In January I moved into my new home. It’s hard to believe that already six months have passed. We had to do a small renovation from top to bottom, but still… It’s not finished yet. But it’s getting there! Hopefully in six months I can say it’s completely finished. Here’s where we’re at right now!
Moving from the city to the outskirts
Boyfriend and I both had seperate houses in the city, which we rented. We wanted to move in together but as Rotterdam has gotten very expensive in the last few years, and we really didn’t want to teeny tiny studio apartment, we looked for houses just outside the city. We found this house, 20 minutes from the city centre, but half the price you have to pay for a similar house in the city. The big bonus is that it looks out on a nature reserve, so no other house in front of it. Something you’d never get in the city for a decent price.
The living room was the least work! It had hardwood floors already, and we just needed to paint all the walls. We didn’t buy a lot of new furniture: I had bought most items already over the past 10 years. The sofa is new, as my old Ikea-sofa was heavily discoloured. As you can see the house is surrounded by trees and plants all around, so I balanced it out by picking lots of warm coloured items, like the pillows and the throw (design by Zilverblauw for Kwantum).
The old map from the USA is something I’ve had for years, and was hanging in my old home as well. It’s probably from the 50’s or 60’s, and the letters are screenprinted on it.
The cabinet comes from my old home as well. I prefer furniture from the 1930’s until the 1960’s as they are of better quality, and I really like the look and feel of mid-century furniture.
A little corner in the house, with still so many frames to hang. Each year I buy an original artwork from a fellow illustrator, so I have quite a collection already, being the granny that I am 😉
The hallway isn’t nearly finished. The carpet on the stairs has been pulled and scraped off but it still needs a good paint job. I might want to paint the walls partically dark green here, but we’ll see. I do love the lamp I found, with the vibrant green wire.
My studio, the place I spend most hours in. I used a peach/melon pink here for one wall. After working here for six months, I have to admit the pink is a bit too vibrant. It’s a bit distracting. I might re-paint it with a more muted pink. To make the space fell more cosy, I put on cards and prints of my favourite illustrators on the wall. Also, plants! Did you know having green around you reduces stress? Bring in those plants!
My drawing table faces the water and nature reserve in front of the house. It’s very calming.
This house and this space to work in is so different from my old home, which was in the middle of the city. There was noise pretty much 24/7 and I felt very anxious at times.
The bedroom needs new bedside tables, which I’m probably going to make myself. The walls need some art too, agreed? 🙂 I’m thinking a combination of paintings and embroidery hoops.
I still love this old seventies lamp, which I bought years ago in a vintage store in Rotterdam. It used to hang in my living room but it’s perfect for our bedroom!
We put it a new kitchen, as the old one was literally falling apart. Drawers were collapsing as you pulled at it 😀
We picked a white, matte Ikea kitchen with wooden worktop. I went with a white square sink and a black tap. The Portugese tiles are a dark green and handmade, which gives a nice contrast with the modern kitchen cabinets.
The coffeemaker is a Moccamaster, which I bought with coupons my mum had been saving for the past 20 years. It’s the exact same type as my grandmother used to have, so it’s special.
Of course I put in my old kitchen tools in. The green tin with ‘biscuits’ is one I bought in Cambridge in 2012 and has moved with me to six different houses. The chef-faced-pot with kitchen utensils is from a thrift shop.
The white walls above the tiles are going to be painted, but I’m not sure yet which colour.
My tips on interior design:
Matching new things with old furniture
Combining old furniture with new items is easy to do if you make sure it doesn’t clash. Avoid ‘retro-feel’ new items, as it’s pretty clear it’s fake. Instead, buy more modern items in complimentary colours and buy classy old furniture as the eyecatcher of the room. I got most of my furniture from thrift shops and websites with second hand furniture for sale.
If you’re going for wooden furniture, make sure it’s the same colour for most pieces. This seems silly but I find that if you have furniture in many different kind of woods in one room, it often clashes.
Take it slow
If you can’t find the furniture or lamps you’re looking for, just wait until you do find them. When you get a new home it’s tempting to buy a lot of new stuff. Instead, make do with what you have and save up money for the items you absolutely love. For example, I know exactly what kind of cabinet I want for the TV but I can’t find it right now. I will keeping looking until I’ve found it.
Pick a sidekick colour for the whole house
Pick a colour pallette throughout the house, and make sure there’s a common thread. I picked ochre yellow as the colour you see throughout the whole house. In the bedroom the curtains and bedside table lamp is this colour, in the living room you see a chair and artwork, in the kitched it matches with cans and tins.
Throughout the house we have a lot of soft pink coloured items too, so the house feels like a whole.
Paint those walls but do tests
If you want to go wild with colours, get some sample papers from the shop. Make sure you get multiple shades. Now, stick them on the wall before you start painting. Let them hang there for at least a week. See which shades fit your room the best!
Please be aware that the light in a room defines a great deal on what the colour is going to look like. I’ve had a lot of people asking what the colour of my studio wall and the bedroom is. But you can buy this colour and it might not work at all with your room. If you have lots of nature outside your house, the light tends to be more cold, so you want to compensate that with warmer colours. Get a lot of sunlight in your room? Don’t pick a colour with too much yellow.
Do you like my style and want to get inspired more? Check out my Pinterest-board!
The right choice for me
Since we moved here I feel less anxious and stressed, which is mainly due to the peaceful place the house is in. Also, I have a proper room to work in now, which is great. Not drawing at the kitchen table is good for me. At first I was a bit scared to move out of the city, as it’s not ‘the cool thing to do’. I mean, most of my friends live in the city. But I’m so much happier here. I’ve realised I need quiet surroundings, and a place nearby the house where I can walk for hours. It was totally worth it!
If you have questions, let me know in the comments!
PS None of the content in this post is sponsored.
All text and images © Marloes De Vries