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Our latest interior project brought us to the leafy south side of Amsterdam, where quaint villas overlook majestic gardens. The sole magnitude of this project took well over three years to complete, which is for a very good reason as we didn’t overlook any details. Our well-known love for natural materials got to run free, always looking for that perfect little detail – be it a countertop or a doorknob. After three years of diving into this project, our founder Floris explains why he poured so much attention into it:
“I love things where time shows in the material—especially now, in a period where everybody seems to hate time. Everyone wants to avoid time, to stay young; there’s no place to appreciate traces of time as it’s passing by. I wanted to do something where time itself is the big artist, and that’s why we called this project Artempo, where time becomes art.”
The vast space allowed us to explore this idea to its fullest, while keeping it simple and play with what we love most: materials in all their essence. We have a soft spot for things that have been carved out of wood, drummed into steel or blown into glass. Imperfect things. Combined with the building’s modernist appeal, we were able to balance tactility and simplicity:
“When searching for the right style for a project we always start with the house itself. This building is a modern take on a mid-century house, so we wanted to design a contemporary interior with a link to mid-century architecture. The interior was tough, but still elegant and beautiful in its simplicity.”
But, even more important, we wanted to create an atmosphere in which the owners would feel comfortable and at home. Coming home should feel as a warm bath for them everyday. It had to become a peaceful environment, to enable them to slow down and feel grounded after a day in this hectic world. As a general rule of thumb, we don’t want our interiors to be too trend-sensitive, but rather timeless: something to be enjoyed for years to come. We love creating spaces where the time in the material is visible, or will become over time. This is why we don’t over-treat materials in our interiors. So that they can become pleasantly lived-in and, with the years, can tell stories of their own.
We achieved this by combining natural materials with soft, earthy tones. We used natural paint by Keim to clad the walls in enveloping hues. The durable silicate base and rich pigments give the paint a natural finish, while also making it highly durable and a much healthier solution to today’s harsh chemical paints. Together with Eginstill we created the bespoke kitchen, bookcase and the sunken sitting area. At first, we had a red-brown walnut in mind for the kitchen, but we ended up using baked oak instead, which yielded the sturdy look we had envisioned. We paired it with with an elegant Emperador Gray Satinato marble countertop. It turned out to be the perfect combination for this house, a powerful yet elegant build.
The bathroom was another material story. To create the feeling of water sliding down, we placed large, unpolished swathes of silver travertine vertically throughout the space. To highlight this natural feeling even further, a spout was drilled into the side of the travertine bath so that the water could fall into the shower tray like a waterfall. The immense space opens up to a beautiful view over the garden, allowing the seasons to seep in throughout the year.
After we set up this rich material base, it was a matter of furnishing it with new design finds and our trusted classic pieces alike. In the dining area we went monumental, adding the latest table by one of our longtime favourites: Heerenhuis. The Nero is crafted from a simple frame with a blackened oak tabletop and its dark colour blends perfectly into the vegetation of the garden. Above it hovers a massive Antipode lamp by Lambert&Fils and around the table sit six pristine Niels Moller chairs.
But the real eye catcher in the open space is without a doubt the sunken sitting room, in which the NeoWall couch just happened to fit like a glove. The Hide leather table by Heerenhuis and brass lamp by Workstead give the room a nice tactile contrast. The vintage rugs and kitchen artworks are by our good friends from Intrigue Collection and add just that perfect finishing touch. All in all in all it has been a long proces, but this was a project where we were really able to bring together all of our favourite finds in the field of design, antiques and curiosa.