Traditional thatched houses have their own special charm and it is hard to imagine the landscapes of Northern Germany and the Netherlands without them. As quaint and historic as they are, these ancient homes often do not completely meet today's requirements of modern living—the low roofs and small windows rarely give generous and light-filled spaces inside.
Luckily in today's day and age, modern architects and interior designers have the technology and the know-how to transform such homes into manors that are functional for today's world. The architects at Reitsema & Partners Architecten BNA were commissioned to rehabilitate and modernize an old thatched house in Borkeld in the Netherlands, and they did an AMAZING job.
This outstanding country home not only appeals to its residents, but to outsiders as well. Take the tour, and you will see just how spectacular and innovative this country home has become!
Before we look at the rooms inside, we are going to show you the old fashioned exterior of the thatched house. As we can see from this image, the original architecture was preserved during the renovation work. With the extremely pulled down half-hipped roof, the brick facade, and the windows with glazing bars, the building looks very traditional and adapts to its environment quite harmoniously.
However, not all of the original features of this quaint home have been preserved. Naturally, some changes were made to meet the needs of the residents and to create a modern, light-filled living space. As part of the renovation, the architects enlarged the windows on the ground floor, making it easier for the sun to poke in and illuminate the home. An additional strip window was also installed in the thatched roof, bringing even more natural light in, consequently making a more energy-efficient home.
As we step inside this historic home, we see an incredible difference from the exterior to the interior design. What we have here is an interesting fusion between rustic and minimalist designs. We can see the rustic influences in the raw wooden features – such as the support beams and various pieces of furniture – and in the animal pelt throw rug. Minimalist features occupy the rest of the design, as we can see in the sparse decoration, neutral colour palette, and wide open space, transforming this old farmhouse into a luxurious home with contemporary style.
If you like the look of these wooden beams and have some in your home already, check out this Ideabook on how to clean and restore them!
Among one of the many surprises of this home, we find a small and quiet alcove, perfect for enjoying a cup of tea and reading your favourite book. Nestled in a quiet corner and away from the living room, a small secluded nook has been established for the residents, who wanted a place where they could spend some time alone. Sometimes a bit of alone time can be a good thing, especially when you can take some time to do things you enjoy, and this space accommodates this sentiment perfectly.
The vintage brown leather chair, raw wooden tables, and animal pelt throw rug add to the comfort and natural rustic charm of the space, and the bright white walls and floors create a feeling of neutrality—perfect when you want to retreat into a zone of calm.
For the next stop on our tour, we are taking you to the dining room, which is situated in a bright, friendly, light-filled space adjacent to the living room. In this room, as we have seen in the others, the focus is on a lot of bright white accompanied by rustic wooden accents. The wooden bookshelves and dining room table offer an old-timey feel, while the modern designer furniture and accessories form an exciting contrast to the classic elements and allow us to appreciate the home's contemporary nature.
To the right, we can see that the four-paned window comes with a sitting area on the window sill, equipped with comfortable cushions and decorative pillows – another great reading area, in our opinion!
Moving upstairs, we find ourselves in the master bedroom of this country home. The bedroom is located under the roof, in what is normally considered attic space, and is supplied with plenty of natural light thanks to the window band that was newly installed at the behest of the residents. Loads of light isn't the only thing that this window band has to offer – the residents also get to enjoy spectacular views of the picturesque wooden surroundings.
As with the rest of the interior, the bedroom walls were painted a glowing clean white, and the room itself was outfitted with all-white furniture and accents. This colour choice creates a serene sleeping area, making it the perfect place for unwinding at the end of the day.
As we show you the bathroom, we are sure you can already notice an incredible difference in the style of the bathroom compared to the other areas of the home. From the exterior, you certainly would not be expecting such a modern space. That is because the bathroom upstairs was designed at the request of the residents as a modern spa that invites you to relax and linger.
With grey stone and white fixtures, it shines on a very refreshing and reduced style of elegance. This bathroom exhibits all of the features of a luxurious hotel suite, making this home quite literally heaven on Earth.
Want to see another architectural masterpiece from the Netherlands? Check out this picturesque Dutch home!