Inspiration: Ries and Iris

A quick painting job when they moved in was all they had time for, before becoming parents of a lovely boy, but now this couple is ready to move to the next phase in their interior design scheme.

Evolving interior

Where: The Hague, the Netherlands

Who: Ries and Iris, Otis (turning 1 year on October 19th)

Type: House, lower level

Living surface: 106 m2

In a nutshell: ‘We combine robust materials with elegant lines to create balance in our interior.’

‘I was pregnant when we bought this place,’ Iris says, ‘so it was important to us, that we could move in straight away.’ The couple bought a lower level house (‘benedenwoning’ in Dutch) in mint condition in the popular family friendly Bezuidenhout-neighborhood in The Hague.

The house exists of a combined kitchen and living room on one side of the long and narrow divider hallway, and three bedrooms, a bathroom and guest bathroom on the other side and end of the hallway.

‘The previous owners had a very different taste in their interior design than us,’ Iris says, ‘we thought it was horrible! They had giant pieces of furniture standing here, making this large space seem and feel small.’ It was difficult to see the possibilities through the dominating furniture, but the couple was able to visualize themselves living there despite. And they were not disappointed on the day the received the keys. Iris: ‘We were so happy to see it without furniture. The space felt exactly as we had hoped it would when all their things were gone.’

The couple’s only interior decorating goal before moving in was to paint the walls. Iris: ‘I was very close to my due date, so that was the one thing we wanted to finish to make it feel more like our home.’ The couple used various shades of blue-greens and greys on the walls, creating soothing sightlines from the living room through the hallway to the master bedroom.

Ries: ‘We had chosen three different shades, but the second color was totally off when we put it on the wall.’ They were hoping that they would get used to the color, but there was nothing to do: ‘We had to paint the whole wall again in another shading, because it was just too ugly,’ Iris laughs.

The couple focused on creating a bedroom for their son Otis, now almost 1-year-old, when they moved in. ‘We didn’t know if we would have a boy or a girl,’ Iris says, ‘so we kept the basis of the room in neutrals.’ Now a few boyish elements, such as a poster with various motor vehicles are added to the room, and by having some of Otis’ clothes on display, the room has turned into an adorable boy’s room.

By now, the couple is ready to turn their attention to their large living room. Iris: ‘We have lived here a little longer than a year now, and now we’re ready to take our interior decorating game to the next level.’ A fine example of it, is the purchase of a black, steel display cabinet in the kitchen. Iris: ‘I am totally in love with it. It is the perfect combination of solid and sturdy design while it still has elegance due to the glass doors and its thin framing.’

Other purchases will be in the same style, but the couple isn’t quite sure how their taste is going to evolve yet. A complicating factor is the fact that the living room is a huge, yet fairly narrow space; 13 meters long and 3,5 meters wide. Ries: ‘The room is difficult to decorate if you want to avoid it feeling like a drawer.’

However, the couple is excited to start introducing changes to their interior. Iris: ‘Our next project will be to create an area in the living room, where Otis can play.’ The couple has not decided on how they are going to execute this. Iris: ´I have so many ideas! I find it hard to decide what to do.’ Luckily husband Ries is there to help: ‘I usually help Iris to narrow it down to a few options. We then decide together, what we would like.’ And little Otis will for sure end up with a cool play area.