We’re talking serious #housegoals here. Let’s introduce Annemarie van der Ven (1986), a freelance go-getter who didn’t exaggerate when she told us she had a ‘pretty nice house’. Her place looks like it whipped straight out of the glossy pages of an interior magazine. How did she do it?
Annemarie worked as a freelance stylist and is now co-owner and editor-in-chief of online magazine Enfait. She’s been living in this place for about two years with her boyfriend, who’s 35 and works at a bank. “We both have very demanding jobs, but we also love spending time decorating the house together. He’s very creative and he’s a real do-it-yourself person, too!”
Tell us about the house! How would you describe your interior style?
Annemarie: “Our place is located in the lively heart of Amsterdam! For me, this is sometimes overwhelming but if you walk into our place you won’t notice the busy outside world at all. We live in a spacious, lighthouse with high windows and a high ceiling. Yes, we can call it a loft! Everything was open in the beginning but we placed a black steel window in front of our bedroom to create at least one lockable area. I love curiosity, velvet, marble en green. My boyfriend’s style is more modern and minimalistic.”
You share your house with your boyfriend. How do you make it a couples home (do you have to make a lot of concessions?)
Annemarie: “Our interior is a mix of both styles… When I moved in my boyfriend had a lot of Mondrian inspired items and I didn’t like the mix of all these primary colors. I like colors, I do, but not too much. So yellow was there to stay… Red and cobalt blue were banished. The red retro chair from his grandma turned grayish blue and as the red items moved out. Except for one, a big round red/yellow/blue vase. We redecorated the place with new dining chairs and a Beni Ouarain carpet, that was it.”
Your first ever interior buy?
Annemarie: “Is broken… It was a big beautiful second-hand vase. But I still have my – first – Chesterfield couch and a dresser from my grandmother.”
What piece holds a special memory?
Annemarie: “The wooden side table behind the couch. It’s made from sequoia wood from a tree that my dad planted when he and my mom were married. My dad died almost two years ago and it’s very special to have this side table made out of his tree from our mega big garden in Brabant where I grew up and played so much.”
If you had 10,000 euro to spend on a piece of furniture/accessory/art/decor item, what would it be and why?
Annemarie: We definitely would buy a new couch. A big velvet one. But the thing is: we need a big one. If you put a small couch in our living room it disappears in space. And as big couches are expensive… I guess we have to wait as we have loads of other plans this year. Getting married for example.”
What buy do you absolutely regret?
Annemarie: “I don’t regret anything… But other people do! In the past, I’ve bought blue secondhand metal chairs, really pretty but nobody could sit on them. Too hard, too cold, too straight. Everybody was complaining, except for me. We have new chairs now but nobody knows that I still have these chairs hidden in the attic.”
Any left-over dreams for home?
Annemarie: “Apart from the big velvet couch? A new bed! And a dresser… There’s so much we want. We’re never done with decorating, I guess. And we would love to have a garden. I love to be outside and surround myself with nature. But that’s something for the future. For now, we have to do it with ‘greenery’ and plants to create an indoor jungle.”
Which 3 Instagram/ Pinterest accounts do we need to follow for more interior inspiration?
Annemarie: “I really love @OODE, that’s where I’ve got my first piece of art from. They sell affordable orphan art and you can see the newest works on their Instagram. If you go there, you’ll never leave! I bought a big painting by Petra Lunenburg. I saw it three years ago in The Loft and wanted it ever since. Finally, I found it at OODE. Another great one: @theinteriorreport gives you a peek in different houses and @thedesignfiles is a great mix of everything.”
A good piece of interior advice?
Annemarie: “Don’t buy everything at once. Collect your interior together and try to re-use as much as possible. There is already so much in this world, so why produce everything new? I prefer buying pretty existing things, it’s more sustainable and creative at the same time. Invest in big pieces like a couch or bed. I prefer buying these items brand new, but they have to last forever! I also need flowers and plants in my house, and candles. I can’t live without.”
You’re both very passionate about styling your home. Is this something you could make a living off?
Annemarie: “Funny… we’ve talked about it. My boyfriend first real job was to work with one of the biggest interior designers in The Netherlands and if he could do it all over again, maybe he would become an architect. And for me, the future is always an unwritten page. So who knows. It could be our next goal.”