A less adventurous person might have backed away from this house built in 1920 — charming as it was, it was practically uninhabitable and in dire need of updates. But as a little boy Stephan loved rearranging his bedroom, tweaking details to make the space look lovely. So despite not having any renovation experience prior to this huge project, five years ago Stephan took on the challenge of purchasing this house and doing most of the work himself in his spare time.
Two years ago Stephan was joined by his girlfriend Judith. Upon moving in, the brand-new couple got rid of most of their existing furniture. They wanted their new home to be a reflection of the choices they made as a duo. Though, as it turned out, their likes and dislikes are well on the same page. They look at each other and grin, when relating the story of their sofa: "We thought it would be a good idea to walk around the store separately and come up with a shortlist of models we liked. Afterwards we would compare them and try to single out a model that we both could go along with. So we circled around and when we met again, we ended up at the very same sofa. Both of us really loved it!" The sofa has a hint of green and the couple liked it became the anchor of their home's color palette. Combined with a penchant for plants, this 1920s home has turned into a cozy urban jungle chock-full of personality.
The biggest challenge so far has been the construction of the veranda, but it's paid off tremendously: Stephan and Judith are over the moon with this new addition to their home. It's an extension of their living room, but it actually also extends the warm season. Being sheltered from rain and wind means the couple can enjoy living outdoors far longer than they normally could have.
Plans for the future include a different and bigger kitchen, as well as improving the second floor (where only the bathroom can be considered done). But Stephan doesn't mind: "I love to alternate my IT job with restoration work and interior styling. Often it can get quite hectic, with both of us working full-time. However, in the end it's always rewarding when we see how our home transforms."
Apartment Therapy Survey:
Our Style: It's not just one style, we like lots of styles and we love to mix those! But we think you can call it vintage, industrial and green.
Inspiration: We just do what we think is pretty, no inspiration.
Favorite Element: We love the old and original stoves with mantelpiece, we also love the old industrial metal plates with the numbers on them and we love our self-made veranda!
Biggest Challenge: Our biggest challenge so far was building our veranda. We did it all by ourselves without actually knowing what to do. It turned out to be a great outdoor space and an extension of our living room!
What Friends Say: They love the style and think it's extraordinary!
Biggest Embarrassment: That's not hard to tell; we are embarrassed by our front door, but later this year we will get a new one!
Proudest DIY: Definitely our veranda with the large table!
Best Advice: Do what you really like, don't let other people's style be your guideline! It's your home so you have to be comfortable. Don't forget: items with a story are always a great part of your interior!
PAINT & COLORS
Living room: wall behind sofa — Tapenade by Histor
Sofa — Stirling (color: Rover Olive) by Trendhopper
Cushions — Loods 5
Side table with black frame — Loods 5
Side table with white frame — Bought at a market in Belgium; it's really old.
Retro armchair — Secondhand; we bought it via Marktplaats (the Dutch Craigslist).
TV cabinet — IKEA
Curtains — Inside Blinds
Lamps — secondhand
Rug — Kwantum
NYC photo above mantelpiece — Shot by Stephan during their US vacation.
Plants — Oosterik
Dining table — Mart Kleppe
Big cabinet — Secondhand; it consists of two different parts. The upper segment belonged to another cabinet and its glass doors were removed so we could display our plants and personal belongings.
Plants — Oosterik
Old French wooden doors — We bought them at a market in Belgium. We love them and the story behind it is so funny! We had just gotten a new car (that was smaller than the one before it) and decided to go to that market. Judith wanted these doors so badly, so of course we bought them. But they didn't really fit in the car so Judith had to sit behind me during the whole trip home (4.5 hours), in a very uncomfortable position. It was all worth it in the end!
Curtains — Inside Blinds
Photos above mantelpiece — Shot by Judith (the cityscape was taken during their US vacation).
Big lamp above the table — It was from an online shop, but we can't remember the name anymore.
Cabinets — IKEA
Cabinet — Self-made using stainless steel IKEA kitchen drawer fronts.