You Have to See Photos of This 300-Year-Old Cottage’s Renovation

published Sep 14, 2023

You Have to See Photos of This 300-Year-Old Cottage’s Renovation

published Sep 14, 2023
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When homeowners Anne-Laure and Bob Lievense were looking for a home in Walcheren, near Middelburg, in the Netherlands, they had a few requirements. It was 2021, and after living in a city apartment during the COVID-19 pandemic, they wanted more space — especially for their young son, Aeden. 

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“We really missed an outdoor space, so we started looking,” Anne-Laure writes. “Our wishlist? Something old, with lots of character, a fixer-upper (we love renovating and DIY), at least two bedrooms, and a garden.”

So when the couple stumbled upon a 1750s, two-bedroom home with unique, historic details, like high, beamed ceilings, terracotta kitchen floors, old doors, and an original fireplace, their interest was immediately piqued. There were other authentic details, too.

“In the First or Second World War, the neighbors came to our cellar to find shelter from the bombing that was going on,” Anne-Laure says. “Also, in that time, the back of our house was completely destroyed through bombing. Luckily, the front of the house and the cellar remained untouched. We do, however, have lots of bullet holes in our front façade.”

But magic struck the couple when the previous owner shared other stories about the home’s storied past. According to the storyteller, his theory was that the house’s 14th-century cellar was connected to a nearby castle. It hasn’t been proven true, but its mystery adds allure to the space. 

Since moving in, Anne-Laure and Bob have started renovating the 300-year-old home all on their own. “The most important thing for me for my home is that it feels cozy, comfortable, and welcoming for everyone who steps foot into it,” Anne-Laure shares. 



  • Kitchen Door — Farrow & Ball’s “Deep Reddish Brown” (archive)
  • Fireplace — Farrow & Ball’s “Deep Reddish Brown” (archive)
  • Window frames — Farrow & Ball’s “Deep Reddish Brown” (archive)
  • Kitchen ceiling — Farrow & Ball’s “Loggia” (archive)
  • Kitchen walls — Little Greene’s Beauvais “Lilac”
  • Bathroom ceiling — Farrow & Ball’s “Oxford Stone”
  • Bathroom door — Farrow & Ball’s “Joa’s White”
  • Nursery — Farrow & Ball’s “Joa’s White”
  • Nursery moulding — Vestingh’s “Moss”
  • Nursery stripes in closet — Farrow & Ball’s “Bamboozle” (red) and “Templeton Pink”
  • Bedroom — Little Greene’s “Olive Oil”
  • Bedroom woodwork — Vestingh’s “Moss”
  • Hallway wall upstairs — Little Greene’s “Beauvais Lilac”
  • Hallway woodwork — Pure & Original’s “Chalky Coral” and “Courtly Rose”
  • Red hallway chair — Farrow & Ball’s “Bamboozle”



Thanks, Anne-Laure and family!

This tour’s responses and photos were edited for length/size and clarity.
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