Interview by *Zee* Zuleicca Resident for LTD Magazine January/February 2014
Images provided by Froukje Hoorenbeek
“Gezelligheid.”Froukje Hoorenbeek was having a hard time trying to convey a very Dutch thing to me. “Gezellig is not only people, a room or a home can be it too,” she tried again. Looking up “gezelligheid” or “gezellig” did not offer more explanation, but instead made it even more complex.This Dutch word has no equivalent in English. One can attempt to describe as a feeling of coziness, quaintness, pleasant or entertaining, but those descriptions would not even begin to explain the word well. It is more like a state of mind towards a certain atmosphere and the elements in it. Dutch people cannot even explain this properly to non-Dutch.It is clear, however, that Fruokje’s “gezzelig” has a lot to do with homing instincts.
“When I came into SL, I got a piece of land within three weeks, and started decorating,” she said. “But everything was either high prim or low quality. So I bought modifiable furniture and looked at how it was constructed. Stripped it down, changed it…and that is how I started learning. Then I started to make it myself. The name Dutchie was given to me and my store by a friend, who probably could not pronounce or write Froukje,” she laughed. “But the more time passes, the happier I am with it. It gives me a guideline to create by. It helps me focus, because my problem is not a lack of inspiration but rather too much of it!”It sounds like a good problem to have, as we are standing outside of her latest project: an imposingly detailed two storey, five room house.
“I start with the layout of the house, and then furnishing it room by room.” She explained. “Now I am back at the house itself, then the living and dining room, then I am done.I have been working on this for one and a half years, and it’s probably not going to finish for another 6 months.”She intends to take realism to the next stage with the house.
“I am experimenting on building this house on a realistic scale. Some of my fellow builders build giant houses with huge rooms and often huge furniture too,” she explained as we put on our Camera HUD. “But I am experimenting with Oculus Rift and that just looks dreadful. You have no other option than to sit on the furniture. You can stand in the rooms, look around, but they are built to sit on furniture.”An Oculus Rift ready house, can it be true? “I have it but I cannot build with it on. But it made me so aware of scale, even more so then before.”
If she is building this to scale, isn’t she worried about other’s experience? ‘Build to Scale’ has always been a problem for builders in a world where unrealistically scaled avatars roam free.“I am worried,” she admitted. “The scaling thing is scary. I really have no idea how this will be received. But Penny (creator of the Camera HUD) has graciously given me permission to distribute the Camera HUD as a freebie in my store.”
Exploring a ‘built-to-scale’ house with a ‘scale-correct’ camera is definitely a much more pleasant experience as we tour around the house. My camera is not panning in and out as I navigate through doors and hallway, and climb up the stairs.I stepped into the antique filled master bedroom and am suddenly transported to the bygone era of the Dutch-East India Company. I was not far-off…..
Read more in the premier issue of Love To Decorate – The Magazine coming January 23rd!