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Little Museum | Milkbottle

Little Museum

Curtains from England, pillows from Istanbul, and birds from all over the world….. Thanks to the creativity of the former director of the Singer Museum, Suzanna de Sitter, they fit perfectly together in her Bussum home, built in Amsterdam School style. ‘Individuality is very important in an interior’ . ‘We bought this house in 1985’, explains Suzanna de Sitter, seated behind a rather large pot of tea covered with a tea cosy in her country kitchen with its Aga stove. ‘This kitchen used to be the garage and the front door was also located somewhere else. The house was built between 1919 and 1925 by the architect Mastenbroek from the Amsterdam School. It was constructed in the middle of the path used by the farmers to bring their livestock to pasture from the village. That is also why the property has such as strange shape: long and fairly narrow.’

Elements from the Amsterdam School can be found throughout the house. No longer dark and stained, sometimes with a light coat of paint or a marble paint technique, but still prominently present. De Sitter deliberately preserved all the Amsterdam School elements and even introduced them here and there. She created the kitchen out of nothing, though it seems as if it had always been there. Suzanna: ‘The use of old materials was just in vogue when we came to live here, though it was nothing like it is today. But Van IJken in Eemnes, a household word in old building materials, happened to be around at the time. We found a batch of tiles, but unfortunately half of them had already been sold. Since there were not enough tiles for the entire kitchen, we set them in the pattern of a carpet.’ A trick that actually enhanced the look of the kitchen. For a long time, the kitchen had a large gap, where the Aga would be placed at some point. Indeed, there was another stove there, but after all the renovations, we had to wait until we replenished our funds in order to buy it. Suzanna: ‘My mother is English and she was always talking about it. It was something I always wanted. The Aga has been here for ten years now and has totally become my thing. It is great for cooking, and it heats this part of the house, which quickly becomes cold.’ Suzanna de Sitter is an art historian, specialised in the period around 1900. She was the director of the Singer Museum, among other things, and is now working on a book in collaboration with the Rembrandt Society. Interior design interests her professionally and as a hobby. ‘Interior design is my passion. I have read a lot about it. But I never wanted to make decorating my work although friends often ask me to decorate their homes.’

 

She designed the kitchen herself. The sun lounge was an existing design that she adapted to her needs. It became a wonderfully light area, first straight and then round, with a view of the beautiful garden.

 

 

The family dog The kitchen used to be a garage. Now one of the most important rooms in the house. They found a batch of tiles, but unfortunately half of them had already been sold. Since there were not enough tiles for the entire kitchen, they set them in the pattern of a carpet.’
left The family dog
right The kitchen used to be a garage. Now one of the most important rooms in the house. They found a batch of tiles, but unfortunately half of them had already been sold. Since there were not enough tiles for the entire kitchen, they set them in the pattern of a carpet.’
A small corner of the 'classic' living space ‘There is always a flora or fauna theme.’  Birds in particular can be found everywhere: in the paintings, in ceramics and nestled in the chandeliers.
left A small corner of the 'classic' living space
right ‘There is always a flora or fauna theme.’ Birds in particular can be found everywhere: in the paintings, in ceramics and nestled in the chandeliers.

Images: Dana van Leeuwen via Taverne Agency. Producer: Jessica Bouvy. Words: Lilian Polderman

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