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Home visit: a bohemian-style home for togetherness

Behind the modern façade of this three-storey house in Holland, Aysu has used nature, colour and hand-crafted design to add old-world warmth to the home she shares with her daughters. Step inside…

A living room with grey sofa and indoor plants.
A living room with grey sofa and indoor plants.

Room to share ‘I made our home from scratch – it’s nice to build your own world,’ says Aysu. ‘I wanted to create a place where me and my girls, Ebru, 14, and Ezgi, 11, would feel free to be ourselves. I think we have that. Every corner has things we like on display, and each space is made for sharing. Like our living area. The L-shaped sofa is the heart. It’s an island of comfort – big enough for us three, with room to spare for the girls’ friends on the nights they pop round to sit with us doing homework, drinking coffee, watching YouTube…’

The joy of change When you love change, find easy ways to make your home look and feel new – a sofa with covers you can swap, art on clipboards or hung without a frame, the tops of storage units with space left to create and rearrange displays… ‘Having the freedom to change your surroundings is great,’ says Aysu. ‘It’s like exhaling – it gives me energy.’

Gathering place ‘The dining table is more than a place to eat, it’s another living space for us – me and the girls can sit here for hours, talking and laughing. Because our ground-floor space is quite open-plan, I’ve used colour and rugs to give the different areas in here a feeling of being their own room.’

Colour-blocking ‘Colour is joy! My favourite is plant green – it’s alive and full of energy. I like to experiment. It can go wrong – I once painted a cabinet a shade of green I couldn’t live with – but it’s easily changed! The yellow on this wall defines our dining space and is a sunny view on grey days.’

A beautiful use of space Rather than ignore the space under the stairs, Aysu has turned it into a well-stocked pantry. Everyone who visits walks past it, so Aysu has made her storage into a display, with jars and baskets. Flexible open shelving lets her make the most of the awkward space.

Dream room ‘When I go to bed, I fall asleep immediately,’ says Aysu. ‘There’s no clutter in here, not even things stored under the bed. Maybe that helps. I make sure I have nice things to look at and lots of plants – I like the good feeling they give.’

A pleasing point of view For Aysu, who loves mixing modern and retro pieces, the look of things makes a difference. ‘I don’t follow rules. You’re supposed to want things to be easy in your home, but easy isn’t beautiful. If I have to choose, I pick pretty over comfort.’

Room for the essentials Aysu has a work room in her loft that doubles as her wardrobe, ‘so I don’t have to keep my clothes in the bedroom. There are a few things I use a lot that I like to have close by, so I have a few hooks for them. It works for now – maybe one day I’ll get a wardrobe in here.’

Turning a house into a home ‘When we moved into this house it was a shell – bland and untouched. In the four years we’ve lived here, I’ve taught myself how to do all kinds of DIY – laying floors, building furniture, painting walls. You get such a good feeling from knowing you have the ability to change your surroundings exactly the way you want. When I look round this home, I see me, my choices and the journey I’ve been on… that feels good,’ says Aysu.

Putting the pieces together Aysu’s home is on three floors. The open-plan ground floor has the living, dining and kitchen area, with a pantry tucked under the staircase. The bedrooms are all on the second floor. At the very top of the house is the work room, where Aysu makes her macramé wall hangings.

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: Carl Braganza
Photographer: Debi Treloar