“We’ve always been attracted to the Scandinavian style,” Ineke says. “We drive a Volvo and spend holidays in Norway and Denmark. And we’ve always loved the wooden houses that we saw up there. Painted in colors like yellow, blue, red, and all having different exteriors, there’s no such thing as a standard house.”
Although Ineke loves old houses, she and Jan decided on a newly built house for practical reasons. “So we ordered a Swedish house ourselves,” she says. “Besides the fact that they look great and have such a warm ambience, they’re also very well insulated, both the wooden frame as well as all the windows. We hardly need to heat the house; that’s why we don’t have a wood stove—it would get too warm.”
One wintry day in January 1996, three Swedish trucks arrived in the Smits’ small village to deliver the prefab house. “At the end of that day we could already see the exterior structure. Amazing!” says Ineke. About six weeks later the house was built and ready to welcome its residents.
MOSTLY ALL BLUE
Ineke loves a home that is light and bright, so the wooden walls, ceilings and stairs were painted white. She added shades of blue in accessories and textiles. “I’ve loved blue all my life. I remember painting our bed and sewing our own blue bed linens back in the 1980s because I couldn’t find it in the shops. The great thing about blue, apart from its brightness, is that it’s easy to combine all its shades. From soft blue to turquoise, they all match.”
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