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  • Foto van schrijverJanneke de Haas

BTS: The Forest House Project

Imagine a summer house at the edge of the forest. It's mid October, and the leaves slowly turn orange, brown and yellow. Although the air is crispy and cooler than the days before, the sky is still blue. Birds are chirping, sunlight shines dreamily through the trees and in the background some jazzy tunes are playing. A perfect escape from all the buzz. Catching this vibe was the main inspiration for the design of the forest house.


About The Design

It all started with an idea of creating a winter home for the plants, an Orangerie as the French call it. But things got a little out of hand. Soon we were discussing how the owners would love to enjoy their garden until later in autumn and earlier in spring. What if you could spend here an afternoon sipping ice tea after working in the garden, or settle down into one of the hunter chairs upon your return from a long walk in the woods? A place where cooking, reading and socializing can happen in one space. Since the forest plays the leading role in this design, the inside-outside relationship is the foundation for the interior design.

Come along in this behind the scenes of the project to see where we are now in the design process.

Architecture of the Forest House


Layout Proposal

The facade of the forest house is more than half made of glass in order to enjoy the view as much as possible. By creating different areas in the space, it can serve multiple functions. A challenge was to maintain enough walking space in between these areas. One part is filled by the kitchen, with a kitchen island and bar stools. On the other side you'll find the lounge area with a fireplace.

Spend the Afternoon Sipping Iced Tea after Working in the Garden, or Settle Down into One of the Hunter Chairs upon Your Return from a Long Walk in the Woods.


Retro Chic Vibes for the Forest House

Autumn Daze

The environment is reflected in the interior design through the use of natural materials, such as stone, grass fibre, wool, leather, wood and aged brass. Since hard materials, such as glass and stone, form the basis of the architecture, the addition of soft materials is important to balance things out. We would call the opted mood 'Force of Nature equals Midcentury Vibes'. Result: Retro chic vibes, the autumn edition. The hard lines of the wooden wall panels and the window frames clash cheerfully with the organic forms of interior pieces. More about that later.

It is the contrast of the materials that makes the design interesting. References to the environment place the interior design in the right context. It's all about storytelling. For example, with the aged brass we wanted to make a reference to the rural countryside where the forest house is located. Other choices were merely aesthetic, such as the semi-transparent curtains of smooth fabric, which beautifully filter the incoming sunlight.


The Hunt

In the production phase of the design process we went on several vintage shopping hauls. We knew we had to be patient to find the right pieces of furniture, but stumbled across surprising pieces that gave us even more than we were looking for. For example, we knew that a tapestry rug was needed to balance the acoustics with all the hard materials in the room and we came across a great vintage piece on our first visit to Decennia Design. It has all the colors of our autumn palette in it! We also found rare wall lights made of frosted glass and wood and a cute but chic cocktail chair. It is upholstered in this special boucle and sits perfectly.

Colors, Materials and Forms during the Furniture Selection Process.

We are almost there. The only thing we're still missing is a fairly specific cabinet to put the record player on and a floor lamp in the corner. The Artifort bar stools are almost delivered, we can't sleep out of excitement.

Just in time for early spring brunches!


Detailed Decisions

Below the progress in pictures. Slowly everything is coming together. We're still searching patiently for the last items, because you know what they say: The devil is in the details.

To Be Continued...

Make sure to check my Instagram highlight on the last updates of the forest house project and to see more of the building process.


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