Loenen a/d Vecht Family Cottage 2022

Interior designer Andrea and her boyfriend decided to leave the city for this luxury country cottage in the idyllic Dutch countryside. The newly acquired family home, near the river Vecht, is the main house of a larger old farmhouse with stables downstairs leading to the neighbours apartment. It features straw roofing, wooden beams, round windows and – quite unique – split-level floors. In addition to the most scenic view on the surrounding meadows with horses grazing all around. ‘This place doesn’t just have heritage, there’s this beautiful love story to it’, shares Andrea: ‘During the Second World War this Jewish lady went into hiding here. She then fell in love with the farmer’s son next door and together they made it safely through the war.’ Upon buying, the house already oozed with character, and it was well maintained by the previous owners. So, what to add still?

Andrea’s as well as Nicole’s signature style of course: ‘I have a very clear aesthetic’, says Andrea: ‘This also comes through in the many special objects I source, many of them from Africa. I have always been fascinated with the continent, which is so vastly different and just beyond fascinating from country to country of course, and I did volunteer work in Sudan, Tanzania, Kenia, and Morocco when I was younger. It’s the culture, the dazzling dress sense and the craftsmanship that just get to me every time. It very much revolves around sacred rituals. This aesthetic is also present in the bedroom upstairs; we decorated it as if it were an African safari lodge. I then picked textiles and prints by for instance Pierre Frey, Beata Heuman, Helene Blanche and this up-and-coming name: These Walls from Australia.’ As for Nicole’s input: she decided on the layout, the overall colour scheme. Andrea: ‘I excel at zooming in, finishing touches, Nicole’s just brilliant when it comes to the bigger picture.’

The family’s apartment in Amsterdam is quite courageously coloured in a shade of deep orange, this time they wanted to tone it down somewhat. Even though there’s some daring interior edits: a bright red and round lounge sofa downstairs, many build- in cabinets that seamlessly merge with the interior, various wallpapers and a kitchen fully crafted out of polished Calacatta Viola marble. The British countryside also inspired the interior somewhat with ruffled curtains in front of kitchen cabinets and vintage 1920s lamps. It gives off a nostalgic feel, stepping out of the hustle and bustle of everyday life.