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In the Netherlands, a 100-Year-Old Home Made of Many Styles

by Garrett Fleming

In the Netherlands, a 100-Year-Old Home Made of Many Styles, Design*Sponge

There usually comes a point in every home’s life when it gets pigeonholed and labeled as being of one particular style: Rustic, modern, traditional, etc. While I understand this need to efficiently categorize, I say we scrap solitary labels and bring back the slash! Take Moody Magpie’s Manda Collins and her husband Billy’s seaside escape outside Amsterdam, for example. In simple terms, it’s an “eclectic” home. But it’s so much more. It’s quirky slash traditional, has Dutch slash French influences and features high-end antiquities slash thrift-shop finds.

The mix of accessories is set against a backdrop that the previous owners would barely recognize if given a tour today. Since moving in, Manda and Billy have increased the square footage at the rear of the house, added room for them to comfortably dine there, and they’ve also given it a second sitting area. The way they’ve positioned the kitchen table within this addition is particularly unique. Not a move you see often, Manda and Billy have pushed the table up under the island (where bar stools would typically be) effectively extending the countertop, adding extra seating and giving the space an unexpected wink.

The four-month-long renovation not only provided Manda and Billy with this fantastic addition, but it also left a mark much less obvious to the naked eye: A newfound confidence in their one-of-a-kind decorating approach. Nowadays, they don’t look to others for approval of their “weird” choices or blending of styles. Even when going against the grain of their home’s more traditional architectural elements, they hold true to an age-old mantra: “If it feels right, do it.” Enjoy! —Garrett

Photography by Jansje Klazinga

Image above: Free from a TV, the living area is where the couple sits enjoying red wine and each other’s company, uninterrupted. “Billy has a real passion for music and loves to surprise me with his vinyl choices,” Manda says.

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The exterior of the home is a mash-up of various European styles from English cottage to Dutch.

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The entryway features original Art Nouveau tile.

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When it comes to artwork, Billy and Manda love mixing high- and low-cost finds.

 

Art, books and music make a home.

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For years Manda and Billy lived and worked in Amsterdam, but as their children grew older they yearned to give them a quieter childhood away from the hustle and bustle.

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These two lamps in the living room are actually vases Manda had wired and lit. Outside the window behind them stands large oak trees that cast a blue/green shadow on this space. When decorating, Manda leaned into this natural hue by creating a custom wall color and pairing it with accessories in cool tones.

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The living room’s Swedish cabinet – which the couple found on eBay – is adorned with vintage finds.

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“This is where we live. It is the extension we built onto the house. We laugh, cry, fight and make up around this table. It truly is the heart of the house,” Manda explains.

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“Even though this is the kitchen, I still managed to [cram] in a sofa and the obligatory artwork. I wanted to be able to cook, have friends over sitting at the table and watch the kids simultaneously.” – Manda Collins

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This doorway originally led to the backyard. When they were renovating, the family’s architect and builder both recommended tearing down not only this wall but all the walls separating the kitchen, dining room and sitting area to create one larger space. Manda refused: “I like each room to have its own function.”

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This antique dining table was the first big purchase the couple made together.

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The green Herman Miller is Manda’s favorite chair in the house.

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“What I love most about our home… the windows, my quirky finds & the people in it… not in that order!” – Manda Collins

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The family is divided on whether taxidermy is cool or spooky. No matter. The look of the landing changes so frequently, pieces like Henry the peacock don’t typically last long here.

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Manda’s “more is more” style is purposefully not on display in her and Billy’s bedroom. Instead, Manda aimed to create a calming space where the pair can unwind.

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The couple’s daughters share this quaint bedroom. “I love Mr. Moose, but apparently it stares at you… so he comes off around bed time,” Manda says.

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If you’re looking to explore uncharted decorating territory, Manda suggests heading to your guest room. Since they typically see less foot traffic, they’re safe places to experiment with styles you aren’t quite sure you’ll like. “Low pain threshold!” she says. In hers, Manda opted for these “extravagant lilac crushed velvet curtains,” something she typically wouldn’t go for.

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The home’s floor plan.

Translation:
Bergruimte – Laundry
Eetkeuken – Living/Kitchen
Kamer – Dining Room
Salon – Living Room

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The home’s floor plan.

