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Posted by on Apr 8, 2009 in A Peek Inside, DIY, Home Decor & Wares, Home Tours | 14 comments

A Peek Inside: indie home tours with Myrte from Mirthquake

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Some of you have expressed interest in seeing more home decor and design here on Indie Fixx and when you all speak, I listen. Today, I am kicking off a new feature called A Peek Inside: indie home tours. Periodically, I will share homes of indie makers and sellers spotlighting indie design and diy decor as well as homes that have been decorated using vintage goods.

My first tour is of the home of Myrte de Zeeuw. Myrte is an talented illustrator who has a healthy obsession for  aviary painting. You can find her work for sale in her Etsy Shop and you can also see some of her artwork displayed in her home in the pics below.

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About a year ago, Myrte and her boyfriend bought and renovated what she calls ‘an old dump’.  They pretty much gutted the place and redid the plumbing, added new windows, upgraded the electrical work and more….that’s in addition to all new design and decor they’ve done as well.

Here are their results as well as my brief interview with Myrte about the process and the results of all their hard work.

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1.What made you decide to get an older home and fix it up yourself?

We chose an older home because location was everything to us. We had an annoying-neighbor-experience once, so a quiet, nice neighborhood was going to be our emphasis in our search. Over here that means either an expensive home or an old one with a lot of work to do. We decided to save money and do most work ourselves. Feeling courageous we thought we could manage in 3 months. It took us 6 months and a long time of home-improvement-rehab.

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Old Teak table. Right now I wouldn’t buy any more teak. 80% is from woods that shouldn’t be chopped!!

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Bought via the Internet as a present for myself a couple of years ago. It was brass, but looks better here in cream! 

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My pride and joy. I love to draw birds. You can read about them on my blog.

2. What’s your favorite room in the house and why?

My favorite room to be in is the space we call the sun lounge (which sounds so much bigger than it is and is also the dining room – pictured above). It is the extra space we built to the house with doors that open into the garden and is a great spot to watch the birds, draw a bit and enjoy my tea. In summer, a warm glow of the sun stays in the room until very late. Even the birds take a moment to enjoy that. I love that.

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My most precious piece of art. It is made years and years ago by my grandfather. He didn’t know that furniture made out of old wood would be so happening in the future. He just had an idea and got to work with things he didn’t throw away. Me, I am exactly like that now. 

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3. How would you describe your designing style?

I have no idea how to describe my designing style. It’s just my personal taste and that changes with the weather. I just want to avoid readymade things as much as possible. That means no Ikea. Although, I confess sometimes I can’t help myself, but I don’t like seeing my furniture in other people’s homes. I like to get a lot of old things and bring them into today, or buy something I can paint easily. Besides that, I want it to be colorful! I know a lot of people say that they’re afraid of painting their walls a certain color. But being surrounded by colorless walls doesn’t make me particularly happy. I’d rather make a mistake, and turn back to white, than never having tried. White walls are only allowed if it is a deliberate choice. Oh and another thing: I go by themes. Every room has to be different in style. Morocco in the bathroom, and England in the bedroom for instance.

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These are from my mom’s pine tree. Left to dry for a couple of months and look really hip now. 

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4. Love those entryway floor tiles, tell me more about where you got them, why you decided on them etc.

Those entryway floor tiles, that’s another story all together. Someone in Belgium was selling them second hand online. They are over 80 years old. So, we went to Belgium to take a look and bought them on the spot! That’s when we realized the transport was going to be a bit of an issue, we kinda overlooked that. We rented a U-haul and asked my dad to help us out with his car. The U-haul was completely overloaded by the tiles, which still had the old cement underneath them (so double the weight we calculated). Getting it to the Netherlands was one thing, getting the cement off of it was another. We filed it off with a scary type of tool, it took us days and the garden was all white after that. But it was worth it, and we still had our fingers which is even better! There is no one who doesn’t notice them and I adore them.

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5. What was your favorite project in decorating and designing your house? What would you do differently?

My favorite project was the bathroom. I installed everything, from the plumbing to the tiles. It was my first ever and last ever mosaic project. I ordered the gold tiles abroad and smashed a lot of tiles I bought at a outlet store.

I also loved the bedroom (below). I LOVE the William Morris wallpaper. I am still working on a restyled personal Victorian feel. This needs time I think. I don’t like that a house needs time to develop into a home. I want it to be finished right away. But it needs memories and souvenirs from holidays and authentic stuff that take time to be found. What I also love about the bedroom is the walk-in closet which is simply created by placing a wall in a large room, dividing the room in a small bedroom and a closet area. I am not a very tidy person, I throw my clean clothes back in my closet and having to look at that mess before you go to sleep doesn’t relax you.

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Look at the great William Morris wallpaper, I bought it via the internet in England. 

14 Comments

  1. What a gorgeous home! I’m gonna love this new feature! :)

  2. That mosaic is amazing! I can’t imagine the time that must have taken.

    I’m in love with that wallpaper too– the perfect complement to your beautiful birds.

  3. That bathroom is amazing! Want!

  4. Jaw dropping!
    Absolutely love your house!! (I’m curently hunting for one, and I’ really, really love the entrance floor)

  5. Wow that is one awesome home!

  6. beautiful ! can’t say what I like the most; maybe the mosaic in the bathroom, or the dining chairs with the different fabrics, or the Belgian floor tiles. It’s all perfect !

  7. That bathroom is awesome! That is a great idea for those of us (uh…me!) scared of tiling with traditional shapes because it could be crooked or uneven!

  8. Wow Myrte, you sure live in an amazing home & this must have taken you forever! Congrats on being a hell of a DIY girl & on this lovely feature!
    The birds look so pretty where they are! Love ‘em! :)

  9. Wow, the results of all hard renovation work are awesome. I love the way she arranges her framed paintings on the wall. Great new series!
    -minna

  10. Such a beautiful home… thanks for sharing it with us!

  11. So glad you all liked the new feature! Thanks to Myrte for sharing her home with us.

  12. You have a great house! I love it!!

  13. Absolutely amazing. Love it!!
    What a lot of time you and friends spent on it.

    I will tell my friends!

  14. I love this house….and the people in it!

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