A Dutch Instagram Star’s Cozy Farmhouse Is a Labor of Love

published Aug 6, 2018

A Dutch Instagram Star’s Cozy Farmhouse Is a Labor of Love

published Aug 6, 2018
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Name: Jellina Detmar, her husband Jan, their children Déjan and Melin
Location: Kollum, the Netherlands
Size: 2,422 square feet
Years lived in: 1.5 years, owned

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It’s hard to believe Jellina and her family moved to this old farmhouse a mere one and a half years ago. The former residents had created a drywall box within the house, concealing many of the home’s beautiful elements like the big wooden beams. She and her husband Jan really wanted to let these original features shine, so they had to strip everything bare before they could start building up again. An immense amount of work, especially since they do most of it themselves. Luckily, Jan is extremely handy and has a part-time job in the concrete business (that gives him more time to renovate their home). Jellina is a physical therapist, but in her off hours she loves to style and photograph their interior. Together, this couple is a force of nature and the farmhouse— built in 1668—is rapidly transforming into the cozy home of their dreams.

Along with an appreciation of architecture, Jellina and Jan have a profound love for plants; they claim to spend more money on them than on clothing! They are also keen DIYers. “People think we’ve spent a fortune on our interior, but the truth is we made many things ourselves. Quite a few pieces have been thrifted, followed by some tweaking to fit our needs or taste. We’ve actually made a sport out of finding the best items for the lowest possible price.” A cool example are the matching cabinets in the dining room; they were found in a thrift store and were painted black. To amp up an industrial/natural look, Jan installed his self-made branch lamp in one of the cabinets. Robust wooden doors are crazy expensive, so he also made these himself.

Jellina was already active on Instagram before the home’s remodel, since she has a penchant for photography. What started out as a showcase of the lovely shots she took of their kids soon evolved into an exchange platform of inspiring interior photos. By sharing the renovation progress of their newly purchased farmhouse as well as nifty DIY ideas, things really took off. Her account recently surpassed the 100K followers mark, something she still finds hard to fathom. “It’s all very inspiring and energizing. I just love the creative process of taking that desired shot. The fact that people appreciate it makes it even more special,” she says. Though, she’s not interested in doing this full-time: “Being a physical therapist gives me so much satisfaction. While I enjoy styling and photography tremendously, nothing can beat the feeling of helping someone recover. But the combination is fantastic. After a day of work, rearranging a scene and taking photos is just so relaxing.” In fact, Jellina enjoys her hobby so much she also started a blog to share her styling tips and fun DIY projects.

So far the living area and kitchen are done and the couple is very happy with the results. After they tackle the backyard (while the weather’s still agreeable), they’re moving on to the second floor. Currently, the bedrooms are on the first floor but these are all temporary. All rooms will move up, along with the bathroom. This floor will also include a playroom for the kids and a glass floor right on top of the living room. Big plans, so a lot of work still lies ahead. But looking at their cozy home so far, it’s gonna be awesome. Jan and Jellina can’t wait!

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Urban jungle, industrial, rugged, robust, cozy.

Inspiration: Traveling, especially to countries with great nature like Costa Rica and Indonesia.

Favorite Element: Rugged pieces like the workbenches. The wooden world map. The sliding doors in the black steel frame, separating the living room from the dining room/kitchen.

Biggest Challenge: Renovating the entire farmhouse and making it our own. We started with the kitchen and dining room. Currently, we’re working on the yard as well as the second floor, where the future bedrooms and a new bathroom will be.

What Friends Say: “It’s a huge challenge, but it will be amazing. Impressive how you guys do everything yourselves.”

Proudest DIY: Our entire home consists of DIY projects. You can actually find several of them on my website, like how to make an industrial lamp, a side table, a TV unit, etc.

Biggest Indulgence: The sliding doors in the black steel frame.

Best Advice: Try to choose each element in such a way that all parts will create a cohesive whole. Make things functional and within easy reach. Add plants; they’ll improve any space.

Dream Sources: Loods 5, De Handelsfabriek.


Living room floor — by Mia Colore
Kitchen wall — Night Sky by Vestingh

Sofa — BePureHome
Rug — Moroccan Handmade
Lamps — Secondhand
Eames lounge chair — De Handelsfabriek
Framed black and white photos — Desenio
Workbench — Vintage via Marktplaats
Side table with black metal frame — Self-made by Jan
“Fur” rugs — Vacht Van Vilt (made of pure animal-friendly wool, so no animals were harmed)
Framed elephant photo — PosterJunkie
Birch desk — inwoodwetrust
Wooden world map — Wooden Amsterdam
Playhouse — Self-made by Jan

Butterfly chair — Secondhand via Marktplaats
“Cowhide” rug — Vacht Van Vilt (made of pure animal-friendly wool, so no animals were harmed)
Black cabinets — Thrifted
Branch lamp — Self-made by Jan
Dining table — Self-made by Jan
Leather pendant lights — Puik

Kitchen cabinets — IKEA
Countertop — Self-made by Jan from old oak floor boards
Wooden map of the Netherlands — Papurino
White vintage pandant lights above countertop — De Handelsfabriek

Bed — Eve Sleep on pallets
Wooden world map — Wooden Amsterdam
Small gray rug — Vacht Van Vilt

Bed — Self-made
Black cabinet — Self-made

Big white growth chart feather — Self-made
Teepee — Kwantum
Cabinet — Thrifted
Macramé wall piece — Druiventuintje

Outdoor dining set — Hartman

Thanks, Jellina and Jan!

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