Contemporary Character at a Dutch Suburb

When Jeroen and Neele van der Werf bought their house two years ago on the outer border of Delft, Neele was pregnant with their daughter Puk. Nothing had been done to the inside of their new house for decades. The couple wanted to bring your house into the 21st century while preserving its historical character and some original features. The results are a balanced, modern family house that radiates character whilst remaining minimalist. Bauhaus-inspired tubular steel furniture mixed with classic and handmade items give this house a modern vibe with eclectic touches.

in a Glance:
Who lives here: Jeroen, Neele and their 2-year-old daughter Puk van der Werf
Location: Delft, South Holland, the Netherlands
Size: 75 square meters.3 bedrooms, 1 bath

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“Our first impression of the region was that it was an extremely unique neighborhood with really unique old houses,” Neele says. “The house had all that we were looking for. The only thing it did not have was space for a bathroom!”

The painting on the wall instantly grabs the eye. It’s a rental piece that the couple chose shortly after they moved into their home. They were looking for a large statement piece and were instantly attracted to the calm artwork by the renowned Dutch artist Casper Faassen.

“It is sort of raw, together with all the letters, structure and texture, but at the exact same time that it’s really minimalistic with only a few lines. In addition, I think that it’s very well balanced. It is not too perfect, so it looks really organic,” Neele says. “It is also multifaceted. You never quite know what she is thinking. She’s something quite melancholic about her. You can keep looking at it and find something every time. In this way, it’s a tiny bit like looking at a flame you can just look at it to enjoy looking at it”

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The property is one of those quaint houses of Agnetapark. The park incorporates a collection of homes constructed from the late 1800s for the employees of a local yeast mill. The park is named after Agneta van Marken-Matthes, the spouse of the creator of the Nederlandsche Gist-en Spiritus (Dutch Yeast and Spirits) mill in Delft. She researched the dwelling habits of employee households in Delft and, together with her husband, a successful entrepreneur, pioneered the building of 78 homes for the factory’s employees. Neele and Jeroen bought one of these homes in the summer of 2009.

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Vintage maps adorning the entrance walls were given to the couple by Neele’s dad. The maps are of areas the couple has lived and also includes a map of the town of Delft in the 1600s, a map of Curacao and among South Holland. All the maps were framed by Neele’s dad, who reproduces old maps and possesses a framing store in Hengelo, in the east of the Netherlands. The light fixture was created by Jeroen from an old atlas.

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The vivid crimson painted on the lower half of the entryway walls creates a striking first impression. The walls are accented with classic map prints and the handmade map-turned-light-fixture (pictured above) to create a very warm welcome.

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The couple love the house’s harmonious layout and mix of design styles. Neele says,”The area is full, although it does not feel overly crowded. In addition, we love that we’ve a good deal of light. I think that people have a tendency to have too few lamps, and that I love all the lamps that we’ve chosen.”

Floor lamp: Ikea

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The pendant lamp providing direct light to two prints on the wall is your Parentesi pendant lamp by Italian lighting design company Flos. The lamp goes down, slipping up and down a steel tubing onto a ceiling-to-floor steel cable. It provides the perfect amount of illumination to an otherwise forgotten space.

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The very best print is of an old Fiat and was bought while the couple was in Tuscany this season.

The base picture is by a renowned stained glass artist, Jan Schoenaker, who had been given a ribbon from the Dutch queen for his artistic contribution to churches. Neele’s dad held an exhibition in honor of Schoenaker in his framing shop and art gallery, which is where the couple bought the item.

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What I love about this residence is your harmonious and inviting layout. Every item works with the rest of the space, and varying textures give the space a unique kind of warmth.

The light in the corner beside the TV console is by German lighting designer Ingo Maurer. Neele has always been a fan of the designer, and has always wanted to have one of his lights. She says,”I simply love his lamps. They’re so pretty and delicate. I’ve always said that when I’ve a actual house, I want to have an Ingo Maurer lamp!”

She eventually found one and snapped it up in a deal and the excess dab of light makes all the difference.

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The classic leather armchair was a buy from Fabrieknl.com, a classic furniture company owned by a buddy.

The coffee table was handmade by Neele’s dad, whose dad was a carpenter. While the design is very contemporary, it was created with an old technique that eliminates any observable connection between the joints. The dining table is topped with two floor tiles, which is swapped out.

