Carice van Houten’s Home Is the Total Opposite of What You’d Expect From Her “Game of Thrones” Character

Jene J. Long
Photo credit: THIJS DE LEEUW/SPACE CONTENT/LIVING INSIDE

Photo credit: THIJS DE LEEUW/SPACE CONTENT/LIVING INSIDE

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There was magic in the air. A few years ago, ­Carice van Houten caught a glimpse of some wall­papers and fabrics on display in a tiny storefront in Amsterdam called Shop Atelier ND and wandered in. She was in the market, after all: The actor, best known for her role as Melisandre on HBO’s Game of Thrones, and her boyfriend, actor Guy Pearce, had just bought a 1918 brownstone in a suburb of the Dutch capital. The walls were all white, but Van Houten describes herself as “a walking color explosion, a female Peter Pan, a bit like Pippi Longstocking… My trademark is my eclecticism.” A kaleidoscopic upgrade was needed.

Photo credit: Thijs de Leeuw/Space Content/Living Inside

Photo credit: Thijs de Leeuw/Space Content/Living Inside

Inside the shop that day, Van Houten hit it off with owner Nicole Dohmen, who also runs a design firm, Atelier ND Interior, and a vision for the house began to crystalize. The challenge would be distilling Van Houten’s wildly fun mood board into something her family could actually live with.

“Most of my clients are timid, but with Carice, I had to temper her love of color a little bit—not every piece can be like, ‘Look at me shining!’ ” Dohmen laughs. The pair worked with several paint brands to customize colors that formerly existed only in Van Houten’s imagination, knocked down walls and an enclosed staircase to open up the floor plan (without compromising its traditional, cozy integrity), and filled every room with a mix of vintage midcentury ­furniture and avant-garde accents. “There’s no formula. It’s a combination of things,” explains Dohmen. “There’s so much color, but when you’re in the house, it’s strange, you don’t notice. It embraces you.”

Even the smallest nooks vibrate with personality: On the main level, Pop Art mixes with streamlined Scandinavian pieces. In the bedrooms, romantic floral ­fabrics waltz with edgy furniture. Everywhere, old-­fashioned pieces play with cutting-edge details: Just beyond the iconic neon ­Ultrafragola mirror is a Victorian claw-foot tub. ­“Carice always wanted to have something imperfect, and I think that’s so beautiful,” Dohmen says. “Not many people would dare to do that.”

Entryway

Photo credit: Thijs de Leeuw/Space Content/Living Inside

Photo credit: Thijs de Leeuw/Space Content/Living Inside

A blush pink entryway sets the sweet tone for the rest of the home. Wallpaper: Kelly Wearstler. Paint: Tiger by IJM studio. Console: vintage, Sit On Vintage.

Living Room

Photo credit: Thijs de Leeuw/Space Content/Living Inside

Photo credit: Thijs de Leeuw/Space Content/Living Inside

Homeowner Carice van Houten “fell in love with this purple Kvadrat carpet,” says designer Nicole Dohmen of Atelier ND Interior, and everything else for the room fell into place from there. Sofas: Baxter (green); vintage Afra and Tobia Scarpa, Sit On Vintage (orange). Coffee table: Kooij. Painting: Peggy Kuiper. Side table: custom, Atelier ND Interior. Curtains: Élitis.

Guy Pearce’s Study

Photo credit: Thijs de Leeuw/Space Content/Living Inside

Photo credit: Thijs de Leeuw/Space Content/Living Inside

While deemed too harsh for a large room, this chartreuse paint (a custom blend by IJM Studio) is perfect in Pearce’s office, just off the lilac entry hall. Desk: custom. Lamp: Flos. Art: clients’ own.

Carice van Houten’s Study

Photo credit: Thijs de Leeuw/Space Content/Living Inside

Photo credit: Thijs de Leeuw/Space Content/Living Inside

Never was there ever a sunnier workspace than this cheerful citrus one. The yellow paint (Sulfur Yellow by RAL) used on the hallway cabinets provides a sneak peek into the cheerful colors featured in the study while a berry tone on the trim (Claret Violet by RAL) nods to the cushion and brings contrast. Wallpaper and window treatment: Mini Cities by Jennifer Shorto. Pendant: Anemone Interiors. Painting: Peggy Kuiper.

