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How To – Part 3 – Go Dutch

Dutch designers and Dutch design are very original and choosing to ‘Go Dutch’ is a great achievement in that you are not afraid to design your home differently to other mainstream trends. There is a lot of minimalism in Dutch interior design and great attention is given to each individual piece and component of the house.

Another element of Dutch design that can also be optional is a very light-hearted and somewhat witty approach to designs. Of course, it isn’t only about appearances and nearly every part of Dutch design will be both appealing on the ye but functional for the home dweller.

Essentially, Dutch interiors are modern and minimalist yet the approach is slightly different to its neighbouring Scandinavian style as it aims to compliment contemporary with a more rustic feel – recycling natural materials to make furniture and with a strong focus on green living. This isn’t to be confused with ‘country charm’ or ‘shabby chic’ either – it is a unique style that is rare to come by and all the more appealing for it.

Here are a few points to consider when you want to go Dutch:

* Natural materials and fabrics without demanding patterns or prints.
* Raw woods that haven’t been varnished, stained or painted.
* Walls and furnishings should be white and/or a mixture of light neutrals which will work best with the presence of wood furniture.
*Simple lines but layered fabrics.

The more playful side of Dutch design also lends a hand to its most loved painters such as the Baroque painter Vermeer who was famed for his use of a vivid cornflower blue in paintings against muted backgrounds. You could try this in your home by placing a wood panelling around the bottom half of one wall, maybe in the hallway and painting in it in the brilliant cornflower blue and keeping the painted wall above in a neutral beige or thundercloud grey.

Fabrics are so important in the Dutch design and to get it right you need to think about the art of layering, the use of natural materials and mixing textures – both smooth and rough, modern and rustic if you like. Achieve the look with layering two curtain fabrics in a block colour – it could be white with another neutral or a neutral hanging over a colour such as the cornflower blue or a vibrant yellow. Keep the lighter colour to the front, in a lighter voile fabric and let it hang so that leaves about a foot of the back curtain in view.

When not using unfinished wood flooring you can always use a large chequerboard flooring in the kitchen and/or bathroom. Whether you go for a traditional black and white checker or play with colour will boil down to your own take on the Dutch style. From floors to the ceiling – if your home has naturally exposed ceiling beams then you are definitely onto a winner – just keep the varnish away!

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