Hey everyone, it’s Holly Marder back again with another beautiful interior to inspire you this spring! Step inside a cool, calm and collected bachelor pad located in Haarlem, the Netherlands, belonging to Alexander Nijmolen, musician, entrepreneur and the owner of a bright blue vintage food truck. Alexander bought the double upstairs 100 square meter apartment – a former cheese warehouse – in the summer of 2013.
“I fell for the windows, with architectural style elements of the Amsterdam school. It’s nice to have so much natural light.” A city dwelling was high on his search criteria, making the location of this apartment a deciding factor for Alexander. “I really love to live in the city and to be surrounded by other people. Haarlem truly is my city, I have been born and raised here.”
When Alexander took over the apartment, the interior was entirely different, clad in cheap pine wood in varying colors and all round dated. First on the list was removing the wood, remodelling the kitchen and changing up the layout on the second floor to create a more spacious bedroom and bathroom. Original wooden beams were revealed, walls were plastered and the whole house received a fresh coat of paint. The works took just a few months until Alexander felt completely at home in his open and light Haarlem abode.
Alexander takes his decor cues primarily from the pages of magazines, as well as shops and interior boutiques. A favourite haunt for items for the home is Sukha in Amsterdam. When it comes to buying new things, quality is high on his list. “I’m selective and strongly believe in the concept ‘less is more’.” Alexander mixes varying decor styles in his home including retro, industrial and modern elements.
Open and light, white floors and walls provide a high contrast yet calm backdrop for Alexander’s eclectic array of furniture and objects. A mix of chairs surrounding a solid oak dining table create a playful dining space, with chairs from Neef Louis, Portrait and Blood New Label. An eye-catcher in the dining room, the petrol colored print of the Italian illustrator Gino Boccasille called ‘La voce che incanta Irradio’’ was a gift. The industrial lamp above the dining table from Blood New Label was originally from a German steel processing company. Simplistic styling comes easily to Alexander, with greens being the main ingredient for the minimalistic vignettes to be found around the house. Alexander buys his plants and flowers from a local favourite, Klavertje Vijf.
Alexander enjoys nothing more than to relax on his Geoffrey Harcourt chair, also from Neef Louis, in front of the wide living room windows. The cognac leather sofa he purchased at Loods5 makes a masculine yet modern statement in the eclectic space. The sleek surface is softened nicely with textiles from By Mölle and scatter pillows mostly from Wonen met Lef, and complemented by a worn vintage carpet rug from Sukha. An old yellow chest adds a quirky touch to the space.
Beyond the living room, Alexander’s kitchen features a robust concrete counter top, with Portuguese tiles he found second hand a feature on the kitchen floor.
Upstairs, Alexander’s bedroom is a calming and light attic style space featuring exposed wooden beams, a custom built in wardrobe, and textiles from By Mölle. Breaking up the simplicity in the space, Alexander’s signature industrial elements such as the black Muuto harmonica wall sconce and vintage stool as a nightstand add a masculine touch.
With his apartment a popular choice for Airbnb patrons, Alexander often stays at Monique’s place while his home accommodates international travellers. “It’s a beautiful way to get in touch with people from all over the world. They always love the apartment.” And though Monique shares a vast majority of her time with Alexander in his Haarlem abode, the interior decor is all the work of Alexander, who decorated it before meeting Monique in 2014. Together, the couple own a bright blue food truck called Spelty, making and selling organic spelt pancakes at various festivals and events. “Though a musician at heart, I realized I really love working in the catering industry. Soon after meeting, Monique and I decided to start a food truck. Monique is a star in baking pancakes and I wanted to offer something healthy, so we combined forces and started making pancakes made from spelt flour. We drive our Renault Estafette every other weekend to different places and meet new people. Besides that, it’s entrepreneurship pureblood and that really suits me.”
So guys, do tell me: what do you love most about this home? I love the striking contrast that the white floors lend against his masculine furniture and all the beautiful textiles he has brought into his home like that amazing overdyed vintage rug in the living room. Looking forward to seeing you guys again next time! – Holly
(Photography & styling: Holly Marder / Assistant styling & editorial: Lotte Herink)