by bijvoet architectuur & stadsontwerp

The radical transformation of a 1930s farmhouse

Caitlin Hughes Caitlin Hughes
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Today, we're going to take a tour around this intriguing 1930s farmhouse, located in the small town of Neer in the Netherlands. Renowned architectsBijvoet Architectuur & Stadsontwerp, were asked to rebuild the existing structure of the building, transforming it into a suitable home for a family by creating three large bedrooms and guest rooms.

Architect Caroline Bijvoet prefers to work with clients who have some gumption and who are ready to collaborate on a big and exciting project, just like this! Working closely with the property owners to develop the home to their liking, the firm were given a great deal of freedom and their creativity was allowed to run wild. It's this approach that led to the exceptional results, illustrated below.

Let's take a closer look!

Before: Back garden during renovation work

  by bijvoet architectuur & stadsontwerp
bijvoet architectuur & stadsontwerp

De oorspronkelijke tuingevel inclusief aanbouwen

bijvoet architectuur & stadsontwerp

The back garden looks messy and it seems like the property has already been extended, but unfortunately not to a high standard. 

This is where the expertise of Bijvoet Architectuur & Stadsontwerp came into play.

Before: Street-facing façade

Here we find the street-facing façade as it was before the home renovation. The appearance is typical to the local area, with brown stone exterior walls and a dark tiled roof. It isn't particularly striking and could definitely do with a facelift to bring it up to modern standards.

The large door on the right reveals the history of the building, making it immediately clear that we're dealing with a building that was not only lived in, but where work was also undertaken.

After: Post-renovation

  by bijvoet architectuur & stadsontwerp
bijvoet architectuur & stadsontwerp

straatgevel nog in de grondlak, achtergevel al gereed

bijvoet architectuur & stadsontwerp

In this photo we see both the front exterior and the view from the rear. It immediately strikes us that the shape of the building looks much better! The construction work has preserved elements of the original form, with three of the original walls and the truss structure having been maintained.

The garden has been completely redesigned and now looks clear and spacious. The façade has also been plated with wooden beams for a modern look, whilst the new windows greatly improve the overall appearance of this quirky home. 

Before: Living room

The room has an atmosphere of a bygone era and the living room looks old and outdated. 

We're not sure about the rocking chair or side table, complete with an old-fashioned doily. We feel like we're back at our grandparents' home! 

After: Living room salvation

It may be hard to believe but we're looking at the same living room, post-renovation! It's almost incomprehensible that we're in the same building.

The dark colours and different shades of brown are replaced by bright white walls and ceilings, which make the space seem instantly bigger. Dark, cluttered corners have been replaced by sleek volumes. Dark flooring contrasts with the white walls to stunning effect.

Several elements, such as the heating and ventilation, are integrated unobtrusively. We see a living room that looks modern and cosy, whilst the old beams ensure we don't forget the history of this farmhouse. 

After: Dining area and kitchen

  by bijvoet architectuur & stadsontwerp
bijvoet architectuur & stadsontwerp

eethoek en keuken met op de achtergrond slaapkamer; foto: Scagliola Brakkee

bijvoet architectuur & stadsontwerp

The colour and décor of the rooms is consistent, conforming to a contemporary style. The large, open spaces bare no resemblance to the cramped and cluttered rooms that were here before. It's also worth noting that the total volume of the house has decreased as the construction we saw in the second image was indeed removed.

The effect this has on the interior space is amazing. It seems like everything has become much larger and more spacious. However, there are still some reminders of the previous design in the form of the rustic wooden beams.

Before: Bathroom disaster!

Before we show the rest of the upper-floor, let's take a look at what state it was in. We can see the extent to which the property was outdated, falling into a state of near disrepair.

Over the course of time, the building has been adapted on several occasions. For example, to the left we see a window that can no longer be opened and the tilted angles and uneven walls are simply confusing. 

After: Fresh bathroom interior

  by bijvoet architectuur & stadsontwerp
bijvoet architectuur & stadsontwerp

badkamer eerste verdieping, ​foto: Scagliola Brakkee

bijvoet architectuur & stadsontwerp

What a transformation! In the new bathroom we find a stylish tiled floor in a shade of charcoal grey, perfectly complementing the mint green hues of the walls and cabinets. 

The room is now looking fresh and inviting and is clearly a huge improvement.

After: Beautiful bedroom

  by bijvoet architectuur & stadsontwerp
bijvoet architectuur & stadsontwerp

slaapkamer eerste verdieping, ​foto: Scagliola Brakkee

bijvoet architectuur & stadsontwerp

From this perspective the room looks minimal and open. The furniture is hidden away for a sleek and tidy finish and the room is uninterrupted with detailed decoration.

White walls and large windows keep the room light and bright and the houseplant adds a touch of natural beauty to the space. The stripped back, minimalist interior draws attention to the key feature: the ever-present wooden beams. In the house, old and new, modern and historical, miraculously come together for a perfect family home. 

For more before and after inspiration, see how: A family built something brilliant in their little garden.

Would you take on a renovation project on this scale?
Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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