sneak peek: kirsten voortman


throughout my life i’ve had these phases where i get obsessed with hot pink.  it’s such an unexpected color to see used so vibrantly in a home, but that’s why i love the way that dutch designer kirsten voortman uses it around her fun amsterdam home.  even better is that she shows what a good coat of paint can do to a discarded piece of furniture on the street (found with special assistance from her dog, mees).  click here for additional, full-sized images, and check in with caravan if you’re ever interested in the possibility of house swapping with this fabulous place! {thanks, kirsten!}anne

[above: I live in a small Amsterdam apartment on the ground floor, in the Jordaan district, one of the oldest parts of the city.  In the smallest hallway ever, I wallpapered the closetdoors with severall vintage wallpapers that I collected over the years.]

This is my favorite place in the house, I can spent hours in this chair. Overlooking the garden, with a cup of tea and my laptop. Perfect.  The dog paintings on the wall are from friends, Karla Doherty and Joep Buys.  The ‘ceramic’ drawing is from my friend Louise van der Veld, I am working with her on a line of interior products, the pillows with the wolf are one of the first products that we designed.

My dog also loves this chair, as soon as I leave it, he jumps directly from the couch onto it!

My apartment is long and narrow, to get to a room you need to go through the other, there is no central hallway. This is kind of typical for a lot of houses from the 1910s. The chairs I upholstered myself, I found them on the street. Also the tables are from the street, I painted them in one of my favorite colours, GreenBlue from Farrow and Ball. Also the mirrored cabinet [image below] is painted in that colour.

CLICK HERE for the rest of kirsten’s sneak peek after the jump!

A lot of my furniture I found on the street. As I take my dog Mees (a parson russel terrier) for a walk around the block every night and people just put their old stuff on the street for the garbage men to pick it up the next day, it is hard not to take it home…someone else’s trash becomes my treasure.  I kind of stopped now, since my house is getting a bit full, and how many chairs does one really need?! Only for really nice furniture I make an exception, I can always give it away to friends or family!

Love to wake up in my bedroom with the sounds of birds from the garden. Especially now, in Spring,  they are very loud and cheerful!  Wallpaper is from Eijfinger, Ikea bedding and vintage bed spread bought on our famous Dutch Queensday, the whole city turns into one big open air fleamarket on April 30st.

Pillows made by me, with fabrics from Ikea, my moms old fabrics from the seventies, fleamarkets, Eijfinger. The wolf pillows will be soon sold on our website: studio happilyeverafter.

Also typical for Amsterdam houses from this period are the tiny bathrooms, only a shower and a toilet can fit in it, that is it.  The tiles are original, very yellow. I didn’t particulary like them but to take them out seemed to much work.  So I decided to make it even more yellow by putting up this wallpaper from Studio Pip.  I think it turned out very well and it makes me happy.

To prevent all the tourists and neighbours to have a sneek peek into my apartment,  I put up my own design of windowfoil.
I try to change it every six months as it is also sort of a window display for my work.

The house at the back of my garden is where I work. It used to be an old shed, which was turned into my studio. So convenient to work so close to home, before I worked in my front room wich was o.k. but I was always surrounded by work. Now I can just close the door and ‘walk’ home!

  1. Sarah D. says:

    Oh. I looove this.

  2. Jena says:

    I love everything in this house!

  3. Kari says:

    it is perfect!

  4. Evelien (The Netherlands) says:

    Wauw, it is so colourful. I love love love it! One day I would like to live in the Jordaan…

  5. Wow! What a great place, this could be my dream home but like some of the other comments, I don’t think that my husband would love it as much. That wallpaper is so pretty!

  6. Lady Lauren says:

    WOW, Kirsten’s house has given me MASSIVE amounts of inspiration, I am about to move into my new house so it has made me even more excited to get DIY-ing and designing!


  7. ML says:

    this apartment is so cute! it’s the sort of place I’d love to have if I lived on my own with my bunnies… my boyfriend would hate it! I love in particular the bathroom – it could be a horrible dark space, but it’s so light and pretty!

  8. oh my gosh! this is awesome. i love it.

  9. Absolutely love that house, crisp white and hot pink, my fave. Does anyone know where to get hot pink velvet like the fabric on Kirten’s favorite chair?

  10. Catherine Lajoie says:

    Gorgeous and girly! I love it. The shades of pink are bright and the whole lot makes me happy.
    Splendid space and garden. Dank u wel for sharing!

