Icon - Arrow LeftAn icon we use to indicate a rightwards action. Icon - Arrow RightAn icon we use to indicate a leftwards action. Icon - External LinkAn icon we use to indicate a button link is external. Icon - MessageThe icon we use to represent an email action. Icon - Down ChevronUsed to indicate a dropdown. Icon - CloseUsed to indicate a close action. Icon - Dropdown ArrowUsed to indicate a dropdown. Icon - Location PinUsed to showcase a location on a map. Icon - Zoom OutUsed to indicate a zoom out action on a map. Icon - Zoom InUsed to indicate a zoom in action on a map. Icon - SearchUsed to indicate a search action. Icon - EmailUsed to indicate an emai action. Icon - FacebookFacebooks brand mark for use in social sharing icons. flipboard Icon - InstagramInstagrams brand mark for use in social sharing icons. Icon - PinterestPinterests brand mark for use in social sharing icons. Icon - TwitterTwitters brand mark for use in social sharing icons. Icon - Check MarkA check mark for checkbox buttons.
You are reading

Black and White and Green All Over: At Home with a Dutch Botanical Artist

Search

Black and White and Green All Over: At Home with a Dutch Botanical Artist

November 10, 2017

Dutch artist-designer Maaike Koster wears a lot of hats, and all of them are leaf green: A botanical painter, she has her own online print emporium, My Deer Art Shop, and recently illustrated the indoor plant guide Urban Botanics. She also runs My Deer’s, a year-old design gallery in Haarlem, the Netherlands, arranged like a living room filled with art and greenery. It’s located within walking distance of her family home, and both showcase Koster’s work as an interior designer—one who, not surprisingly, has a way with houseplants. This past summer on Gardenista, we visited her flagship store—see Portraits of Plants by a Dutch Painter. We were so enchanted that today we’re paying her a house call.

Photography courtesy of Maaike Koster.

Located on a brick-paved street at the edge of Haarlem&#8
Above: Located on a brick-paved street at the edge of Haarlem’s city center, the mansard-roofed house was built in 1920 and retains its original stained-glass windows and paneled doors. The third floor is an addition that Koster designed to gain a master bedroom and studio after her two sons, now 5 and 7, were born.

Koster studied graphic design at the Royal Academy of Arts in the Hague; she worked as a media agency creative director before branching off on her own and devoting herself to her twin passions of botanical art and interior design. Her husband, Jeff, is the sales manager for Liebherr in the Netherlands. They use their curious cargo bike—Urban Arrow’s Family model—to transport their kids to school (the front chamber opens into a seat) and to carry things to and from the store.

&#8
Above: “We combined the house’s classical details with modern/Scandinavian influences, and, of course, lots of plants,” Koster tells us. “To me, it’s the combination of styles that makes an interior dynamic and interesting.”

White-painted wood floors throughout set the Nordic tone: “We started with two layers of primer and finished with two layers of Sikkens Rubbol BL Satura, which doesn’t require a top coat.”

Flying High and other prints from Koster&#8
Above: Flying High and other prints from Koster’s bird series hang above an Eames lounge. Read the surprising history of the iconic chair in Object Lessons.
The marble mantel is original; Koster uses it to display simple greenery, such as epiphytes and cuttings in clear glass vases. Note that she keeps the surrounding wall free of art to balance the busy surroundings and instill an overall tranquility. The living room opens to a leafy terrace.
Above: The marble mantel is original; Koster uses it to display simple greenery, such as epiphytes and cuttings in clear glass vases. Note that she keeps the surrounding wall free of art to balance the busy surroundings and instill an overall tranquility. The living room opens to a leafy terrace.

The succulent in the gray pot by the French doors is a type of lepismium. The hanging plants include ric rac cactus (Cryptocereus anthonyanus) and string of hearts (Ceropegia woodii).

