Tag Archives: te koop

Styling for a sale: Family home in Haarzuilens


As a kid growing up in the small town of Haarzuilens, some of my fondest memories are of sleep-overs at friends who lived in this house. They lived right on the edge of the wooded park that was home to a French baron’s folie castle and even though we had a big garden too, their’s was bigger and bordered the derelict green house and nursery complex of the estate. It was like growing up in a children’s book.

Haarzuilens house

The house

Recently, long after my friends and I all went to college, moved out and set up camp as far as Northern America in the case of one of us. my friends inherited the house and put it up for sale. In a tough market, in a credit crunched society where banks don’t like to extend loans for renovations. And it’s just that what this house needs. Their dad didn’t take very good care of it, but through the damaged gutter, the stained exposed brick and the worn-out kitchen and bathroom, I still see that wonderful home I know from my youth. It needs some good old TLC and it will make a great family home.

Haarzuilens house

The gardens

After the house was on the market for over a year and only one person came to view it, I offered one of my friends to help with sprucing the place up a bit. A house with a bit of decorating lures people in more than an empty one. So one particularly sunny afternoon we set off to a local thrift store where the people were kind enough to lend us whatever furniture we wanted and went to work. I am quite pleased with the result!

Before: The split-level living room towards the front. Not the view of the monumental farm

Before: The split-level living room towards the front. Note the view of the monumental farm

Before: The kitchen towards the bar area and the living room

Before: The kitchen towards the bar area and the living room

Before: The living room towards the back of the house.

Before: The living room towards the back of the house.

As there was no budget, and timings are tight, we had to make do with what we could find. If time nor money were a restriction I probably would have suggested to paint the exposed brick and kitchen cabinets, but understandably, my friend wanted to avoid spending a lot of money and time. So we were limited to furniture and accessories. Remember, this all came from one place, and was selected and put in, in a matter of a few hours.

After: the living room with simple and minimalistic art complimenting the style of the house. The exposed brick actually works again!

After: the living room with simple and minimalistic art complimenting the style of the house. The exposed brick actually works again!

After: the kitchen. The floor and dark wood gave it a bit of a French country feel already so I went with that when sourcing accessories. A simple checkered tea cloth works wonders!

After: the kitchen. The floor and dark wood gave it a bit of a French country feel already so I went with that when sourcing accessories. A simple checkered tea cloth works wonders!

After: the eat-in kitchen in its full glory. This is where we would have the best Sunday Steak breakfasts ever! My seat was on the bench by the window.

After: the eat-in kitchen in its full glory. This is where we would have the best Sunday Steak breakfasts ever! My seat was on the bench by the window.

The town is wonderful with two decent restaurants, one doubling as a community pub. Both Amsterdam and Utrecht are easy to commute to with both Vleuten and Breukelen connected to train links and the highway at 5 minutes driving. I can highly recommend checking it out. And do me favour. Restore the house to its former glory when you buy it and cook me a steak breakfast there one sunday…

Check out the listing here.

Magnificent home in Laren, the Netherlands, for sale


Like Nate Berkus, Ineke, aka the Huizenfee, is a regular here on Homevoyeurs. I wrote about her work for the Wisseloord Studio’s not too long ago, and about the house she restyled in Laren. That sold last year, so the new owners will be calling it home soon. Her own home is now for sale too. It’s in the picturesque village of Laren in ‘het Gooi’. The Netherlands’ answer to Connecticut.  She bought the house a few years back and revamped it to its current glory.

The house looks old, but was built in 1980

The house looks old, but was built in 1980

The vaulted ceiling were created after a mezzanine was taken out.

The vaulted ceiling was created by taking out an oddly placed mezzanine

I love the dining chairs and massive table.

I love the dining chairs and massive table

The house is built in a horse shoe shape so features a secluded patio with a veranda.

The house is built in a horse-shoe shape so features a secluded patio with a veranda

The wooden doors are antiques Ineke picked up at an antique store.

