Known for its flat landscapes, fields filled with tulips inthe spring, and windmills, the Netherlands offers a unique design history. Although modern designers such as the fashion duo Viktor and Rolf have helped to take Dutch design into the 21st century, today we will be focusing on a traditional Dutch Renaissance home. Think of painters like Vermeer, Rembrandt, and Van Eyck when thinking of inspiration. While many Dutch painters did portraiture, the settings for these were often in domestic settings giving viewers a wonderful look into a home. These Dutch homes are often compact with charming details. If you’re interested in bringing a little bit of the Flemish Renaissance into your home, although with modern amenities, continue reading.
The Netherlands is at the heart of sea and land and the homes often played with this. Keep your walls white washed to help brighten a room. This also makes a room feel more humble especially compared to Italian Renaissance homes where there is more ornamentation. Exposed beams are often seen in these paintings and are emphasized by the stark white walls.
While the beds of that time were smaller (people were shorter back then) and arguably less comfortable, choosing a wood frame would fit into the Dutch aesthetic. Darker wood is preferred with a minimal amount of ornamentation if you want to follow the style more closely. Wood is a great material choice for your other furniture pieces as metal was more precious in those times and not seen as often.
When deciding on upholstery or linen colors consider a vibrant red, a favorite color of the artist Peter Paul Rubens, which can add richness to the room. At Floor Coverings International of the Piedmont Triad, we also think orange would also be an interesting choice as a possible nod to the royal family and is a little more quirky than a red.
One of the most prominent features in Dutch Renaissance paintings are the floors. They are often alternating black and white tile laid out in a diamond pattern. This layout often helps to make a space feel larger and grander. If a black and white color is not used, contrasting colors could be considered such as brown and a cream. Wood flooring is also seen, usually in a lighter stained wood. They are usually in an overlay pattern although an occasional herringbone pattern is seen, perhaps as a reference to the sea.
The Netherlands also brings to mind Delftware, a specialized pottery form originating from the city of Delft with inspiration from China and other Asian countries. These pottery pieces are known for the intricate patterns against pure white backdrops. The paintings often depict scenes of everyday life, with common objects such as windmills, tulips, and Dutch clogs often making appearances. While they may not offer the best flooring option, they look great as a backsplash or fireplace border. If you would rather just take the blue and white trend, a striking blue tiled floor can a help you bring a little Dutch-inspired look into your home.
Traditional Dutch Renaissance homes were compact but functional. This is a great time period to draw inspirations for comfort and style.