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A holiday home in Renesse, Netherlands

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dream holiday home doesn’t have to be flashy and luxurious. Simple, solid design and a practical interior accented by occasional flashes of unexpected elegance are all that’s needed to make a holiday home feel, well, like a home.

Dutch architects Bongers Architecten have got their priorities right with this beautiful house in Renesse. It has a robust simplicity that makes it easy to imagine it as the site of many a successful family holiday. At the same time, however, its contemporary updates to a classic design and innovations in use of glass and light mean it has so much more to offer than just pure functionality. Let’s visit the house on a rainy day to find out a bit more.

Beautiful inside and out

 Garden by Bongers Architecten
Bongers Architecten

Achterzijde moderne recreatiewoning

Bongers Architecten

The degree to which this is true naturally varies depending on location and climate, but as a general rule, a lot of the living done on holiday will not be done inside the house at all, but around its exterior and grounds. That’s why creating social spaces outside the house can be every bit as important doing so within the interior. In this case, two separate seating areas offer ample options for outdoor wining, dining and chatting, while a generous area of decking along the side of the house allows for barbecues and larger social gatherings.

At the same time, the structure of the porch area, with its full glass windows, reduces the barrier between indoors and out. The old-fashioned, chunky wooden beams and sloping roof (which seems to provide a natural home for that solar panel) offer a nice counterpoint to this glass-heavy, contemporary aspect of the building.

​Careful contrasts

 Living room by Bongers Architecten
Bongers Architecten

Woonruimte recreatiwoning

Bongers Architecten

Inside the home, low, aged beams and a staircase design featuring an abundance of pale wood contrast wonderfully with that trio of silver, teardrop-shaped lamps. Brightly coloured chairs add unexpected spice to the look.

​Sublime simplicity

The open-plan space continues around the corner, turning into this simple living room area complete with super-comfy red L-shaped sofa. The coloured leather continues the bright look already seen in the dining room area. Meanwhile, the lamps seen behind also reference the dining room, as they are inverted versions of the ones seen there. 

​The right focus

Where many living rooms tend to place a TV at the focal point of the room, this one offers a much less invasive alternative: a roaring wood-burning fire. Despite this more wholesome choice, however, there is still a touch of the TV in the boxy, screen-like shape of the fireplace.

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