A discreet corner of the living room is the used as the TV room. The print wall displays an array of Koster&#8
Above: A discreet corner of the living room is the used as the TV room. The print wall displays an array of Koster’s work, including her String of Pearls, Pilea Peperomiodes, and Monstera prints. Sold in limited editions, they start at €49.50 ($57.37) for the 30-by-40-centimeter (11.8-by-15.7-inch) size.
The TV area is painted celery to set it off from the rest of the space. In every room, Koster adeptly pairs her prints with live plants.
Above: The TV area is painted celery to set it off from the rest of the space. In every room, Koster adeptly pairs her prints with live plants.
Koster adheres to an all-over palette of white, gray, green, and black.
Above: Koster adheres to an all-over palette of white, gray, green, and black.
Original leaded-glass sliding doors open to the kitchen.
Above: Original leaded-glass sliding doors open to the kitchen.
Koster replaced the existing -square-meter (
Above: Koster replaced the existing 20-square-meter (215-square-foot) kitchen with Miele appliances and stainless steel cabinetry customized for the space. The solid oak table is Koster’s own design; it’s surrounded by brown leather cube-shaped chairs from Cor.
A wall of Miele stainless steel cabinets incorporates, from left: an electric steamer with oven function and a fridge underneath; a built-in coffee machine (in the center) over a warming drawer and a freezer; and a pressure steam oven atop a microwave and a fridge and freezer. All appliances are by Miele.
Above: A wall of Miele stainless steel cabinets incorporates, from left: an electric steamer with oven function and a fridge underneath; a built-in coffee machine (in the center) over a warming drawer and a freezer; and a pressure steam oven atop a microwave and a fridge and freezer. All appliances are by Miele.

The pedal trash can is the Kickmaster from German brand Wesco. (Browse our Trash and Recycling archive to see more of our favorites.)

Koster masses small cactuses on the marble mantel of the kitchen fireplace, which, like its mate in the living room, is fitted with a gas burner. The woven bamboo light over the table is from Danish company Bloomingville.
Above: Koster masses small cactuses on the marble mantel of the kitchen fireplace, which, like its mate in the living room, is fitted with a gas burner. The woven bamboo light over the table is from Danish company Bloomingville.
The doors have numbers in the otherwise entirely white second floor hall. The room at the end is a walk-in closet.
Above: The doors have numbers in the otherwise entirely white second floor hall. The room at the end is a walk-in closet.
The house&#8
Above: The house’s tall ceilings allowed Koster to introduce loft beds and industrial hanging lights in each of her sons’ rooms.
The desk wall is set off by a band of dark green; all else is painted white. The Spotted Eagle Ray and other prints are all by Koster.
Above: The desk wall is set off by a band of dark green; all else is painted white. The Spotted Eagle Ray and other prints are all by Koster.
The second floor&#8
Above: The second floor’s Calacatta marble bath was the master bath before the couple had kids and added a third floor to the house. Go to Remodeling 101 to learn the differences between Carrara, Calacatta, and Statuary marble.
The custom sinks were fabricated locally from -centimeter-thick (3.9-inch-thick) solid marble.
Above: The custom sinks were fabricated locally from 10-centimeter-thick (3.9-inch-thick) solid marble.
The attic master bedroom has an en suite bath with a pebble floor. &#8
Above: The attic master bedroom has an en suite bath with a pebble floor. “I wanted to create a spa feeling, and I like the combination of wood and stone,” says Koster.
The Flos half lamps over the bed are made of a plaster-like composite; they&#8
Above: The Flos half lamps over the bed are made of a plaster-like composite; they’re from a Soft Architecture line that seems to have been discontinued.
Bedroom and bath are fully incorporated. A vintage apple-picking ladder serves as a towel rack.
Above: Bedroom and bath are fully incorporated. A vintage apple-picking ladder serves as a towel rack.
Koster used old wooden table as the base for twin countertop basins from Villeroy & Bosch.
Above: Koster used old wooden table as the base for twin countertop basins from Villeroy & Bosch.
The freestanding tub is positioned in front of a dormer window.
Above: The freestanding tub is positioned in front of a dormer window.
Koster&#8
Above: Koster’s My Deer Art Shop was born in her attic workspace.
She stores, signs, and packs prints at a standing counter made of plywood. The cream-colored leather cabinet Loop Handles are from Design Studio Nu, a design duo based in Delft. The white five-drawer unit is the Alex from Ikea.
Above: She stores, signs, and packs prints at a standing counter made of plywood. The cream-colored leather cabinet Loop Handles are from Design Studio Nu, a design duo based in Delft. The white five-drawer unit is the Alex from Ikea.
Koster tailor-made her open storage and wraparound workspace.
Above: Koster tailor-made her open storage and wraparound workspace.
The house is now 0 square meters (approximately
Above: The house is now 200 square meters (approximately 2,152 square feet), thanks to the addition of the third floor. Maaike has a photo studio on the second floor and her office in the attic. She’s currently finishing up work on a new house near the old one, and the family will be moving soon—stay tuned. Follow her on Instagram at @mydeernl and explore her Haarlem shop on Gardenista.

Explore three more artist residences around the world:

Product summary  

Have a Question or Comment About This Post?

Join the conversation

v5.0