It’s been awhile since I’ve posted a Dutch Home Tour! I’ve been so busy splashing paint all over the place and having a blast. However, my friend Henriette just found out she will be moving to Bonaire for a year, so I wanted to make sure and get some photos before it’s too late! This small but bright apartment is right in the middle of the city. Conveniently located next to Taco Mundo, a Gall & Gall liquor store, and an Albert Heijn grocery.
Henriette’s one bedroom apartment has a lovely setting. Her large front window look out onto a shared courtyard with plenty of picnic tables and room for summer BBQ’s. Henriette feels this is the most gezellig part of her home. “It is situated in a “hofje” (patio). This is something really typical for Leiden. In the summer I meet my neighbours outside, and sometimes we eat or drink together”.
The inside boasts a modern, cozy, and industrial inspired interior. Henriette says “I have an industrial inspired style. I have lived in this apartment for a year now and in that time I have been investing in some nice furniture pieces I think are cool. I still have to do some alterations and I would really like to invest in a nice dining table. Every month or so I do a little, and over time it feels more and more like my home. But I am proud that I have done everything on my own. I built all the cabinets and drilled all the holes by myself”.
You go girl! Her big lesson from the past year “…when IKEA or hardware shops give you an estimation of how long you need to build something…you need to calculate in an extra two hours”.
I couldn’t help but notice Henriette’s adorably outdated television (and massive un pictured DVD collection). Turns out she actually has a great story about it. ” My tv is really old. I bought it when I was 18 years old. Now, in one week, I will turn 36. And the TV is still working. I would love to have a widescreen HD TV. But this old thing won’t break. It has survived five moves and has now become an emotional piece in my home. My first TV. Soooo old, but still going strong”. <3
Hanging onto something for a long time, and not replacing it because it’s still working perfectly, is totally a Dutch thing. And a thing that I could really learn a thing or two about. You know what else it Dutch? This jar of kruidnoten. It’s not necessarily normal to have a decorative jar of it sitting around, but the candy itself is Dutch. Translated to English as “spice nuts”, they are traditional around the holidays and are made with the same spices as speculaas – which many of you are familiar with via Trader Joes. If you ever see any of them covered in chocolate, do not hesitate to buy them immediately. Sooooo lekker.
Speaking of Dutch things…since we moved here we have developed the normal habit of using a squeegee in the shower after every use. Most showers are separate from the bath, if there is a bath at all. Many showers are separate from the toilet (not ours). That said, most shower rooms are built more like a wet-room meaning they are tiled from floor to ceiling. Typically there is a curtain or a glass partition separating the shower from the sink/ toilet area. This isn’t always the case, as evidenced by Henriette’s shower.
In fact, she has the best and most magical kind of squeegee….the floor squeegee! “I think my bathroom is special because there is no shower cabin. I don’t think this is a real Dutch thing. But I am used to it. My whole bathroom is the shower cabin. Oh and apparently the “vloertrekker” (floor squeegee) is something Americans apparently don’t use commonly.” Hmmm…can I squeeze the word “squeegee” into this post at least one more time?
Well that about wraps it up. However it wouldn’t be a Dutch Home Tour post without asking about bread! Henriette informed me that she eats about five slices per day, maybe less on the weekends. She typically buys 1-1.5 loaves per week, or more if there is a special deal at the supermarket. Sounds like a very typical amount for an individual Dutch person!
Thank you Henriette for letting me into your home and sharing a little about your life. Have the time of your life in Bonaire!