Tag Archives: Amsterdam

Magnificent home in Laren, the Netherlands, for sale

Like Nate Berkus, Ineke, aka the Huizenfee, is a regular here on Homevoyeurs. I wrote about her work for the Wisseloord Studio’s not too long ago, and about the house she restyled in Laren. That sold last year, so the new owners will be calling it home soon. Her own home is now for sale too. It’s in the picturesque village of Laren in ‘het Gooi’. The Netherlands’ answer to Connecticut.  She bought the house a few years back and revamped it to its current glory.

The house looks old, but was built in 1980

The house looks old, but was built in 1980

The vaulted ceiling were created after a mezzanine was taken out.

The vaulted ceiling was created by taking out an oddly placed mezzanine

I love the dining chairs and massive table.

I love the dining chairs and massive table

The house is built in a horse shoe shape so features a secluded patio with a veranda.

The house is built in a horse-shoe shape so features a secluded patio with a veranda

The wooden doors are antiques Ineke picked up at an antique store.

The wooden doors are antiques Ineke picked up at an antique materials store. They’re from an old school. They can be folded entirely to allow an open flow from the kitchen to the patio

The kitchen is great! It’s big enough for a small breakfast table but also has an adjacent smaller dining room

My favourite part of the house. The view from the living room with fireplace to the veranda and patio

My favourite part of the house. The view from the living room with fireplace to the veranda and patio


I passed!

Hurray! Yesterday the mail came bringing good news. My diploma interior design. I took a crash course from January to June this year, to rekindle my spark for interior design.

Have a look at my presentation for the final exam. Mind you, this was a given assignment. Redesign the ground floor of a 30’s villa for a gay couple in their forties with a love for bold colours. I am particularly proud of the 3D drawings.

Interior design exam presentation Pieter Valk






Iconic Dutch architecture inspires Hotel in Zaandam

Check out this interesting hotel design by Dutch architecture firm WAM architecten. The design looks like a pile of typical green wooden houses stacked on top of each other. It’s the new Inntel Hotel Amsterdam in Zaandam, a town North of Amsterdam. The 4-star hotel has 160 rooms and a total of 11 floors.

What do you think?

Inntel Hotel Zaandam

Inntel Hotel Zaandam

Tasschen to open shop in Amsterdam!

Dutch coffee table book lovers; max out your credit card AND your coffee table! German publisher Tasschen, known for their budget friendly books on anything related to design, art, architecture, fashion and photography, is opening a flagship store on glitzy PC Hooftstraat!


A spokesperson for the company that imports Tasschen commented “The store will sell the budget friendly books, as well as luxurious high-end books and limited editions worth thousands of dollars”.

Tasschen previously opened shops in London, Paris, New York, Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Berlin and Brussels

The Homevoyeurs webshop also sells books to fill your coffee table. For instance this one: Constructive Furniture by Jean Prouve, Ray Eames and Charles Eames for $29,95.

Constructive Furniture

I took an Apartment Journey

My personal heroes at Apartment Therapy shared some wonderful photographs taken by a guy in his apartment. He was forced to spend some time at home due to a sprained ankle which was a break from his otherwise hectic working life. He started playing with his Hipstamatic app on his iPhone. The result was an amazing series of pictures of his home. “I started looking for unique angles, small vignettes arranged by my girlfriend, or gathered in their own organic way (messes). I looked for textures and viewpoints that I miss in my daily busyness. I even caught a couple of cat naps that I rarely see when working late hours.”

The pictures made him look at his place with different eyes. Only after seeing these images he realized the uniqueness of it. He saw things he never noticed or never appreciated up to then. Apartment Therapy recommends trying this yourself. They say “This is such a great exercise on multiple levels – it adds to your emotional connection to your home and creates an opportunity for design improvements. Taking a step back and seeing your home’s objects, arrangements, colors and textures through photos allows you to evaluate and appreciate them in a different way, opening up the door for both change and acceptance.”

So I did. I didn’t use the same lens as I believe that is one of the ones you pay extra for but I still like the result, a lot. And it works. I see my place through the eyes of a first time visitor now. It’s great! I had to force myself not to look as a photographer or as a designer but just look for unusual angles, shapes, forms or items I would otherwise not have captured. A lot of the pictures didn’t work at all, but quite a few came out pretty nice if I say so myself.

If you feel like sharing pics of your own apartment journey please do. But also please share them with the guys at Apartment Therapy as they inspired me in the first place. They always do.

Houseboat by +31 architects

Some of you design buffs based in the Netherlands might have seen this before  as it was heavily featured in the national press, but I still want to share it on my blog.

De Omval Houseboat designed by +31 architects

This houseboat in the Amstel river in Amsterdam was designed by +31 Architects. They are known for other houseboat projects in the Amsterdam area. The boat is a streamlined glass panes design allowing maximum use of natural light. It reminds me a bit of the Elicium building at the Rai conference center, designed by Benthem Crouwel architects.

Houseboat de Omval by +31 architects

The boat might be very modern, but it was designed to reflect the shape of other houseboats in the canals and rivers of Amsterdam. Neighbours and council alike are very enthusiastic about it. Personally, I feel like I have seen it before.

What do you think?

De Nieuwe Liefde Amsterdam

De Nieuwe Liefde

De Nieuwe Liefde (‘The New Love’) is a theatre and spiritual centre in Amsterdam. It is housed in a monumental white building originally constructed in 1904 as storage space for a local wine company.  After falling into disrepair, and after the last tenants leaving the property in 2007, the building, before called De Liefde, was completely rebuilt by Wiel Arets Architects and renamed De Nieuwe Liefde. The new building houses a main hall with seating for 230, a conference room with space for 60, a choir space for 50, a library, a separate restaurant-café and a grand foyer.

De Nieuwe Liefde

With the renovation they made sure to maintain and utilise some of the original Neo-Renaissance and Art Nouveau features such as the staircase and extensive stained glass windows throughout. In order to allow natural light to pour in, an expansive skylight was created above the central foyer.