Inspiration: Laura and Tim

‘I’ll admit it! I once threw out one of my son’s toys, because it was made of plastic and I thought it was ugly.’ There is no need to compromise on your personal style, when you have a strict door policy, such as this couple has, living in a light apartment in urban The Hague.

'Toys complement our interior'

Where: The Hague, the Netherlands

Who: Laura and Tim, Thijs (2)

Type: Apartment

Living surface: 102 m2

In a nutshell: ‘We collect furniture with stories, and like to design and build our own things.’

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’We buy our furniture based on our intuition. We usually are quick to decide. We look at each other and shout: let’s get it! And when we get home, it always seems to fit in with the rest of our interior,’ says Laura. She speaks enthusiastically and gestures a lot with her hands, while speaking.

The 102 square meter big apartment on the second floor (called a ‘bovenhuis’ in the Netherlands, an ‘upper house’) bathes in sunlight. The furniture is made up of a muted color palette. The large couch in the living room is a deep, dark blue, the kitchen table bench and chairs are a subtle combination of grey’s, brown’s and blue’s. In the corner, a little desk signals that there lives a little human being here too.

‘This is Thijs’ corner,’ Laura says. ‘We’ve tidied it up for the pictures, but here he plays with his toys most of the time.’ A little red chair from the fifties is his favorite, Laura explains: ‘He drags it all around the house. Wherever we are, he wants to be, and usually the chair gets to be there too.’

Even though the house has a laid back style and oozes of seemingly effortless styling, Laura admits that they at times get a little bit obsessive with their interior, they can’t help it. ‘When we built our fireplace, we had to have these tiles. We drove half way across the country to get the right ones. And when it turned out, we hadn’t bought enough, we drove back to buy 10 more. No other tile could do the trick.’

The couple has their hands screwed on right: ‘We like to do things ourselves and are not afraid to be creative and take a little risk in our interior.’ Both Laura and Tim are educated building engineers; they therefore know how to plan and complete a project. A lovely example of their creativity is the storage wall in Thijs’ bedroom.

‘When I was pregnant, we had to empty our one spare bedroom, which we used as an office. We had way too much stuff and no storage whatsoever. We therefore designed and built a cupboard wall from the ceiling to just above Thijs’ bed. We just used ordinary kitchen cupboards from Ikea, but by combining them the way we did, we ended up with a very unique storage solution.’

The wall is exemplary of how the couple has found a balance between their own taste and the needs of their child, they simply incorporate it in their interior design. Thijs’ toys complement all their existing furniture. Laura says: ‘Thijs has a lot of retro furniture, and his toys are usually made from wood, which fits in fine with the things we already have.’

Even though the couple is very content in their city house, they soon will be packing moving boxes. ‘We have bought a detached house with a large garden. The new house needs a lot of work, but we are ready to put our mark on it. It’ll be a bit sad to leave the city, but we are looking forward to our new adventure.’

Pictures by Bart van der Linde, except children’s corner, detail of dragon tail and the stove, which are made by Laura Heij.