A Vintage IKEA Dresser Was the Heart of This Amsterdam Home

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A Vintage IKEA Dresser Was the Heart of This Amsterdam Home

Alyssa Neilson sits at the dining table in her Amsterdam apartment.

Photo: Mikel van den Boogaard

What makes a purchase “worth it”? The answer is different for everyone, so we ask some of the coolest, most shoppable people we know—from small business owners to designers, artists, and actorsto tell us the story behind one of their most precious possessions.


Alyssa Neilson is a stylist, a strategist and the founder of Studio Marie. Her social media marketing consultancy specializes in taking category-defining and emerging brands to the next level, and some of her clients include Bread Beauty Supply, Buffy, Glossier and Kin Euphorics. If you’ve been following the Houston native on social media for as long as I have, then you already know she has an enviable closet full of the coolest clothes and sneakers. Alyssa is always on the move – literally – and you can never tell where she might be going next.

But what you may not be aware of is that Alyssa went through one of the most unconventional pandemic experiences of all time: She spent her third trimester in lockdown, and three months after giving birth to her first child, them both on a plane from New York to Amsterdam, where they would live with her husband, Mikel van den Boogaard, for the next two years. It was a big move, but for Alyssa, the biggest challenge she faced while adjusting to life in her new environment abroad was the weather.

“I knew my home had to feel really good,” she explains on a Zoom call. “The weather there is horrible, so they don’t really live outside like Americans. They really need to live inside… So it was very important that I had a comfortable inside experience.”

Alyssa got this vintage IKEA dresser from her mother-in-law at a thrift store.

Photo: Mikel van den Boogaard


Alyssa wasted no time in making herself at home when she moved into her husband’s apartment. Since her style tends toward dark and masculine (she compares it to a library), the first order of business was to brighten the space with color. “I have always loved many colors, they have always been very important to me,” she explains. “With Amsterdam, I knew it was so dark and gray there that I really needed a little color everywhere I looked.” Luckily for her, their home already had large windows for natural light to pour in onto the light floors, which made everything feel more airy. Although she’s a big fan of Scandinavian design, Alyssa didn’t want to “live in a total Copenhagen house that’s very colorful and everything looks like a toy.” With this in mind, she kept the color strictly to accessories bought from stores such as HAY and Finnish Design Shop.

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