Ge­or­gia Burns Pho­tographed ‘Dutch Drama’

The coastal home of in­te­rior stylist Manda Collins re!ects her pas­sion for moody colour pale"es, luxe tex­tiles and quirky an­tique cu­rios


Ge­or­gia is a free­lance pho­tog­ra­pher who dis­cov­ered her love of in­te­ri­ors at uni­ver­sity. Since grad­u­at­ing a few years ago, she has been shoot­ing for clients and ed­i­to­ri­ally for a num­ber of mag­a­zines.

‘I love a spot of DIY and I es­pe­cially like up­cy­cling vin­tage fur­ni­ture. I re­cently painted a 1950s side­board, which I found in a char­ity shop, in An­nie Sloan paint for my mum.’

love the bal­ance that di !er­ent de­sign pe­ri­ods can bring to a home,’ says in­te­rior stylist Manda Collins. ‘ It cre­ates a look that’s re­ally unique and un­usual, but very un-Dutch in style.’ The early 20th- cen­tury home that Manda bought with her hus­band Billy back in 2011 re"ects her pas­sion for quirky de­sign per­fectly; each room houses a mis­match of orig­i­nal vin­tage # nds that’s o$ en de­scribed by her Dutch friends as be­ing a li% le ‘di !er­ent’. With its gabled fa­cade and or­nate win­dows, the build­ing is akin to a Dutch canal house in the coun­try­side, si­t­u­ated in the vil­lage of Sant­poort-Zuid on the north coast of the Nether­lands.

Just a short walk from the beach and sur­rounded by #elds and green­ery,

the space is a ru­ral haven when com­pared to the fam­ily’s pre­vi­ous home in Am­s­ter­dam’s bustling cen­tre. ‘ I in­stantly fell in love with it,’ says Manda who, a !er "rst a#empt­ing to buy the neigh­bour­ing house, was thrilled when her three- storey home ap­peared on the mar­ket soon a ! er. ‘ It had more orig­i­nal fea­tures, and I fell for the tiny win­dows, open "re­places and leafy views.’

Al­though there were no struc­tural is­sues, the house re­quired a signi "cant up­date. Wide lac­quer wooden $oor­ing now runs through­out, re­plac­ing the orig­i­nal boards, and the walls and ceil­ings are painted with a mod­ern blend of dark slate grey and duck egg blue, with pops of neon pink and lime. ‘ There’s no way I could live in a mono­chrome home,’ laughs Manda. ‘ I know peo­ple say “blue and green should never be seen” but I think that’s ridicu­lous – it’s a great com­bi­na­tion!’

As soon as the house was theirs, Manda and Billy opted to build an ex­ten­sion at the back to re­place the thin, al­ley kitchen that’s typ­i­cal in pe­riod Dutch homes. In keep­ing with the orig­i­nal style of the house, the ex­ten­sion is a wide, open-plan space for eat­ing and en­ter­tain­ing. ‘ It’s the room

that we live in more than any­where else,’ ex­plains Manda. ‘ I cook here for the kids and it’s a lovely, re­lax­ing space.’ Al­though mod­ern in de­sign, Manda’s air for vin­tage is tan­gi­ble through­out the kitchen, with shapely art nou­veau can­dle­sticks act­ing as a quirky cen­tre­piece on the break­fast ta­ble and orig­i­nal Fi­brocit cop­per chairs for seat­ing, sourced from a ho­tel be­ing sold in Brus­sels.

Manda is a mag­pie when it comes to sourc­ing an­tiques and spent her youth trawl­ing an­tiques fairs and shops for un­usual trin­kets with her mother. ‘ Even my stu­dent halls of res­i­dence

‘I could never live in a mono­chrome home. I know peo­ple say “blue and green should never be seen” but I think that’s ridicu­lous - it’s a great com­bi­na­tion!’

were a trove of cu­riosi­ties bought from !ea mar­kets,’ she laughs. Now, she has a more dar­ing ap­proach to an­tiquing – brows­ing on­line auc­tion sites, such as eBay and Dutch mar­ket­place Mark­t­plaats for the rare and unique. ‘ Even if I haven’t seen some­thing in the !esh, I’m pre­pared to take the risk and buy it if it feels right,’ Manda ex­plains.

The taxi­dermy pea­cock in the din­ing room is one of her favourite eBay "nds. Bought for next to noth­ing, it sits atop a glossy an­tique cab­i­net, also bought on­line. But the crown­ing jewel in her hoard of in­ter­net trea­sures is the set of mid- cen­tury chairs that bring a touch of old-fash­ioned glam­our to her din­ing room. Cov­ered in luxe ochre vel­vet, the ! at­base chairs al­ways com­mand a#en­tion among Manda’s vis­i­tors. ‘ Iron­i­cally, the most ex­pen­sive thing about buy­ing them was hir­ing a van to bring them home!’ she laughs.

Al­though Manda’s home di­vides opin­ion among some of her more tra­di­tional friends, it’s very much her sanc­tu­ary. ‘ I re­ally be­lieve the look of your home de­ter­mines how you feel,’ she ex­plains. ‘ When it comes to dec­o­rat­ing, you’ve just got to do what makes you happy.’

THIS PAGE FROM TOP The or­nate mir­ror, found in a lo­cal an­tiques shop, is flanked by two state­ment ta­ble lamps from David Hunt Light­ing. The an­tique taxi­dermy pea­cock was an on­line find; a feath­ered Juju hat sits above a se­lec­tion of vin­tage cu­rios. LEFT Manda’s strik­ing din­ing chairs were bought on eBay for a snip.

ABOVE The open-plan kitchen was built as an ex­ten­sion to the orig­i­nal house. The walls are painted in Down Pipe by Farrow & Ball. ‘Paint­ing the ceil­ing in the same shade re­ally made the room come alive,’ ex­plains Manda. The cop­per din­ing chairs were sourced from the sale of a ho­tel in Brus­sels and are by Fi­brocit. Manda bought the paint­ing at auc­tion in Am­s­ter­dam and the art nou­veau can­dle­sticks were a birth­day present from her mother. RIGHT On the other side of the kitchen, an orig­i­nal me­tal phar­macy cab­i­net, from a vin­tage ware­house in Am­s­ter­dam, houses Manda’s col­lec­tion of an­tique glass and ce­ram­ics.

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