Apartment tour | How to turn a storage house into a roomy loft | Home tour industrial building


Jordaan used to be a working-class neighbourhood,
and it has become one of the most expensive and upscale districts in Amsterdam. The Bloemgracht – or the flower canal – is
lined with historic merchants’ houses. This is where Oliver Michell and George Gottl
live. “Hi, come on in.” The couple turned the 240-square-meter living
space here on the fifth floor into a modern loft. “We picked this place because it was spacious;
it was also left untouched for a very long time. The house is from 1763 and it had been left
open, without any walls. And so we loved the idea of maybe living in
a loft in Amsterdam, which is very unusual.” During the refurbishment in 2007, the owners
kept as many of the original features as they could. George Gottl is American, Oliver Michell is
French. They’re professional interior decorators who
work mainly for corporate clients. But privately their tastes are rather – you
could say – on the quirky side. “One of the things that we wanted to do because
the house was so big and open – because it is an old warehouse – is we wanted to
divide the rooms without walls, using curtains. And so we created a series of tented spaces
within the large warehouse, to create bedrooms and guestrooms.” That way they can close off up to three different
areas. “One of the features of the house is we have
this beautiful view from the terrace of the Westertoren church here in Amsterdam. It’s very famous. It’s near the Anne Frank House, as well. So it’s a very historical section of town.” Inside, they’ve opted for a mix of designer
furniture and vintage pieces. It’s these souvenirs that give the apartment its
special flair. They found this decorated skull in Mexico. The couple are especially fond of art that
features taxidermy and anatomical models. This life-size sculpture is made of leather
and yarn. And some of their choices are a little unsettling. Some of the works are by Dutch artists. “The objects we have here are really always
kind of always at the brink between beautiful and somewhat disturbing. We really like that tension. So the house is quite unusual in a sense that
it’s a lot of pieces that are ugly/beautiful, I suppose you could say.” And they themselves have certainly brought
a new perspective to this historic house in the heart of Amsterdam.

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