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Elevating the Everyday: At Home with Sanne Hop and Family in the Netherlands

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Elevating the Everyday: At Home with Sanne Hop and Family in the Netherlands

March 11, 2019

Last June when Sanne Hop and her family of six moved from their apartment in a historic building in Amsterdam to a just-built house in the suburbs, I was one of the 94,700 people avidly following along. Since then, we’ve been there to experience—via Instagram (@sanne hop)—life with a toddler (when will three-year-old Kaatje agree to decamp from her parents’ bed?), the red bike Pippa got for her sixth birthday, and the alder cones they all recently gathered to make dye for wooden beads. Just the other day, we all coveted the new hand-felted light hanging over the dining table.

At a time when so much in the world feels fraught, Sanne’s chronicles of her family life are a reassuring celebration of the everyday—a style-conscious version of The Waltons for the social media era. Of course it helps that Sanne has an eye for simple beauty (she also has a PhD in history and is currently a full-time mother). Like her sister Tessa, a fellow Insta star and mother of four—see Ideas to Steal from Tessa Hop’s Organized and Serene Home—Sanne takes great joy in tweaking her nest. Sanne’s husband, Wim de Boer, is an art director who runs his own agency, and together they came up with the design for the interior of their house, which was built as part of an enclave of six houses with a shared garden (all left unfinished to suit each buyer). “So many decisions had to be made, big ones, like the walls and stair, and countless little ones,” says Sanne. “It was a lot of work, but in the end, it feels so satisfying because it resembles completely who we are.” Join us for an inside look.

Photography by Sanne Hop unless noted.

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Above: “We loved the idea of living somewhere less busy and more green. Then we found this project by accident and fell in love,” says Sanne.

The two-story wood and concrete house is in the planned enclave of Almere, 25 minutes east of Amsterdam. It was designed by architect Michael van Leeuwen of Sluijmer en Van Leeuwen, who helped the couple implement their ideas for the interior: “We made the plans ourselves but checked with Michael to see if they all could be arranged in a technical way,” says Sanne. “He came up with the final drawings for us.” The second story (not visible from this angle), where the kids’ rooms are situated, has an in-progress roof terrace. Photograph by Wim de Boer.

Designed as the central hub, the ground floor has an open-plan kitchen and living area with a concrete floor and stair. &#8
Above: Designed as the central hub, the ground floor has an open-plan kitchen and living area with a concrete floor and stair. “Figuring out the placement and look of the stair was a big challenge,” says Sanne. Downstairs is approximately 1,600 square feet and upstairs is half that.
The centerpiece of the house is the kitchen designed by Kine and Kristoffer of Ask og Eng, who are part of Sanne&#8
Above: The centerpiece of the house is the kitchen designed by Kine and Kristoffer of Ask og Eng, who are part of Sanne’s Instagram coterie of kindred-spirit friends. Hearing of her interest via direct message, they traveled from Oslo, Norway, to Almere to see the house in its raw state and work with Sanne and Wim on the details. Ask og Eng specializes in bespoke kitchens, such as this, and also makes fronts for Ikea cabinets, all of bamboo: see Kitchen Cabinet Fronts Made of a Surprise Sustainable Material.

The family’s four kids‚ Ole, 1o, Hannes, 8, Pippa, 6, and Kaatje, 3, are shown here making hand-dipped candles.

A painting by Sanne&#8
Above: A painting by Sanne’s father hangs over the counter.”He was a very talented photographer. It’s from him that I learned to pay attention to the small things.” Photograph by Wim de Boer.
The stained bamboo cabinets are topped with a bamboo counter in Ask og Eng&#8
Above: The stained bamboo cabinets are topped with a bamboo counter in Ask og Eng’s Wheat finish. The overhead box shelf is also an Ask og Eng design. The E27 hanging lights are by Muuto, and currently on sale for $80.27 at DWR.
Thrilled to be living for the first time with so much space, Sanne and Wim wanted to keep the main room open and flexible. In contrast to Sanne&#8
Above: Thrilled to be living for the first time with so much space, Sanne and Wim wanted to keep the main room open and flexible. In contrast to Sanne’s sister Tessa’s carefully finished, clean-lined quarters, a tranquil, bohemian vibe rules here. Play areas are set up all over and nothing is precious: most of the furnishings are vintage finds that traveled with the family from Amsterdam.

