Factory settings: how an old steel mill was polished | Interiors

Morning is Yasmina van den Oetelaar’s favorite time of day. It’s when she sits in her backyard, reads a book, and breathes in the quiet oasis of her backyard while enjoying the expanse of her industrial-style home. There is little idea that on the other side of the front door you step directly into the hustle and bustle of downtown Tilburg in the south of the Netherlands. It’s an unlikely oasis, but moving to the heart of the city where her husband, Maicol, spent his childhood was exactly where they sought to embrace city life after their daughter, Vivian, grew up.

Not that their home was easy to find – or in its current incarnation, that it even existed. When they started their research, they mainly found houses that were too expensive, too tall, too narrow or spread over too many floors.

“That’s when we decided to change our search criteria and lower our price to see what else came up,” says Maicol. It was only then that the couple stumbled upon a dilapidated steelworks that had also served as a community center on one of the most beautiful streets in the heart of Tilburg. It was in shambles, but Maicol, co-owner of Vervoort, an interior design firm that designs hotels, restaurants and holiday homes, could see its potential.

Open to ideas: steel furniture in the kitchen. Photography: Rene van der Hulst/Living Inside

“Friends and family thought we were absolutely crazy at the time, but we were both so impressed with the opportunity it offered in terms of light and volumes,” says Maicol.

Yasmina, who works as a manager at a hotel school and teaches students who want to work in the hospitality industry, agrees. “We could see how the space could be used to create an open urban loft with a large garden in the city center that could offer a high level of privacy and calm. It was not located directly on the street it -even, but hidden.

Basically, it also fulfilled all the couple’s stipulations for a house project: the possibility of creating light and open spaces to ensure optimal living; a space where they could build an indoor patio garden; that they could also park their car next to the house in a covered garage as parking in town can be difficult; and that there was enough space to build two en-suite bedrooms.

Enclosed garden: Yasmina van den Oetelaar relaxes in her inner courtyard.
Enclosed garden: Yasmina van den Oetelaar relaxes in her inner courtyard. Photography: Rene van der Hulst/Living Inside

Despite the couple’s interest in design, their home was not influenced by the work of other architects or hotels, but rather created with their architect Henny Guyt of StuOzo, with whom Maicol had previously worked.

Yasmina says: “He understood exactly what we wanted, he brought light inside and, like us, loved incorporating a wealth of different types of materials, such as wood, iron, concrete and concrete. marble.

The result is a spacious industrial-style urban loft, flooded with light and configured around a patio-garden accessed through four large doors. It provides a peaceful haven while supporting an easy indoor/outdoor feel of the American West Coast.

On the ground floor, the garden furniture, the kitchen and the living spaces are adjacent to the patio. On the first floor, two bedrooms are separated by a void to allow a double height under the ceiling on the ground floor and to let in the light in the center of the house.

The place was a godsend: the property's large and comfortable living room.
The place was a godsend: the property’s large and comfortable living room. Photography: Rene van der Hulst/Living Inside

The demolition process took five months and they did much of it themselves with the help of Maicol’s father and friends. In the process, they also dug up old wooden beams from the original building, which they were able to reuse, acknowledging the building’s heritage.

The rebuilding took another seven months and also marked a new chapter in the couple’s lives, so when it came to furnishing their home, they agreed to start from scratch. “It made sense,” Yasmina says, “because this house is more modern and industrial and very different from the house we lived in outside of Tiberg when Vivian was growing up.”

The pair enjoy both well-designed furniture that retains its value and is also highly functional.

For Maicol, it was also an opportunity to test the parts he sells on the road: “It was interesting to try them out and see how they work in a house: what it’s like to sit on a chair, how it interacts with the other pieces of furniture you have and the rest of your space.

Dream house: the second bedroom.
Dream house: the second bedroom. Photography: Rene van der Hulst/Living Inside

Everything in their house is a mobile feast and on a framework of waxed concrete floors, raw bricks and green walls or clad in wood, the family savors the colorful upheavals such as the round blue carpet by Simone Post and the green cushions by Pierre Paulin. . Other injections of color go through Sigrid Calon’s risos or Debbie Wijskamp’s blue circle and stone object at Paperpulp art.

“We love the challenge of bringing together many different materials that together form a whole,” says Yasmina. Indeed, they’ve created a home so comfortable, spacious and enduringly stylish – and a stone’s throw away from a late-night drink – that it would be a wonder if Vivian, now 24, would ever want to leave.


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