Name: Karlijn, Daniel and their cat Harrie
Location: Utrecht, the Netherlands
Size: 1,076 square feet
Years lived in: 3 years, owned
Karlijn is a teacher at a school for children with special needs. It's a very rewarding job, though at times it can also be pretty challenging. When a day has been especially strenuous, she loves to unwind in the lovely home she shares with Daniel and their cat Harrie. In fact, decorating the house they bought three years ago has become quite a passion. "One can argue if it's genetics, but I share this passion with my mom and sister," she grins, "the three of us even have a WhatsApp group dedicated to all things interior design! We love to share inspiration and ideas, neat items we've stumbled upon as well as a new purchase."
Another thing that has rubbed off on Karlijn? Her love of plants. For as long as Karlijn can remember, her mom has been an avid gardener, and she taught her daughters a great deal about flowers and plants. Roaming around Karlijn and Daniel's very own urban jungle this really shows. The many plants are attractive and healthy, also thanks to the copious amount of light in this bright home.
One of the most striking elements in the couple's home is the ample use of the color blue. One can spot it in various fresh hues, and sometimes it is applied with a twist, like the big eye-catching stripe running from the living room to the dining room. Karlijn explains: "We definitely wanted to add color to this space, but at the same time we didn't want to cover the whole wall. It was Daniel's idea to add the blue stripe. The change in level serves as a visual divider of the lounging and dining area."
The blue kitchen needed a makeover, but the couple didn't want to break the bank by replacing it entirely. Instead, the (faux wood) frame and tiles were painted white. Together with the addition of wooden handles, a new cooktop and a new faucet it was transformed into a crisp and stylish space.
While Daniel prefers a more sleek and modern look, Karlijn has an inclination for vintage and knickknacks. This might sound incompatible, which is why Karlijn is particularly proud of how things turned out. And rightfully so: This fusion of different tastes has resulted in a fresh and fun blend of vintage, new items and DIY. And lots of plants to top it off!
Apartment Therapy Survey:
Our Style: Mix of Scandinavian, vintage and urban jungle.
Inspiration: Thrift stores, Instagram, Pinterest, interior magazines and TV shows.
Favorite Element: The vintage marble coffee table and our rose kilim rug.
Biggest Challenge: In terms of things to buy there's a lot of temptation; so many pretty items out there! But it's really good to just be content with our home and what we have instead of always wanting something new or different.
What Friends Say: They find it a light, cozy and personal home where they always discover something new.
Biggest Embarrassment: When we moved here, we ordered a steel banister early on...which lay in storage for the following two years before we actually installed it. A similar thing happened to our windowsill: Two years ago we removed the original windowsill, because the window frame needed a paint job and we wanted a different sill anyways. However, so far we still haven't replaced it…
Proudest DIY: The kitchen. I refurbished it myself by painting the doors blue. The (fake) wood frame and the tiles were painted white. Finally, the handles were replaced and we installed a new cooktop and faucet.
Biggest Indulgence: Our home has so much light!
Best Advice: If you can: buy a home. It feels so much better if you own it. Every chore we do is so much more gratifying.
Dream Sources: Living by the water... A glass facade (with a skylight) and French doors opening up to the garden…Someday…
PAINT & COLORS
Living room (blue stripe) - Poolijs by Praxis
Sofa - secondhand
Black floor lamp - IKEA
Coffee table - vintage via GoedSpul
Gray wall lamp - Karwei
Rose kilim rug - secondhand via Marktplaats
TV unit - IKEA
Lounge chair - Karwei
Wall cabinet - vtwonen
Wooden bench - Tuincentrum Overvecht
Blue phone - bought in Berlin
Curtains - HEMA
Flamingo print - Junique (frame from Hornbach)
Bed - Livengo
Map of the city of Utrecht - Mujumaps (frame from Hornbach)
Antler - Marktplaats
Stools next to bed - Marktplaats
Clothes rack - Marieke Rusticus Styling
Curtains - HEMA
Macramé piece - made by Karlijn
Console table - IKEA
Black stool - Gamma