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.