Ohhh are you ready for a warm and beautiful home tour filled with children and pets? Today I want to introduce you to an Instagram crush that I’ve had for at least a year. Do you know the account @mamoesjka_nl from The Netherlands? If not, I’ll tell you more about her and show you around her gorgeous space. I’m certain that you’ll have a insta-crush on her too by the time you’ve finished reading…
Who exactly is mamoesjka? She’s 36-year-old Ilona Zieltjens who has a real love for design and arranging things. A cute back story is that she’s been in love with her sweetheart Daniel since she was 16 (and he was 17) and today they have two children – Tycho (15) and Fender (9) along with two dogs (Benjamin and Bloeme) and a gorgeous cat (Keesje) that you can see in some of her photos here today. They all live together in Tilburg, a city in the province of North Brabant in The Netherlands, in a 4 bedroom home that they own.
Ilona isn’t a decorator, designer or stylist like you’d automatically expect, though I think she really is a natural-born decorator/stylist because I mean, look at her home! She’s not working at the moment and is a very proud and dedicated full-time mom who loves to come up with new, creative ideas and present them on her Instagram account. Interiors are truly her passion.
A self-confessed “doubter who cannot make decisions” she once found a quote in her parents’ home that changed her creative life. It said, “If you keep considering endlessly, you end up doing nothing”. From that moment she started writing a blog and later, opened an Instagram account.
About her social media sharing she confesses, “I’m spontaneous in daily life and I also want to write spontaneously… I want to be honest and not give my readers the impression that my life is always fantastic and my house is tidy and clean full-time,” says Ilona. As a result of her authentic sharing her Instagram has grown to over 45k followers. Wow!
I asked Ilona some questions today so we could get to know her a little bit better, so let’s get started.
What does home mean to you?
Home is where you can be yourself, dance in pajamas and listen to music. I love to use my home as my test lab. If I haven’t painted anything for a few weeks, the paint tins call out to me from the closet.
How would you describe your style?
I like to keep things simple. I enjoy a white canvas decorated with vintage, design or handmade items, mostly in fresh or soft pastel colors. I’d much rather have one item that I really love rather than five things that I just like. I don’t buy on impulse. I’ll always take my time before I buy something for my home. I like to search the internet for new treasures and I look for both new and second-hand items, and design pieces as well as less expensive finds. For me, it’s very important that they’re not things that everybody likes and buys. I want stuff that is unique and is available on a small scale. For that reason, I always search for small websites or designers that sell their own work. It’s so much more fun to make a small independent enterprise happy by purchasing some of their products than to buy something from a big retail chain.
What is your dream piece for the home?
It’s a chair from Hay – J42 – and it’s on my wish list! My favorite piece of furniture is the vintage cupboard (shown above) that my partner and I bought at a thrift store. I really loved it when I first saw it, but we both thought it was far too expensive (the cupboard was not in the best condition) and we left the shop without buying it. But soon I had second thoughts and we quickly went back again and bought it. We gave the little cupboard some love with oil and wood paste and I now think it will stay forever.
What do you love most about your home?
You’ll often find me sitting on my pink home-made bench (shown above in the eating area). It’s my favorite spot in the house, where I write, scroll through Instagram and sit with family and friends. From my bench, I also have a clear view of the rest of the living room and the open-plan kitchen.
What would you like to change about where you live?
My home wish list is not too long… I change my furniture all the time but now my floor… Hmmmm… After nine years they’re not so pretty, so I think we’ll take some time to find a new floor this summer. I also have a bit of a thing for chairs.
Eating space and a view of the kitchen and of Keesje the curious cat!
When you have people over, how do you entertain them?
Maybe this sounds a little bit crazy but we don’t have people over that much, maybe twice a year. My youngest son has autism and he really don’t like people in our home. We always go to friends home.
What’s your favorite meal to cook and why?
Pancakes! Why? I don’t really like to cook. Daniel, my boyfriend worked for 18 years as a cook in restaurants. Most of the times he cooks at home.
Plants or flowers?
Not really a flower and plant lady…
What is your favorite thing to do at home?
Listen to music and be creative
Okay, so what’s on your playlist right now?
Ilona and Daniel’s Bedroom
I like to do things my own way. I think that’s my best tip I can give anyone. Make the choices yourself. Fill your home with items you really love and that make you happy. These days you can find inspiration everywhere. I like to scroll through Instagram and see all kinds of interiors, but I have to stay true to myself. Something I’ve learned over the years is to choose what makes you happy and don’t do what everyone else is already doing.
It was so nice to take you on this home tour today readers, and thank you Ilona (and to your family too!) for sharing your space with us today. It’s so calm and peaceful, I really love it.
(Photographs with permission from Ilona Zieltjens.)