A Glam Home Looks High-End, But Was Designed on a Budget

published Aug 8, 2018

A Glam Home Looks High-End, But Was Designed on a Budget

published Aug 8, 2018
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Square feet
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Name: Roel Marius Brouwer, Remy, and their dog Stewie
Location: Laren (North Holland province), the Netherlands
Size: 861 square feet
Years lived in: 1.5 years, renting

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Roel might be a legal adviser by day, but his true passion is interiors. His mom sparked this love at a young age by regularly changing things up in his childhood home; through tiny adjustments their interior looked different each season. Roel was privileged to have a big bedroom and that’s where he started to play around with home decor. Now that he and his partner Remy have a place of their own, he can really unleash his creativity.

Their beautiful interior feels luxurious as well as glamorous, and this is often associated with being costly. The reality is quite the contrary: Roel managed to achieve this look on a rather limited budget, with many items sourced at H&M Home, IKEA, Leen Bakker, and Kwantum (the last two are a Dutch chain of home decor shops, with highly affordable products). “It’s all a matter of finding the right mix,” grins Roel. “But if I could give only one piece of advice when it comes to decorating it would be: Show your personality.”

He most certainly has done just that: Their apartment is filled with art, books and furniture that truly reflect the couple’s likes and loves, but also where they’ve been. The city of Paris is one of the couple’s favorite destinations and forms a huge source of inspiration to Roel. It’s also where one of his favorite furniture pieces is from: the vintage desk with a marble table top in his workspace. It came from an apartment along the Champs-Élysées. “You know, it used to be our dining table. Very pretty, but too small if you want to be practical,” says Roel. “We replaced it with the current table, which has a story of its own; Remy, who’s a fashion stylist, got it from a job he was working on some time ago. It belonged to a Dutch fashion chain that sadly went bankrupt. We are super happy with our new dining table; it’s so much bigger and perfect for hosting dinner parties.”

With his keen sense of colors, patterns and composition, Roel hasn’t gone unnoticed. Not too long ago, the Dutch edition of interior magazine Residence asked him to blog for their website on a regular basis. Roel loves to share his latest interior finds and insights. Additionally, he also highlights various hot spots that share his design aesthetic. When asked about his future plans, Roel says he definitely wouldn’t mind a job in interior design and styling. In the meantime their lovely home is getting featured more often and cool projects find their way to him. Who knows what else is in store? At any rate, Roel is already enjoying the ride!

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Glamour vibe

Inspiration: Residence magazine, movies (like “Grace of Monaco“), The Kennedys, palaces and historic places.

Favorite Element: Blue velvet sofa, marble desk from Paris, brass console table.

Biggest Challenge: To get the dining table in the right place.

What Friends Say: “What a glamour, but it feels like coming home.”

Biggest Embarrassment: Some time ago I had been eyeing this jungle wall art (behind our sofa), but when I finally decided to buy it the store didn’t have any left in stock. That is, except for the showroom model which didn’t seem for sale and was hanging on a wall. I was really bummed out and decided I just HAD to have it. So when no one was watching I took it down and headed for the cashier (it did have a price tag/barcode). After which I left like lightning.

Proudest DIY: Metal IKEA shelving unit in the dining room. I spray painted it gold and covered the bottom (glass) shelf with marble foil.

Biggest Indulgence: The console table with the brass frame.

Best Advice: Choose only items that you love and reflect your likes, that way you will bring personality into your home.

Dream Sources: I feel always inspired by Residence magazine, different kinds of shops, architecture, and above all Paris.


Console table — IKEA
Marble paper — Local garden center
Vases — Søstrene Grene, H&M Home
Mirror — Nijhof
Fake coral — Flamant by Laura

Sofa — Leen Bakker
Set of 2 coffee tables — Loods 5
Jungle wall art — HKliving
Palm tree — Rebel garden center
Vase with fluted surface — H&M Home
Various fresh flowers — De Groot-Broekhof
Sun shaped bowl — House Your Brands
Carpet — Purchased at an auction
Blue cushions — H&M Home
Orange/white cushions — Made by Remy with a fabric from Mallorca
Blue plaid — H&M Home
Light blue cushion — Primark
Blue candles — Xenos
Black floor lamp — IKEA
Framed photographs — Westwing
Butterfly in frame — Vintage market
Mirror — Lifestyle
Blue glass vases — Binnenhuis Scheltinga
Ceramic candle holder with floral print — H&M Home
Gold crane figurine — H&M Home
Console table with brass frame — Jean-Louis Scherrer for Westwing
Blue ceramic vases with pink flowers — Bij Jelle
New York print — Kwantum
Ocher velvet pouf — Karwei
Clock — Westwing
Blue glass vase on pouf — Loods 5
Peacock feathers — Vintage

Dining table — Vintage from a former McGregor store
Black dining chairs with rattan seating — Vintage from a bistro in Bordeaux
Velvet dining chairs — Kwantum
White/blue vase with print — Little Diva
Gold metal shelving unit — IKEA DIY: Roel spray-painted it gold and covered the bottom (glass) shelf with marble foil
Carafe — Vintage gift
Porcelain cups — Wedgwood
Vintage gray cabinet — De Bosrand Brocante
Candle holders — Sissy-Boy Homeland
Candles — Flamant By Laura
“Girl with a Pearl Earring” print — Leen Bakker
Little marble table – VINT
Brass and glass pendant light — Woonexpress

Marble cutting board — Xenos
Weck jars — IKEA, Xenos
Blue jar — H&M Home
Dish towels — Dille & Kamille
Tiles — Praxis
Coffee machine — Quick Mill
Flower pots for herbs etc. — DIY made of empty espresso cans
Vintage porcelain — De Bosrand Brocante

Wooden table with matching chairs — Xenos
White flower boxes — Local garden center

Marble desk — From an apartment in Paris; acquired via Marktplaats (the Dutch Craigslist)
Velvet chair — Søstrene Grene
Lamp — Lidl
Gold wire basket — Hema
Various boxes — IKEA
Gold grid bulletin board — Stradivarius
“Bookcase” consisting of old crates — Over the years Roel collected the crates which were used in various apple orchards
Butler tray cart — Thrifted
Blue head sculpture — Bij Jelle
Glass bell jars — IKEA

Bed — IKEA
Bed linen — H&M Home
Little green table — Søstrene Grene
Table lamp — Thrifted base, the shade is from Loods 5
Boxes — Vintage
Bedspread — IKEA

Thanks, Roel and Remy!

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