Henriette’s Artistic European Abode

published Jan 21, 2015
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(Image credit: Cathy Pyle)

Name: Henriette van der Does
Location: Guildford, Surrey, United Kingdom
Size: 1,200 square feet
Years lived in: 3 years 9 months; owned

This bright, inviting house, filled with sculpture, paintings and books, is home to Henriette, a painter, sculptress and art psychotherapist, her two teenage children and their two (extremely fluffy) cats. Having left her native Holland for London, Colombia and then Brazil twenty years ago, she now calls southern England home. Bringing together her experience of these cultures, and citing her design influences as Parisian (the painted furniture) and Scandinavian (all the white; the bare floors; the organisation), Henriette has created a home that has a truly international, European-inspired feel.

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The hallway, with artwork by Henriette and her favourite new lampshade. (Image credit: Cathy Pyle)
(Image credit: Cathy Pyle)

Henriette’s passion for art is evident throughout the house, from the front door glass artwork created by her cousin Hermine van der Does, to the prints of the van der Does’ family ancestral home in Holland, to her own paintings and sculpture on display. Her favourite item in the house is the watercolour by Kees Franse, a Dutch painter and sculptor.

When she moved to this house nearly four years ago, Henriette set about transforming the space, bringing it a much-needed update and also cleverly reworking the space to make it work for her family. The two separate reception rooms and kitchen were knocked through to create one open-plan space, with a wall of built-in bookshelves as well as a built-in desk and shelves beneath the stairs. The white-painted dining table, with industrial-style pendant lights, is without doubt the hub of the house: it’s where she and her children work and study, where the family share their meals, and where Henriette loves to entertain friends and family.

Upstairs, the original master bedroom was divided to create a bedroom for her son, with space to spare for a new family bathroom, while one wall in a further bedroom was knocked through to create a smart en-suite shower room for Henriette’s new master bedroom.

Out in the back garden, a newly-build art studio — “the box” — takes pride of place, with a large table, comfy armchair, wall space for display and copious amounts of storage for art materials and books. It’s the perfect place for Henriette to receive clients for art therapy and to focus on creating art and teaching, away from the distractions of the house. Further examples of Henriette’s work and information on exhibitions are available on her website.

(Image credit: Cathy Pyle)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: A light, modern take on shabby chic.

Inspiration: Paris, with Scandinavian undertones.

Favorite Element: The painting above the fireplace.

Biggest Challenge: All the tidying that having two children and two cats creates!

What Friends Say: My British friends say it’s original and different.

Biggest Embarrassment: I don’t really “do” embarrassment but the back garden is in desperate need of some attention!

Proudest DIY: Imagining how I wanted the space in the house to be – and it actually working!

Biggest Indulgence: The couch from Graham and Green. Also, books – but they are more of a necessity than an indulgence, aren’t they?

Best Advice: Don’t over-think things: stay close to your heart and who you are. A house is a place to live in, not a place to be on show, and it’s the personal touches that matter most.

Dream Sources: Where I buy already, but in greater quantities… Graham and Green, Cox and Cox, Appel and Bardoe, and second hand shops. Oh, and I wouldn’t mind buying a kitchen from a proper kitchen shop!

(Image credit: Cathy Pyle)

Resources of Note:


  • Dulux Brilliant White
  • Crown Cloudburst matt (in dining/living room)


  • Glass art by Hermine van der Does
  • Art on wall by Henriette
  • Lampshade is Eos from Danish company Vita
  • Table from a second-hand shop in Hampton Court
  • Bowl from Henriette’s grandmother


  • Rug, cubes, blinds – all Ikea
  • Chairs from Overstock, designed by Christopher Knight.
  • Artwork above fireplace by Kees Franse
  • Painting above sofa by Henriette


  • Cabinet – bought second hand in Brazil
  • Hearts on cabinet door from Appel and Bardoe
  • Table from What-not’s Antiques
  • Dining chairs – from Hotel St Tropez, bought in Holland
  • Crockery – Cox and Cox
  • Glassware – LSA
  • Photography by Peter Dance
  • Bookshelves custom made by carpenter Robin Lovell


  • Clock bought on the boat between England and Holland
  • Kitchen units from Magnet.
  • Zinc worktops designed by Henriette



  • Bed, throw, bedlinen from Loaf
  • Table from Cotswold Company
  • Blinds from Ikea
  • Corner chair from Colombia


(Image credit: Cathy Pyle)

Thanks, Henriette!

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