Name: Ilse van Elleswijk and Jasper and their puppy Jackie
Location: Arnhem, the Netherlands
Size: 1,640 square feet
Years lived in: 1.5 years, owned
There’s a lot to see in Ilse’s home — not a shock, considering her profession as a stylist — but what is surprising is how uncluttered the space feels. Ilse’s a big fan of accessories; she feels they add coziness to any room. But she hasn’t gone overboard in her home. The interior here has a minimal, Scandinavian palette of gray, black and white, as well as clean, modern shapes. But it’s Ilse’s addition of colorful and tactile items that makes her home unique.
Ilse has always had a passion for anything interior design related, and believes her affection for styling began as a little girl, when she would rearrange the furniture in her bedroom. She remembers spending hours in the attic digging around for discarded items; it felt like a treasure hunt. Her discoveries would be dragged down to her room where she would create a new look.
It’s been a mere one and a half year since Ilse and her husband Jasper moved into this newly constructed house (they are the first occupants). And yet their home already feels very much lived-in. Ilse recommends mixing new and vintage elements to add extra character to a home. “Of course, in the end, it’s the personal touches that make it unique. Without infusing your personality your house might end up looking more like a showroom than your actual home.” In Ilse’s case, her favorite personal item is their wedding photo, printed on IXXI tiles (tear-proof paper squares that are joined together). The couple got married on Cyprus, an island in the Mediterranean.
Recently, Ilse took the plunge and became a self-employed interior stylist. She named her company “InteriorTwin” (she has a twin brother!) and offers advice to home and business owners. She finds it very rewarding to improve spaces. On the side, she also enjoys blogging about the latest interior trends, new products and DIY projects. She’s definitely a busy lady, but Ilse loves what she does so it doesn’t feel like work at all!
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: Scandinavian combined with color and black/sturdy elements.
Inspiration: Instagram, Pinterest and books/magazines about interiors.
Favorite Element: The kitchen with the Smeg fridge.
Biggest Challenge: Adding a soul to a newly constructed house.
What Friends Say: They love the house and say it looks like a home from a magazine. The first thing they do when visiting is check out what has changed since the last time they were here.
Biggest Embarrassment: Several rooms aren’t as put-together and are in need of tidying up. Of course every home has these corners and in my case these are the parts that are never shown in photos 😉
Proudest DIY: The vakkenwand in the study room: a wall with wooden partitioning, creating an interesting way of showcasing decorative and personal items. It’s the first project I did myself, without any help from my husband. I’m very proud and happy with how it turned out!
Biggest Indulgence: The black shutters in the living room and kitchen. They weren’t cheap, but we are really happy with the result. It adds so much character to these rooms.
Best Advice: Dare to try something else. If you never try, everything will stay the same. But if you dare to try, beautiful things will happen.
Dream Sources: The Dutch interior magazine vtwonen.
Floor tiles – vtwonen
Dining table – secondhand
School chair and lamp dining table – Zuiver
Yellow and white chair – About a Chair by Hay
Couch – Trendhopper
Coffee table – BoxWorx
Side table – Hay
Photo behind couch – IXXI
Cabinets – New Routz
TV unit – Jotte
Girl print on TV unit – Via Martine with a little DIY
Chair next to TV – Vintagelab15