Whether you are renting, staying in a long-term AirBNB or have just bought a house in the Netherlands, making any space a home where you feel comfy and cosy is an enjoyable project. We have compiled some helpful tips to help you turn any type of accommodation into a true home.

Naming your home

If you own a home, naming your home and having a personalised sign made for your home is a wonderful way to make your house a home. In the Netherlands, you can order such signs at a shoe repair shop, where samples will be on display. You will also be able to order these via specialised shops or places like Etsy. If you are renting, you could opt for a removable sign to hang on your door. If you have the possibility to choose your own doorbell, go for a sound you totally love, perhaps even your favorite music.

Keeping warm and keeping cool

If you are renting of have bought a historic Dutch home, your home may have single glazing. For historic properties, there are guidelines in places as to what the options are when it comes to replacing glazing to make your home a warmer place. If you find yourself in a single-glazed property, thick curtains and radiator foil will help to keep the heat inside. If you own a home, check with your local council to see what subsidies and schemes are currently available to further insulate your home and make it more sustainable. You could also ask for advice at a Dutch DIY store such as Gamma, Praxis or Hornbach or become a member of the Dutch home owners association (Vereniging Eigen Huis).

Due to climate change, the Netherlands too is facing more and more heatwaves in the Summer months. Specialised interior stores can help you with made-to-measure sun blocking shutters and curtains but if you are on a budget, keeping the curtains closed and pinning white bed sheets onto the inside of your curtains on hot days is another way to keep your home cool. You can also find more affordable options regarding sun blocking curtains at places like IKEA and HEMA.

Decorating your windows

Dutch homes are known for their many, spacious windows. This comes with the added benefit of having a lot of daylight flooding into your home. If you want to ‘Go Dutch’ you may want to add some plants or other decorative items in your window sills or hang decorative items in front of your windows. As Dutch Winters can be dark and rainy, with little daylight, you may want to invest in a daylight lamp.

Clean air

Especially if you live in a city, or if you have neighbours who smoke, you may want to invest in an air purifier for your home. Most brands will have various models and will list the number of square meters a certain air purifier is suitable for.

Great joy in small spaces

Many expats find Dutch homes to be smaller than what they are used to but there are many ways to still make a small home the home of your dreams. If your budget allows you to do so, you may even want to hire an interior designer or architect to help you make the space work best for you. Another great tool is watching tiny house Youtube channels for more inspiration on how to cleverly use small spaces.


Even if you have just arrived in the country, and are staying in temporary accommodation, adding a fresh bouquet of flowers instantly makes any space feel more homely. Once you have found your long-term home, adding greenery is a wonderful way to create the home of your dreams. The Dutch are very fond of houseplants and it is scientifically proven that indoor greenery improves our health and wellbeing. You may even find a plant which adds a touch of your homeland. From tiny coffee plants at Dille & Kamille to small lemon trees at Intratuin, you can easily add a Brazilian or Italian touch to your Dutch home.

Many major Dutch cities such as Amsterdam and Leiden also have a hortus botanicus (botanical gardens) which are wonderful to visit for inspiration and display plants and trees from all over the world.

Taking care of your outdoor items

You may be lucky enough to have found a home that comes with a garden, balcony or roof terrace. As the Netherlands is a rainy and stormy country, rain covers for outdoor items are a great investment. You may also want to install the KNMI app so you will be alerted when another storm is on its way so you can move any items inside in order to prevent them from being smashed by the Dutch wind. When installing new fencing in your garden, buy the strongest type you can find and install them as deeply into the soil as you possibly can, using metal or steel, as they will need to be able to withstand the Dutch wind and storms.

Adding scent, candlelight and soft furnishings

Candles are also a great way to add some cosines to any space, as is scent. If you are staying in accommodation where candles are not allowed, battery-powered candles are a great alternative. You will find them in many shapes and colours at garden centres and Dutch stores selling home goods, such as Blokker, HEMA, Action and Zeeman. Soft furnishings like throws, pillows and blankets also instantly make any space feel like a cosy haven. In the Netherlands, you will find those at stores like Xenos, Kwantum, Leen Bakker, Blokker, TK Maxx and interior shops. Adding a scent of your homeland via a scented candle or diffuser is also a great way to make your Dutch house feel like a true home.

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