Living in a store. Why not? When you are a collector gathering tons of interior design stuff, there comes a point you just have to start selling things. Create space for new treasures. How lovely, then, when your house is a 17th century red brick postcard with a balcony over one of the idyllic canals of Dordrecht, the oldest city of the Netherlands. So that’s what the guys of Wonen in de winkel (Living in the shop) did: they made their house a store. Go for a treasure hunt for art deco lamps, antique dolls, drawings, furniture, and, yes, corks, while they entertain their friends for lunch in the open kitchen. And close off with a cup of tea on the balcony. Meet the cutest store in town!
Spotify tip while reading this post:
‘We are collectors’, says one of the two owners. ‘And our house was starting to get crowded, so we started to sell things. And we decided on the concept of selling from the home. We are living in our store. This is where we live and everything here is for sale. From that moment on visitors started asking for things. Whether we had coffee. So we started to sell coffee. And then we started to sell some sweets along with the coffee, because that’s what they asked for. And before we knew it, we were a shop with coffee and cakes.’ And sure enough, friends are dropping by for lunch in the family’s kitchen. Should I say ‘hi’? It feels like I am visiting, too.
Everything for sale
The home, or store, sells amazing art deco lamps. Most of them are displayed near the shop window, but there is one master piece upstairs. Near the balcony. Other than that there are great pieces of furniture.
And then there’s a third floor, where you can see the beautiful wooden floors and brick walls. Imagine a trader’s family in a long gone decade, in delicate dresses and well done hairdo’s. I can see it. The furniture of the store enforces the feeling. They are most probably antique, or else just very vintage. It seems that all of it is for sale. On the ground floor, you find most of the smaller treasures: corks with faces, paintings, espresso cups, stained glasses, vases, antique (porcelain?) dolls, and more, more, more. It’s a trip accompanied by the smiles of the two men.
I leave the store with a beautiful water color drawing of a crane bird. It seems that someone around here makes these, cause there’s a whole bunch of them, and was offered a place in this store to sell. They are spread out on the table, all nature drawings of animals. Some in black and white, some in color. The work of a passionate person.
And then the balcony. The sun is shining and reflects on the canal water. Once in a while a boat passes by. Now a family on a little boat enjoying the day, then an open tour boat with a tape telling all on board what’s there to see. In the meantime there’s tea, coffee, and a lovely lemon cake. Couldn’t ask for more.
For Christmas or other seasons, the owners occasionally serve some specialties like real Dutch erwtensoep (green pea soup). You could be surprised!
Where can you find the store?
You can find Wonen in de Winkel in Dordrecht at the Groenmarkt. This is near the center about 15 minutes walking from the train station. From here you can continue to the yacht harbor, the river side (Groothoofd), or visit one of the many hofjes (community gardens) around town.
Visit their website www.wonenindewinkel.nl for more information on the shop.