Elena & Judd’s Cozy Amsterdam Apartment

updated Feb 20, 2019
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(Image credit: Breanne Johnsen)

Name: Elena and Judd
Location: Amsterdam Oost (East)
Size: 83 square meters (about 893 square feet)
Years lived in: 2 years; Owned

Elena’s Italian heritage and Judd’s Wisconsin roots combine with their love of architecture, vintage street finds, and mid-century details to create a fantastic masterpiece of a home. Welcome to Elena and Judd’s beautiful Amsterdam space!

(Image credit: Breanne Johnsen)

There’s a lot of detail here, enough to pique your interest immediately after walking through the front door. Along with their midcentury furniture (the living room chairs and dresser) Elena and Judd also have some eye-grabbing prints, photos and paintings. Lots of natural light and a few formal pieces with a funky feel make the home’s look architecturally strong while maintaining a cozy atmosphere.

A lot of love and patience went into this place, and it’s already a great place to live. But Elena and Judd don’t seem to be in any rush for things to be ‘finished’ — some of their best finds were pieces they weren’t actively looking for but instead came across on an evening stroll. I really enjoyed taking a peek into their lives and their living space!

(Image credit: Breanne Johnsen)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Somewhere between mid-century modern and thrift shop vintage. It’s been a slow work in progress, which is reflected in some of our furnishings. Some we love and others, we are still looking for the right solution.

Inspiration: I like to think that we find inspiration everywhere, from the graffiti we see around Amsterdam to the minute details of a chair. This city is great because it has such a spectrum of art and design to stimulate you.

Favorite Element: A few things.

The kitchen because it’s really the anchor to the house, and with our small but open floor plan it is great to cook and chat at the same time.

The amount of natural light we have upstairs. You can never underestimate natural light.

Some of the details that help tie everything together as you look closer, like the wood trim on the kitchen shelf added to match with the kitchen cabinets. Downstairs the color of the storage closet runs into the bedroom, while a new type of wood is introduced in shelving and the doors.

Biggest Challenge: To be honest, storage has been one of our biggest challenges — that and reducing our chair collection. We’ve picked up a lot of chairs on the street and given them some love, and now we have too many. I think we have another 6-8 chairs in our little storage unit on the ground floor. To address our storage problem we’ve done a couple of things. We changed a small, awkward closet which you entered from the smaller bedroom into cubby hole storage under the stairs opening into the hallway.

What Friends Say: That it’s really comfortable; I think that says the most.

Biggest Embarrassment: I think we still need to update the couch, but we still haven’t found the right one. And we would love to update the bathroom and shower.

Proudest DIY: The kitchen and the way we treated the concrete floors on the lower level. When we bought the place we weren’t entirely sure what was under the carpet — given it’s a newer building we assumed concrete, but we had no idea what kind of condition the floors were in. It turned out they were in great shape and completely unfinished. We spent over a month of weekends sanding, dying it with coffee as it was still porous, and then finishing it with a floor lacquer. It was a little bit of a trial and error on the dying and lacquer, but we’re really happy with the color and the results. We did the design of the kitchen and then got some help from a very nice local carpenter.

Biggest Indulgence: Probably the kitchen, but it’s totally worth it.

Best Advice: Take your time and live in a space a little bit before making significant changes. You’ll learn a lot that will influence design decisions.

Dream Sources: More specifically around design — I guess it’s a bit web based, but I like Ffffound, Dwell, NYTimes Home and Garden, and any other image heavy blogs I may run across.

(Image credit: Breanne Johnsen)

Resources of Note:



  • We’ve found some really great pieces from Decennia Design in Tilburg, our kitchen table, end tables, two main chairs in the living room and dresser have all come from there
  • Coffee table from lichten muebels in Amsterdam Oost
  • Couch: Ikea


  • Table from Deccenia Design in Tilburg
  • Chairs are 70’s dutch design purchased second hand from our neighbor


  • Kitchen was stock kitchen shelving with custom doors and handles by Wouter Verhoef at Moving Works
  • Stove/Range Boretti from a friend


  • Bed and table from Ikea
  • Chairs: Vintage Dutch school chair from our neighbors and then some Danish chairs found on the street which we restored
  • Custom shelving by Don Zweedijk at Cineset
  • Photograph by Rob Brander


  • Custom shelving by Wouter Verhoeff at Moving Works
  • Chalkboard paint on doors
(Image credit: Breanne Johnsen)

Thanks, Elena and Judd!

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