“We have many souvenirs from travels to Morocco, West Africa, and Rwanda that we treasure,” Stéphane says. Jeroen found the large drawing hanging above the living room’s fireplace in a Dutch thrift store, as an art student, and they had it framed in Canadian maple. The glass-cubes-turned-coffee-tables are from a museum nearby and match the one in their bedroom. “Our bedroom is the most classic room in the house, with lots of antique furniture,” Jeroen says. “We do pepper in some modern elements, too, [in order] to lighten things up.” In the kitchen, where they painted the cupboards a bright blue, there are even more trinkets hinting at warm memories or fortuitous deals.
Though they’ve curated each room and decided which pieces to proudly display, Jeroen continues to arrange it all to his liking. “I love change, and I’m constantly moving things around in small ways that aren’t too invasive,” he says. “I find a lot of pleasure in the details, and tablescaping is one of my favorite things. I love having people over for elaborate dinners and breakfasts. Even in the cupboards I make what I call ‘small scapes.’”
Their apartment is filled with all the good in their shared life, and whether that’s due to luck or timing, Stéphane and Jeroen are just happy to be experiencing it.
“I like to think that I’m safeguarding some of these items for the future,” Jeroen says. “I mean, life is temporary, and in the end we aren’t really owners of anything. When my time comes, I will have collected interesting items that will hopefully give lots of joy to other people who will then get to ‘own’ them for a while, too.