Earlier this year, consultant Matt Reddy was given the opportunity to open up the European branch of his company. The catch? It meant packing up the Chicago, IL home he shared with artist Morgan Schemel and moving to The Netherlands. After a little thinking, the couple realized it was an opportunity not to be missed and moved far, far away to a place where they didn’t know a soul. Since it was literally (and figuratively) a very foreign place, they chose to settle down in Utrecht’s city center. Matt and Morgan were told time and time again that finding a home in the ancient city with big windows, an abundance of light and an open concept would be nearly impossible. “Dutch houses are traditionally very tall, narrow, and positioned right next to each other, so they’re typically pretty dark,” Morgan says. After taking a peek inside their 1920s, Art Nouveau apartment, however, it’s crystal-clear they’ve done the impossible.
Morgan and Matt are a bit competitive, so the second they saw the building’s outdoor space, tall windows and big rooms, they knew it had to be theirs. With their keys in hand and their essentials in a suitcase, the couple waited a month and a half for all of their furniture and collectibles to be shipped over. Anxious that all of their “unique artifacts and trinkets” would not survive the trek, Morgan lost quite a bit of sleep during this time. She’d have been devastated had they not all arrived unscathed. The pair are big travelers, so their collection of far-and-wide finds means the world to them. With bated breath, Morgan and Matt unpacked box after box, until each cherished memento was in place — safe and sound. From the moment the pieces were unwrapped, the couple hit the ground running in order to quickly create an oasis from the bustling streets of Utrecht. Not only do their accessories help to make their dream a reality, but peppering plant life into each of the apartment’s two floors produces the “gezellig” – Dutch for “cozy” – feel they adore.
The longer they live in the city, the more the two realize how lucky they were to find such a gem of a home. I personally love the sunny and sleek kitchen, but it’s only one of the many treasures you’ll find as you dig through the couple’s 900-square-foot Dutch space. Enjoy! —Garrett