Translation:
Slaapkamer 1 – Bedroom 1
Slaapkamer 2 – Bedroom 2
Badkamer – Bathroom

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The home’s floor plan.

Translation:
Slaapkamer 3 – Bedroom 3
Slaapkamer 4 – Bedroom 4

Entryway
Tile – Jugendstil
Guitar – Louden

Living Room
Paint – Custom color inspired by “Duck Egg”
Sofas – Sofa.com
Artwork – auctions & flea markets
Side table lamps – custom
Cushions – Osborne & Little, Wehkamp and Mariska Meijers
Swedish cabinet, bird cage, mirror, palm lamps – eBay

Kitchen
Paint – Farrow and Ball “Down Pipe”
Sofa – Sofa.com
Cushions – Etro, Elitis
Cabinet, table – Neef Louis
Lamp – Abigail Ahern
Chairs – vintage
Pendants – Lee Broom
Artwork – auctions & flea markets

Dining room
Chairs – vintage

Bedrooms
Paint – Farrow and Ball “Down Pipe”
Bedding – Zara Home

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Comments

    • Thank you so much. It’s not to everyone’s taste but I am so in love with Henry our peacock! My husband had to drive to the other side of the country for me to pick him up so it’s super special too 😉

  • Why have a guest room instead of a room for each daughter? I’m legit curious; I know sometimes kids would just rather room together than be apart!!

    • Good question! Truth is we are still in the process of getting the other attic (we have 2 attics due to the quirky house features) converted into another kids bedroom. As it turned out the girls love sharing and didn’t want to move into the bigger (now guest bedroom) and wanted to wait for the other more atmospheric room to be converted! They will however be moving into separate rooms soonish ! As a result the girls have benefited of learning to share as two totally different creatures with equally different needs and expectations. I say they’d struggle a bit not being together anymore….

    • I think that’s a very good question!
      Truth is we are still renovating the other attic (we have two!) and its taking a bit longer than expected! The girls did get the option to make use of the guest bedroom but opted for sharing – which we actually encouraged hoping that that might do them good (seeing they are totally different creatures!). My guess is that once the conversion is done they would really miss not being together!

  • Absolutely marvelous! Great mixture of ears, MCM mixed with modern and antiques, haute bohemian, and Euro-chic! This vintage and antiques dealer is in heaven just eyeing this place! I just love every inch of it. Great colors, and great positioning, too. J’adore!

    • How lovely of you to say! Mixing and matching is my mantra so happy you feel it has worked! I am going to have a cup of coffee and will be looking to see if I can find some of your vintage treasures online! Thank you again!

  • Funny. If you want each room to serve its function, why put a sofa in the kitchen? Why bother yourself with taking down the moose each night instead of simply not hanging it if it creeps out your daughters?

  • Enjoying red wine whilst sitting on a pale-blue sofa is living dangerously! Such a beautiful house!!

  • Why are builders so hot to tear down walls? Walls are great! You can hang art on walls, and this family has made good use of the walls they wisely kept.

    • Hi Heidi , Glad you agree! In our case I even felt we would be getting rid of some of the original – small window – features if we tore down that wall! I’m so glad I stuck to my guns – it’s more quirky but that’s how I like things to be!

  • I’ve never wanted to live in someone else’s home as much as I did looking at these photos! I, too, live in a light turquoise living space and love the way you use texture.

  • This is such a gorgeous, warm, inspiring and fun place. There’s so much to see, to admire, to talk about…. and, quite apart from your collections of dining chairs, I really, really dig everything wholeheartedly. You let the ‘wild’ you live peacefully with the tamer sides of you and your family and the result is a wonderful mix of cool and pretty, crazy and warm. Love it! Thanks for sharing.

  • What a beautiful home. It has lots of soul and you can tell you decorated it with love. One of the few Dutch words I know is gezellig, and your home has that, too. Thanks for sharing.

    • Thank you Pat, really lovely to read your feedback! And I tried making our home ”gezellig” so if that has worked, that makes me even happier! When you do things with love it shows apparently – that is of course true for everything made with love!
      Dank je wel!

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