A touch of traditional Dutch combined with streamlined design. That’s the best description of the renovated farmhouse where Mijke Niks and Jan Verschure live. It was the first major do-it-yourself project Mijke had taken on with her husband Jan, whom she met 7 years ago. They form a perfect couple for a challenge like this, since she is an interior stylist and his background is in architecture. The result is a cozy family house, with enough space for Mijke, Jan, their son Juul and often Jan’s other four children.
Mijke: ‘I wanted to keep the feeling of an old building intact, like leaving the roughness of the barn’s brick wall but combining it with steel and clean lines.’ The lines play an important part throughout the house. ‘We like lines, architecture and contrasts.’ The angle of light plays the
other main part. Throughout the house the light streams in through the high windows.
Cows and horses
The farmhouse dates back to 1850 and was originally used for housing cattle and horses. Jan has owned the property in Raamsdonk (The Netherlands) for many years; the barn used to accommodate his carpentry workshop. Only the front of the house has always been a house; Mijke and Jan have taken over part of the barn as well. Many of the original details and materials have been retained.
Modernized and streamlined
The interior can best be described as innovatively stylish. Mijke: "This is a very strong base: concrete, wood, lots of white, olive green and the great Early Dew on the wall. The house is high, but it feels cozy because we’ve used timber and warm colors. Mijke comes from Rotterdam (the Netherlands) and that is reflected in the house too. The various open floors give the impression of a city loft.
Mijke and Jan complement each other perfectly. Mijke devises, visualizes and advises, while Jan designs and creates. ‘I came across a lounge bed in Ibiza and Jan immediately started working on it.’ They designed the doors themselves, basing them on stable doors. And they laid the floor in the dining room according to an old pattern from Dordrecht (the Netherlands). Mijke: ‘We have lots of secret addresses, for wood for example.’
Go for it
Want to build or renovate your own house? Mijke’s most important tip is: go for it! ‘Dare to think big with color and materials. Sometimes you just have to get on and do it, and the results can be surprising.’
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