As architects, my husband and I have fantasies of building our own house one day. He has poetic visions of modernist, open, loft-like spaces with spectacular views. As for me, my visions are more prosaic: I dream of a house where every available inch is given over to integrated, built-in storage.
Happily the two aren’t mutually exclusive, as evidenced by this newly built, modern family house in Bloemandaal, the Netherlands, by Amsterdam firm Paul de Ruiter Architects. Sited to preserve and appreciate the surrounding landscape, the structure has walls of windows to connect the rooms to the outdoors. Naturally lit, free-flowing spaces work best without clutter, and this is where the house’s ingenious built-in storage steps in. The prosaic enabling the poetic–come and have a look.
Above: Built into the slope of a hill, both floors are glazed to enjoy the views of the surrounding dune landscape. The black sides of the second floor are made of WaxedWood, a sustainable timber.
Above: The open space on the ground floor contains the kitchen, dining, and living areas, all enhanced by the uniformity of the polished concrete floor. The floor-to-ceiling glazing wraps around both corners and creates a direct connection to the outdoors, accessed by large-scale sliding doors framed in light oak. See Remodeling 101: Polished Concrete Floors for our guide on this Cinderella of flooring materials.
Above: The kitchen cabinets and island form an anchor.
Above: On the ground floor, open and closed storage made from veneered plywood forms a wall between the public, open areas and the smaller, private spaces.
Above: The plywood wall extends out and serves as a backdrop for the living area.
Above: Sliding glass doors lead to the private quarters in the back.
Above: A woodstove provides a hearth for the living area. The diagonal wall behind it shows where the house is built into the hill.
Above: The back of the kitchen cabinets serve as a partition and as a surface for hanging posters.
Above: Industrial galvanized metal stairs work well with the polished concrete floors.
Above: A skylight fills the stairwell with natural light.
Above: On the second floor living area, a thick plywood wall houses a fireplace and also acts as a room divider.
Above: The wall above the sofa provides an opportunity for shelving.
Above: On the other side of the fireplace, cabinets and shelving can be hidden away via sliding doors.
Above: In the master bedroom, the bed is integrated into the headboard and the thickness of the wall is used to create pockets of storage.
Above: In the children’s room, a bed and desk (with nook space) are built out from the closet.
Above: Below the entry level, the architects created a basement garage.
Above: The house’s layout is on full view at night.
Above: The entry-level floor plan and surrounding greenery.
Above: The second floor.
Above: A section of the house illustrates how the structure is built into the slope of a hill.
Over on Gardenista, discover more uses for plywood in Outbuilding of the Week: A Woodshed Transformed, Italian Style.