Two designers creating a roadmap to a simpler more fulfilling lifestyle
Sunday, August 16, 2015
A RESIDENCE IN DORDRECHT
THE VERMEER HOME, BUT NO RELATION TO THE PAINTER - I DON'T THINK
We could walk the distance from Laura's canal apartment to the quiet residential street where Wim lives and where their kids grew up. The home has national monument status, built in 1920 and designed by the architect, Henk Wegerif.
The home is called, "De Groene Hoek" that translates to, "The Green Corner".
The neighborhood is graciously elegant with tree-lined streets and homes with indigenous thatched roofs and striped awnings.
It seems as if everyone has made a pact to adorn their front yards with groves of hydrangeas in a multitude of varieties and colors.
The neighborhood surrounds a gorgeous park
where swans and geese spend summers floating in silent streams and the signature hydrangeas seem to bloom eternally in great showy plantings.
The house is Dutch arts and crafts in design, taken from a style developed first in England by William Morris and then taken up by the Americans. The layout or footprint is called a butterfly plan in Holland where there are two angled wings and a trunk that is supposed to be the butterfly's body. The house if cut right down the middle would mirror itself with one wing on each side along with half the body. The exterior is a combination of clapboard and brick with the beautiful thatched roof that caps most of the homes in this area.
Inside circulation flows in a circular pattern. You can move from one room to the next until you've ended up right where you started.
We started our tour in the entry where a real sense of Wim's passion for boating is on full display.
The nautical theme runs from bow to stern throughout the house.
The entry also shows off the incredible sense of detail that can be seen in every room in the house. Here the keyhole staircase and the wood joinery that surrounds it play with the storybook quality of the home.
The dining room and living room take up the wing sections on the first floor. I'm never sure what level I'm supposed to designate a floor when traveling in Europe. Is it the first floor or does it get assigned zero. Since I'm assuming most people reading this are American I'll stick with first floor. If you're reading this and you're not American I hope you'll forgive me.
The home contains a rich collection of period appropriate antiques
and a great art collection adorns the walls.
The back portion of the first floor is predominately occupied by the kitchen that appropriately enough contains a Dutch door.
For cozying up in the winter there are five fireplaces scattered throughout the house. Without a staff to keep them going they usually only use one at a time.
The second floor is where you'll find the master suite with one wing containing the bedroom, the other wing holds the ladies dressing room and in between them is an office with sliding panels.
Because of its monument status nothing on the exterior and in Holland nothing on the interior can be changed without permission from the preservation committee so everything with exception to the kitchen is as it was when the house was built.
The top floor contains two garrets where once the servants kept their quarters. Now it has been transformed into rooms for two of the children.
What kid wouldn't want to live up here in such magical spaces where dreams could turn your room into a boat on the high seas or a spaceship on its way to another galaxy.
After the tour and a round of drinks on the upper patio we all retired to the garden for a barbeque.
I was so mesmerized by the home and the company I forgot to shoot a single photo of the food, the only image I can provide is a picture of Emmy and our hosts and that will have to suffice.