Thanks to her many maker fans on Instagram, Sanne is often offered clothing and goods in exchange for an appearance on her feed. She says she’s very selective about these sponsorships: “I try to keep true to ourselves and only accept things we can use that really suit us.”

The main entry doubles as the kids&#8
Above: The main entry doubles as the kids’ crafting area. “Instead of having an entry hall, we decided to just keep it all open,” says Sanne, noting that there’s a sliding door that can be pulled shut as need be. The secret to keeping everything looking good? The furnishings and toys are all made of wood and other natural materials—there’s no plastic here—and everyone tidies up just before dinner.
The family&#8
Above: The family’s dining table is by Dutch furniture workshop Slow Wood. We love that it’s circular,” says Sanne, “it gives a very cozy feeling to sit around it all together.” The light is the family’s just-introduced wool felt pendant by Lumalano.

The walls throughout are finished with “a woven wallpaper to prevent cracking” and painted a pure white.

A wall of glass doors connect the living area to the terrace and yard. The table shown here is an extra set up when friends come for dinner. The birch basket on the stair wall is by Remodelista favorite Verso Design of Finland.
Above: A wall of glass doors connect the living area to the terrace and yard. The table shown here is an extra set up when friends come for dinner. The birch basket on the stair wall is by Remodelista favorite Verso Design of Finland.
A weekend morning. Sanne says she photographs &#8
Above: A weekend morning. Sanne says she photographs “the little moments of childhood I hope not to forget.”

Her best Instagram captions verge on poetry: “Trying to drink my coffee hot. One is coming in to ask for help with his knitting; another asks to fix a broken bracelet, beads on the floor everywhere. Little K is not feeling well and wants me to come over to read her a book on the sofa. Little voices constantly talking. Suddenly they spot a beautiful bird on the grass outside. They all grab their coats and binoculars, and run outside telling me they’re going on a bird expedition. All their questions are forgotten for the moment.”

Behind the stairs, a quiet work space with clean-up tools at the ready.
Above: Behind the stairs, a quiet work space with clean-up tools at the ready.
The master bedroom is situated at the far end of the entry. The simple oak bed frame came from a local store and the curtains are hand-me-downs from a friend.
Above: The master bedroom is situated at the far end of the entry. The simple oak bed frame came from a local store and the curtains are hand-me-downs from a friend.
A family-size bathtub—the Solidellipse from Ideavit with a copper standing spout by Hotbath—is situated in the middle of the bedroom. There&#8
Above: A family-size bathtub—the Solidellipse from Ideavit with a copper standing spout by Hotbath—is situated in the middle of the bedroom. There’s a shower and sink on the other side of the partition. The woven bathmat is from Zara Home.
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Above: “We tried to make it as simple as possible: a small sink on a wooden shelf,” says Sanne.
For the first time, each of the kids has his or her own room. Sanne bought Ole&#8
Above: For the first time, each of the kids has his or her own room. Sanne bought Ole’s vintage bed at an Amsterdam flea market and found baskets sized to fit underneath. The woven light is from Les Petites Emplettes: see Everyday Luxuries from a Shop in a Chateau.
A vintage botanical chart hangs in Hannes&#8
Above: A vintage botanical chart hangs in Hannes’s room over a rattan bed. For similar designs, see The New Rattan Daybed.
At their architect&#8
Above: At their architect’s suggestion, Sanne and Wim installed boys’ and girls’ bathrooms upstairs, each with an Alape bucket sink (now available at Rejuvenation). Sanne suspended a pole from the kids’ unused tipi to create storage that she uses for all sorts of things, including hanging the next day’s school clothes. Here, a hand towel is clipped to a rope and a canvas toiletry kit from Manufactum serves as a catchall.
The girls&#8
Above: The girls’ bath has rattan corner drawers from a thrift store and a Le Repère des Belettes rattan mirror.
Pippa&#8
Above: Pippa’s bed was made by a family friend; it’s modeled after a design Sanne loved from the now defunct Paris store Serendipity. Note the accordion peg rack; to source your own, go to Five Favorites.
When Kaatje is ready to migrate to her own room, an antique cast-iron bed awaits. The hanging canopy is from Numero 74.
Above: When Kaatje is ready to migrate to her own room, an antique cast-iron bed awaits. The hanging canopy is from Numero 74.
Watermelon on the back terrace. Photograph by Wim de Boer.
Above: Watermelon on the back terrace. Photograph by Wim de Boer.

Three more young, creative families (who all cheer one another on via Instagram):

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