GREEN LIVING: my urban jungle

by mandybollegraf

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The last couple of weeks I’ve been spending lots of time working on my book on houseplants. Still haven’t forgotten about my blog, though! Time to post something new and introduce a new category to you guys. My category ‘Urban Jungle Living’ will be filled with portraits of cool, green interiors filled with plants. Starting with my own urban jungle. Did you create a botanical paradise at your house or maybe at work? And would you like to be featured on my blog? Let me know! Maybe soon I‘ll be ringing your doorbell armed with pen, paper & camera. You really don’t need to be a major crazy plant lady like I am with more than 125 houseplants. Don’t worry! As a thank you I’ll bring a green gift!

It’s kind of weird that I’m starting off with my own home, because that means interviewing myself. But my house can’t not be in this category, since it’s the most plAntiful interior I know 😉

My boyfriend and I live in our current apartment since January 2017. When we decided to live together and find a bigger place, I was happy to hear that he not only fell in love with me, but with the area I lived in as well. Luckily, we found an apartment in our beloved area soon and before we knew it, we got the key to our first place together.

Our interior is a mix of urban jungle, mid-century modern and boho chic.

Because we live in one of the corner apartments, we’ve got lots of windows. Big ones too and most of them south-facing, which means lots of natural light coming in. Much to our and our green roommates’ liking. The corner location also comes with a few curved walls which I like. Not clearly seen in my pictures. Hard to capture.


Lots of windows means many pretty panorama views over the area of Roombeek. According to some described as the best area to live in in Enschede. It has a horrible history though. In May 2000 a fireworks depot exploded killing 23 people and destroying thousands of homes. The memorial monument is just outside our house. You can clearly see now that our city was helped financially by our government during rebuilding. Now there are tours daily showing tourists the many architectural delights.

All rooftops of our apartment building are covered with Sedum. Plants everywhere!

The first three things in our new apartment were a chair, a wooden crate that served as a temporary table and my Persian Silk Tree. One of the plants that was longing for more light in my old apartment. I almost heard him say “thank you, mommy!”, when I placed him in his new spot. Of course, our other furniture followed quickly after, as did our familiar green friends. Looking around we noticed so much more space for plants that we couldn’t help ourselves. Many trips down to plant nurseries and garden centres were made 😉 You might think that every time I brought another plant home I found my boyfriend facepalming and wondering whether he had to call an addiction clinic or the mental hospital. But I didn’t, haha! He loves being surrounded by lots of greenery at home as much as I do.

Meanwhile, we’ve got so many houseplants we’ve lost count and I’m pretty busy keeping them alive. Class example of a hobby that got out of hand. Which recently got more serious with my houseplant book coming up. Now our apartment is more than just a living space. I use it as my home office or work-space as well. Our jungle room, a side room with the most windows, therefore the most plants, has gotten multi-functional. It started out as our hobby room where my boyfriend goes wild using his drum kit and I’m reading in my book nook (never at the same time, you can imagine why haha!) or using my craft corner. At the moment this room also became my writing space where I work on my book and blog. And have I mentioned this room is also our nursery? For plant babies obviously 😛

Our multi-functional jungle room. I use the sliding doors as my white board and scrum board. After a writing day in my home office, relaxing in our living room is just a slide away!

Top right: one of the views out our jungle room, bottom left: our reading corner or book nook in the same room.

If I HAVE to play favourites when it comes to our rooms, I’d pick our jungle room. Second best is definitely our balcony. A lush green space as well, mainly in summer obviously. More important: it’s where my hammock is. Handmade in Nicaragua, in a small company called Tío Antonio where disabled people make the prettiest hammocks and serve good coffee at the cafe next door. I stayed at a place not far from here when I did a Spanish language course and some volunteer work in Nicaragua & Costa Rica back in 2015. To remember my time in Granada, the city I fell in love with, I asked tío Antonio to make me a hammock. I choose the colours and the design myself and asked them to ship it to Holland. Ten days after I came home it arrived, my prized possession!

More plants outside!

You’ll also find Central America in our bedroom. Right above my head every night! The old map was from a school in our area my mom works at. One day they cleaned them all out and my mom saved a few for me. We also have a big one, a world map, in our hallway. Our bedroom is full of light as well, so perfect for lots of plants. They do need to be okay with lower temperatures, though. My boyfriend and I both love a cool, chilly bedroom. Therefore every winter I need to move some tropical plants to our jungle room or living room.

Green & white, gotta love the light!

My boyfriend’s favourite place at home is the living room, especially ‘his’ chair. It’s second-hand and we found it online. A few weeks later I found a matching foot bench at a thrift store. You can see them on the pictures below. Next to the chair you see my favourite lamp. I once found it when I was at a family party held in a green house filled with furniture that was for sale. It had the ugliest lampshade, so I quickly replaced it with this new one.

You can’t really tell in this picture, but our television screen is actually way too big for my lovely old radio cabinet. Men and TVs…….

I guess it’s clear: we love our home! Hopefully soon you’ll find more green interiors on here. Don’t forget to send me a message if you like to be featured in my category ‘Urban Jungle Living’! I’ll be more than happy to come by 🙂

Below you’ll find some more pictures of our urban jungle.

Thanks for reading!

Probably my favourite feature in our house: the hanging plant-filled shelves on the above picture.

On our ‘Where we’ve been map’ we collect pink dots!

Winter in our urban jungle!

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