For many people who are living in another country, far from home, I believe it becomes important to bring a little big of the “old home” into the “new home”. Sometimes a little familiarity makes you feel more grounded, puts you in a better mood or just makes you happy. I’m inspired by my Dutch friend Patricia’s home in Israel, by how she has made it warm and friendly, beautiful and very Dutch by decorating it from her heart!
The kitchen is the heart of her home; here we gathered for a light lunch before we headed for the beach.
You can always find interesting doo-dads in Patricia’s house from boutiques and flea markets. You’ll find oodles of donkeys and hearts hanging and sitting around because she collects these and the colors turquoise blue with accents of red are characteristic of her special decorating sense.
Laura asks Patricia: “What did your home look like growing up?”
Patricia says: “I grew up in a home with a huge garden and lots of animals. My home had enough room for my four brothers and two sisters. The house was kept very clean and organized, everything had it’s place, but sometimes my mom liked to change the colors of the walls or curtains. We lived mostly in the kitchen, everything happened around the circular kitchen table.
Laura asks Patricia: “How important is it to you that your children have a sense of their Dutch side as they grow up in Israel. Do you feel that the look of your home contributes to this at all?”
Patricia answers: The children mostly have a sense of their Dutch heritage from our visits to Holland and of course the Dutch language which they also speak. It is important to me that my children feel connected to Holland, my Dutch “ways” contribute to every level in our lives, it’s just there without trying. I’ve always liked to be out of Holland and then explore what I like about being Dutch. I do feel that our home contributes to “feeling Dutch” because of all the flea-market treasure that I’ve brought back from Holland.
Laura asks Patricia: “What is your favorite room in the house and why?”
Patricia says: “My favorite room in the house in the kitchen/dining room. I like to cook and sit around the kitchen table with the kids while we talk, do homework, have tea or bake cookies. I also love to be outside, so my favorite patio (we have 3) is the one off the salon where the view of the dunes is the best and you can feel the sea breeze.
Laura asks Patricia: “What’s your definition of a comfortable home?”|
Patricia says: “To me, a comfortable home is one that allows a certain privacy for all members of the family; also light, a nice view, easy to clean and room enough to move the furniture around so the rooms are still spacious; all this is important. Also, a comfortable home is easy to entertain in.”
Laura asks Patricia: “What would you add to your home if you could?”
Patricia says: “I’d probably add a swimming pool if I could.”
Laura asks Patricia: You have a lot of outdoor space now, what do you intend to do with it?
Patricia says: “I’d like to have a nice garden and some chickens. By next summer I’d like to plant big sunflowers all along one outside wall.”
Laura asks Patricia: “What do you think is most important about your home to your children? To your husband?”
Patricia says: “For the two little ones, it’s important that they have spacious surroundings and a yard to play in. For the two bigger kids, their room are important to them. My husband likes our bedroom because it’s separate from all the others and he likes having his own shower! I think it’s important to all of us that the house is very family oriented and you can be together or apart if we wish.
Laura asks Patricia: “Have your homes always had the Dutch look to them?” “If someone wanted to also decorate their home Dutch, what tips would you give them?”
Patricia says: “My friends have always told me that my homes, past and present feel/look Dutch. I would recommend that people decorate following their hearts and roots, with things that they like, from their own backgrounds. All the personal items in your home make it special and really yours.”
Laura asks Patricia: “What are your favorite home magazines to browse through?”
Patricia says: “I like the Dutch magazine Home and Garden, but honestly I like to get ideas everywhere I go. I like the site Eclectic Gipsyland and flea markets are always a must-visit!”
Laura asks Patricia: “What more do you have planned for your home in terms of decorating?”
Patricia says: “I still have some ideas about renovating some old cupboards, painting in some nice colors and working in the garden…”