September 28, 2011

Live, from the Netherlands...

This week I'll be blogging from Amsterdam -- am here for the design fairs, but I've also got a few extra days to explore the city and visit some of the smaller museums. I arrived this morning after a long but lovely KLM flight, checked into my hotel (more on that in a forthcoming post) and headed straight over to the Museum Van Loon. The weather's unbelievably beautiful here right now... leaves are falling, but it's warm and sunny... and I'm completely overcome by the fun of strolling the canals. (And, quite honestly, staring into people's homes. To the lady on Heregracht with the cream-lined curtains, elaborate gilt mirrors, and massive ginger jars in each window: I apologize for stopping and staring. I couldn't help myself.)

But,back to the Van Loon. The house was built in 1672 and home to painter Ferdiand Bols, but it is named for the van Loon family, who made their fortune with the Dutch East India Company in the 17th century, and who purchased the home 1884. (And who turned it into the museum.) There were a ton of people touring it today, which was so nice to see! But this place is buzzing even without visitors -- the original carriage house was recently acquired and is in the process of restoration. I'll post a few pics below... well, probably too many. The whole way through I just kept thinking, "Oh, what our Mary and her camera could do with this!"

The entrance of the Museum Van Loon on Keizersgracht, one of the city's most picturesque canals.

Detail of a painted 3-panel screen in the dining room.

The blue drawing room on the main floor faces the canal and has gloriously huge windows...

...and a pretty little settee.

The red drawing room, originally used by the gentlemen of the home, is now presided over by a somewhat startling stuffed peacock.

See what I mean?

This was such a pretty room. It's a tiny, sunny space and leads directly out to the garden through French doors.

Detail of some of the porcelain and glass collections at the museum.
The central stair is adorned with paintings and other antiques, like the Rococo clock and 19th-century painted sleigh below.

An upstairs bedroom... with my most favorite print...

Another drawing room, with beautifully painted murals.

The ostrich. Not a common toile subject!

The kitchen's tiled ciling is vaulted between the beams. (An idea I'd love to see recreated in a modern kitchen.) It's a bright and cheerful place, and loaded with ceramics and painted furnishings.

You can't blame a cat for trying.

The carriage house, a work in progress.

The rear facade of the house.

And tomorrow... another nearby house museum, and the first day at the fair!

1 comment:

  1. What a beautiful post! Enjoyed the information and the images...pinned a few, too!