Researching this blog is always a treat, but my favourite houses are the ones that really have a sense of place. Maybe it's a touristy state of mind, but in the fantasy where I win the lottery and move to a gorgeous home in a foreign land, I want to feel like I'm in a different country, whether because of the exotic view, architecture or furnishings. This house, on the Amstel River just outside of Amsterdam, hits a solid two of those three. Sit back, imagine you're enjoying a warm stroopwafel, and we'll take a look.
Even though the house is a recent build, the tall eight-pane windows, tile roof and rounded dormer recall Amsterdam's centuries-old canal houses. Every time I drove up, I'd think, "I'm in the Netherlands!"
Here's the kitchen in all its transitional glory. The decision to forego upper cabinets feels quite modern, but it also makes room for more of those tall, traditional windows. In warmer weather, the door on the right connects the indoors to a spacious terrace and professionally-designed garden.
The furnishings here are nothing special, but just think of what you could do with those trad-Euro high ceilings, chevron floors and wood-burning fireplace. Like a real-life game of Clue, the ground floor also has a spacious foyer, dining room, conservatory and kitchen.
The main house has six bedrooms (some, however, in a "semi-shell state," according to the listing), but if that's not enough, there's a separate guesthouse just a short stroll away past the charming flowerbeds.
This is where, for me, this house goes from 'pretty neat' to 'amazing.' It might be just five minutes to the village of Ouderkerk by bike, or fifteen to downtown Amsterdam, but when you have a boat docked outside your front door, why not hop in and float into the city?
For more inspiration, check out this gallery of rooms by Dutch designer Marcel Wanders.
1-5. Knight Frank