  11. KimJ says:

    I know that the dog isn’t really design but how cute is that dog!!! I love his little spot. Kristen did a great job taking the house at what it is and making it work – especially in the bathroom! Kristen can you tell us how to made the window decal? That would be a GREAT DIY!

  12. katie says:

    the dog is definitely the perfect touch.
    but seriously, I love the house, and I really love how you just went with the yellow tile and had fun with it! Lovely.

  13. corinne says:

    i’m just jealous !! how come can’t I have such great taste ?!! booo
    No, I’m just happy for you ;) :)

  14. This is one of the best massively-used-color designed interiors I’ve seen. The colors flow from one to another, and from room to room beautifully!

  15. Marloes says:

    Wooow, love it! Knew that it must be a Dutch home when I saw the pics at first. Always been my dream to decorate my apartment like this, but my boyfriend isn’t up for it unfortunately. We agreed on one thing though: I can do with the bathroom and toilet what I want, so they are completely pink now ;)

    I’d also love to know how you made the window decal.

  16. Lydia Dann says:

    This apartment made me so happy on such a gloomy NYC day! I wanted to know if anyone had any info on designing your own window foil because i have a issue with a neighbor across the way who likes to do very not okay things while naked!!!! and I put up plain film but would love something prettier just like Kirsten’s that I could design myself since I am a textile/print designer after all! Do you just cut out shapes from the regular film or is there a company that can custom make a roll for you? All in all, amazing apartment!

  17. Kim O'Brien says:

    so happy to see what is behind the lovely facades in Amsterdam. I need to revisit soon!

  18. Madhu says:

    I am awestruck!!!

  19. Happy Turtle says:

    Beautiful and cozy. The Dutch are leading the way these days!

  20. What a stylish home! Pink is starting to grow on me as an interior colour. I love how it’s used here as fluo highlights but I also like it as a more subtle pastel (I recenty did a post about pink pastel kitchens and they were to die for)

  21. Eva says:

    superleuk! :D

  22. emr says:

    i love the white stools/small table in the kitchen. now i have my fingers crossed i’ll find something similar walking through my own ‘hood !

  23. maria says:

    the interior of this house is really inspiring to look at. The owner did a wonderful job. It’s gorgeous!

  24. Oostwest says:

    Wat gezellig! Ik heb alles opgeslagen in mijn inspiratieboek :)

  25. Kristina says:

    amazingly beautiful!

  26. sue lichter says:

    I love your choice of colour,
    what a wonderful home to grow up in:)

  27. desiree says:

    Leuk een huisje uit mijn eigen stad ;)

    Wat een geweldig tuintje heb jij , net een binnenplaatsje!
    O ja en mooi roze is niet lelijk ;)

  28. kat says:

    Wow! This is spectacular! it’s making me very happy. I can only imagine living there…

  29. dhy says:

    I really love your place!!!
    aaaah, may I stay there??
    you make me wanna have my own house ASAP :D

  30. This is such an inspiring home..! So full of life and personality. I love the pops of fun color against all that white. Beautiful.


  31. i love the pink and white theme. i wish i could have a house like this too. :) i love it, BIGTIME!

  32. Allyn says:

    Don’t know how I missed this last spring. Absolutely LOVE her place! The colors and patterns mixed with stark white looks fantastic!!

  33. Cathy says:

    I LOVE your touches of pink throughout. Wish I could find cool chairs around here, they are like gold here in GA.

  34. Marla says:

    I love your place! I love design but have never been that bold. Maybe your love for design and pink run in the family – my mother’s maiden name is Voortman. Best Wishes for a successful career.

  35. kimmi siren says:

    Fantastic, thoroughly personal, original place and space to call home! I love it..I could actually live here even though it’s not a chic grey and white tho’ gloomy Parisian apt. that I’m usually drawn to. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it!!!!!

  36. kimmi siren says:

    PS ..the irony here: Dogs only see in black and sad for your wee pooch, he doesn’t know what he’s missing.

  37. Belinda says:

    I love it. I love it. I love it. This is why I need white in my house <3 <3 <3

  38. Carol says:

    You’ve done a fantastic job! I’d move in tomorrow!!

  39. Jessica says:

    Hi Kirsten! Yes can you pleaseeeee tell me how to do the window foil… it would be greatly appreciated for someone who lives across the world! :)

  40. Angela says:

    would have loved a tutorial on that window effect – i love it :)


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