Saturday 27 September 2008

Dutch Seaside Home

I have been browsing through the European mags that I brought home with me, and came across this amazing canal side home near Amsterdam. It's owners, Henk and Saskia Teunissen have transformed this 1920's home with beautiful references to the sea that are present everywhere you go in the Netherlands.

Formal symmetry and informal textural siding and furniture juxtapose each other, allowing you to feel comfortable yet pampered by the spa white upholstery
There is a lack of colour palette, but one rich in texture and married to nature in an uncomplicated way

The ceiling beams and antiqued walls refrence the age of the house and to Amsterdam's past. Whites and ivories work together with the grays and browns being a buffer
Washed concrete and wide plank floors remind you of the age and location of the house. The reflective pieces provide a modern touch and another layer without adding colour. I love this home because of the way the homeowners used texture and colour, mixed in history and what works for a modern family.
Greys, browns, black and whites are mixed in a perfect ratio in the kitchen. Natural linen drapes in grey tones let some light in, but provide privacy and light control
The master bedroom includes a woven wing chair bed design; I always start with good quality white hotel linens on the bed, and add colour or texture. This throw adds instant texture and implied comfort. The room also included that punch of reflective in the lamps, table and tray service, and the drapes draw thier colour and texture from the throw and the chair...a nice mix that works well

I have been reading and while in Paris noticing this "Parisian empty" look. I think this bathroom speaks to that. There is an "under construction, pictures not hung yet" look. The old chandelier may have been purchased at the Paris Fleas, and the existing beadboard is simply painted. The floor is interesting and includes the colour palette of the interior; from greys to browns to ivories. Collected items have implied importance, and there is a restraint practiced. The home has not lost the feeling of being developed over its lifetime

Friday 26 September 2008

trip details

Alexandre Shoenewerk
Jeune Tarentine
Marble, 1871
Musee d'Orsay Paris

Back from Europe, and still getting over the jetlag. I typically get very tired on the return trip...and this time is no exception. I have been going through my bags looking at my purchases, doing laundry and cleaning the house after the teenagers.

I had a great time; early in the trip we spent two nights in Paris, where I wandered at the Les Puces de Saint-Ouen after taking the number four metro from Vavin to Porte de Clignancourt.

After enjoying a beautiful evening walk, we came across the Eiffel tower aglow in blue, standing under it at the exact hour that the towers twinkling lights gave us an amzing, dynamic show.

The next evening I ate at a wonderful seafood resturaunt on Montpernaste. I ended it with the largest yummiest creme brule I have ever tasted! The last day in Paris we visited Musee d'Orsay and had lunch at an outdoor cafe.

As english speaking Canadians, we don't practice french very often, but I have to say, I am all the better for those grade eight French classes....and those bilingual cereal boxes. The language barrier was minimal in both Amsterdam and Paris. The Dutch speak english very well, and we know more french than we think.

Van Loon Museum, Amsterdam c. 1672

Back in Amsterdam we visited the Van Loon Museum; intertwined with Amsterdam's history, the Van Loons held positioins as mayors and the last Van Loon to live in the house was Dame du Palais of Queen Wilhelmina for forty years.The home is lovingly kept by the museum foundation. The plaster "icing" ceilings and metal balastrades excited me, and the high ceilings and old marble were the stuff of dreams. I have to admit though, while touring the house, I kept seeing it with undertones of modern for great that would be!

Biking along Holland's countryside

For the first time, I got to experience the countryside in Holland. Brian stays in an airport hotel in Badhoevedorf, just outside of Amsterdam, so we took the hour long bikeride in and out of Amsterdam one day. You start near the airport, and end up at the south end of the Overtoom; a short shot onto the Leidesplein, and great shopping.

Did lots of shopping. It is apparent that I need to lose some weight. I love fashion too much, and I vow for next years trip, I will be into that size 14 easily. Paris was amazing for shopping, and if it wasn't so expensive to stay in Paris, I would spend more time there every trip. Next year, I will have more choices.

We looked at the price of apartments in Amsterdam, but feel we cannot get into a canal apt in the city, but looking at the outskirts, and discovering more public transportation options, we may be able to get into a basic apartment outside of the city for less than 150 thousand euros.

The house was pretty clean when I arrived little boy is a man! How did he become so mature all of a sudden?

Tuesday 23 September 2008

Paris and Amsterdam 2008

A tired Westie at the Paris flea Market

Cemetrarie de Monparnaste; Paris

Van Loon Museum; Amsterdam

View of Paris from the Musee d' Orsay

Van Loon Museum, Musee d' Orsay

An unexpected courtyard at my sister's hotel...a Dutch chain...the Grand Tulip

My sister having a good laugh

Enjoying the cafe culture with my husband and friends

We built an Inkshook at Vondelpark... we tried!

Eiffel Tower
in the evening

Biking near Badhoevedorp with my husband

Wednesday 10 September 2008

in Amsterdam...

In Amsterdam...started with a cappuccino and a croissant this at the flower market and then dinner with a friend. No pilot light this morning for the water heater, so we got a slow start.

Tomorrow two more friends show up so we go to Schipol and pick them up. We are getting our tickets to Paris, and going to H&M. I know...but shopping is part of every trip.

Paris and the flea market will be lots of fun...we leave on Sunday :)

Thursday 4 September 2008

Packing :)

When you start packing, it becomes real doesn't it? No matter how much I talk about packing light, I never do. I will fill a large suitcase, a carry on and a large purse. I have a folding bag in my large suitcase so that I can shop while I am in Paris.

Over the next few days, have to drop off dry cleaning at the 24 hr place, finish packing, look for a replacement tile for the Moorage baths, bath lights for the penthouse, pick up Brian at the airport, clean and make beds for Ray and Kim, do laundry, mow the lawn, do banking, get groceries for Jes, and then edit the suitcase :)

Thanks for dinner!

The hosts... on the menu...halibut and roasted veggies...then home made peach pie with ice cream...

Thanks for a nice time Carl and Judy... check out Carl's new blog... he is a realator in Ucluelet...quite a fast growing resort community.

Wednesday 3 September 2008


Down to the last few days!

I'll be posting from Amsterdam and Paris!