Maaike and Joost’s Nether­lands home is filled with colour and per­sonal touches

Mollie Makes - - Contents - Words: JU­DITH WIL­SON Photograph­y: HENNY VAN BELKOM

Many peo­ple with cre­ative ca­reers have beau­ti­ful homes to match; they sim­ply can’t help those colour­ful im­pulses over­flow­ing. But what hap­pens if you get two artis­tic types to­gether: does that re­sult in colour or pat­tern melt­down? For­tu­nately for Joost and Maaike van der Steen, who met at art school, con­vert­ing their house has re­sulted in per­fect de­sign fu­sion. “We have never dis­agreed on dec­o­rat­ing, we share ex­actly the same tastes,” says Joost.

The cou­ple live in Arn­hem in the Nether­lands, and – since the Mol­lie Makes shoot!– have been joined by their baby daugh­ter, Lina. “We love this area: lots of lit­tle shops and restau­rants – and cake is never far,” says Joost. The Nether­lands is known for its flat ter­rain, but he!re­marks that Arn­hem is the hilli­est city. “We even have steps at the front of our house!” They have lived here for four-anda-half years, but the 1910 prop­erty needed a lot of work, and their bud­get was tight. “Luck­ily my fa­ther helped, and Maaike’s dad built the kitchen to our de­sign,” ex­plains Joost. “I’m now a true handy­man, and Maaike can plas­ter.”

To­day, fam­ily life re­volves around a sunny, open-plan kitchen/dining room, with a smaller sit­ting room lead­ing o" it. The new space has been achieved via a rad­i­cal over­haul: “Out went all the walls, then we re­lo­cated the kitchen from a smaller room, and even shifted the stair­case,” says Joost. In came French doors onto the gar­den and a new break­fast bar. The work took a full three years, but a slow ren­o­va­tion, says Joost, has its benefits. “By not rush­ing, you have time to find the right items.’

You might ex­pect graphic de­sign­ers to go for coloured walls, but in­stead the house is all white with snappy de­tail­ing: “We had so many choices to make, we de­lib­er­ately started with plain paint,” says Joost. But they’ve clev­erly in­tro­duced bright shades too. The tim­ber floor, for ex­am­ple, is speck­led with Mon­drian-es­que pri­mary colour squares. Joost laughs: “This is a re­claimed school gym floor: we couldn’t put it to­gether in the orig­i­nal for­mat, so now it’s a!mod­ern paint­ing.”

While Joost works from a stu­dio in town, where he runs his own graphic de­sign com­pany, Maaike hot-desks at home, cre­at­ing be­spoke wed­ding in­vi­ta­tions for her web­site. Her main

This page: Maaike made the folded lamp­shades: green pa­per on the out­side, gold within. Right: A wood block poster by graphic artist, An­thony Bur­rill sits above a mid-cen­tury sofa.

hand01 Maaike painted and flea Joost mar­ket chairs in mis­matched shades, and even the light­ing cord is neon pink. 02 The cou­ples’ friend, Jorine Oosterho of Buro­jet ( www.buro­jet. com) sug­gested the acid yel­low shelf unit.

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