To get a glimpse into Madelon Oudshoorn Spaargaren’s home is to observe her past and present amid souvenirs from near and far. She’s someone who spent her entire life traveling—living in and visiting locales in Asia, the Middle East, and Africa—and feels an understandable push to keep moving. But for now, at home in Amsterdam, she’s surrounded by the colors and textures of her whirlwind take on the world. “I dare to use colors and materials, and I combine antiques with design,” Madelon says. “Dutch people are often careful with choosing colors. The majority choose ‘safe’ colors, like gray, black, or white. Not me. I like extraordinary fabrics, wallpapers, and wall-painting techniques.”
As an interior designer and owner of MOS Interiors, Madelon has built a career out of appreciating materials and the ways in which they can tell an interesting, intimate story. In the living room, which overlooks the famous Westerkerk church with floor-to-ceiling glass, Madelon reupholstered chaise longues in a crisscross fabric from Le Manach that she designed herself. They sit across from a burnt orange corduroy couch, which offsets the purple and yellow print of the hemp wallpaper behind. The same lean toward pattern and color transitions into the kitchen and dining space—a room that was once a standard black that Madelon aimed to “bespoke”—complete with a white squiggle mural that makes neutral shades shine. “It reminds me of my travels through Ghana, Tanzania, Kenya, and South Africa,” she says. “But it is also an eye wink towards Keith Haring, of whom we own some art pieces.” —Kelly Dawson
Alison and Jay Carroll do everything together. The couple founded olive oil company Wonder Valley and set up shop in a restored 1940s gas station just off the beloved Twentynine Palms Highway in Joshua Tree, California. They are also both partners at El Rey Court, an 86-room restored motel in Santa Fe, New Mexico, with a swim club and that beautiful bar (La Reina) you keep seeing on Instagram. But their latest project required the most teamwork of all: a once-abandoned homestead the couple converted themselves into a desert dream home.
It took nearly a year and a half for Jay and Alison to renovate the home, and while they worked, they lived in a blue-painted vagabond trailer, aptly named Big Blue. The couple uses Big Blue to host extra guests and the occasional Airbnb renter. One guest, friend, and artist, Tom Jean Webb, stayed for a long period of time and in return gifted the couple this mural, with Lefty painted in gold. —Corynne Pless