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!
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.
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.
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!
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…)!
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!
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.
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.
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!
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)