A 290-Square-Foot Amsterdam Studio Uses Color to Create Distinct Living Zones

published Apr 19, 2021

A 290-Square-Foot Amsterdam Studio Uses Color to Create Distinct Living Zones

published Apr 19, 2021
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Name: Karst Rauhé
Location: Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Size: 290 square feet
Type of Home: Studio Apartment
Years lived in: 2.5 years, renting

Karst Rauhé, who’s an urban planner by day and an interiors instagrammer in his free time, had been renting in Amsterdam’s Oud-Zuid district in a not-so-great living situation. Karst says that Amsterdam’s rental market is tough, so when he came across this newly constructed building of studio apartments with shared amenities like flex work spaces, a gym, hangout areas, and more, he jumped on the chance to rent it.

“I had only seen a model apartment and had no say in which floor/side of the building I would end up, but I lucked out being up quite high and with an amazing view,” he writes. “What I love about my apartment is that it is a comfortable, new, and neutral blank canvas with a gorgeous view. That gives me all the creative freedom to build my own little haven here. I love redecorating every once in a while and love to fill my place with plants, thrifted finds, and cool murals.”

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Vintage funky eclectic

Inspiration: Old 1960s/1970s magazines, thrift shops, nature

Favorite Element: My absolute favourite elements are the massive windows with this urban, almost non-Amsterdam view. Furniture-wise I love my ’60s Danish dresser next to my sofa which I bought for €35 yeaaaars ago, I’ll never get rid of that.

Biggest Challenge: My home is insanely tiny so maximising the space is a massive struggle. For example, I used to have a little round marble dining table in front of the arch mural. When the pandemic hit, I had to create a work-from-home spot. I got this nice desk, but it took me quite a while to come up with a spot for breakfast and dinner. This super narrow counter table fits the space perfectly and is so handy. It also invites you to cook towards the rest of the space when you have people over.

Proudest DIY: The best — or most impactful — DIYs are my murals. I chose colours that reference the ’60s/’70s and made the curve with rope, a nail on one end and a pencil on the other. Holding the nail in place, and keeping the rope tight, I drew a neat curve. Another is my counter table, which came with an ugly faux-wood top. I wrapped it with terrazzo patterned stick on foil to make it fit the space and the colour palette.

Biggest Indulgence: The biggest indulgence in my home is my vintage Danish design shelving unit. It’s designed by Kai Kristiansen in the 1960s and they’re quite rare. When I found it on an online platform I couldn’t help myself but buy it; it fits my hallway perfectly.

What are your favorite products you have bought for your home and why? My favorite is the scented candle I have from this untrendy store but it smells and looks so good! My other favorites are my amber glass mugs.

Please describe any helpful, inspiring, brilliant, or just plain useful small space maximizing and/or organizing tips you have: When you live this small, regular interior advice is not always applicable. Pick furniture that comes off the ground, with rounded corners and an airy design to make it visually take up less space. Besides that, think about how the sun enters your home. Don’t block it with high closets or other furniture. Adding decor that takes up zero floorspace obviously leads you to working on the walls. With murals, cool art, and other things on the wall you can add personality.

Finally, what’s your absolute best home secret or decorating advice? Think about home decor as Tetris. Digitally draw a floorplan, and draw in a circle with an 80cm diameter to represent you, the person living there. Then, when you digitally decorate and lay out the space, you get a feel for how it flows and how easy it is to move around.




Thanks Karst!

This house tour’s responses were edited for length and clarity.