‘What I liked most about the house when I saw it for the first time were all the authentic details,’ says Sylvia.  ‘I loved all the wood panelling everywhere, and the tiled floor in the kitchen. I also loved the latticed window frames and the wood panelled ceilings. It all looked really cozy and had just the right welcoming atmosphere.’

Renovation work

There was no need for renovation as the house was fine just as it was – all it took was a lick of paint. The only thing Sylvia and her ex-husband had to do was add new wood panelling in the living room.  A few years after moving in, however, they decided to build a bedroom on the flat roof above the kitchen.  They were planning to start a family, and needed extra space. It took several months to build the new room and Sylvia painted the wood-panelled walls herself once the carpenters had finished. 

Sylvia’s interior style

In her house and her garden room, Sylvia says her interior style has always been colourful with lots of flowers and pink shades.  ‘But for the past two or three years I’ve been edging towards the more soothing grey and beige tones,’ she says. She still likes to have flowers everywhere but the look is now more vintage country style.  ‘I love hunting for antiques and I have a tendency to fill up every room with newly found treasures I find at markets or on the internet,’ she adds. 

Living room

Soft pinks and pale greens give the living room a warm, restful look. The sofa, stool and chandelier were bought secondhand from Marktplaats, and the coffee table came from White Rose Brocante in Boekel. The cupboard in the corner is from Ikea ‘My favourite piece of furniture is the green chest of drawers, next to the staircase in the living room,’ says Sylvia.  ‘I saw these two bedside cabinets at Jan’s shop in Gemonde and I asked him if he could remove the legs of one of them and join them together. I am very pleased with the result.’


Sylvia added new cupboard doors made for the kitchen cabinets that were there when they bought the house.  She wanted more of a country look, so painted the new cabinet doors in a muted blue-grey tone with chalk paint from the brand Pure, before updating the wall tiles with special tile paint.  The concrete countertop also adds to the more rustic look. ‘Together with all the brocante and vintage accessories, it completes the country style I wanted,’ says Sylvia. ‘I do buy new things as well sometimes, but in my experience the vintage items always last longer and prove to be more solid in the end.’  Sylvia gave an Ikea stool a distressed finish to suit the kitchen’s vintage style

Dining room

The quarry tiles in the kitchen-diner were already here when Sylvia bought the house.  The two industrial-style pendant lamps came from Marktplaats, the bentwood chair is from Kwantum, and the blue chair on the left and the Hungarian stool at the head end of the table were from a secondhand store.  Sylvia has had the table for many years. The vinyl table cloth is from Leen Bakker and the lace curtain panels are from Ikea

Garden room

Sylvia loves spending time in her open-sided garden room and the family use it in all weathers. The white storage bench, chairs and pendant lamp were sourced through online auctions, the blue bench came from a nearby furniture restorer’s shop, and the tablecloth is from Ikea The garden room is full of Sylvia’s secondhand finds, including a deckchair from Marktplaats, the Dutch equivalent of eBay.  She bought the French chair from Het Hebbedingske, a brocante store in Oirschot, and the wicker sofa came from Praxis. The floor lamp is fairly new, but Sylvia replaced the lampshade with a wicker one.  The floor lamp is fairly new, but Sylvia replaced the lampshade with a wicker one. The larger shutters came from Antiques-Vintage, a salvage yard in Best, and the flooring is made from salvaged scaffolding planks.  Sylvia bought the blue cupboard at a local secondhand store and replaced the glass doors with lace. The small white table next to it came from White Rose Brocante in Boekel, while the coffee table is from Sylvia’s favourite furniture shop in Gemonde. She bought the antique zinc bathtub years ago On the veranda outside the dining room is a small white table, bought from a vintage shop in Gemonde. Sylvia loves enamel and has a big collection of vases and pots, mostly vintage finds, which she uses to display flowers. The lace curtains are from Ikea


The cast-iron bed in Sylvia’s room came from Wehkamp. Sylvia upcycled an old bedside cabinet, painting it in her favorite pale pink tone.  The small grey cupboard and hanging cupboard came from White Rose Brocante in Boekel, as did the bedspread.  The wooden shelf above the bed, the stool below it, and the pendant light all came from Marktplaats.  Words / Mieke Vendel