Taking a peek into someone else's home is always fascinating. It can give you inspiration, but it is also an opportunity to look at other people’s design choices shamelessly. In Rethink Stories, we give a glimpse into the interiors that Format has designed and built. Today, we look inside the historical living space that belongs to Rianne (35) and Mark (38) in Abcoude.
FIRST THINGS FIRST
Rianne is a freelance communication specialist in the non-profit sector and her husband Mark has his own company in real estate development. Together with their three children they live in the center of Abcoude. “We used to live on the Westerdok in Amsterdam in a very modern apartment with a beautiful view. When we started looking for a new home, we preferred a family house with creaky floors that folds around you, as it were. For me, the ability to feel at home somewhere is not a matter of perfect styling - it’s a feeling. Recently I came across a quote that I think expresses that so well: “A room should not feel decorated, it should feel collected.”
VISION & STYLE
“Our house used to be a large office building that was subsequently divided into two homes. The building itself is very old and a national monument. Mark and I are on the same page in terms of vision and style, which makes things a lot easier. In terms of ambiance, it is largely up to me. This is something I mainly do by feel and I gradually adapt to the style of the house. I wanted to create a warm family home, but it had to match the old style of the house. If I had to describe our style in words, I would describe it as boutique chic with Scandinavian influences.”
"Format’s process is so incredible, it is crystal clear from start to finish. They walk the talk and are very transparent. We have renovated before and often you get promised a lot that does not get fulfilled in the end. With Format, we were able to let go of that completely."
Collaboration with Format
"Format’s process is so incredible, it is crystal clear from start to finish. They walk the talk and are very transparent. We have renovated before and often you get promised a lot that does not get fulfilled in the end. With Format, we were able to let go of that completely. We started renovating during COVID-time which made the orientation process hard. I ended up at Format through Instagram at the time. It's not like we spent weeks designing. We knew exactly what we wanted in advance. Jikke and Floor really thought things through alongside us when it came to storage space and materials. The coordination was very easy and the elements they made also fit their style completely, so that everything is perfectly coordinated. The cooperation went smoothly, it is very easy to communicate with them. They are very clear and will tell you straight up whether something is or isn’t possible which is very pleasant.”
MOST PROUD OF
“What we are most proud of is our blue-grey quartzite kitchen island. We really wanted a natural stone, but not the fragility of marble, for example. Quartzite is a lot harder than marble and very fool-proof. It is a large block that is a centre piece in our space and has been the basis for the rest of our interior.”
And looking at the future - what does it look like and what plans do you have?
“We are currently working on a holiday home in Zeeland that was built in the 1970s and has never been renovated since. We always wanted the sea to be part of our lives and we finally found it here. During the renovation, we will pay close attention to the costs and the layout of the space. Format will again play a role here. They will design and build a triple bunk bed for the kids. And as for the future, we always have dreams. We have never lived in one place for more than three years. In theory I could grow old here, but we would also love to build a house ourselves. Sustainability would then play an important role and in terms of looks you should think of a lot of wood, glass and natural light.”