A Dreamy Modern Amsterdam Houseboat — House Tour

Name: Annelies, Hans, their son Scott and Harry the dog
Location: Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Size: 1,507 square feet
Years lived in: 7 years, owned

Born and bred on a houseboat, Annelies has lived on the water practically her whole life. She and her husband Hans had a brief stint of living in a conventional house, but after a year and a half living on land, a great opportunity popped up that they couldn’t resist: a mooring spot became available a stone’s throw away from where Annelies spent her childhood. Eager to build their own house, the couple jumped at this unique chance. The location is fantastic — since the water is right behind a levee it’s very quiet, and yet it’s merely a 10-minute bike ride to the center of Amsterdam.

The two-story house was built on a concrete hull, which is typical for these type of houseboats. Often, this hull will become the home’s basement (in this case it indeed serves as the family’s storage space). But though it may be called a houseboat, there’s no engine and it’s not meant to be mobile. Actually, it’s very much a regular house; the biggest difference is that it’s right on the water. However, that distinction really does set it apart. There’s something soothing and even magical about living on water. Passersby are a wide variety of boats as well as ducks, swans and other birds. Each year during spring, the latter will be tugging along their cute young’uns.

With its huge windows the home has an abundance of light. A super high ceiling and a white palette make the living room feel especially spacious. Annelies’ love for soft colors is expressed in the fun accessories and furniture pieces. With so many great designs out there, she finds it a bit of a challenge to keep their home decor collection at bay — though their home never looks cluttered. Annelies finds it important to keep the colors and style in balance, not just in one room but throughout the entire home. To achieve this, she advises: “Try to be consistent in colors and materials. When it comes to accessorizing, it will look better if you group your items instead of a haphazard placement.”

Annelies has been sharing photos of their home on Instagram for a while now, but this outlet wasn’t enough to express her love for interior and styling. On top of that, ever since Scott arrived, she’s also become preoccupied with cool kids’ items. This all led to Annelies starting a blog of her own. Initially, the focus was on interiors and kids, but it has since become more expansive and evolved into her personal space where she shares everything that makes her happy. It’s bright and colorful and fun, much like their home!

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: Scandinavian. A clean/white basis with touches of (pastel) colors.

Inspiration: Dutch and Scandinavian design in general. No particular designers or brands.

Favorite Element: The high ceiling and large windows in our living room.

Biggest Challenge: Keeping all the colors in balance. This also extends to the look and feel of the different rooms. I don’t want the living room to have a completely different style from the bedrooms upstairs.

What Friends Say: They love the feel (and tidiness) of our home

Biggest Embarrassment: Still have to fix the cabinet doors of our white credenza (see below)

Proudest DIY: Our latest DIY is the lamp above our dining table. I think it’s the best one we did so far! I love how the solid construction complements the soft colors of the cords and sockets.

A very easy DIY is the shelf behind our dining table. We only bought the shelf brackets and let the guy in the lumberyard make us a shelf out of plywood underlayment, so we only had to place it in the brackets.

We wanted a big white credenza covering most of our wall in the living room. However, we couldn’t find one we liked or was within our budget after building the houseboat. So we made one ourselves. Because we aren’t the best DIY-ers the cabinet doors look a bit messy.

The DIY left in our home is the large “plywood underlayment plaque” on the wall in our living room/Scott’s play corner. We also had a DIY table, but it has moved to the garden.

Biggest Indulgence: I have to slow myself down every now and then when it comes to buying new accessories for our home. When I see a beautiful design in one of my favorite colors I just have to have it. But this does mean something else in our home has to move…so our basement is packed with pretty things I can’t say goodbye to, but aren’t using anymore.

Best Advice: Let an interior grow. Don’t buy it all at once.


Basic white RAL 9001
Workspace wall (pink bottom half) – Princess by fairf

Console table –
Vase – Muuto
Wall hooks – Dippies
Hanging vases – Brainy Days

Sofa – Wehkamp
Love seat – Wehkamp
Rug – V@Amsterdam
Credenza – DIY
Pastel prints – Friday & Today
White and green coffee tables – Woood
Other coffee tables – Zuiver
Play corner pieces (shelves, storage bench) – IKEA
Rabbit print in play corner – Miniwalla
Plywood underlayment plaque – DIY
Lamp – IKEA
Small vases on coffee tables – Scandinaviaform
Ceramic cacti – Bloomingville
Cushions with houses – V@Amsterdam
Yellow extension cord – Puik

Shelf – DIY consisting of plywood underlayment and brackets from Stoer Metaal
Lighting construction above dining table – DIY made of metal pipes with lamp cords and sockets from Stoersnoer
Dining table – Van Dijk & Ko
Ceramic pastel colored vases – Hella Duijs
Wooden bird – Draaj
Print of Scott as a baby – The Birth Poster
Scott’s first baby shoes – Betón
Custom family portrait in watercolor – BLDR illustration
Cork clock – Puik
Marquee letter – HEMA
High chair – Stokke
Rocking chair – vintage find
White and gold porcelain figures – Lammers & Lammres

Kitchen cabinets – Tulp Keukens
Bread bin – vintage
Canisters with grid pattern – Bloomingville
Wooden cutting boards – Marieke Rusticus Interieurstyling
Black and white cutting board – ferm LIVING
Mint green tray – IKEA
White teapot – IKEA
Mint green plastic crates – Deutscher Brunnen

Desk – IKEA
Desk chair – vintage Thonet
Amsterdam wall art – V@Amsterdam
Neon style light Lightning BoltA Little Lovely Company
Flowerpots – Monki
Yellow tray table – IKEA

Bed – IKEA
Little tables used as a nightstand – Zuiver
Bulb lamp – Muuto
Wall hook – Dippies
Chair – vintage Thonet
Rugs – handmade by Annelies’ mom in the sixties
Wall lamp – Sticky lamp by Droog
Cabinets – secondhand
Greenhouse – IKEA

Bed – Little Dreamers
Large print Roar and suitcase – A Little Lovely Company
Print RocketLittle Dreamers
Wallpaper – ferm LIVING
Wire wall shelf – Kidsdepot
Desk with matching chair – PlanToys
Rug – OYOY
Flag poster S is for ScottStudio Sijm
Print Machinery – Studio Sproeten
Cabinet – secondhand
Paper bag Boys StuffCarlijnQ
Cardboard storage boxes – HEMA
Cushion Rocket – Holy Moly Kids
Gray knotball cushion – CosyKidz
Lion cushion – Zeeman
Leather soccer ball – Muji
Plush toy with mustache – Noodoll
Marquee letter SHEMA
House-shaped storage box – H&M

Cabinet – secondhand
Small cardboard dollhouse – H&M
Cardboard horse – Kidsonroof
Popsicle cushion – A Little Lovely Company
Rainbow cushion – Meri Meri
Wallpaper – Majvillan
Changing table – vintage (given a new coating with RUST-OLEUM’s Mustard paint)
Woven basket with neon coral tassels – Meri Meri
Embroidered cat’s face – Aro for Kids
Clouds mobile – Mrs.Multitask
Crib – vintage
Pear rattle – Meas Babygoodies
Pink rug – We Love Deco
Giraffe clothes hanger – Meri Meri
Knitted sweater – Bobo Choses

Thanks, Annelies!

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