To create a peaceful waterside family retreat, on the bank of a lake just a short distance outside Amsterdam. A low maintenance hideaway, somewhere to relax, read, enjoy nature and wildlife. The original footprint was small and the house needed to feel spacious enough to accommodate three growing, athletic, teenage boys and to have spaces for comfortable entertaining and spontaneous parties. It was to reflect its surroundings, be contemporary with traditional accents and to maximise the benefits waterside location.

The Client

The clients are a successful Dutch businessman/entrepreneur, his New Zealand born photographer wife and their three teenage boys. Living, working and studying in Amsterdam, they wanted a bolt hole close to town, where they could escape to some tranquillity. Introduced by some Amsterdam neighbours to this lakeside location, they fell in love with it and bought a small crumbling wooden cabin and started again.

The House

All areas of architectural woodwork and plaster were dry-scraped back, inch by inch, to uncover long hidden historic colours. Door handles, light fittings, radiators, sanitary ware and even the Aga are vintage pieces, sourced and assembled together to give the impression of a home that had grown through the discovery of electricity and development of plumbing and central heating.

This is the first complete "New Build" project that we have undertaken. Whilst we have worked on total renovations, this project was our first opportunity to start from scratch.

Photography by Elisabeth Zeschin