Every home is special, but how about a home with a bit of history!
I am not a history buff, but there is something fascinating about knowing that a building belonged to a different era. This hundred year old school building in Amsterdam recently underwent a complete makeover. Ten families – collectively called Ons Dorp Amsterdam (meaning Our Village Amsterdam) saw the potential in the old. They decided to give it new purpose and became its new inhabitants. What’s more interesting is that the building has been fitted with sustainable technologies like solar panels, green roofs and ground-sourced heat pumps to make it almost zero-emission. Isn’t that a perfect combination of old and new!
This home, one of the ten of the Ons Dorp Amsterdam project, was designed by Standard Studio. It’s hard to imagine that the living room was once a teacher’s lounge, and the bedrooms were classrooms in the school. The transformation is evident and spectacular!
The apartment belongs to a family of four – a couple and their two young children. Kids usually become the focus of the entire renovation, but Standard Studio has done an incredible job of dividing the space in a way that parents can enjoy it as much as their offspring.
I remember staring at the ceiling of my classroom as a child, and wondering why it was so high. However, high ceilings have been used beautifully in this home. In the living area and the parents’ bedroom, the height was used to create mezzanine levels that serve as a study or just a quiet corner to relax. It’s an ideal use of the height. The split level creates extra space for different activities. In the living area you could easily be working and supervising the kids from the study. This design makes sure the family is always together, even when they are busy doing different things on their own.
The floor length windows in the living room open up to a small balcony – ideal for that relaxed Sunday morning coffee. And it also looks like a perfect place to grow some herbs and flowers, which can be a fun activity for the whole family. The abundance of natural light in the room means savings on the electricity bill.
The platform under the split level in the living room serves as a play area for kids and doubles up as storage space for all the toys and small items that need to be tucked away from plain sight. The minimal furniture makes the room look much bigger and manageable.
I love the simple yet elegant kitchen. Lots of cupboards make sure it is easy to organize. The open panel display with plants and some cute animal artwork is absolutely gorgeous. I also love the sleek furnishings and the neutral plywood colors that make it cozy and inviting.
The open plan keeps things simple while adding interesting elements. There is enough place for the little ones to play, climb and run around. The entrance to the home is wide and welcoming. It also divides the home in two parts – living on the left and bedrooms on the right, which is ideal for organizing things around the house.
The platform-cum-storage theme has been repeated in the parents’ bedroom, while keeping it simple with cozy colors. It’s a perfect place to unwind after a long day. The kids’ room looks fun with a lot of open shelves for books and toys and enough space to showcase their talent. Check out the painting above the bed and the wall full of stickers and animal figures. You can see they are having a lot of fun in their room.
The designers deliberately left traces of history in the new apartment. The black iron staircases and the cement floors are a reminder of the school that it used to be. These same elements, along with the sleek fireplace gives the home a modern industrial look.
Overall an immaculate design for a perfect family home!