The wooden doors are antiques Ineke picked up at an antique materials store. They’re from an old school. They can be folded entirely to allow an open flow from the kitchen to the patio

The kitchen is great! It’s big enough for a small breakfast table but also has an adjacent smaller dining room

My favourite part of the house. The view from the living room with fireplace to the veranda and patio

My favourite part of the house. The view from the living room with fireplace to the veranda and patio

Marcel Wanders designed ‘suites’ for sale.


While getting my daily real estate fix on Funda, I stumbled across this remarkable project. In an old gunpowder factory building along the river Amstel, a little south of Amsterdam, Dutch designer Marcel Wanders designed these 7 apartments aptly called suites.

Marcel Wanders designed Amstel Suites

Granted, they are stunning, but with the location right along the highway and the suites measuring an average of 530 square feet (about 50m2), they are priced pretty steep. The smallest one has an asking price of €259.000 and measures a mere 430 square feet. The lay out is very clever with a small pantry, a lush ensuite bathroom with bath, and high vaulted ceilings. The most expensive is quite a bit larger, 624 square feet. The living room is bigger, and the ground floor has enough space to house the bathroom. The bedroom is in the mezzanine. The asking price is €355.000.

Marcel Wanders designed Amstel Suites

I wonder who the developer is trying to target. The suites are too far from the city to be considered an easy commute after a night’s out. They are too close to the highway for that outdoors/countryside feel, and they are very much a single persons abode. So basically they target people living alone, with a decent budget, who do not want to live in the city….. In all honesty, they have many alternatives. If they had converted the building into two or three moderate sized family homes, they would have been able to target a bigger audience.

Marcel Wanders designed Amstel Suites

Check out the suites at the project website.

Photographs courtesy of Ouwehand v/d Meijden Makelaars

Dutch apartment building for sale for 1 Euro.


An earlier Homevoyeurs.com post dealt with the question whether or not a council estate could be considered a monument. Park Hill in Sheffield got a grade II listing placing it in the top 7% of most important UK buildings. In the article Homevoyeurs compared Park Hill with the Amsterdam neighbourhood Bijlmermeer. Coincidence has it, Amsterdam housing association Rochdale is trying to sell off an entire apartment building in the Bijlmermeer. The entire building, with hundreds of apartments, is for sale for the symbolic figure of 1 euro. The 11 story structure is almost certainly going to be torn down as renovation costs are too expensive. It’s monstrous appearance however,  is testament to its birth period and some people think it should be preserved and get monumental status.

Kleiburg

Judge for yourself. But bear in mind that some of the world’s most famous buildings were once erected despite many protests. The Eiffel Tower being one. Up to far after its completion, and far after it proved its touristic success, people wanted to have it torn down. Not saying Bijlmermeer is like Paris, but let’s try to consider its historical value. Isn’t it worth preserving just for that? To illustrate a page in Dutch building history?

Smoke detectors… a decorating afficionado’s nightmare


Picture this… a home decorated with eye for every single detail. A master plan with meticulous planning, preparation, devouring decorating magazines, mood boards, trips to the back country for that one off table; every nook, niche, tile and cranny is thought over to create a wonderful overall picture. Ornamented or freshly panelled ceilings, a robust, modern designers lamp or a marvelous and dramatic chandelier to top it all off…And a grey plastic smoke detector…. because you don’t want to die in flames…

Why, but seriously, why do those things always have to be so hanous, so ugly, so, so pratical!

Enter, the Chick-a-dee!

426_chick-a-dee_1

Chick-a-dee courtesy of Louise van der Veld

Designed by Dutch design student Louise van der Veld, it is the winning design in a design competition organised by the Dutch Association for Fire Prevention. Currently it is under production, so unfortunately not for sale yet. But Dutch design shop Thinking of Holland will gladly put you on a list to notify you when they will go on sale. Retail price is approximately 50 dollars/40 euros.

My name is on there, and I want it it white. But it comes in pink and grey too.