Helma Bongenaar is a collector of the pre-loved: silk scarves, mix-and-match French espresso bowls, hand mirrors, ceramic spoons. “Gathering is in my genes,” she says. “My mother and father had been additionally actual collectors, and as a baby I’d scour flea markets with them, at all times in search of a ‘trouvaille,’” a discover.
Helma—a stylist and prepare dinner, creator of the Dutch-French cookbook Aan tafel bij Au Bon Coin, and cofounder of the newly launched Sentimental Journal journal—lives in a traditional nook house within the heart of Amsterdam together with her husband and, till not too long ago, her two university-age kids (“they’re out of the home and residing on their very own,” Helma says, “however they arrive over for dinner each week to talk and catch up”).
“I at all times wished to reside in an outdated, typical Amsterdam split-level business constructing: store in entrance, inventory within the basement, and residing upstairs,” says Helma. “This home was constructed as a tavern in 1880. Twenty-five years in the past we fell in love with it. The entire neighborhood was constructed on the finish of the nineteenth century for the dockers; at the moment the harbor was simply across the nook with all of the steamships and warehouses”; the tavern would have been a go-to for dockworkers.
Inside, most the whole lot is discovered, salvaged, made, or repurposed, usually with a little bit of a wink. “There should at all times be a humorousness in the home, just like the chandelier with spoons,” says Helma. However it was the palette that first drew me after I noticed the interiors on Helma’s Instagram: pale greens in the lounge, two-tone robins’ egg blue within the kitchen. “The colour palette is predicated on the outdated colours which were used for hundreds of years in Amsterdam,” says Helma. “By some means they knew precisely which colours work nicely with which gentle. The well-known Dutch gentle!”
Be part of us for a glance inside.
“Sadly, after a renovation within the seventies, plenty of options had been demolished from the outdated inside,” says Helma. “However we noticed the potential of this place immediately. Twelve years in the past, the entire neighborhood wanted to be renovated, so we eliminated the outdated remaining parts beforehand and saved them to provide them again to the home later. We managed to get again the sensation of an outdated and comfortable tavern and have a contemporary kitchen on the identical time.”