then I love my colors like deep eggplant, ochre, deep green, pale grey and some pink. I have a crush for the colors of IJM by stylist Frank Visser. He is such an inspiration.

So nice to share a little bit about you today on decor8, Iris! And thank you so much for being a part of my 2nd book! xo, Holly

(images: Iris Rietbergen and Debi Treloar)


  • Reply Geraldine January 28, 2013 at 5:58 pm

    What a beautiful house with all the muted chalky pastels. Love your styling Holly. Maybe you can come and style my house too :) xx

    • Reply decor8 January 28, 2013 at 7:37 pm

      @Geraldine – these photos were all styled by Iris – the only one by me is of the dining room. :)

  • Reply Sarah - Art of Decor Blog January 28, 2013 at 6:20 pm

    It is so lovely to see that you’ve started this series, Holly. Loved a small sneak peek into Decorate Workshop…tempts me more. And yes, I second Iris; you bring everything with a smile. :)

  • Reply Iwona January 28, 2013 at 7:36 pm

    Beautiful and sweet:) I love this room…I really like wallpaper pattern and pillows:) I greet:)

  • Reply Yvonne January 28, 2013 at 7:44 pm

    A wonderful new series and that home it’s so wonderful. As a sewing addicted person I love her fabric stash and the Amsterdam tips strengthen my wish to visit this fabulous city.

    Greatings Yvonne

  • Reply Bee January 28, 2013 at 8:11 pm

    What a beautiful home! I went to Amsterdam in December and got lost walking through the streets one day and found myself wandering through the residential areas gawping into people’s homes – the interiors were all so simple, yet so beautifully accessorised.
    The whole city of Amsterdam was such an inspiration and is now definitely top of my places i’d love to live one day :)

  • Reply Iris Rietbergen January 28, 2013 at 8:38 pm

    Dear Holly, Thank YOU so much! A big kiss from Amsterdam!

  • Reply Bethania January 28, 2013 at 9:08 pm

    Thank you for this post, Holly. I love to look at other people’s houses and feel at home. Iris, your house and style has “home” written all over it. It feels so cozy. I also love that eggplant shade, mixed with some olive green, touch of mustard and a pint of pink. Thank you for sharing those beautiful details.

  • Reply Nannette January 28, 2013 at 9:12 pm

    Great to learn more about Iris. I agree with her that the photo of her dining room is lovely. I also love the daring wall paper behind the sofa. Looking forward to the next little interview …

  • Reply Susanna - My Nordic House January 28, 2013 at 9:18 pm

    What a great idea and such beautiful pictures! Loved the colours and the bird wallpaper.

    I’m always on a lookout for new quirky webshops and the good news is that Iris’ shop ships worldwide too :)

  • Reply Alena D. January 28, 2013 at 9:55 pm

    so cute, this is a great inspiration! thank you for sharing this :) Amsterdam must be beautiful.
    anyway, you have a great blog!

  • Reply Rebecca January 28, 2013 at 10:03 pm

    Love the idea of this series! This first home is so cozy!

  • Reply Lisa January 28, 2013 at 10:58 pm

    just wanted to say wow so lovely and thanks I so enjoy your blog!

  • Reply Vero Palazzo January 28, 2013 at 11:17 pm

    Beautiful house and lovely interview.

  • Reply Martina January 29, 2013 at 12:42 am

    Hi Holly,

    I just got your second book yesterday (a late Christmas present from my parents in law – it was on my wish list!) and I noticed the photos of Iris Rietbergen’s house as I have seen them before not too long ago (in the Belgian magazine “nest special wonen”). I really like her home – stylish and practical as well (as I have three kids things have to be practical as well…). So I found it funny that you even started your new mini series with her today! This new series is a great idea as I am interested in people in general and as I often wonder who lives in such great places.

    By the way your new book is great. The “workshop format” appeals to me as I am a fan of workshops and also it is quite helpful going through some aspects you would not have thought of otherwise. It makes your book also stand out in the huge range of decor books.


  • Reply travaux January 29, 2013 at 3:51 am

    birds and vintage style are always good to see!

  • Reply Beccy January 29, 2013 at 10:14 am

    What a fabulous home. I love the vintage bowls with the flowers on, so pretty. the house as a lovely vibe to it.

  • Reply Cate January 30, 2013 at 12:14 am

    Such a beautiful post! Your blog is full of wonderful ideas, thank you so much for sharing them. And this dutch house is so pretty. Have you ever posted the pictures of your own house?

    I recently started a decor blog, in Spanish, I will love if you could have a look at it. Ideas for decorating the house…

    with love

  • Reply Hanna January 30, 2013 at 3:45 am

    love the first shot!

  • Reply Iris January 30, 2013 at 10:56 am

    Iris is such a talented and lovely lady and it is so nice to see her work here. A good start of this promising new series, Holly!

  • Reply Dorothy February 1, 2013 at 11:26 am

    I love the pretty home. They are just so lovely…thanks for the ideas as well.

  • Reply A Day in May Design February 2, 2013 at 8:11 pm

    Love these colors!

  • Reply Harald May 30, 2013 at 11:12 pm

    Read your wonderful book with all these awesome rooms and the well chosen photos. Espescially the kitchenette from page 108 on the right side I like. Could you tell me the manufacturer of the kitchen or if this is an individual item of what material the surface of the drawers and the top of the kitchenette (stainless steel?) is.

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