Explore this treasure-filled Amsterdam apartment

This inviting apartment is proof that compact does not have to mean cluttered, even if the rooms are packed to the rafters with collections.

This inviting apartment is proof that compact does not have to mean cluttered, even if the rooms are packed to the rafters with collections. The antique bell jar on top of a vintage Cuban chest of drawers may seem an improbable showcase for a silk scarf, but not for the owner. 'I love to surprise people,' he says. Another passion is antique globes, one of which he found in London's Portobello Road.

1/13 Similar armillary sphere

hallway with door and drawers

(Image credit: Future PLC/Mark Luscombe-Whyte)


2/13 Living room

living room with carpet on floor and flower pot with frames on wall

(Image credit: Future PLC/Mark Luscombe-Whyte)

As an inveterate collector who lives in a compact space, the owner has had to find economical ways to exhibit his favourite objects. 'I wanted to create a mini museum of the things I love,' he says. True to his word, the apartment abounds with subtle, whimsical and very personal touches.

3/13 Living room collections

living room with lamp and sofa with cushions

(Image credit: Future PLC/Mark Luscombe-Whyte)

The living room is decorated with selective groupings of photographs and stacked displays in glass bell jars, which can easily be updated with new finds. The jars serve two purposes: to draw attention to the owner's prized treasures and, perhaps more importantly, to act as a means of controlling the displays.

Bell jars
Riviera Maison at Concept East Coast

4/13 Living room corner

living room with painting on wall and cushion on chair

(Image credit: Future PLC/Mark Luscombe-Whyte)

Wandering around the apartment today, it is hard to believe that when the owner first saw it 15 years ago, it was a dated, tea-stained nightmare. 'Absolutely everything was brown,' he says. Within a month of moving in, he had stripped away the drab colours and created the New England-inspired home that he craved - despite the fact that the apartment lies on the tenth floor of a 1970s tower block.

5/13 Living room panelling

living room with frame on wall and flower pot with glass table

(Image credit: Future PLC/Mark Luscombe-Whyte)

To complement the half-wall panelling, and to transform the apartment into a space reminiscent of a 1920s yacht, the owner lined the ceilings of the main rooms with narrow wood strips, which he also painted white to maximise the light.

Similar cabinet

6/13 Living room sofa cushions

living room with sofa and cushions

(Image credit: Future PLC/Mark Luscombe-Whyte)

Suede, leather and casual linen, together with a cool palette of slate grey, biscuit and glossy white, add texture and interest.

Similar fake fur cushion
Baker and Stonehouse

7/13 Kitchen-dining room

kitchen with dining room and dining table with chairs

(Image credit: Future PLC/Mark Luscombe-Whyte)

Given the apartment's small size, the owner opted for a square oak dining table, which, when laid with colourful roses, candles and antique silver cutlery, becomes a comfortable hub for dinner parties.

Dining table
Riviera Maison at Concept East Coast

8/13 Living room opening into the bedroom

living room with frame on wall and sofa with cushions

(Image credit: Future PLC/Mark Luscombe-Whyte)

With just one bedroom and so many treasures, the apartment could very easily have appeared cluttered, but instead it exudes the air of a breezy American east coast beach house. 'The painting was the biggest challenge because there is so much woodwork,' says the owner. 'But it was worth it. By the time I had finished, the apartment looked crisp, white and new.'

9/13 Bedroom

bedroom with cushions on bed and headboard

(Image credit: Future PLC/Mark Luscombe-Whyte)

Running a shelf at cornice level around the bedroom, which is directly off the living room, has made the compact space seem higher, while also creating storage space.

Similar upholstered headboard

Feather & Black

10/13 Bedroom shutters

bedroom with shutter window and cushions on bed

(Image credit: Future PLC/Mark Luscombe-Whyte)

New England-style shutters continue the New England theme. Clever touches from room to room include repeating design ideas, such as small cake stands for displaying items in the bedroom and bathroom.

Similar cake stands

11/13 Bedroom lighting

bedroom with lamp on table and tray

(Image credit: Future PLC/Mark Luscombe-Whyte)

Carefully placed lamps brighten up dark corners in the bedroom.

Similar bedside lamp
Online Lighting

12/13 Bathroom

bathroom with wash basin and frame on wall

(Image credit: Future PLC/Mark Luscombe-Whyte)

To create a New England effect, the owner used cream-painted tongue-and-groove panelling in the bathroom. Accents of black in the picture frames add a hint of drama.

Similar picture frames

13/13 Designer bedroom drawers

bedroom with chest of drawers and clock on wall

(Image credit: Future PLC/Mark Luscombe-Whyte)

The designs for these chests of drawers, incorporating reclaimed wood with leather handles, were inspired by old-fashioned trunks. 

If you liked this, find more inspiring ideas on the Homes & Gardens website.

Heather Young

Heather Young has been Ideal Home’s Editor since late 2020, and Editor-In-Chief since 2023. She is an interiors journalist and editor who’s been working for some of the UK’s leading interiors magazines for over 20 years, both in-house and as a freelancer.