Vintage dealer Marieke Jansen makes her dream home a reality

Katsura Imperial Villa Meets West Coast Modernism

Five years ago, Marieke Jansen, owner of MARIEKKE Vintage in Sint-Oedenrode, set out to design her dream home. She started with a small, uninhabitable farmhouse located on a picturesque plot overlooking the Dommel Nature Reserve. Today, her beautiful mid-century-modern-meets-Japanese-minimalist bungalow is a dream-come-true.

The house Marieke envisioned was inspired by her travels abroad—to America, Brazil, Scandinavia, Japan, and beyond—as well as by her great admiration for Case Study House No. 8, the iconic home of Charles and Ray Eames built in 1949 in California. In particular, she has always loved how the Eameses created a striking yet humble structure, like a blank canvas, a perfect backdrop to interiors enlivened by spirited furnishings and personal affects. With the help of Dutch firm RHAW Architecture, she was able to bring her vision into reality.

Marieke's new house presents a restrained form, rectilinear modules that encase a simple, black steel frame. As soon as you step in at the front door, the open-plan design is apparent—much like the Eameses’ home. The kitchen features a large cupboard wall, demurely separating the cooking area from living and dining spaces. The overall layout is spacious, conducive to a variety of arrangements.

The high windows fill the home with light and create a harmonious connection with the surrounding landscape. Natural materials have been used throughout the interior, such as wooden partitions and hardwood Fraké frames, further dissolving the distinction between inside and out. Occupying an elevated part of the property, Marieke's house is ideally sited to enjoy the delightful views of the green lawn, rippling pond, and earthy gravel paths.

The roof of the house has also been carefully considered; it purposefully extends out over the exterior walls to ensure that the sun radiates indirectly through the glass and to keep the interior cool in the summer. Yet enough light streams in to provide plenty of warmth in the winter.

When asked about her decision to keep the house’s architecture on the minimalist side and to allow the construction materials to remain exposed, Marieke explains that, “it is what it is, so you can take the interior in any direction that you want.” She adds: “Nothing extraneous has been added. The floor is a sand-cement, without tiles or parquet. The unstuccoed walls are made plywood. The beautiful powder-coated steel is in full sight. All this makes the house so pure!”

For the interior, Marieke chose to combine bohemian and 1980s styles. The former lends a homely feeling with a lot of atmosphere, while the latter introduces humor and light-heartedness. “These two styles are thought to be diametrically opposed,” Marieke says, “but actually this tension creates visual interest and makes the interior unique.” We couldn’t agree more.


*All images courtesy of Marieke Jansen of MARIEKKE Vintage