Name: Danielle & Erik
Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Rent or own: Own
Size: 700 sq/ft
Years lived in: 2
There are no curtains on the enormous windows at Danielle and Erik's canal-front Amsterdam flat, where boats float by day and night, taking turns with swans...
But there's also plenty to see inside of the first-floor 1890 flat they bought in 2006. One of the most stunning architectural features of the 700 square foot apartment -- which has walls of windows at both ends -- is the intricate molded ceiling. "The beautiful ceiling was one of the main reasons I fell in love with the house," says Danielle.
This place would look good empty, but they have dressed it smartly in a mostly black and white palette with bold colorful accents, the most dominant of which is red. But what looks like a strong design choice was in fact mere serendipity, according to Danielle. "The house was already very black and white (like the nice kitchen floor, the mantelpieces)," she says. "And when we moved in together, we discovered that we had a lot of red stuff!"
The quirkiest thing about the place is the kitchen/bathroom combo, which is both an astute use of space and proximity to pipes, and a little awkward. When they moved in, they painted the wall around the built-in shower black to make it look less like a bathroom, and the cabinets lacquer red to draw your eye past the shower and set off the beautifully patterned black-and-white tile floor. "We wanted to change the whole bathroom, and just make a shower," says Danielle, "but I was so happy having a bathtub that we left it that way. I'm not a big fan of the kitchen/bathroom combination, but now I can enjoy chatting with Erik from the bath while he is cooking!"
An earlier version of this post ran on October 29, 2007.
- Kristin Hohenadel blogging from rue Vieille du Temple, Paris, France. If you have an idea for a European house tour, please write to kristin @ apartmenttherapy . com