4 Fun facts and tips on the Dutch home
This time a guest-blog from Frederike Schüller. In a former life, Frederike lived abroad for some years. Which is why she can take some distance from her own culture and explain you more about Dutch homes.
1. Steep stairs, why oh why?
Why are Dutch stairs often so steep? A bit of historical background: from the 17th century the golden rule was: the broader (‘lazier’ we say in Dutch) your stairs, the higher your social status. Broad stairs take up more space than steep stairs, asking for a bigger house… Next, to this, the government introduced a tax, based on the width of the houses that were built. Hence the vast number of narrow, tall, longhouses in the Netherlands! The rooms may have reasonable sizes but no space was left for a ‘decent’ staircase.
2. Be careful!
A little bit too often I hear from internationals that they have been ripped off by contractors or any other tradesmen doing jobs in and around the house. To be on the safe side ask you Dutch neighbours/colleagues and friends for reliable contacts. Consulting the Internet is an option, but doesn’t offer you much security. References out of first hand are always best!
3. Take a peek through my window
Unavoidable to notice I’m sure is the Dutch (Amsterdam) open-curtains-at-night policy. Where does this come from? Dutchies are quite sensible towards their status in society: 'Look at my place, how well we’re doing, everything looks amazing’! In the Netherlands the family is very important, they consider their home as their castle and the family has walled themselves in this castle. That’s what makes them proud and as such, they’d like to show you this.
4. Dutch design
Since late 1980s we build up a great modern design tradition, mostly due to the highly accessible and qualified Design Academies of Eindhoven and Amsterdam (Gerrit Rietveld Akademie). Good custom is that government and business communities contribute to the development of the designers. Well known contemporary designers are f.i. Maarten Baas, Hella Jongerius, Marcel Wanders, Scholten&Baijings and Piet Hein Eek. Just check them out on the internet, it’s really worth the time to peak at their work. If you wish to learn more about Dutch design, every year at the end of October the ‘Dutch Design Week’ takes place in Eindhoven, a fantastic innovative and creative show, seen as a huge event in the industry!
If you need any advice on how to style your (new) Dutch home, check me out at www.fresinteriors.nl and/or just write me an email: email@example.com
Have a happy stay in Holland!