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