First the building: my 'block' dates from 1925, so lovely to have a period property. I couldn't really imagine myself living in a modern house for a long time. The student room I moved out of now was the newest of homes I ever had, it dates from the late 60's.
You can see the typical 20's forms of the buidling (and all the bikes so typical for Amsterdam). Amsterdam had its own kind of building style form the 10's through 30's called 'Amsterdamse School', it is similar to art deco and has some nouveau elements too.
Before moving in I did have to do some painting, for most rooms a fresh coat of light paint. Only the kitchen (that was a very bright cobalt blue) needed a radical repaint with lots of layers.
The end result was a very period appropriate combination of soft yellow and light blue:
I painted my bedroom in a very soft green. I used wallpaper for a small part of a wall (wallpaper pattern matches the curtain fabric I selected).
Two friends put up the lamps since electrics is not my forte.
Then stuff had to be moved, again I had a lot of help from friends :)
So now to the interior: many furnishings have a story, almost nothing is new. I'll tackle some of them room by room.
But first a list I got from a friend with 'The ten Commandmends of Furnishing your House' from 1934, it is in Dutch and it would be too much work to translate correctly but there is a lot of talk about only using beautiful things, keeping order and making is your own home. Still very valluable guidlines after all that time.
First there is the living room, the most important room for me.
Main feature is the 'fireplace', it is actually electric, original from the 30's and still working, though mainly decorative. As is the little couch on the right it don't use it much (I have my chair). I found it at an antiques market as a teenager. Still quite pretty with its gobelin-like upholstery.
A lot of furniture comes from my grandparents, most of it was then used by my parents and now me. My family does not throw away much and something new is rarely bought.
Digging in old photo albums many of my furniture can be found:
This chair was a favorite of mine ever since I was little.
Here's me as a baby in it in 1990 and now.
The fabric always puzzled me, it did not seem to match the style of the chair. A few years ago I found the exact same fabric in an antiques store specializing in art deco, it was deadstock form a belgian fanufaturer.
The same brand was used for the famous Amsterdam Tuschinski cinema. When I took a closer look is was clear the chair had been reupholstered at a certain point, scraps of the original olive green velvet were still there.
This photo, taken in the late 70's shows my grandmother sitting in it. On the background you can see the chairs that are now around my dining room table.
I'm the third genaration to start out with this dining table. My parents painted it in several colors, including green. Now it is off white.
When my parents moved to their first home in 1975 it was still brown as this photo shows.
I've always known it in off white, after a new table arrived it served as desk in my fathers study where he also read stories to me:
And now it is my desk as well as dining table.
It is covered with an art deco rug which is supposed to be used behing a coat rack but it fits the table really well.
On the floor is a handmade carpet made by my grandmother or my parents in 1984.
My grandmother with the pattern and the wool and her cat, October 1984. Apparently she transported the finished carpet on the back of her bike, quite an undertaking given the weight and the distance of about 70 kilometers.
My mother on the finished carpet also with her cat, December 1984.
The curtains came from a 1930's villa I lived in for a while in 2013 while it was for sale.
They are not 30's curtains but they work quite well in my living room. The second picture shows me in the dining room of their original home.
I used some leftover curtain fabric to create a cover for my television and part of the open closet (so I can store all kinds of ugly electric appliancies behind it). This piece of Ikea furniture was left by the previous owner and it found it rather practical, until I've found something more suitable. In front of it is an elephant, not very old either (about my age) just very fun and quirky (and a good conversation piece, the elephant in the room and so on).
Pretty things on display:
So that was the living room full of things from my past.
The bedroom has less family history but some very nice furniture.
Most importanly two similar wardrobes with mirrors. I found them on the internet, not too expensive. When I collected them I was offered a matching dressing table for free!
On the inside of one of the closet doors was a label of the manufarcturer:
After a little research I soon found out C. de Mees only held shop at this particular adress between 1920 en 1929 (when the shop moved). This dates the furniture rather nicely to that period.
More important for this blog however is what is in the closets. I devided my wardrobe between a winter and a summer part.
Another nice thing are these Ikea storage boxes that match so well with the shelves:
Next to my dressing room this is also the room I sleep in (only a minor function ;))
I love these romantic steel beds:
I like dressing my bed up with old blankets (I do not like duvets, so much fuss and never the right temperature)
I'm reading this hilarious booklet I once got as a present ;)
Some pretty things in my bedroom:
These vintge adds still need frames.
A mild chinoiserie theme going on with the wallpaper and lamp.
So there is another bedroom. It will be a guest bedroom/study in a while but for now a good friend is moving in.
It has a very nice lamp I found at the big IJhallen fleamarket in Amsterdam.
And then there's the kitchen nothing grand but usefull and cosy:
Just a little time travel: my grandmother in 1951 and me. Wish I had her stove.....
Then the only 'room' left is the balcony. The chairs were the first things I bought when I new I was moving to this apartment.
So that was my new home in a nutshell.