Hello everyone! It’s Holly Marder back with another inspiring home tour in the Netherlands this month that I photographed for my Homes With Heart column on decor8. Are you ready to be inspired? Great!
“Don’t pin me on to just one type of style, it would kill me,” says Nancy Berendsen, blogger and magazine editor who envisioned a light, bright and airy space when she first laid eyes on the dark and dated house that was to become her home. Located in Oostzaan, the Netherlands, the house had everything that she and her husband were looking for – space, fresh country air and loads of potential to create the ultimate family home for their two children and puppy, Molly.
A full scale renovation ensued, where bringing in natural light was the main priority. Nancy has always been drawn to bright Scandinavian interiors in which natural light plays a crucial role to the home and its inhabitants. Even when the days turn dark, her home is still a cheerful place to be. With the help of an architect, they reworked the combined living, kitchen and dining room to maximize natural light. To achieve this, a section of the roof and exterior wall of the home was removed and replaced with a steel framed glass window that follows the contours of the house. The result gives a greenhouse quality to the home’s exterior, but the light that floods the space is unmatched. Glass sliding doors that run the length of the house leading out onto the patio also worked to open up the space and invite the outdoors in. With views over the neighboring farms and a small stream, the patio is as much apart of the home’s living space as the interior itself during the warmer months.
Nancy is drawn to a mix of designs styles, which she seamlessly combines against the backdrop of her freshly renovated home. Fresh white painted walls and oak floors form the canvas against which she has infused her eclectic sense of style. “I wanted to create a joyful home where family and friends feel welcome, warm and energized,” she says.
Nancy’s keen eye for detail, texture, colour and shape, as well as a love of vintage and preloved treasures, has given her home a sense of joy and optimism. Vintage pieces scoured from markets and online marketplaces remind Nancy of her beloved grandmother, while modern clean-lined design items work to create a space that is sophisticated yet doesn’t take itself too seriously. “I love to play with different materials to create a cozy atmosphere at home,” she says. “I love mixing old with new, such as vintage leather with soft cottons or fluffy sheepskin, to draw the eye in.”
Bright pops of color against pastels and neutrals add to the lighthearted feel of Nancy’s home. “I love colors. They add optimism to a space, but it has to be in a soft, balanced way,” she says. Nancy’s fave color combo? Neutrals combined with greens and a touch of yellow, salmon and pink is always a winning blend.
So what’s Nancy’s (her photo is above, left) trick to finding just the right vintage and secondhand items? “One of my favorite online shopping tricks (I use mostly Marktplaats and eBay) is to simply search a specific material that I am currently swooning over, such as wool or bamboo, and just see what pops up!” And while this method keeps her thrifting fancies satisfied, nothing beats a good old-fashioned treasure hunt. “I love to go thrifting and I’m always on the hunt for simple, strong and beautiful design.” But there’s more to clever thrifting than meets the eye. Nancy takes all things into consideration before bringing scoured treasures home with her, but shape plays a primary role in the selection process. “Shape is incredibly important, whether it’s the curved legs of a chair or the bow of a spoon,” she says. “At the moment I’m deeply in love with old-fashioned candle holders with a handle.”
While an old meets new aesthetic has formed the basis of Nancy’s happy interior, displaying her children’s artwork is closest to her heart and gives her home a personal quality. “Their intuitive feel for colour can be stunning combined with a touch of design,” Nancy says. “Don’t feel guilty about being selective. They will love you for highlighting their art, and it will instantly give your home that personal touch, which is what I search for in decorating.”
So what do you think decor8 readers – any ideas from her arrangements that you picked up on and would like to try in your own home? See you again with another Dutch home tour in November! – Holly
(text/photos: holly marder)