An unfortunate event and life-changing trip led this young family to reassess and move into a houseboat. We step on board and check out their bohemian style
Inside the little houseboat filled with bohemian style
Bregje Geurtsen, co-owner of a vintage shop-come-health cafe, Nick van der Schalie, consultant, and Fee, 6, plus cats Nanna and Lotje
Sometimes tough breaks can lead to exciting adventures – when her partner, Nick, lost his job, designer Bregje Geurtsen realised she wasn’t too keen on her work either. Instead of continuing to scrape by in their tiny 40-square-metre apartment in the Dutch capital of Amsterdam, the pair decided to take their three-year-old daughter, Fee, on a big adventure around southeast Asia.
“We decided it was the perfect timing for a trip to Asia because Fee was not yet at school,” says Bregje. “I quit my job, we gave notice at our apartment, and off we went to China, Vietnam, Malaysia and Bali. We had a wonderful journey that lasted six months. It really gave me the inspiration to find new goals in my life.”
With their horizons newly expanded and priorities rearranged, the family returned home and pondered their next step. “While searching for somewhere to live, we stumbled on this houseboat on the edge of a lake in Den Bosch [in the southern Netherlands]. I’d always dreamed of a farm-like home and this came very close: the natural surroundings, the water, the fact we could have a little vegetable garden, and there was enough space for the three of us. We didn’t think twice,” says Bregje.
Words by: Mieke Vendel. Photography by: Peggy Janssen.