This week, The Socialite Family have been to a little village not far from Amsterdam, to pay a call on the lovely Tessa. Tessa is a...
Natural light filters through the multiple windows in Sanne’s house. Mother of four, the love was immediate when seeing the building on the banks of the Amstel, in which her small troop of blond haired babies will evolve with for years to come. An intimate space inhabited by natural materials such as wood, wool and linen reflect Sanne’s growing envy for desire and purity. Desire that continues in a decoration which is self-sufficient, simple and ultra functional. Here, every object is of use to something. Even the bedrooms, the children are switchable according to the individual needs of each. A palette of possibilities that almost equals that of faded clouds, stoke the idea of a light show. Making the slightest ray of sunshine dance relies on the pristine white walls of which are impressive. A refreshing, impish and unadorned atmosphere flourishes in a place steeped in history generating a glowing aura.
Sanne, could you present yourself?
My name is Sanne Hop and I am 36 years old. I live in the middle of Amsterdam with my husband Wim and our four children: Ole, Hannes, Pippa and Kaatje.
How is your daily life with 4 kids in Amsterdam?
Strange as it may sound when living in the city, our daily life is pretty quiet at the moment. Because of our little baby Kaatje, we need some more peace and quiet in our lives. It’s already busy enough with the school routines. The boys attend a Montessori school nearby. On our route to school, we go through the Utrechtsestraat with lots of lovely boutiques, coffee places and a playground around the corner. This we enjoy on a daily basis. If the weather is good, we just hang around the school playground for a while and then we walk home in a very relaxed tempo. At home we play games, listen to music, read books and while I prepare food in the kitchen, the children play or help me. Our apartment is located on the Amstel river, and we all love to watch the many boats passing by.
Since how long have you lived in this house?
We’ve been living in this house for almost ten years now. In the beginning, these were two apartments, which we later unified into one spacious apartment. This happened at the time when I was pregnant with Ole, our first boy. By then we didn’t think we would have 3 more children, so we did not create enough bedrooms for each to have a separate one. Our boys share a big room now, which used to be our living room, and luckily they both enjoy this very much. Pippa has her own room and Kaatje still sleeps with us. Possibly the girls will also share a room in a few years, if they enjoy it as much as their brothers do.
Where do you spend most of your time in the house?
One of the things I really love about our apartment is the amount of natural light that comes in, because of the many windows. Especially in the bathroom, the kitchen, and the living room the light is amazing. Because of that, I think I just feel equally happy to be in either one of those areas. I spend a lot of time in the kitchen, which I honestly love because I like cooking and it’s a great space. There is a cozy bar, where the children often sit and keep me company while I prepare our meals. I think I spend an equal amount of time in the bathroom. We have lots of laundry to do, and since the bathroom is spacious I can also sit down and fold everything or do some ironing. Also, Kaatje loves to be in the bathroom, where she can lay on a sheepskin and look around. And the children love taking long baths all together.
Did you do the decorating? The interior design?
Wim and I were both immediately charmed by the big windows of this house and the subtle differentiation of uses, living/bathing/eating/sleeping, all bundled into one intimate space. Since the building breathes a rich history and has character in itself, we found that by rebuilding it we could keep things simple. We both love natural materials such as wood, wool and linen. By using those, we tried to create a pure and simple atmosphere. And I have a small crush on Liberty fabrics, which you might see in several spots in our house.
Who inspires you the most?
I find this question rather difficult. I don’t think that it comes down to a person. My inspiration comes from conversations, books, magazines, people and everyday life. As our family grew, our desire to achieve simplicity and purity grew as well. Therefore, we try to focus on these values and seek inspiration from that.
How did you consider the colors in your house? How did you choose them?
We started with white walls and a French oak wooden floor. That kept us satisfied for some years. But later on, we thought about making the grey and clean kitchen a bit softer by adding a light color on the wall. In the boys’ room, we also painted the walls. First in some sort of greenish color, which we later on regretted as it was too bright, so we chose the beautiful Oval Room Blue by Farrow & Ball instead. A more peaceful color. And we made the decision to paint our floor white, which made our apartment even lighter and more spacious. We still love it every day. In general, I would say that we chose colors that reflect our preferences and personalities.
Where do you buy furniture and clothing for your kids?
I have a few favorite shops here in Amsterdam, like Archive Store and De Kleine Parade. What I like about those shops is that they sell both designer items as well as vintage finds. But I do a lot of online shopping as well. I love a lot of things French, lab-boutique and Numero 74 are favorites. And I also love the brands Louis Louise, Louise Misha, Bonton and Poudre Organic.
2-3 restaurants nice you recommend in Amsterdam?
A place I love is De Plantage, next to Artis the zoo. It’s a beautiful place, the atmosphere is really wonderful and for children it’s perfect because of the very big fountain outside where they can play. De Hoftuin is a magical place. It really is the most beautiful, quiet place located in the parish garden. It’s near our house, and we often go there to enjoy the terrace and the lovely organic food they serve, mostly from their own kitchen garden.
An ideal place for holidays with all the family?
With the whole family I would love to go to France. Rent an old, romantic house with a big garden somewhere sunny and quiet. But since Kaatje is here, we haven’t done that yet. Last year, we stayed in the Netherlands. We rented a little house right on the beach, which the children really loved. They could jump out of their beds, right into the sand!
Credits : Constance Gennari