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100 Percent Handmade: Valentin Loellmann’s Historic River House in Maastricht

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100 Percent Handmade: Valentin Loellmann’s Historic River House in Maastricht

June 4, 2018

In 2012, German designer Valentin Loellmann took a risk on a listed heritage building in one of Maastricht’s most sought-after neighborhoods along the Maas river. The building, a former stable house, was missing a roof, all its windows, and electricity, “but I wasn’t afraid of what it would take to fix it up,” he says. It took him two years to acquire the permits to renovate the historic building, but only two months to finish the project. The result is a completely hand-built interior, with plaster walls, a carved oak staircase, handmade tile, and patinated brass kitchen cabinets—all by Valentin. Join us for a tour.

Photography by Jonas Loellmann, courtesy of Valentin Loellmann Studio.

The upper floor had to be completely rebuilt. Valentin designed the bedroom addition with a pitched roof with rounded corners and a glass wall that was “pretty hard to get through the planning commission.”
Above: The upper floor had to be completely rebuilt. Valentin designed the bedroom addition with a pitched roof with rounded corners and a glass wall that was “pretty hard to get through the planning commission.”

Valentin, who grew up in a rural part of southern Germany, moved to the Netherlands to study product design at the Maastricht Academy of Fine Arts & Design and opened his Maastricht atelier in 2010.

The glass wall is divided into three sections, with the outer framing hidden within the wall. The Calder-inspired mobile, visible through the window, was a childhood birthday present made by Valentin’s father.
Above: The glass wall is divided into three sections, with the outer framing hidden within the wall. The Calder-inspired mobile, visible through the window, was a childhood birthday present made by Valentin’s father.
The floors on the upper level were salvaged from Valentin’s first Art Basel solo show. The oak planks were cut to mimic the shape of a tree, then charred and polished. The curtains are hand-dyed indigo linen by local artist and friend Julia Fischer.
Above: The floors on the upper level were salvaged from Valentin’s first Art Basel solo show. The oak planks were cut to mimic the shape of a tree, then charred and polished. The curtains are hand-dyed indigo linen by local artist and friend Julia Fischer.
A carved plank of natural oak is set into the plaster wall as part of the bed frame.
Above: A carved plank of natural oak is set into the plaster wall as part of the bed frame.
A dressing room that Valentin and his girlfriend converted for their one-year-old daughter. The built-in cabinet is made of charred oak with a leather pad on top and the staircase to the left leads to the main bedroom.
Above: A dressing room that Valentin and his girlfriend converted for their one-year-old daughter. The built-in cabinet is made of charred oak with a leather pad on top and the staircase to the left leads to the main bedroom.
Valentin designed and built the stair using reclaimed oak wine barrels, which he carved to achieve a curved shape.
Above: Valentin designed and built the stair using reclaimed oak wine barrels, which he carved to achieve a curved shape.
The bathtub was fashioned from rosewood.
Above: The bathtub was fashioned from rosewood.

Valentin made the dining table in the main living space from a single piece of polished wenge wood; the storage dining bench is made of oak with woven cane panels covering the heating vents. The pendant light and stools are from Valentin’s collection, the high chair is vintage by Nanna Ditzel, and an Eames Molded Plywood Chair occupies a corner.
Above: Valentin made the dining table in the main living space from a single piece of polished wenge wood; the storage dining bench is made of oak with woven cane panels covering the heating vents. The pendant light and stools are from Valentin’s collection, the high chair is vintage by Nanna Ditzel, and an Eames Molded Plywood Chair occupies a corner.
The sofa is a Hay Mags 3-Seater Sofa in leather and the rug is a gift from Valentin’s mother, who works in Africa. The floors are made of hand-polished poplar.
Above: The sofa is a Hay Mags 3-Seater Sofa in leather and the rug is a gift from Valentin’s mother, who works in Africa. The floors are made of hand-polished poplar.

The kitchen is entirely new, though Valentin says, “there really wasn’t anything there before to remove.” The cabinets are handmade from patinated brass and the counter is carved oak finished with hardwax. The tile backsplash is made from tiles Valentin made in his father’s studio (his father is a ceramicist) as a child. The porcelain kitchen sink was found in the basement of the house.
Above: The kitchen is entirely new, though Valentin says, “there really wasn’t anything there before to remove.” The cabinets are handmade from patinated brass and the counter is carved oak finished with hardwax. The tile backsplash is made from tiles Valentin made in his father’s studio (his father is a ceramicist) as a child. The porcelain kitchen sink was found in the basement of the house.
The kitchen floor is Wall2Floor micro-cement with radiant heating beneath. The lights are Serge Mouille: the 1-Arm Rotating Sconce and 2-Arm Rotating Sconce.
Above: The kitchen floor is Wall2Floor micro-cement with radiant heating beneath. The lights are Serge Mouille: the 1-Arm Rotating Sconce and 2-Arm Rotating Sconce.
The window/doorway from the kitchen leads to an orangerie. The chair is vintage from Japan and is positioned in front of a caned front radiator cover.
Above: The window/doorway from the kitchen leads to an orangerie. The chair is vintage from Japan and is positioned in front of a caned front radiator cover.
The carved wooden spoon and ceramic vases are both handmade.
Above: The carved wooden spoon and ceramic vases are both handmade.
Charred and polished oak wood floors in the hallway that leads to one of the two baths in the house. The light fixtures were carved by Valentin from oak (pendant) and walnut (ceiling light).
Above: Charred and polished oak wood floors in the hallway that leads to one of the two baths in the house. The light fixtures were carved by Valentin from oak (pendant) and walnut (ceiling light).
The main staircase between lower and upper floors is made of cement formed around the original stair. The floor tiles are leather, ceramic, steel, and wood, made by Valentin’s sister, Miriam Loellmann, who lives and works in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Above: The main staircase between lower and upper floors is made of cement formed around the original stair. The floor tiles are leather, ceramic, steel, and wood, made by Valentin’s sister, Miriam Loellmann, who lives and works in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Valentin was mid-construction when a storm flooded the garden. “The sun came out and there was this shimmering light throughout the entire house reflected from the water, so I figured we needed a pool,” he says. Next to the pool are two lounge chairs from a vintage furniture dealer in Brazil.
Above: Valentin was mid-construction when a storm flooded the garden. “The sun came out and there was this shimmering light throughout the entire house reflected from the water, so I figured we needed a pool,” he says. Next to the pool are two lounge chairs from a vintage furniture dealer in Brazil.
The pool started as a small pond but ended up morphing into a lap pool. It’s made of concrete that Valentin painted blue (“I change it every year,” he says). The garden beyond was created in levels: a stone terrace and wood pergola, the pool, and the grass field beyond.
Above: The pool started as a small pond but ended up morphing into a lap pool. It’s made of concrete that Valentin painted blue (“I change it every year,” he says). The garden beyond was created in levels: a stone terrace and wood pergola, the pool, and the grass field beyond.
A large mimosa tree in bloom meets the second floor of the house.
Above: A large mimosa tree in bloom meets the second floor of the house.

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