After living in my little apartment (45 m2) in Rotterdam for over 5 years, it’s time to say goodbye. In January I will be moving into a new house. I knew I had to leave one day because, well, it’s quite small if you live and work in the same place. But it is my place. When I moved in here I made it my home immediately. It was the first house I was going to live in by myself, without family, partner or room-mate. For the first time I had the chance to make it completely my home without considering other people’s opinions. I enjoyed it so much!
Stepping into the teeny-tiny hallway (seriously, if you turn around your nose is up against the wall), you immediately see the pieces of embroidery and some original pieces by fellow illustrators. The coat hanger belonged to my parents. They were about to throw it away when I said I could use it. My mum always thinks it weird that I like old stuff.
When you step into the living room, you see my table. Many years ago I had it made in Poland and nowadays it serves as my drawing table. On the photo it’s clean but right now (and always) there’s a big pile of paper, pencils, paints, all stacked up. It’s a huge mess, I promise. But it’s nice to see there’s actually a table underneath the mess! On the wall is a Tomado-shelf which I filled with old books, and some art pieces again.
I collect (original) artwork by illustrators. I don’t like having my own work on the walls. To me it would be the same as hanging photos of myself on the wall and I just don’t need to see my own face all the time. Here you see an original by Mike Lowery, Helen Dardik and Kurt Halsey. On the left you see a print by Lilli Carre. It’s nice to see those pieces. My cupboard is vintage, I think it’s from the 60’s.
I have this thing with maps. Since I was little I loved tracing my finger along all the roads on a map and sometimes I prefer a map over Google Maps. I bought this big map on the wall about 5 years ago. Mainly because I love the lettering on it. It’s screenprinted and in German, in case you’re wondering.
I bought the head-vase years ago and my boyfriend hates it with a passion. I love it. I love the little mix of the clock, the tile, the stuffed animal and the plant above it.
All the hipsters do it but that’s not why I do it: there’s a bike in my living room. That’s because my bike is vintage and I don’t dare to put it outside. It would get stolen in a heartbeat. Since I don’t have a garden, I have nowhere else to put it but in my living room. The old cabinet was a gift from a friend. It belonged to his grandmother I think, and it’s from the 30’s. I filled it with plates and cups. The print on the mantelpiece is by my friend Mara Piccione.
When you move pass the bookshelves, you walk right into my bedroom. I don’t have a door separating my living room from my bedroom. I painted the wall pink because I love colour and all the white on the walls was rather boring. My bed is one of my favourite spots. Above my head you see work by Ted Carpenter, which I bought years ago. Next to my bed is a little, old table, with an ochre-coloured lamp (bought it from a friend, it’s from the 70’s), my Stormtrooper alarm clock (by Lego) and I stuffed some books beneath it. I always have Matilda by Roald Dahl close to me. It’s pretty much my bible.
My work nook, as I call it. It’s on the opposite of my bed and I do all my computer stuff here. I spend the most time here. I filled the walls with inspiration: cards and prints of other illustrators, funny notes, letters. On the left are the doors to my little balcony, so I have lots of light here.
Just an example of stuff I put on my wall above my computer. And the right is another photo of a corner in my house and you see some original art above it, and some classics with beautiful cloth covers.
The smallest kitchen I ever had but I loved it. It doesn’t have an oven, or a dishwasher. It is so basic but it fits the house so well. In the new house I’m going to have a proper oven and a dishwasher. I feel spoiled. Although I loved my old kitchen I’m really looking forward to the dishwasher! I hate doing dishes with a passion. The new kitchen will also have an extractor, which is pretty much luxury to me. No more opening the door to let out the damps and smell!
I’m looking forward to moving because it’s time for something a bit bigger. The new house will be across a nature reserve so it will be very peaceful. Just to compare: this apartment is in the city, from the 1920’s, no isolation, no double-glazing so you hear everything. Every neighbour talking (I have neighbours beneath me, above me and on both sides next to me), you hear sirens at least
3 15 (I counted) times a day, and the streets are noisy and crowded. Maybe it’s because I’m getting older or maybe I feel homesick to the countryside but I long for a bit of peace and quiet. Of course I will have to share the new house with Bram, but I think we will manage just fine 😉
I will have a separate room to work in which is something I really long for. It’s just not comfortable any more to have work stuff lying around the whole apartment because it’s too small. My old house was my buddy for a long time but I grew out of it. I’m going to miss it and have fond memories of it though!
When the new house is finished, I’ll take pictures of it as well and show you around. Hope you enjoyed the little tour!
All text and images © Marloes De Vries