Out in the countryside of the Netherlands in the farmlands between Antwerp and Rotterdam, you’ll come across the small village of Sprundel. It is much like most villages in the area and, as you drive by, you might barely notice and old farmhouse by the road which, at first glance, looks like any other old farmhouse in the area. But, as you circle to the side, it becomes obvious that this is not a typical old farmhouse.
In 2013 a Dutch couple drove down the road and spotted a dilapidated farmhouse with an attached barn and shed. They immediately saw the potential and fell in love with the views of the countryside. They bought the farmhouse and brought in Dutch architect, Joep van Os to design a modern, livable home full of light while preserving the original wood beam skeleton and brick walls.
The largest part of the structure is the old stable. This section was converted into the main living area containing the kitchen, study, living and dining rooms. The stable was kept open to the new roof and the wood beams remained exposed. A new concrete floor was poured, stained and polished.
The only thing breaking up the open interior is a white volume set off-center, contained between a set of wood supports providing a contrast to the rustic wood beams and brick walls. This multi-functional structure serves as a divider between the dining and living rooms, houses the kitchen, and contains a steel staircase up to the loft study above.
The kitchen is positioned underneath the overhang and looking out towards the backyard views. The bespoke kitchen was designed specifically for this space by Joep van Os featuring wall cabinets and a large island for cooking and prep as well as storage.
The dining area is on the smaller side of the kitchen features the original brick wall and high vaulted ceilings. The larger area on the other side contains the living room furnished for comfort and entertaining.
The entire wall facing out back was replaced with a window wall for lots of light and a panoramic view of the countryside the couple fell in love with. The frames and support are black steel providing a modern contrast to the wooden beam architecture. There are horizontal wooden slat blinds in line with the existing roof shape to keep the sun out during the warmest times.
The master suite is on the second floor of the farmhouse next to the main living area. It is also an open plan with exposed wood beams and large skylights. The owners must be tidy people because the ‘closet’ area is exposed and built into the gable with ample storage and ‘his & her’ sides. Though I suspect over time, her side will get bigger while his side gets smaller.
The bathroom is also open, delineated from the main bedroom area by a raised floor to hide the bathroom piping. A gas fireplace is aligned with the edge of the raised floor near a free-standing Corian bathtub set between two rafters in front of a large skylight.
A dual-sink vanity hangs on the wall opposite the tub and fireplace. Next to that is a private toilet room and a shower. The raised ‘wet’ area is finished with a gray concrete tile while the sleeping area is oak parquet to further define the areas.
We recently started featuring a modern renovation of a farmhouse every week (#farmhousefriday) and we’ve seen some amazing projects. This one might be the one I most want to live in. Well done, Joep van Os.
[Photography by Joep van Os]