Best Hits 2022: A Collector’s Classic-Crammed Dwelling in a Former Tavern in Amsterdam

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Helma Bongenaar is a collector of the pre-loved: silk scarves, mix-and-match French espresso bowls, hand mirrors, ceramic spoons. “Accumulating is in my genes,” she says. “My mother and father have been additionally actual collectors, and as a baby I might scour flea markets with them, at all times on the lookout for a ‘trouvaille,’” a discover.

Helma—a stylist and prepare dinner, writer of the Dutch-French cookbook Aan tafel bij Au Bon Coin, and cofounder of the newly launched Sentimental Journal journal—lives in a basic nook house within the heart of Amsterdam together with her husband and, till just lately, her two university-age youngsters (“they’re out of the home and dwelling on their very own,” Helma says, “however they arrive over for dinner each week to talk and catch up”).

“I at all times needed to dwell in an outdated, typical Amsterdam split-level business constructing: store in entrance, inventory within the basement, and dwelling upstairs,” says Helma. “This home was constructed as a tavern in 1880. Twenty-five years in the past we fell in love with it. The entire neighborhood was constructed on the finish of the nineteenth century for the dockers; at the moment the harbor was simply across the nook with all of the steamships and warehouses”; the tavern would have been a go-to for dockworkers.

Inside, most all the things is discovered, salvaged, made, or repurposed, usually with a little bit of a wink. “There should at all times be a humorousness in the home, just like the chandelier with spoons,” says Helma. But it surely was the palette that first drew me once I noticed the interiors on Helma’s Instagram: pale greens in the lounge, two-tone robins’ egg blue within the kitchen. “The colour palette relies on the outdated colours which have been used for hundreds of years in Amsterdam,” says Helma. “Someway they knew precisely which colours work properly with which mild. The well-known Dutch mild!”

Be a part of us for a glance inside.

Images by Helma Bongenaar (@helmabongenaar).

the kitchen and entryway space was once the tavern; now painted in two tone blu 9
Above: The kitchen and entryway area was as soon as the tavern; now painted in two-tone blue, it’s the place Helma is thought to throw many a cocktail party. Notice additionally the painted blue oval on the ceiling, impressed by Dutch canal homes.

“Sadly, after a renovation within the seventies, loads of options have been demolished from the outdated inside,” says Helma. “However we noticed the potential of this place immediately. Twelve years in the past, the entire neighborhood wanted to be renovated, so we eliminated the outdated remaining parts beforehand and saved them to present them again to the home later. We managed to get again the sensation of an outdated and comfortable tavern and have a contemporary kitchen on the identical time.”

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