Channeling influences from classic Hamptons style together with touches of classic and French country charm, the home of Floris Zwolsman and his family awakens comfort and enduring style. When he found this ground-floor home in an up-and-coming area of The Hague, Netherlands, he and his wife purchased it on a whim a mere six months after finishing a four-month-long renovation in the prior residence. It’s come to be the ideal family home for the couple, who extended the home when they found another child was on the way.
in a Glance
Who lives here: Floris, Priscilla and their two sons Jasper and Merlijn Zwolsman
Location: Bezuidenhout,The Hague, Netherlands
Size: 110 square meters, three bedrooms, one and a half baths
A neutral palette and a mixture of fresh with classic pieces create a warm, country decorative. “I wished to get a natural, natural feeling in this home, which explains the reason why I chose oak floorboards and natural tones,” Floris Zwolsman says.
Through his company he runs with his brother, Zwolsman has access to wholesale furniture outlets, in which the coffee table and many different furnishings came out of. The fireplace was rebuilt during the renovation, including a touch of cozy to the room in a straightforward and contemporary way.
The classic flag above the sofa is a 48-star U.S. flag used during World War II. Floris has a profound interest in anything related to World War II and the Vietnam War. He also enjoys collecting classic pennant flags, framing them and promoting them onto a secondhand website named Marktplaats.
Living room wall paint: Cat’s Paw by Farrow & Ball
Over the classic dresser hangs a 1966 first print of Zwolsman’s father, a piece he found in his parents’ attic. Straightforward framed photos, candles and a fresh white orchid maintain the vignette uncluttered and classic.
The couple produced a play area for the kids along one wall in the kitchen, which also features an oversized painting by local artist Vittorio Roerade. The bright, daring and fascinating art was purchased by Zwolsman in 2003, and it has gone from home to home ever since. “I love the colours. It’s young and stylish and looks great against the wall shade too,” he says. “Art makes a home a home.”
The renovation completely transformed the outdated 1960s home. The couple kept many of the house’s first details while injecting a modern aesthetic through contemporary fittings and fixtures. When designing the inside, the couple wanted each room to have its own colour palette.
Paint: Parma Gray by Farrow & Ball
The renovation of the home surrounded an extension in the kitchen to include a little dining nook, with double French doors leading out onto the rear lawn.
The Belgian stone countertops, SMEG appliances and custom door handles provide the Ikea kitchen a refined feel and look. Modern appliances blend well with country touches.
The dining area includes a French country style dining set and a baroque style chandelier. The art on the far wall is a painting of the Samburu tribe, among the last surviving African American tribes, purchased at Clic Gallery in New York.
A classic side table from the dining area is accessorized with family images and table lamps with linen lampshades.
Zwolsman, a property manager, is one of four sons that inherited his mother’s passion for interior design and insatiable desire for change. His mother was constantly busy with the home, possibly painting, decorating or both. “She has always been an artistic, creative and perverted person,” he says. This creativity flowed onto Zwolsman and among the brothers, who have a joint company renovating and selling properties.
Jasper’s area is soothing and soft, with boyish touches. Wicker storage baskets maintain toys and diapers within reach while shifting wriggly bottoms.
“What we wanted to do in this area would be to have a mature area which was still soft and suitable for a boy, using masculine touches,” Zwolsman says. They chose to create a room in the same country style as the rest of the home, adding classic touches through accessories such as these pennant flags.
Paint colour: Green Blue by Farrow & Ball
What small baby would not have amazing dreams with the words”I love you bigger than the heavens” above his head? Jasper’s father created this wall art using chalk to create a fluffly cloud round the words.
A locally purchased antique whitewashed cupboard is your announcement piece in Jasper’s nursery.
In the guest toilet, a Moroccan lamp casts interesting patterns of light onto the wall.
Hallway paint: String by Farrow & Ball
In the master bedroom, black-framed family portraits function as a headboard. The bedroom windows add much-needed views and light to the backyard.
Paint colour: Elephant’s Breath by Farrow & Ball
When adding the extensions to the rear of the home, the couple chose to maintain a walkway between the two extended chambers to permit light to the bedroom. Looking from the bedroom windows to the best is your elongated dining area. To the left is Merlijn’s bedroom.
Off the master bedroom is your bedroom of 5-month-old Merlijn. When they realized they had been going to welcome another member to the family, they expanded the rear of the home to create his room as an exact mirror of the dining room space. The space is a perfect match for a tiny tot, with simple access to Mother and Dad. Floor-to-ceiling wardrobes give ample storage.
The house’s ever-present classic rolls continue to Merlijn’s bedroom, using a dresser turned changing table. The delicate yellow wall colour (String from Farrow & Ball) supplies a gorgeous comparison to blue-and-white gingham patterns and crisp white furniture.
The windows along the side of the room bring light to the space, while the vertical window onto the rear wall allows a view to the backyard.
The sharp white shape of a giraffe makes for a very original characteristic wall in Merlijn’s bedroom. The gingham-patterned upholstered seat adds a French nation touch.
Crib and shelving: Ikea
The ensuite bathroom off the master bedroom is clean, crisp and uncluttered. Even though small, the bathroom has a large tub, shower and vanity. Zwolsman says,”We made our own little wellness space, using a bubble bath and dimmable lights to create a space that we could really relax in.
“We wanted to maintain the bathroom light. We used big tiles on the floors and walls to create the appearance of more space and prevent unnecessary clutter,” Zwolsman says. “We worked with the size we had, using every last centimeter of space. Because of the strange shape of the tub, there was room to get a heater, as well as a two-person vanity and rain shower.” The big horizontal mirror also will help create more space.
The home is in the up-and-coming community of Bezuidenhout in South Holland’s city of The Hague. It was built in Haagse School style, a style of architecture popularized between the1920s and 1950s. When Zwolsman found the property was for sale, he negotiated an appealing price with the real estate agent and purchased it on a whim without consulting his wife. It was a daring move, but after he promised Priscilla they would stay put for at least five years into their new home, they put their first-floor apartment on the market and it offered in six days. The home was in its first 1960s condition when the Zwolsmans transferred in and was in desperate need of Floris Zwolsman’s interior design and renovation skills.
Despite this moist and windswept scene, the couple’s backyard can be utilized frequently during warmer months for outdoor get-togethers.
More Inspiring Tours:
Contemporary Character in a Dutch Suburb
Canadian Cottage in the Netherlands
Eclectic Coastal Home in Holland