Name: Yvonne Kusters, husband Steven, daughter Faye and their dog Tess
Location: The Hague, the Netherlands
Size: 3,444 square feet
Years lived in: 1.5 years, owned
The Hague is the third-largest city in the Netherlands and holds the seat of the Dutch government. Originating in the 13th century, it's rich in history and filled with numerous monumental buildings. Walking past these stately old homes, you would never expect one of them to house a little bit of tropical paradise. So you can imagine one's surprise upon entering Yvonne's home; it's like being transported to a different continent!
The residence's most striking feature is also the first space a visitor will set eyes on: the big greenhouse with its abundance of plants and amazing light. Yvonne and her family lived in Malaysia for thirteen years before returning to their native Dutch country one and a half years ago. Having grown accustomed to warmth and lush flora, the greenhouse was definitely a unique selling point when the family was looking around for a new place. It's become the beating heart of the home, connecting several areas.
Wandering through the house it's obvious how much Yvonne loves color. So much so that she made it her job: She is a certified color consultant with her own company aptly called ColorXpression. "It's astounding how much impact colors can have on your looks and surroundings. People tend to underestimate the power of the right colors at the right place!" says Yvonne with a smile. She thoroughly enjoys helping people make colors work for them: "I love seeing the confidence that emerges from my clients when they learn how to use the right colors. They get a sparkle in their eye…and a big beautiful smile on their face…"
Aside from their time in Malaysia, Yvonne and her family have traveled extensively, and their home is a vibrant and fun melting pot of different countries and cultures. Malaysian keepsakes are well represented, but you can also spot mementos from Africa. And left and right one can find Yvonne's very own eye-catching creations: tiered platters she makes from existing ceramic items and other materials. The blue and white cups and saucers give these sculptural pieces a traditional Dutch look, like a modern-day experimental Delft Blue.
Hard to believe the family has inhabited the house for less than two years, but it's the hodgepodge of all these personal additions that have made it the warm home it is today. And Yvonne's magic color touch, of course!
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: Eclectic
Inspiration: Asia, traveling.
Favorite Element: Our greenhouse, the yellow sofa. The greenhouse is the center of the house. Here we spend a lot of time together with friends and family. Bonding and creating many memories through countless drinks and family meals.
Biggest Challenge: To harmonize all our different styles and items together.
Biggest Embarrassment: The storage.
Proudest DIY: My blue and white étagères (tiered platters).
Biggest Indulgence: Enjoying the sun.
Best Advice: Don't follow all the trends; you don't want to end up with the same interior style as your neighbor.
Old wooden doors - Burbri
Dining table - Houthandel Woerden
Dining chairs - design classics and vintage finds
Chandeliers - found in a garage at a boutique hotel in The Hague. There were initially three, old and broken. Fortunately, Yvonne's husband managed to
repair two of them and now they have become one of the greenhouse's centerpieces.
Wooden daybed - souvenir from Burma
Peacock chair - gifted
Masks on wall - souvenirs from Africa
Bar stools - IKEA (given a colorful makeover by a good friend of Yvonne's whom she met in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
Bed - self-made using wooden pallets
Wood lotus wall panel - souvenir from Thailand
Pendant light - bought in Veldhoven (the Netherlands)