Design: Standard Studio
Photographer: Wouter van der Sar

Located in Amsterdam’s historic art and antiques quarter, the Spiegelkwartier, Urban Villa Kerkstraat is a quirky dwelling that doubles as a photography studio. As a combination of business and home area, I won’t say this place feels that homy. And some selection of furniture might more come from business selection instead of home consideration. But I can see the owner and the designer both try hard and make these two parts work harmoniously.

Designed by Standard Studio, this reimagined interior features a flexible open plan layout. Smaller spaces branch off the double-height main room in a free-flowing formation. The most interesting design in the apartment for me is the dynamic bookcase design pivots and ultimately transforms into a TV mount to create a multifunctional focal wall. The aim was to provide the owner with solid aspects of privacy, despite running their business from within their ground floor living space.

The light-filled ground floor of the villa serves as a spacious photography studio. Orange living room decor accents give the space an energetic and welcoming appeal. The contemporary living room is sparsely furnished to leave lots of space to work in. A ceiling height of approximately 5 metres creates opportunities to play with height differences in the layout. A mezzanine landing overlooks the ground floor on two sides. An indoor hammock hangs from the underside of the platform.

A glass balustrade reveals a small lounge space up on the mezzanine. Below it, a wooden focal wall features a built-in shelving unit for magazines and books. The sides of the wood feature wall fold away to give entry into a secret room. By creating small pockets of seclusion, the homeowner maintains a sense of privacy when clients are frequenting the space. Obscure glass panels are used to screen off other areas. The innovative shelving unit turns on its axis to reveal its second function, which is a television mount. When the TV is required, the wooden doors hinge out to close off the adjoining room. Media storage cabinets are conveniently installed above and below the TV screen. To the side of the cosy yellow hideaway, there is a corridor that leads to the mezzanine

The dining room is a bright and cheerful place with sunny yellow chairs. A wood bench complements the simple wooden table. Silver dining room pendant lights reflect the sunlight. Two tall curio cabinets store an assortment of colourful dishes. They also serve as a dividing wall between the dining room and a neighbouring workspace. The comfortable home office is equipped with large storage units in which to stow away photography equipment.

The wide walkway that leads to the mezzanine staircase is a multifunctional space too. It is utilised as a well-equipped workspace on one side, and as a practical coffee station on the other. A built-in planter grows a lush burst of greenery beside the staircase.

Upstairs on the spacious mezzanine, a minimalist living space features isolated reading nooks. A bold red lounge chair reclines under one floor lamp, whilst a built-in bench is dashed with an electric blue throw. A glass panel pierces the mezzanine floor, offering a birdseye view into the room below.

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