Name: Chantal Berkelmans, husband Pieter, their daughters Annabel and Lois
Location: Eersel, the Netherlands
Size: 6,458 square feet
Years lived in: 5 years, owned (and self-built)
For a long time Chantal believed she wasn’t creative or handy. She always felt envious of people who seemed to make the loveliest items (seemingly without much effort). When Chantal was pregnant with her first child, she remembers a period when she was terribly ill and could only lie in bed all day. To pass time, she devoured an endless amount of magazines and there was one photo that stuck with her: a pretty and light nursery with vintage details. The crib featured a crocheted blanket and it was that particular blanket she couldn’t get out of her mind. Unable to make it herself, her sweet mom made her a similar model. Of course Chantal appreciated it immensely, but how she would have loved to have been able to make it herself!
Patience and perseverance definitely pay off, because years later — following a crochet workshop and many YouTube tutorials — Chantal has finally learned to crochet. And she absolutely enjoys it to no end: “It’s just so relaxing when I’m creating something beautiful. It never gets boring. In fact, the list of things I want to make keeps getting longer and longer. I would also like to start knitting, something I’ve only done as a child.”
Her new-found passion has actually urged her to share it with others; she figured she’s not the only one struggling with wanting to make things and feeling unable to. She had already shared photos of her creations and home on Instagram, but recently she took the plunge by launching her workshop website. The focus is on crochet, but there are also workshops for painting tableware. Every month Chantal organizes a Crochet Café: an informal gathering in her workshop space that’s open to anyone who loves to craft. “I really like the idea of having a cozy evening with like-minded folks and being able to inspire each other!”
When touring her home it’s obvious Chantal isn’t afraid of color. But it’s not just a matter of preference, it also strongly influences her mood, which is why each floor has a different palette depending on the mood she wanted to inspire.
The first floor features predominantly soft tones with enough neutrals to balance it. The second floor — with the bedrooms and bathrooms — is a lot more toned-down. Chantal explains: “Since it’s the place where we rest, we wanted it to be more serene and stuck to natural colors. Except for the girls’ rooms; it’s their own little territory, so it should show their personality.”
The basement floor that holds Chantal’s workshop space is where the colors truly explode. A place for creativity and inspiration, so it’s no holds barred! “The power of color is so amazing”, she says, “the right combination can make me feel happy. But also sad. Would you believe if it gets bad enough certain colors can make me feel nauseous?!” At any rate, this modern Dutch farmhouse has the color recipe to make any guest feel right at home.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: Anything I like. I’m not particularly attracted to one style. I love colors, but also neutrals; industrial, but also Scandinavian. Perhaps eclectic?
Inspiration: Everywhere and nowhere. I first determine if I like something and after that I’ll check if it will fit somewhere in our home. I could easily fill four houses. I reckon if we were to build another house it would look completely different from this one.
Favorite Element: The outdoor kitchen in summer and the living room in winter. The dining table is also a nice spot. And of course my workshop space!
Biggest Challenge: To not stuff our home with everything I like.
What Friends Say: Most people find our home cozy and lovely and also quite personal.
Biggest Embarrassment: The cellar and garage still need a good clean-up.
Proudest DIY: The outdoor kitchen and the playhouse in the backyard (it used to be a tiny travel trailer).
Biggest Indulgence: Tableware, but also pretty balls of wool and other craft supplies. I’m fortunate to have a big workshop space where I can store everything.
Best Advice: Follow your heart instead of what’s trendy.
Dream Sources: A covered outdoor space is still on my wish list.
PAINT & COLORS
Almost all walls and woodwork – white RAL 9010
Sofa – IKEA
Rug – Loods 5
Cowhide rug – bought at a market
Wooden bench – De Houttwist
Sideboard – IKEA
Most cushions – Goround Interior
Swing – Xenos
Macramé wall decoration – HipMacrame
Wooden feather – madumadu
Various accessories like the knitted “vase” and coconut tealight holder – Jet at Home
Wooden bench – De Houttwist
Wooden peace symbol – madumadu
Bed – has been around for ages and it’s from Ligne Roset
Macramé wall decoration – self-made by Chantal
Small table and chair – vintage
Sink unit – custom-made (designed by Chantal)
Dark wooden bench – IKEA