Nordic Minimalism with Marieke Verdenius
The minimal design of Marieke Vedenius' old Amsterdam apartment is the epitome of calm simplicity. Muted, neutral tones and textures that capture the light. Modern furniture pieces and vintage hand-me-downs with a heap of history. Marieke's interior style is simple but full of depth.
The idea has endured and seems more relevant than ever. We're increasingly concerned about the negative effects of our consumerism. Budget fashion brands have made buying cheap, on-trend garments easy. Clothes are often poorly and unethically made and discarded at the end of a season. A capsule wardrobe offers an alternative to this fast fashion, encouraging us to buy less and buy better.
Her home is located near Museum Square, the bustling cultural heart of Amsterdam and a city centre location which the serenity of her apartment belies. Minimal Nordic design has had a big influence on Marieke but she also likes each space to have a sense of approachability. "Rooms need to feel cosy and inviting too", she says, "that's very important." Along with neat lines and cool colours, there are natural textiles like wood and wool to give a sense of comfort and homeliness.
Marieke only moved in a year ago but (despite feeling in need of a living room rug and some bedroom curtains) her design already feels very complete. She has chosen a palette of white, black, grey blue and grey green. "I love the basis of a room to be white" she says, "so you have a pure canvas to start with. It works with every other colour so, even if your style changes, you can always go back and combine it with new tones."
The bare bones of the building gave Marieke a good place to start when it came to her designing her interior. There are lots of beautiful, original details, she tells us. "A lot of woodwork was carefully made by hand. You don't see it that often anymore, unfortunately." There are also two black marble mantelpieces which, Marieke says, "give the living room so much character."
There's plenty of character in the furniture and accessories Marieke has brought to this apartment too. Vintage items Marieke has inherited from family members give her home a unique and personal touch. There's a small black coffee table given to her by her grandmother and a children's bookcase made by her grandfather which she has repurposed as storage for kitchen utensils. A wooden cabinet used by her father when he practiced dentistry is still filled with his equipment, more than 25 years old. "All of these items are very dear to me" says Marieke. These wonderful family heirlooms sit alongside modern design pieces like dramatic shelving from Scandinavian design company, String, and a minimalist dining table from Muuto.
The dining table feels like the heart of the home here. Food is a passion for Marieke. She works as a food stylist, writer and photographer and she's always happiest at home when there's some kind of food involved. "I love cooking in my kitchen or sitting out eating on my balcony in the summertime. "I am lucky to have a balcony big enough to invite friends for dinner too. I feel so much joy when we gather and share stories while enjoying good, simple food and wine."
Simplicity is a recurring theme throughout all aspects of Mariekeâ's life. Her photography is minimal just like her home. And achieving this style encourages Marieke to think carefully about the important and the inessential. "My photography makes me slow down a bit and focus on details that seem irrelevant because your eye has gotten used to them. Like a peeled grapefruit on a plate, there is so much beauty in this fruit made by nature“ or the plate itself, which somebody made by hand. Her photographs and her interior design demonstrate the idea that less is more and, for Marieke, the belief that "not wanting or needing everything and trying to be happy with what you already have" is the secret to contentment.