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A dash of French élégance in Amsterdam | Milkbottle

A dash of French élégance in Amsterdam

Adinda

Feminine, modish and a mix of modern pieces with antiques. Interior Designer Adinda van Oel’s personal style is natural and easy. “I don’t overthink my decisions and I keep it practical. Light is always my starting point and when an interior is done, I never change it.”

“I do switch up the colour of my bedlinen, replace art, or omit an accessory”, she admits. “That keeps a space fresh. But I never move the big pieces around. Ever.” Instead, she moves. Adinda lived in approximately 15 different homes over the past thirty years. Her first move was a big one: she left her native Holland and went to Lyon, the city she called home for the next three decades. In France she fell in love, got married, had three kids and a thriving career in high-fashion. Her love for fashion and interior design has many cross-overs. “My passion is to make things beautiful”, she explains. “Whether it is a shopwindow of one of our boutiques or a room in our house, I make a space come to life.” When her youngest daughter decided to attend university in Amsterdam, Adinda joined her. “My nest was empty and I had split up from my husband. It was 2015 and I was ready for a new adventure.” Upon arrival, the Amsterdam lifestyle felt like something out of a movie. “The Dutch are so happy!” Adinda exclaims. “With their bikes and their canals and their keep-it-real attitude. I am still sort of waiting for a director to yell ‘cut’ and for the end credits to roll.” In this movie-like setting, Adinda bought a one-bedroom apartment in a historic building. It had Dutch charm and French elegance. “I fell in love with the French balcony overlooking the street below and the original ornate plaster ceilings.” The foundation was there, but it wasn’t all good. The place felt cramped because of a dividing wall between the kitchen and living room. There wasn’t much natural light, and the bathroom was outdated. “I wanted light, light and light”, recalls Adinda, “and I showed a new layout to a contractor with whom I instantly had a great working relationship.” Within months, the kitchen wall came out, the bedroom got custom-made steel and glass ensuite doors, and the bathroom was gutted and rebuilt from scratch. Then Adinda got out the white paint. Layers and layers of it. “I gave the wooden floors a super glossy look. I also chose white for the walls and ceilings. And now the place is exploding with light.”

The living room, lamp and tray on the sofa by Philippe Starck. Art above the sofa is ‘Behave like art’ by Peter Büchler. Golden head/ table by Philippe Starck.
The living room, lamp and tray on the sofa by Philippe Starck. Art above the sofa is ‘Behave like art’ by Peter Büchler. Golden head/ table by Philippe Starck.
The kitchen, art above the counter is 'red horses' bought in Milan. Patio with a black rattan chair
left The kitchen, art above the counter is 'red horses' bought in Milan.
right Patio with a black rattan chair
Collection of shoes
Collection of shoes

Images: Tessa Jol via Taverne Agency. Production: Bastienne van Bockel. Text: Renske Werner. Philippe Starck

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