A collection of knick-knacks from around the world and a welcoming vibe fills this light-filled garden villa tucked inside the Forest Manor compound in Minhang District.
The three-floor villa comprises a mix of unusual shapes, textures and colors, blending local culture with a worldly East-meets-West interior.
Lonneke Storm from the Netherlands chose this villa to rent for the family because it was close to an international school and good outdoor sports facilities.
“The house was in a good condition. We made a few small alterations in the interior in order to personalize by painting the walls and kitchen in white. White is the base color in our house with the accents in bright colors,” Storm said.
“Our heritage is in the Netherlands, whereas our children were born in China. We’ve tried to create a mix of cultural flavors between East meets West,” she added.
The interior style is a reflection of the couple’s stops around the world as they have lived in the Netherlands, Germany, Japan and China.
A mix of furniture and home accessories in each area throughout the house has been built up over the last decade.
“I love the spacious and bright areas of the house, which provide a feeling of freedom. The garden provides an amazing area for the whole family to relax, play and do sports,” Storm said. “It is our own world where the family members feel at home and comfortable.”
Storm said the core center of the house is the kitchen/dining area with a mix of Dutch and Chinese influences. Above the three-meter massive teak wood dining table hangs a white paper chandelier from Dutch brand Moooi.
“It’s the place where we start and end the day. In the summertime, the doors are wide open to our beautiful garden,” Storm said.
In the living room, Storm chose mostly earthy tones for the upholstery and draperies as she finds these colors calming and not so susceptible to fashion changes. Some of the artworks displayed in the room include works from the late Herman Brood and the late Anton Heyboer.
As they have lived in different countries for decades, Storm started taking pictures to capture the mood of the local communities they have lived in so that they could cherish these memories and share them with others.
“Many times you can find me around the city and even around our house taking inspirational pictures of items and people in and around Shanghai,” Storm said.
“I started to consolidate the images into collages, showcasing Shanghai and its people. The response I received was overwhelming — a clear indication that there’s a high appreciation for these mood impressions.”
Based on that Storm started to think how this idea could be further developed. She ended up adding similar collages to a series of small benches in the house.
She has since teamed up with Waste2wear, an organization whose core objective is to create and produce environmentally friendly woven materials and clothing made out of recycled plastic bottles.
Waste2wear is the exclusive producer of the eco-friendly materials and printing of Storm’s designs.
In one case 25 plastic bottles are used in the material for a bench of one meter in length.
“All my design benches showcase a unique impression of China in multi-colored designs. The designs continue to change constantly,” she added.