First things first, it’s still lockdown in the whole of The Netherlands – going on three months now – with not much to do except work from home, watch all kinds of streaming media, or just for the heck of it, make an appointment to visit some random store within Dutch borders, depending on what’s still available to book online of course. Strange times but one in which life has to move on.
Second, after nearly ten years of living in a cozy, just-far-enough-from-the-city, one bedroom flat in crazy and crowded Amsterdam, given the benefits and advantages of working from home, we have decided to move. To start another chapter in a small, beautifully historic house, in an equally beautiful, historic town an hour away. While not all t’s have been crossed, I’m going against my own nature by saying it’s likely we’ll be bidding hello to our new home in a few months. And it’s a moment I can’t wait to happen, a new place we can make our own, a refuge and a larger corner of the world.
With any new house comes with it many grand ideas, all with one goal – to turn a house into a home. Considering we’re upgrading our living area almost three times over, among other things, the airy space on the ground floor has to be filled somehow, and a chandelier centerpiece was the literal brilliant idea. Where better a place to search for one than rustic, off the beaten path Oldebroek, incidentally not far from where our potential home would be. In this eternal season of Covid, our Saturday was busier than usual.
De Rode Hoeve or The Red Farm wasn’t just a store but as we discovered, rather a compound, or more generously even an estate. Akin to an explosion in a chandelier factory, you couldn’t swing a ball gown without hitting one of hundreds on display, the rustic locale and curated showrooms contributing to a feeling of being transported to a crystal wonderland. Spread out over seven different rooms scattered around the property, any lover of suspended, cut glass would be in heaven walking from one building to the next.
My eye though was for a more sedate, Calvinistic Dutch kroonluchter, a bronze affair with generous curves and zero glass or crystal, that would be a better fit with what we had in mind, and thankfully they had a handful on display. We went home empty-handed but happy to have found what could potentially be part of our next chapter, something to light the way and keep us company for, one can only hope, many decades to come.
These first few months of the year have been challenging for sure, but lucky for us we’re in a place where we can still afford to dream. May this dream keep on going for as long as it can.