DIY Newbies Add Color & Character to a New Build in the Netherlands

updated Apr 30, 2019

DIY Newbies Add Color & Character to a New Build in the Netherlands

updated Apr 30, 2019
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Square feet
Sq ft

Name: Shari Pelkmans, Mike and Olle
Location: Heeze, the Netherlands
Size: 1,087 square feet
Years lived in: 3 years, owned

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Three years ago Shari and Mike bought a newly-built house in Heeze, a tiny town in the south of the Netherlands (and Mike’s hometown). The location is great: a short walk from the town center, but also lots of pretty nature just around the corner. While the couple is definitely happy with their home, their dream house would be a building with more character, like an old farm or factory. The lack of original details is a regret shared by many residents of newly-built houses. However, this hasn’t stopped Shari from adding their own unique elements to their home. Even though she and Mike don’t consider themselves super handy, she figured that DIY would be the way to go. There’s nothing like seeing your own design come to life, handmade with love, and being the only one of its kind!

Their very first DIY piece was a concrete coffee table. The couple was so pleased with the result they were encouraged to go on many more DIY adventures. Early this year they became the proud parents of baby Olle. So it comes as no suprise that his bedroom is one of their latest projects. Mike made a wooden wall with a recessed shelf. It’s a lovely spot to showcase favorite toys and art prints. Shari refurbished vintage furniture like Olle’s changing table dresser. This mix of old, new and DIY has hatched a cool and cozy baby room.

By playing around with their home’s interior Shari developed a taste for finding and sharing inspiration. This prompted her to start an interior and lifestyle blog, with a special focus on sustainability. A web developer by day, Shari’s blog is her creative outlet. “I love being able to share the things I enjoy or find important. I love how it’s so personal. And utterly fulfilling,” she says with a smile.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Scandinavian, soft industrial, DIY.

Inspiration: vtwonen, interior bloggers.

Favorite Element: I’m very fond of the homemade room divider, because it’s very easy to vary with: just by changing its wallpaper, color or the accessories attached to it.

Biggest Challenge: Finding authenticity in a modern house. My dream home would be a restored old farm or factory. I love those old elements; you can’t fake them. And sadly, they don’t exist in these newly-built houses.

What Friends Say: There’s something new each time they visit.

Biggest Embarrassment: The wall cabinet in the kitchen. It was really supposed to be a straight box, but I don’t have the patience to make perfect furniture like that. However, I am very fond of the result; I love how it’s a bit crooked. But considering it was supposed to be straight… This is kind of a happy embarrassment.

Proudest DIY: Our concrete coffee table. My partner and I made it together, I even made the design myself. It was my first DIY ever and it was pretty much what inspired me to start my blog.

I’m also very proud of my baby boy’s bedroom. His wardrobe and changing dresser were second-hand interior pieces I renovated myself. The wooden wall was made by Mike and gives a unique touch to the room.

Biggest Indulgence: I love how flexible my home allows me to be. The layout of space is pretty variable and it’s very easy to experiment with colors, wallpapers, furniture, decoration and such. Of course, this is all possible because my partner doesn’t mind if I decide to paint the wall and actually do it the same evening as well.

Best Advice: Invest in a good base to start from. A solid and sustainable floor, a comfortable couch, etc. From a good base, you can adjust your interior just by changing the decoration. Which is way more affordable than changing the floor or kitchen, for example.

Dream Sources: Daily Poetry, Home Stock, Sissy-Boy, Hay.


Living room:
Subtle Peony by Flexa
Zee by Histor

Master bedroom:
Wit Zee by Flexa

Baby room:
Denim Drift by Flexa
Okergoud by Flexa
Fresh Linen by Flexa

Wallpaper Stone Worldvtwonen
Coat rack – DIY with H&M Home coat pegs
Cabinet/bench – DIY using Kallax from IKEA

Side table Gripvtwonen
Room divider – DIY using Kallax from IKEA
Art print DennenbosLiekeland
Black wooden bird ShorebirdNormann Copenhagen
Cork clock ClorkPuik Art
Paper planter – Serax
Tealight holder – HKliving
Vase – HKliving
Little vase – House Doctor
Rug Zigzag – vtwonen
Round rug JuteKidsDepot
Drapes Sky Naturalvtwonen

Dining table Sinnerlig – IKEA
Stool SinnerligIKEA
Bench Sinnerlig – IKEA
Chair Parijs – Kwantum
Rug – Wehkamp

Trolley – BePureHome
Shelves – DIY using EKBY HÅLL from IKEA
Kitchen scales – Nordal
Green jars – HEMA
Plates Van GoghVan Gogh Museum
Green bowls – Dille & Kamille
Bowls 70’sHKliving
Bowls RusticHouse Doctor
Mugs – HKliving
Dish towels – Sissy-Boy
Glass jar with lid KORKENIKEA
Round rug – HKliving

Bed MalmIKEA
Locker wardrobes MaxWoood
White sheets – HEMA

Crib LarsKidsmill
Wardrobe – second-hand
Changing table dresser – second-hand
Rug – homemade
Yellow bear – Noodoll
Laundry bag CactusSissy-Boy
Wooden robot – Rijkswachters
Drapes Sky Naturalvtwonen
White armchair – Eames DAW
Small white rocking chair – Eames RAR Junior
Lightbox – A Little Lovely Company
Nesting dolls – Helen Dardik for Petit Monkey

Laundry bag – House Doctor

Thanks, Shari!

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