This week I visited the home of a young couple with a baby on the way, Ilja and Clenn. They admittedly have a less traditional Dutch home. “A normal Dutch house is just white walls and wood on the floor. We did ours in grey just to be a bit different.” And its true – from the Native American inspired art to the gorgeous framed photo of Clenn playing baseball – a very non-traditional Dutch sport – the home feels like it could be in NW Portland…well except for a few details.
When asked about the most gezellig space in the house, Ilja answered “The couch and the living space. We don’t have a very big home, so the space we live in and use the most surrounds the couch. Unlike most Dutch families, we almost never use our dining table, we have one, but we always snuggle up and eat together on the couch”. You are not alone Ilja and Clenn – we are guilty of the same thing!
Their favorite thing in the home right now is of course their ultra sound pictures for their expected little one. “I like having memories around the house, so my photos showing special moments are some of my favorite things”.
I think they would agree that the second favorite thing in the house is of course their cat Harley. Originally named after the motorcycle until they discovered she was a girl. Now her namesake is Harley Quinn. Like cats all over the world, Harley is Queen of the household, sitting atop her cat tower and surveying the land in search of spiders (which she is afraid of) and tasty treats.
Despite their efforts, Clenn and Ilja couldn’t get away with being a totally non-Dutch home. Can you spot the “broodtrommel”? Then of course, if you have an instant coffee machine, its either going to be a Nespresso, or a Senseo as seen below. Sat beside the Senseo it a jar stuffed full of very traditional liquorice Dutch candies called Drop. I haven’t yet developed a taste for the salty, sweet and sometimes tangy candy, but people love it here. In fact, the Dutch are some of the highest consumers of liquorice in the world!
The most Dutch things about the house are three.
1) Zaanse Mayonaise. The REAL and best Dutch Mayo (or so I am told). I couldn’t find any to buy on Amazon for you in America, but I do know there is a Dutch Import shop in Portland, so you can check there. Or hell….just come visit and bring some home! Now I have a craving for raspatat with mayo and satay sauce….lekker!
2) Applemoes! One of Piet’s favorites as a child and still today! Just plain old apple sauce, but a staple in ever Dutch fridge. Have you ever tried it with a savory meat? Its the best! I love it with meatballs.
3) The windows! These (seem to be) a very Dutch design. I have tried and failed in doing some Googling for more information, but I absolutely love them. We have them on the top floor of our home as well. Easy to open and close, they can stay open during heavy rain if you want because the rain runs down the glass away from the house, and they let tons of light in.
I hope you enjoyed a peek into another Dutch home! See you next time!