I SPY #2 Peeking into the home of Richelle

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Richelle is 25 years young and before the “rona drama” she was bar manager at a lovely tropical restaurant on the Hoogstraat: COCO. Now that the restaurants are closed, she is mainly relaxing and her energy goes to activities that make her happy. For example, she does voluntary work for a few hours a week at Rotterdamse Munt, the urban herb garden in Rotterdam South. She does this to enjoy nature in the city more and to learn from the lovely interesting people who have been working there for years.

Sitting at home is going better than expected: “The sun is my gurl, but I can also enjoy staying at home. Sewing clothes, cooking, drawing, playing Netflix, reading and taking care of the plants. I am actually kinda feeling this granny vibe! “

We recently sneaked into Richelle’s house to take pictures and immediately asked her everything we wanted to know. Read the Q&A below and take a peek with us.

The pictures in this article are made with a Nikon L35AD analog camera and a Olympus MJU II analog camera.

Richelle on her unique vintage pouf in front of her selfmade walk in closet.

Can you tell us a bit more about the place where you live?

Since 2015 I have been living in this old school building, formerly the Heemskerk school. This was a Protestant Christian school, founded in 1923. The school was probably closed in 2014 due to aging and too few registrations.

An old friend of mine introduced me to this way of living. He lived in an old church-like schoolhouse which was nice and spooky at the same time. I thought that was a good thing and because of that I had also registered with Villex.

After an intake I was immediately invited to view this property and after a week I could already choose a room. Room two, “Juf Lam’s” classroom was the winner for me because of the loft and the extra door to the garden.

The loft and walk-in closet in Richelle’s house.

Where do you find your interior pieces?

I found most of my gems in thrift shops and on the streets of Rotterdam-Zuid. Everyone is throwing stuff out on the streets here and sometimes there are really beautiful items, such as side tables and cupboards. Brush it off a bit and it’s ready to go.

How important is sustainability to you? 



I really enjoy second-hand items. Actually a win-win situation: one person’s junk is the other person’s treasure. Ever since I was little I went with my grandfather to the thrift shops in The Hague, wandering around in search of treasures.

Often you will find items that are no longer for sale in stores and are much more durable than fast furniture. Especially if you want to shop on a budget.

In Richelle’s house you can find many original items, such as the cute dog figurine that she came across on the street in South.

Do you ever buy something online? 

I rarely buy anything online outside of the marketplace. Also, I am not in a hurry to buy stuff, so I prefer to wait until I come across something that immediately gives me that yas-vibe .

I do sometimes order books, kitchen utensils or shoes online.

Sometimes you’re a model for Rumba’s vintage clothing (@rumbavintage), do you have to hold back not to take everything with you?

Yes, Florence often has beautiful clothes that are really comfortable and beautiful. But I flip that switch because I don’t want to be greedy and I know other people would enjoy it too. In total I only claimed about three items of clothing. I do regret not taking a purple suit, haha!

Best (vintage) item in your home?

Tough question. I think I especially like everything together. But the cupboard where most of my little plants are on is one of my favs. I needed one and then I saw this at the Piekfijn for only 35 euros.

And this rose in a pot, which was once a lamp, is also one of my favourite items. I once got this from my great-grandmother, her name was Roos.

Richelle’s favourite cabinet and favourite lamp with a rose of her great-grandmother.

What are those bunnies doing here? 

Nice random story! I’ve wanted bunnies for a few years now. But every time I was afraid that I wouldn’t be a good mother, because I was often away from home for a long time due to work or social occasions.

Recently my best friend had a new volunteer job at a school behind my house. There was a guy who had two bunnies and he always took those cuties with him. One of the bunnies was pregnant, so I was interested in adopting two of the babies when they were old enough to leave the litter.

Then something bad happened. That guy got hit and bruised his ribs. Because of this he could of course no longer take care of the bunnies. So my girlfriend suggested that I take care of them in the meantime, as I do have a lot more free time now. Now I’m already quite attached to those little ones, so it will be sad when he comes to pick them up again, haha.

How would you describe your interior style?

Selectively picked up cozy mess. 🙂

Favorite nook in your home?

Miss Papasang. That lovely round chair. I even fell asleep in it once.

What does your dream house look like and where is this house located?

Ooh, realistic or unrealistic? For the euphoric fiction I go for a cozy earth-tone botanical house somewhere in Italy or Spain and then close to the water. Think of the houses illustrated by Charlotte Taylor (@CharlotteTaylr). Her vibe is so magical and I can totally dream away with her designs.

And a bit more realistic at this point in my life is an apartment in Croos or West with a small garden or balcony where I can bring my vegetable garden to life and my dear friends live nearby. With an open kitchen, a bath and lots of sunlight during the day.

What are you doing at home during the current crisis?

Cleaning up a lot, because I can be a rushed person who leaves a mess behind. I am also very involved in making clothes on the sewing machine. Redecorating is also done monthly as I like a lively room.

During the first lockdown I also worked a lot in the garden with my neighbor. And building garden chairs and tables with broken junk I find on the streets.

Which (vintage) interior item would you really kill for?

I wouldn’t kill quickly for material, haha. But I would be very happy if I could ever score a beige chesterfield-esque round velvet sofa somewhere.

Dilemma, which of the two would you choose if you really had to choose:

Living in a tiny house with 21 people or solo in a castle on a hill?

Definitely a tiny house with 21 people. If those people are kind and funny at least, haha. Then we just build 20 other houses with them all. cheating!

If that’s really not allowed, we’ll just live outside and hope for good weather. All alone in a big house seems terrible to me.

Never take care of rabbits again or never shop again?

Hmm, I’ll take a dog, cat or chinchilla, haha. Never (second-hand) shopping again is too bad.

Eating forever in the bathroom or forever pooping in your bedroom?

Eating in the bathroom doesn’t seem so bad to me. Nice table setting and can be quite awesome.

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