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A Dutch Church Becomes a Family Home

by Grace Bonney

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Some homes have such a special history that living in them feels like both a great honor and responsibility. Maaike and Onno Goldbach discovered just that when they moved into an over 100-year old church in the Netherlands. After discovering that they were expecting their first daughter, Amelie, Maaike and Onno decided to hunt for a home that was closer to their parents and further away from the city. They wanted their daughter to grow up in a small town, so they searched until they found this beautiful converted church that was built in 1908. Maaike is an interior designer so she felt up for the challenge, but was surprised to find that the high ceilings (22 feet tall!) were a challenge for their existing furniture. The extreme height lead Maaike to invest in larger pieces that suited the home’s cathedral-like scale. She enjoyed finding a balance between the church’s original architecture and her affinity for modern patterns and wallpaper. The final result is a home that combines the family’s shared passion for open spaces and bright white walls with Maaike’s love of pattern and Onno’s love of nature. It’s a home full of love, light and character – something I think the original architects and congregation would surely appreciate. Thank you to Maaike, Onno and Amelie for opening their home to us. xo, grace

All photographs by

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Images above: The top image is Maaike and Onno’s living room. Maaike made the room divider herself, to highlight the home’s tall ceilings, by attaching colorful yarn to a rod hanging from the ceiling. The second image is a full view of the dining room from the first floor. Onno’s favorite chair is in the center of the room; it’s his favorite place to listen to old vinyl records and relax. The third photo above is the family’s kitchen, filled with vintage items Maaike has collected over the years.

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Image above: Maaike wasn’t afraid to embrace bold patterns in her home because the majority of the space gets plenty of bright, natural light. In the dining room, Maaike used a floral wallpaper by Thibaut to accent the back wall and a 70s-era chandelier her father reworked.

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Image above: Vignettes are a big part of Maaike’s home design, including this little corner of the family’s dining room. Maaike found this bird at an antique market when she was on vacation in Ghent, Belgium and loves how it matches the pink in the wallpaper.

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Image above: Maaike’s bedroom is a colorful mix of patterns, from the patchwork quilt at the foot of the bed to the patterned headboard. While the patterns may seem different, they work together because Maaike focused on textiles that used the same colors.

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Image above: Onno has always wanted to play the piano, so a month ago the family decided to invest in one. Onno has been practicing daily, which means a lot of sheet music, so Maaike decided to buy the colorful Hay folder on top of the piano to keep everything organized.

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Image above: Maaike and Onno love the indoor/outdoor nature of their living room. In the summer they can open the room’s double doors to get fresh air and listen to birds. Their plaid sofa was made by one of Maaike’s favorite Dutch designers, Mae Engelgeer.

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Images above: Maaike and Onno’s daughter Amelie wanted a room that was “girly, but not too girly.” Maaike started by tracking down a wallpaper she fell in love with on Instagram (by ) to create an accent wall. Then she added bright color, decorations and costumes that Amelie loves.

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Image above: Maaike and Onno love how much they’re able to interact with nature. Their home backs up to a forest that’s full of deer, some of which occasionally pay a visit to their back yard.

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