Home Interior Design: The Modern Transformation of an 18th-Century Carriage House

Location: Breukelen, the Netherlands

Size: 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 2 stories

Interior Designer: Zecc Architects

Major residential renovations often reveal surprising interior details, especially when the home is over 250 years old. Utrecht-based Zecc Architects was commissioned to transform a carriage house and the rear annex stables—originally built in 1760—into a spacious residence. Historical elements were uncovered by stripping away previous work to return the beauty of the home's original infrastructure.


The stable, complete with hay racks, stone troughs, and cast-iron horse heads, was converted into an open living room. The original details remain as statement decor elements referencing the original use for the space. As with the entire home, a huge emphasis is placed on bringing in natural light into the interior.


During demolition, the architects uncovered some of the original stall doors that had been hidden by previous renovations. Those door frames now serve as a passageway between the living room and the kitchen (pictured below), a subtle reminder of the home's rich history.



The dramatic carriage-house doors have been transformed into a wall of windows for the kitchen and dining room (pictured below). The addition of a simple, solid-oak staircase with open risers joins the kitchen with a second floor and brings natural light from the upper skylights down into the main space.



Three bedrooms and a secondary living room occupy the second story of the house. Exposed beams and trussing—a functional necessity 250 years ago—offer another reminder of the structure's former life that now feels contemporary and warm in this dynamic home.


—LinYee Yuan. Follow her at @linyee.

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Photos courtesy of Stijn Poelstra
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