Something Old is New Again

Last year when we were in Turkey, we purchased a gorgeous Hereke carpet.  It’s still not down in our house which is why you haven’t seen any pictures of it yet like I promised.  I still have that IKEA coffee table.  But it’s all a work in progress and I promise you’ll see something soon!

Now you’ve heard that we are settling down in the Netherlands for the indefinite future, we’ve been making some plans to finally make a house a home again, rather than constantly piece-mailing things together.

When we left the US, our kids were still very little and our coffee table was a Thomas the Train table.  That should speak worlds about our home setup at that time.  We didn’t really have any “adult” furniture to speak of beyond our sofas and kitchen table.  Fast forward 7 years and several moves and our kids are much older and we still didn’t have anything we could call a nice adult purchase until that carpet last year, that carpet that’s still in it’s packaging!

When we decided to buy the house in the Netherlands, we also decided to add a few select pieces that would add a personal touch to our new home.  These pieces are going to be custom made for us and represent a little bit of Spain and a little bit of the Netherlands.

A friend of mine in Barcelona owns a company by the name Mesa Bonita.  For more than 10 years now, she has been salvaging and recovering old hydraulic tiles when apartments are being renovated.  These tiles sometimes date back over 125 years are in the Modernista style, most famously known by architect Antoni Gaudi.  She takes these disposed tiles and gives them a new life, whether as trivets, framed art or tables.  It’s hard work, often having to chip off layers of old cement from the back or old linoleum that has been placed on top of the tile in prior renovations.


Benedicte in her workshop.  Image courtesy of Mesa Bonita.

Over our years in Barcelona, I had collected a few framed pieces that were a beautiful reminder of our time living in Spain.  It was a unique item, special to Barcelona.  When we found out that we were going to be buying a house, I told Josh that “I want a table from Benedicte!!”.  We already had a trip planned to Barcelona during the October break and I immediately set up a time for us to go to her workshop to set about having a table made.

We spoke about the types of tiles we were interested in and the color schemes we liked and disliked.  We were going to do a console table for behind our sofa.  She sent me pictures of some tiles and we were drawn to this style:


Initially the plan was to do 7 single tiles in a row and not double wide as shown above.  But Josh, who was totally not into the whole idea of the table and just placating me, absolutely got into it once we were down in the workshop and said we definitely needed it to be double wide which is what we went with in the end.

The table will be set in an oxidized metal stand which when complete will have a coppery looking effect to it.


Image courtesy of Mesa Bonita (for an idea of the frame around the tiles)

I’ll post a completed table picture once it’s been delivered!!

We can’t stop there though.  Josh and I have been long attracted to the Dutch style of furniture.  With it’s rustic, country feel, it radiates warmth.  From the time we moved here, we’d been hoping to someday be able to buy a Dutch wood table.  We searched a few places and couldn’t decide on what style we liked the best (oak, steigerhout, etc – smooth, rough, straight edges or angled, etc).  We finally asked the owners of the house we are buying where they got their table and we were directed to Oud is Nieuw.

I’d like to say that first meeting went smoothly but we stupidly brought the kids with us and it was near lunch time.  I’m sure you can imagine what it was like.  So we managed to get the table and coffee table done in that time.  Heleen was amazing to work with and the choices of what we could do were endless.  I went back again a few days later to take care of the tv stand and a display cabinet for the living room.  Everything in their workshop is either refurbished and /or made to your design.  The cabinet we found together on pinterest and will tweak slightly based on what our needs and wants are for this piece.

Our new table will have the top made from an old train car.  Josh likes to say that the train car dates back about 200 years to give it some history, but the reality is that it dates back to maybe 70 years ago.  Still definitely some old pieces of wood!!

I don’t have images for the other pieces so you’ll just have to wait until it’s all done and in place before you see them.  In the meantime, the countdown is on.  We close in just 6 weeks and hopefully move in within a few weeks after that.  I still can’t believe we are doing this!

Knuffels en kussen,


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