A Moroccan-Inspired Amsterdam Home

A Moroccan-Inspired Amsterdam Home

Breanne Johnsen
Nov 25, 2017

Name: Driss and Bettina daughters Tala (6) and Ziri (4)
Location: Amsterdam (Spiegelkwartier), Netherlands
Size: 2,400 square feet
Years lived in: 5 years, owned

Driss and Bettina, originally from Morocco and Germany, met (and fell in love) in Amsterdam at a small, creative advertising agency where they worked. They've both been passionate about interior design and beautiful, charming houses. And a few years ago, they decided to follow their dream and open a small boutique bed & breakfast in the center of Amsterdam. They loved renovating and furnishing this 17th century house, and both their home and the B&B's rooms are furnished with love and global style.

While in Morocco to look for inspiration and home accessories, Driss and Bettina decided to make their own rugs for their house and the B&B, in Driss' birth village. What started as a fun little adventure turned into an amazing project; they've since opened a web store with the help of friends where they support 10 women who weave beautiful rugs. It's a project that gives women in need an income and at the same time they make so many people happy with a truly beautiful and unique rug for their gorgeous homes. For Driss, it's a nostalgic journey that he finds very special: being able to give something back to the village he grew up in.

It all feels a bit as if it was meant to be, as their home (and B&B) in Amsterdam is in an old weaver's house that used to be the home of weavers 340 years ago — hence the name "The Weavery" for their B&B and web store.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our style: Mix of vintage furniture, Moroccan rugs and accessories with some antiques or other finds. We like to mix up colors and patterns a bit, without making it too overly crowded.

Inspiration: We find our inspiration everywhere we go. The biggest inspiration we get from traveling. We especially love the beautiful designs in Marrakech. But Amsterdam also keeps inspiring us of course! We are lucky to live in such a beautiful and inspiring city.

Favorite Element: Actually, we love every part of the house!

Our favorite rooms are probably the bedroom and the kitchen. Both are filled with light. We love the four-poster bed in the bedroom, which we designed ourselves and made from the old wooden floorboards from the house.

And we love to cook in our kitchen and look out on our cute little backyard, especially when the kids are playing there.

When it comes to furnishings, we love our large painting in the living room, which was made by a French artist and shows a Moroccan woman in traditional clothing. We fell in love with it immediately when we saw it. It just fits perfectly in here and it is extra special to us as it shows a woman from the same tribe that Driss' family comes from. We call her Sarah, after Driss' mother. And we also love our vintage lounge chairs. They are so comfortable, and we often sit in the chair by the window and work from there instead of the office.

Biggest Challenge: For our builders, the biggest challenge was that it's an old house and therefore, no wall is straight. The renovation therefore took longer than expected and the built-in closets required very good craftsmanship from our carpenter.

For us, I think the biggest challenges were all the last details, like finding the right colors, tiles and of course furnishings. We also had some help from a good friend of ours who helped us make the right choices / find the things we needed.

For the color of our beams and doors throughout the house, our reference was a door that we saw in a Moroccan interior book. It had this lovely grey-blue-ish color that we both absolutely loved. The best colors and color inspiration we discovered at Farrow and Ball. In the end we ordered some samples and chose their beautiful color called "Skylight." We are still very happy with this choice. It changes a bit depending on the light that falls on it. We like things that are a bit "alive" and we love it! And we love how it keeps reminding us of that Moroccan door.

For the tiles we actually really wanted to have those beautiful Moroccan tiles in our kitchen and in the bathrooms of the house and the B&B. We are in love with colors and patterns and I always loved the Moroccan tiles. But they are of course a bit vulnerable. In the end, with the help of our friend (who is also an interior stylist), we came across the French brand Winckelman. They have beautiful tiles with great quality and on top of it, the tiles are very strong and sturdy. And they have the possibility to lay the tiles in different patterns. So in the end we still manage to get a bit of the Moroccan look, but with less sensitive tiles.

That's also generally what we tried to accomplish in the furnishings. We wanted beautiful designs that we loved but made sure it's all still practical as well.

What Friends Say: Our friends always love the homey feel of our house. Everyone always sits on the rugs and cushions and they really enjoy the warmth that we incorporated in the house. I think our house really reflects us and I believe that's why people love it, and mostly feel at home here immediately.

We think people can see how much we love our house. And it's probably the same with houses than people: Feeling loved makes you extra beautiful, as it gives you this special "glow."

Biggest Embarrassment: We actually always feel a bit embarrassed when we show people our bedroom. We have all these cute little rooms in our house, and then you enter our bedroom and it's HUGE.

Proudest DIY: Bettina's dad made a lovely bench in front of our door that I designed together with him. We really wanted one of those typical Amsterdam benches, but we made it extra challenging, as we wanted to incorporate some room in it for our recycling. Bettina's dad is very practical. He can basically do everything. They renovated their own house back then almost by themselves. And he has the wrong daughter in Bettina as she is always full of new ideas and challenges for him to make for us. For example, he also made a little shelf for Bettina's office from an old ladder that was lying around the house, and lots of other things around the house. We also once saw these great clothing racks in an Agriturismo in Italy. We took a picture of them, redesigned them a bit and Bettina's dad made them for us as a Christmas present a couple of years ago.

Biggest Indulgence: The bathrooms with the classic English bathroom taps.

Best Advice: The best advice from our friend Saskia, who helped us a bit with the details, was to make a mood board. We both like so many different things and don't have one specific style. The mood board really helped to get a better idea of what direction we are looking for regarding the furnishing.

Dream Sources: Of course we love all the classic Scandinavian designers like Hans Wegner and Finn Juhl. But we are not so much about the big brands and actually prefer finds from less famous designers. There are so many beautiful furnishings out there and we mostly love furniture with history. Our favorite items are things that we just find without looking for them, like our wooden living room table that we once bought in Marrakech.

Resources:

PAINT & COLORS
Farrow and Ball (color skylight for the beams and doors and the kitchen)

LIVING ROOM/DINING ROOM
Vintage furniture - FabriekNL
Sofa table - Marrakech
Kids chairs - Stokke Tripp Trapp
Rugs - The Weavery
Cushions - The Weavery (vintage collection)
Cupboard - Timzowood Living

KITCHEN
Tiles - Winckelmans
Countertop - Black granite stone
Tins and Ceramics - Vintage finds and Ceramics by Bettina's Aunt (Ulrike Beulich-Pfeiffer)

BEDROOM
Wardrobes - Built-in
4-poster bed - Made from old wooden floor boards from our house.
Moroccan chairs - Marrakech
Leather lounge chair - Present from our best friends.
Fatima hands - Marrakech
Rugs - The Weavery
Clothing racks - Made by Bettina's father

BATHROOM
Appliances - St James, England
Make-up table - Vintage find
Tiles - Winckelmans
Towel rack - Vintage find
Laundry basket - The Weavery

OTHER
Shelf in the office - Made by Bettina's father
Crafting table - On the street find
Eames rocking chair
Gispen lamps - most are vintage lamps but some were from the Dutch designer Gispen

Thanks, Driss and Bettina!


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