This Photographer’s Small Dutch Home Has the Coolest Painted Staircase

published Apr 1, 2024

This Photographer’s Small Dutch Home Has the Coolest Painted Staircase

published Apr 1, 2024
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Jan Hoek is all about inclusivity. As an artist and photographer, they often work with neurodiverse artists, disabled artists, sex worker artists, and more. Jan also runs an inclusive art space called the No Limits! Art Castle, which is the “first art space in the Netherlands that stands for an art world without borders. No boundaries between so-called ‘outsider’ artists and the rest of the art world, not between art and design, not between day and night culture or fantasy and reality,” according to the castle’s website. 

And when it came to Jan’s own home — this 430-square-foot apartment in Amsterdam’s Baarsjes area they’ve rented for five years — Jan was also inclusive with color and pattern … maybe even a little too inclusive, by their own admission. 

“I think it’s quite a colorful house, but a few months ago I suddenly became afraid that it became too much of a happy color numeric Instagram-house and then I suddenly hated my house,” Jan admits.

“Then I took away some of the most colorful things and wanted as my new style: Alien egg meets mosque meets ‘90s Hardcore. I’m not there yet but slowly going there.”

Updates to Jan’s space have mostly involved surface-level improvements (see the painted kitchen cabinets, stairs, and more, for example).

“I’m not a rich person and I’m always shocked by how much it costs to really renovate your whole bathroom or kitchen, which I would love to re-tile one day,” Jan admits.

“But I bought some new radiators, and a friend of mine installed them and for me that’s already quite a renovation.”

When it comes to furnishing the colorful, energetic space, it’s of course filled with tons of interesting art pieces, quirky furniture pieces, and Jan’s best purchase: a couch from Hay found online for a steal. “I didn’t know a big couch that was not ugly existed and that it could make me soooo happy,” Jan writes. 




  • Tattooed Sausage artwork — Gijs Assman
  • Hand chair — Found secondhand
  • Both pink and wooden alien book closet — by Gert Wessels


  • Green alien egg cat litter box — Kitty Glitz
  • Horror carpet — Etsy



  • Knight toilet paper holder — Amazon

Thanks, Jan!

This tour’s responses and photos were edited for length/size and clarity.