Explore Carice van Houten’s Amsterdam home

The Game of Thrones actress found a kindred spirit in Dutch studio Atelier ND when it came to realising her interior dreams

carise van houten
Space Content studio

‘I like crazy and I love colour but, this time around, I was the subdued one,’ says interior designer Nicole Dohmen with a hint of disbelief. The founder of the Dutch studio Atelier ND found a kindred spirit in the form of actress Carice van Houten (perhaps best known for her role as the witch Melisandre in the fantasy TV show Game of Thrones) when she was tasked with renovating her new countryside home.

Unlike her famous character, Carice – who shares this home with her son Monte and partner, fellow actor Guy Pearce – is drawn to the brighter side of life. ‘I wanted colour, I knew that,’ she explains, ‘but I got lost in all of the options.’

It was while walking in Amsterdam, the capital city she recently abandoned for a slice of idyllic life in the surrounding countryside a short drive away, that she spotted Atelier ND’s showroom window. ‘That was what I wanted!’ she exclaims. ‘It was love at first sight.’

carise van houten home
Space Content studio

Before any colour or pattern could be chosen, though, much had to happen to the structure of the house. The stairs were moved to the centre, walls were knocked down to make way for a more open-plan layout, and small windows were replaced with large, sunken window frames that provide cosy seating nooks.

It was Guy who took control of this side of the project. When it came to the kaleidoscope of an interior that Carice and Nicole were busy planning, he was not always as on board. ‘In one of our meetings, he uttered the legendary words: “It’s like Katy Perry on speed,”’ recalls Nicole, with a laugh. ‘So that idea didn’t make the cut.’

carise van houten home
Space Content studio

What did make the final edit is a well-balanced and pleasurable assault on the senses. The creative scheme began with the pink polka-dot ‘Hex’ wallpaper by Kelly Wearstler, which now makes a welcoming statement in the entrance hall.

From there, the palette expanded and developed. ‘None of the walls are white, but the calm lilac hue that appears throughout is very soft. And repetition helps,’ adds Nicole. ‘You have to let elements replay now and then, like the kiwi-green colour of the living room sofa that returns on the railing along the stairs.’

carise van houten home
Space Content studio

Furnishing a home with this much personality could have proved a challenge, but Nicole took her cues from Carice’s wardrobe, which she describes as ‘a little bit Gucci, a little bit vintage’. Together, the pair went out in search of pre-loved iconic designs by the likes of Tobia Scarpa and Michel Ducaroy, which have been reupholstered in knockout fabrics from Pierre Frey and Élitis.

To these classics they have added contemporary items by forward-thinking designers, such as Dirk van der Kooij and Sabine Marcelis, both of whom use recycled plastic and resin in exciting ways.

‘People who visit say the house reflects my personality,’ says Carice. ‘I really wanted a super-cool home where I would want to spend most of my time. My life has been quite restless until now. I was always on the road. This has to be our safe haven, where we find rest.’ atelierndinterior.com

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