This Gorgeous Dutch Home Has Lots of Light, Color, and Cool Art
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Name: Saliha, her husband Kumayl, with cats Oreo and Milk
Location: The Hague, The Netherlands
Size: 1399 square feet
Years lived in: 8 months, owned
We had been looking to buy a place for a while in Amsterdam, and we looked through listing after listing. Putting offers out, either to get refused or finding homes that were just not the right fit, was a nerve-wracking experience. After being let down by the crazy housing market in Amsterdam, we decided to embark on a new adventure in a new city. We moved to The Hague in 2018, where we lived in a rental for a year and casually looked at homes every now and then. When this listing came up on a random Tuesday, I was ecstatic, as it checked all the boxes. We had been looking for a space like this for ages. So, after careful deliberation and some hesitation, we booked a viewing. When we saw it in person for the first time, we were blown away by the space and how it was so light and inviting; it felt like walking into a calming oasis. That’s the moment we knew: this house was the one.
The house was newly renovated when we bought it, which helped me focus all my energy on the design element. I love the open concept; it gave me the opportunity to make little cozy nooks but also keep it open and airy at the same time. When it came to the styling, I didn’t want to follow any trends. I wanted our house to be a storyteller, sharing stories of our diverse backgrounds, our travels, our friendships, and our interests. I focused on each room independently, bringing in elements that worked well together and I definitely did not want to hold back on the color. I wanted the house to have a playful and happy appeal. For me it was important that it became a place of engagement, fun, laughter, and countless happy memories. It’s a labor of love… and it’s not finished yet.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: Warm, Eclectic, Playful, Quirky.
Inspiration: Apartment Therapy, Architectural Digest, Pinterest, Modern Art Museums, Galleries, Bookstores.
Favorite Element: It has to be the LIGHT; it brightens up the house. I absolutely love how much light comes into the house. It has windows everywhere (which is quite rare in Dutch homes) and that was a priority for us. You don’t want to mix a dark home with the grey Dutch weather.
Biggest Challenge: Packing everything on our own. We were in the middle of a heatwave and decided to pack everything ourselves and it was a big challenge. We didn’t realize how much we had accumulated. Next time, we’re definitely saving up to hire packers and movers.
Proudest DIY: The gallery wall. I’ve been collecting things for it since forever. It has been the biggest project in the house so far. Backsplash in the kitchen will be the next one.
What do friends say: It’s so happy, cozy, and peaceful. Funnily enough, despite all the color splashed around the house, there’s still something really zen about it.
Biggest Indulgence: Our couch. I was a freelancer at the time we bought it. So, it really felt like a big investment, but if you have to invest in something, it should definitely be items you sit or sleep on.
Best Advice: Don’t take on a renovation project unless you have lots of time and patience. We thought about buying a fixer upper in Amsterdam (due to the lack of good houses in our price range). Eight months after buying this house we thank our lucky stars we didn’t opt for that option.
What’s your best home secret? It has to be the art in the house. I try to source prints, photographs, ceramics, and artifacts from small businesses, local galleries, and independent artists. Designing your home doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg. Another secret: I always buy artwork on my travels.
- Sofa — Made Furniture https://www.made.com/
- Cushions — Sissy Boy and local handicraft stores in Pakistan
- Rug — Turkey
- Pouf — Moroccan souk
- Chairs — IKEA
- Bed Spread — Khaadi Pakistan
- Bed — Made Furniture
- Chair — Vintage
- Chairs — Vintage shops
- Table — IKEA
- Toaster — SMEG
- Stand Mixer — Kitchen Aid
- Dutch Ovens — Le Creuset
- Stove, Fride, Dishwasher — Siemens
- Bed — Made Furniture
- Chest of drawers – IKEA (painted by my husband)
- Rug — From Iran
- Bed Spread (Master bedroom) — Zara Home
- Complete Bathroom — Grohe
- Rug — Morocco
- Bedroom — Serkhan Akyol, Heather Felder, Carla Llanos
- Living Room — Kelly Anna
- Dining Room — Shezil Malik
- Gallery Wall — Plates by Delft Blue and Fornasetti