The cur­tain rises on a con­tem­po­rary mix of Bo­hemian and in­dus­trial in­flu­ences, with lots of vin­tage items.

Flea Market Décor - - Contents - By Mieke Ven­del/thep­a­per­work­fac­tory.nl

Watch as the cur­tain goes up on a strik­ing mod­ern home with in­dus­trial and Bo­hemian in­flu­ences, and lots of vin­tage items.


turn­ing a quirky old build­ing into a strik­ing mod­ern home proved an ir­re­sistible chal­lenge. Sige Bart and Tessa Witte, along with their pet rab­bit, live in a space built in 1950 that was orig­i­nally de­signed as a the­ater. “When I was a lit­tle boy, the lo­cal nurs­ery was lo­cated in this build­ing, which was next door to my par­ents’ home,” says Sige, who is the co-owner of a de­mo­li­tion com­pany. “When I was grow­ing up, this build­ing ac­com­mo­dated lots of dif­fer­ent com­pa­nies: I remember a cin­ema, a com­mu­nity cen­ter, a dance school and a gym. My fa­ther started his store, buy­ing and sell­ing sec­ond­hand fur­ni­ture here in the 1980s, when thrift stores were not very com­mon yet. In 1996, he started what is now our re­moval com­pany here. Be­cause I felt very con­nected to the place, I de­cided to buy the first and sec­ond floors of the build­ing in 2007.” The build­ing was used mostly for stor­age, but by 2012, Sige had de­cided to ren­o­vate it and trans­form it into a home. Eas­ier said than done. “Be­cause the build­ing had known so many dif­fer­ent pur­poses and own­ers, the main­te­nance was very poor,” says Sige. “In fact, it was a bit of a mess. It took me weeks to de­mol­ish the in­side, which I man­aged with a lot of help from my friends.” Sur­prises lurked. For ex­am­ple, when they re­moved the old the­ater stage, they found nearly 16,000 pounds of de­mo­li­tion waste that a previous owner had stacked there. “You can imag­ine the amount of work it took to re­move all that.”

"It was a bit of a mess. It took me weeks to de­mol­ish the in­side.” —Sige Bart

There were op­por­tu­ni­ties too, though. The for­mer the­ater’s bal­cony was a per­fect set­ting for a bed­room and a bath­room, and a build­ing con­trac­tor was hired to work on that. The kitchen be­came an im­pro­vised set­ting made from the for­mer gym. Sige also built a new stage look­ing al­most ex­actly like the orig­i­nal one be­cause he felt it be­longed there. After Tessa, who works as the so­cial me­dia man­ager for an in­surance com­pany, moved in, they both de­cided the whole apart­ment needed fur­ther ren­o­vat­ing to turn it into a more com­fort­able home.

Tessa says, “I re­ally loved the large spa­cious liv­ing room, but it just wasn’t cozy. Even with the heater on, it was never re­ally warm enough, and you al­ways needed to put on ex­tra clothes. So, when we de­cided to ren­o­vate this floor, the first thing we tack­led were the old win­dows and frames, which were re­placed by large sturdy steel frames with dou­ble-glass win­dows.” They later reused the old frames to dec­o­rate a cor­ner in the liv­ing room.

A proper kitchen was also high on Tessa’s wish list. “The new kitchen came

from Ikea, but we reused the old wooden floor­boards to frame the new kitchen counter,” she says. “All the door­frames were re­placed as well, and we also placed heat­ing in­side the floor.” The cou­ple re­moved the sus­pended ceil­ing and left it open be­cause they both loved the way it looked. “Our in­te­rior dec­o­ra­tion is a mix­ture of styles,” says Tessa. Since Sige grew up with vin­tage fur­ni­ture, there are plenty of vin­tage items en­gag­ing the eye. “I love vin­tage as well,” she says, “and in my opin­ion, a spa­cious liv­ing room like this needs large fur­ni­ture and large plants. For me it is very im­por­tant to have lots of plants in our home. I just love them.” The cou­ple spends a great deal of time in the kitchen, en­ter­tain­ing when friends come over. “Thanks to all the home im­prove­ments we did, this house re­ally feels like a home now,” says Tessa.

THE GREEN VEL­VET SOFA in the liv­ing room, which Tessa is very proud of, is new, while the vin­tage car­pet on the floor was a gift from a friend. The leather chair on the right is an heir­loom that has been in Sige’s fam­ily for many years. The pil­lows on the sofa came from H&M, and the paint­ings and prints have been col­lected over the years. Tessa chose this blue tone on the wall es­pe­cially to com­ple­ment the sofa, and the hang­ing lamps on the ca­ble tray came from a shop spe­cial­iz­ing in in­dus­trial ma­te­ri­als.

THE DINNER TA­BLE was hand­made from wood pal­lets by Sige’s fa­ther and com­ple­ments vin­tage chairs from the de­signer W. H. Gis­pen. The mir­ror cupboard on the right is also vin­tage, as is the mir­ror col­lec­tion, which came mostly from the thrift store owned by Sige’s dad.

SIGE RE­MOVED THE LEATHER from the vin­tage chair in the liv­ing room, and re­did it. The wooden ele­phant he in­her­ited from his grand­mother, while the floor lamp is vin­tage.

THE SOFA was also hand­made from pal­lets by Sige’s fa­ther, with cus­tom-made cush­ions. The two throws on the back­rest are sou­venirs from Thai­land.

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