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The armchair is a faux classic Marcel Breuer. The Hungarian modernist, architect and furniture designer was famous for his invention of tubular steel furniture. The couple plan to substitute the chair with one with a warmer texture.

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The funky lamp above the coffee table is that the”clusterlamp” by Joel Degermark through Moooi.

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Jeroen bought this vibrant flower cushion in a Dubai arts and crafts shop. The appliqu├ęd felt flowers add a pop of color to the otherwise neutral space.

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The newly installed fireplace provides a touch of cozy warmth into the room, as does the deliciously warm sheepskin rug on the floor.

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The TV console is an ultra mod piece bought from USM Modular Furniture. The glossy black finish and glossy form add a modern feel to the space. USM is an international company that offers tailor-made furniture.

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“We love the combo of new and old. The old house with new fixtures, furnishings and fixtures gives the house a wonderful mixture of modern and character,” Neele says.

The dining chairs are unique variant Mart Stam’s S 43″cantilever” chairs by Thonet. When they were created two years ago, they were available in a variety of bright colors. The tubular steel chair was created in favor of the 90th anniversary of the founding of the Bauhaus design school. Dutch architect Mart Stam developed the first prototype of a cantilevered, tubular steel chair in 1926. The special edition chairs are offered in 11 colors, applied as textured enamel. Jeroen and Neele chose their chairs in anthracite gray to counter the red table whilst tying in with theneutral color scheme across the rest of the space.

Bookcase: IKEA

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The’Mano Hoogglans’ kitchen design by Danish company KVIK is contemporary and clean cut.

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Neele says,”For us, cooking is a societal thing and we are in the kitchen together a lot. That’s why we decided to create an open kitchenand set the island right in the middle of the space so that we can chat to guests while cooking and revel in the experience.”

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The kitchen supplier had a very limited choice in terms of kitchen designs, making the decision a relatively simple one. “The feeling that I got when we were looking to buy a kitchen was that they (KVIK) had already made a selection of the best, so we all needed to do was pick the one that suited our lifestyle the best,” Neele says. The kitchen features a granite composite worktop and glistening MDF doors and drawers without handles.

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“I loved the way we used glistening paint all the doors, framing and windows. It immediately made the house fresh and extra character,” Neele says. “In addition we painted the ceiling beams from the bedrooms in a glistening white and the results are extremely pretty!”

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The staircase is nicely decorated with 2 round pendant lamps hung at different heights. On the right is a tiny bathroom. On the left is Puk’s bedroom, and on the exact same floor is the master bedroom and guest bedroom, each of which are works in progress.

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“We wanted a Mediterranean look that was warm and tranquil. We chose a somewhat old-fashioned basin and tap, and combined it with pale wooden accessories,” Neele says.

The remodeling of the toilet was among the biggest challenges as a result of limited distance. “We really wanted a big shower which we could all fit in together, and also a bathroom,” Neele says. To create more space in the bathroom, the couple used the bedroom cupboard, which is currently the toilet console area. To do so, the cupboard was shut off in the bedroom and then opened out into the bathroom.

Toilet accessories, for example, measure, shelving and canvas baskets from IKEA.

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The master bedroom is contemporary and equipped with simplicity in mind. The couple painted the ceiling beams a glistening white to open up the space. The daring lime green light fixture is made from paper. It not only adds a pop of color in the room, but matches the bed linen.

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The couple’s wardrobe was previously where the TV now stands.

They chose different color carpeting in each of the bedrooms and the hallway to create visual interest and heat against the walls and features.

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Puk’s bedroom is a tiny haven fit for a princess.

Pink crib: IKEA

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The table is a classic writing desk the couple bought in a local thrift shop. On the shelves over the table is a collection of elephants. They had to belong to Jeroen, whose uncle could bring back an elephant every time that he traveled to India.

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One of the most difficult aspects of the renovation of the house was with a baby right in the midst of the reconstruction process. However, the couple used their resources sensibly and had the help of both specialists and family and friends to complete the project.

“A thorough renovation is done just once, so do it nicely and seek out specialists to do the difficult stuff,” Jeroen advises.

Together with the renovation supporting them, this family of three have to enjoy their cozy and modern house for years to come.

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