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Home visit: a feel-good and festive family home

Marrit and Jelmer have spent nearly four years renovating their house room by room. Along the way, they’ve had a daughter, Mia, and found new passions. For them, home is an ongoing journey – and one worth celebrating.

A living room with a grey sofa, lighting and a log-filled fireplace.
A living room with a grey sofa, lighting and a log-filled fireplace.

Create a cosy, flexible living room

The family living room combines space for time together, play and work. “We knew this is where we’d spend the most time, so it was the first room we renovated,” says Marrit. A new, large sofa gives plenty of space for everyone to cuddle up on, while choosing side tables rather than a coffee table frees up floorspace so Mia can play.

Invite people to the dining table

Marrit loves hosting relaxed brunches and lunches, setting out buffet-style dishes and stacked plates so everyone can help themselves. “I love it when it’s a bit chaotic and chairs get pulled in from all over the house,” she says. “Sharing food with friends and family should be about being together instead of the perfect table setting.”

Update displays for the festive season

The living room fireplace is a natural focal point and the perfect opportunity to experiment with display ideas and to share passions. “I change it around a lot,” says Marrit, a photographer. “It starts off minimal, then slowly I mix in personal pictures, art I’ve collected, gifts and seasonal touches such as candles and winter foliage.”

During the festive season I embrace my inner minimalist. You can do a lot with a little, and it’s more sustainable.


The joys of a DIY kitchen

For the couple, creating their IKEA kitchen was a learning process. “It was a lot of mess and took us four months because we’d never done it before and could only work on it during the weekends. It’s not big but we knew exactly what we wanted – all white, with practical drawers for storage. When we had finished, we were so proud knowing we’d done it ourselves.”

Make a space for ‘me’ time

With the addition of a few hanging plants, a ledge and a stool, the spot by the kitchen window becomes a breakfast nook or a place to enjoy a quiet coffee. “We don’t get as much down-time now that we’re parents,” says Marrit. “It’s important to make the most of those precious quiet moments in the day.”

As we’ve become more confident with the renovations, we’ve become bolder with our use of colour. It’s fun to experiment.


Find a new home for old furniture

After getting their new family sofa in the downstairs living room, the old IKEA one moved upstairs into the loft space, which is being converted into a guest room and office. Now it makes a perfect secondary spot to relax. “It’s nice to give something you love a second lease of life, especially when the quality is so good,” says Marrit.

Set up an after-hours workspace

Marrit usually works downstairs in the busy family living room but an additional table in the upstairs loft space provides a valuable extra home office. “It’s a nice place to write my blog or edit pictures,” she says. A functional swivel chair and desk light mean she can comfortably work well into the evenings after Mia has gone to bed.

IKEA is the thread that runs through our lives and home. It has always been a big source of inspiration for me.


Create a calming bedroom

Changing the bedroom from white to dark blue created a dramatic change for the better. “My first thought was that it felt like a hotel, so relaxing,” says Marrit. An extra-large bed big enough for Mia to sneak into in the mornings, layered textiles, plus stools instead of bedside tables, add to the sense of simple comfort.

Give kids room to grow

Mia’s bedroom is a mix of vintage and IKEA, which Marrit has added to slowly over time. A table makes space for her to express her creativity and encourages independence now that she’s more active, while the comfortable armchair is the perfect spot for reading bedtime stories together. “She loves books and likes to choose which ones to read herself.”

Making our first family home

“Before we moved here, we rented a lot,” says Marrit. “This is the first place we’ve really been able to invest in for our future together, to try things out the way we wanted. We’ve learned how to paint, do carpentry, sand floors, take ceilings down… It’s not always been easy or comfortable. But it’s been a lot of fun!”

My best tip is to take time decorating your home, adjust it to meet your unique needs. And don’t over think – try things out!


We love to see our customers get creative with our products. Go for it! But please note that altering or modifying IKEA products so they can no longer be re-sold or used for their original purpose, means the IKEA commercial guarantees and your right to return the products will be lost.

Made by
Interior stylist: Sam Grigg
Photographer: Nato Welton
Follow Marrit on Instagram: @donebymyselfblog