Commissioned by a young family to transform two wooden bungalows in the Dutch countryside into a modern residence to escape to, interior designer Carl Devin Wesselius of Amsterdam-based Studio Asker created a minimalist yet soulful retreat inspired by the calming rural landscape. Surrounded by a swimming pond and overlooking a wooded area, the building’s idyllic rural setting is the epitome of peacefulness and tranquillity which explains why Dutch painter and sculptor W. G. Van der Hulst chose this place to build his studio house back in 1964. Reimagined as a contemporary Scandinavian cabin, Van der Huslt’s former abode is the perfect weekend getaway to escape city life and reconnect with nature.
Natural wood finishes dominate the interiors, from floors, walls and ceilings, to doors, windows and furniture, with natural stone and lime paint surfaces providing balance. Combined with a minimalist design language of clean lines, simple forms and muted tones, large patio doors and windows, and an open-plan layout for the communal areas, the house feels light and airy but at the same time warm and cosy, making the house ideal for both the summer and winter months, as do spacious terraces, a large fireplace and a hot tub with views of the abundant nature surrounding the property.
The house’s simplicity however somewhat belies Wesselius’ attention to detail. A quality oak without knots was chosen for the floors and ceilings with the boards purposefully designed wider than usual, the spruce wall cladding was installed in continuous panels to avoid vertical lines, and the selection of slightly longer bricks for the fireplace reflects the bungalow’s horizontal characteristics. Likewise, the simple and functional built-in furnishings are a showcase for carefully executed wooden joints and handcrafted finishes, while the thoughtful combination of soft plaster, dark oiled teak and black accents imbues the bathrooms with a spa-like ambience.
The understated sophistication of Wesselius’ interior design is further enhanced by the eclectic collection of contemporary furniture that combines elegance with durability. Examples include limited edition oak and linen canvas armchairs from Paris-based Studio HAOS, an oak coffee table coffee table by Dutch designer Roderick Vos for Linteloo inspired by Piet Mondrian and Russian Constructivism, and slender oak dining chairs by Danish brand Brdr. Krüger.