Dining Room

Photo credit: Thijs de Leeuw/Space Content/Living Inside

Photo credit: Thijs de Leeuw/Space Content/Living Inside

Dohmen refers to this room as “the Glass House,” due to the expansive windows (it was used as a greenhouse in the home’s earlier years). Window treatments: Helene Blanche (Roman shades); Étoffe (curtains). Table: Sabine Marcelis. Dining chairs: vintage Afra and Tobia Scarpa for Gavina, in Pierre Frey mohair (also used in the study).

Kitchen

Photo credit: Thijs de Leeuw/Space Content/Living Inside

Photo credit: Thijs de Leeuw/Space Content/Living Inside

By the time they began working on the kitchen, Dohmen said, “No more pink!” so they went with earthy tones (though violet still makes an appearance in the Calacatta marble counter). Backsplash tile: Intercodam. Pendants: Verpan. Cabinetry: custom. Paint: Invisible Green by Little Greene (cabinets); Mouse’s Back by Farrow & Ball (island). Cooktop: PITT Cooking. Faucet: Quooker.

Main Stairwell

Photo credit: Thijs de Leeuw/Space Content/Living Inside

Photo credit: Thijs de Leeuw/Space Content/Living Inside

“We call this ‘the funny room,’” Van Houten laughs. A vintage Ligne Roset chair was the only thing that would fit under the sloped ceiling. Paint: custom. Curtain fabric: Jim Thompson. Lamp: Vitra.

Powder Room

Photo credit: Thijs de Leeuw/Space Content/Living Inside

Photo credit: Thijs de Leeuw/Space Content/Living Inside

The mint green Art Deco sink and hardware, sourced from Affaire d’Eau, freshen up a moody Pierre Frey wallpaper. Sconces and mirror: vintage.

Primary Bedroom

Photo credit: Thijs de Leeuw/Space Content/Living Inside

Photo credit: Thijs de Leeuw/Space Content/Living Inside

A Vispring bed is upholstered in pink Pierre Frey mohair. Bedding: Coco & Wolf. Sconce: Atelier Areti. Nightstand: Sabine Marcelis. Curtains: Zoffany, Sanderson Design Group.

Photo credit: Thijs de Leeuw/Space Content/Living Inside

Photo credit: Thijs de Leeuw/Space Content/Living Inside

The paint color, Pontefract by Paint & Paper Library, is so unique it defies definition—which is one of the many reasons the design team chose it. Chair: vintage Afra and Tobia Scarpa. Pendants: sourced from an old church.

En Suite Bathroom

Photo credit: Thijs de Leeuw/Space Content/Living Inside

Photo credit: Thijs de Leeuw/Space Content/Living Inside

Matching curtains, an open doorway, and a muted caramel color scheme link the two rooms. Mirror: vintage Ettore Sottsass. Tiles: Winckelmans.

Guest Bedroom

Photo credit: Thijs de Leeuw/Space Content/Living Inside

Photo credit: Thijs de Leeuw/Space Content/Living Inside

“We wanted the floral to be funky, not romantic,” says Van Houten. Wallpaper: Hollyhocks Spring by House of Hackney. Coverlet: custom. Towel warmer: Zehnder, painted RAL Color Chart Deep Orange.

Child’s Bathroom

Photo credit: Thijs de Leeuw/Space Content/Living Inside

Photo credit: Thijs de Leeuw/Space Content/Living Inside

Bold primary colors are a welcome surprise in this secondary bathroom. That signature blush pink is still tucked into the color scheme, connecting it to the rest of the home’s palette. “I saw these tiles in a ’60s magazine,” Dohmen says; she used them on the floors and bathtub to make the room feel larger. Shades: Gert Voorjans for Jim Thompson. Pendant: vintage from Anemone Interiors. Tiles: Madarin Stone.

Upstairs Hallway

Transition spaces become so much more than just ways to get from Point A to Point B, thanks to artistic lighting, colorful accents, and materials. Even the radiators look cool! “We tried to blend it in but in the end, it was too big so we made it pop with paint and now it’s a nice feature instead of a mistake,” Dohmen tells HB.

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