Amsterdam is known for its unique architecture, quirky personality, and creative flair. This innovative spirit extends right into Amsterdam homes, where creative decorating abounds. Amsterdam’s decorating style reflects the eclectic, artistic vibe of the city itself.
Let’s explore some of the key elements of creative Amsterdam decor and see how you can bring a touch of this vibrant style into your own home, no matter where you live.
Blending Old and New
One of the hallmarks of Amsterdam decor is the blending of old and new. Historic homes and buildings abound in Amsterdam, and locals have mastered the art of giving antiquated architecture a modern twist.
Juxtaposing modern furniture and accessories against old architectural details is a great way to recreate this Amsterdam design aesthetic. Try pairing sleek, contemporary seating with antique rugs in a living room. Or liven up a traditional space with funky accent pillows and cutting-edge light fixtures.
Don’t be afraid to mix eras and styles with creative abandon. Combining vintage finds from flea markets with new items from modern designers is a foolproof way to channel the eclectic Amsterdam vibe.
Making a Statement with Wallpaper
Wallpaper makes a bold statement in many Amsterdam homes. From florals to geometrics, Amsterdam designers embrace wallpaper as an integral part of their decorating schemes.
For a creative take on this trend, look for wallpaper with unusual prints and colors. Opt for oversized patterns and scale for dramatic impact. Cover a single focal wall or go all out and paper entire rooms—this look is all about making a splash.
Or take the wallpaper trend in a more subtle direction by using removable paper on shelves, the backs of bookcases, or even ceilings. This allows you to switch up the look easily when you want a change.
Throwing Open the Windows
Due to its northern European location, Amsterdam has long gloomy winters and short sunny summers. So when that elusive sunshine does make an appearance, Amsterdammers like to soak it in!
This means flinging open the windows to usher in natural light and fresh breezes. To recreate this in your own home, opt for wide window casements, slimline blinds, and glass doors to connect indoor and outdoor spaces seamlessly.
Keep window treatments minimal and breezy. Unfussy linen or cotton curtains in solids or simple stripes work beautifully. Avoid heavy fabrics like velvet or brocade that block light and views.
And don’t forget the power of mirrors and glass furniture to bounce light around and give the illusion of openness, even in a small space.
With its canal-laced cityscape, Amsterdam has a close connection to nature. Bringing greenery indoors is a hallmark of Amsterdam decor.
Lush potted plants are a lovely way to purify indoor air while connecting to the outdoors. Groupings of tall dramatic palms, spreading ferns, or cascading ivy make excellent focal points.
For ease of care, opt for hardier houseplants that can tolerate lower light. Snake plants, pothos, philodendrons, and succulents are great choices. Or embrace Amsterdam’s quirky side with fun planters shaped like animal heads or watering cans.
Beyond plants, incorporate natural materials like rattan, seagrass, jute, and wood to enhance a nature-inspired look.
Embracing Color and Pattern
While Scandinavian design may be minimalist and neutral, the Amsterdam aesthetic heads in a more vibrant direction. This city celebrates color and pattern with exuberance.
Make a bold statement by painting walls in saturated hues like emerald, sapphire, or mustard. Look for patterned fabrics featuring florals, geometrics, or abstract prints. And don’t be shy about combining colors and patterns for an eclectic look.
In highly patterned spaces, anchor the look with solid textiles and accessories in the main color scheme. This helps keep the style feeling cohesive instead of chaotic.
Displaying Art and Collections
Art abounds in this creative city, and Amsterdam homes reflect this artistic sensibility. Showcasing special pieces gives a space flair and personality.
Make gallery walls filled with a mix of paintings, prints, photographs, or mirrors. Include art and objects with significance, whether inherited treasures or mementos from your own travels.
Or turn functional elements like bookshelves, cabinets, and hallways into artful displays. Arrange collections of glasses, ceramics, or office curios in a way that showcases both the objects and their sculptural beauty.
Aim for visual interest and color, but don’t overcrowd. Allow space between pieces so displays look intentional, not cluttered.
Embracing Quirk and Whimsy
Along with its artistic flair, Amsterdam has a playful personality. The Amsterdam aesthetic incorporates little touches of quirk and whimsy.
Show your fun side by incorporating unexpected colors or patterns on trim, ceilings, and doors. Try painting the insides of closets or cabinetry in a vibrant hue. Use a colorful geometric print on the backs of open shelves.
Bring in furniture or accessories with unusual shapes, materials, or proportions. Items with sculptural or artisanal appeal work wonderfully.
And don’t overlook the power of cleverly chosen objet. Astack of vintage suitcases, sculptural vase, or animal figurine can infuse a vignette with personality.
Key Takeaways for Bringing Amsterdam Style Home
- Mix old and new pieces for an eclectic look
- Make bold wallpaper or color statements
- Embrace natural light and indoor greenery
- Use vibrant colors and prints with abandon
- Display meaningful art and collected objects
- Add playful touches of quirk when possible
The Amsterdam aesthetic is all about creativity, color, and artistic flair. Bringing a few of these elements into your own home decor allows you to channel the spirit of this innovative city, no matter where you live.
FAQs About Amsterdam-Inspired Decorating
What are some key features of Amsterdam decor?
Some signature elements of the Amsterdam decorating style include:
- Blending vintage and modern pieces
- Using bold wallpaper or color
- Incorporating abundant natural light
- Displaying eclectic art and collected items
- Adding lush greenery and plants
- Embracing colorful patterns and textures
- Adding playful, quirky accents
This blending of old and new, natural and bold makes for a very unique decorating aesthetic.
What colors feature prominently in Amsterdam decor?
While neutrals have their place, color is celebrated in Amsterdam decor. Some hues that are used to great effect include:
- Vibrant blues, from navy to cobalt
- Golden yellows, from mustard to amber
- Emerald and forest greens
- Ruby and magenta pinks
- Deep plums and eggplants
- Earth tones like rust, olive, and clay
These saturated tones make a bold statement on feature walls or accessories.
How can I bring an Amsterdam look to a small space?
For small spaces, focus on a few key elements:
- Use mirrors and glass to reflect light and add openness
- Incorporate a gallery wall for big art impact
- Add a bold print like wallpaper or patterned fabric
- Include a few lush potted plants for green accents
- Display collections or meaningful artwork
- Paint or finish architectural details in vibrant color
Even small touches will evoke Amsterdam’s creative spirit.
What are good sources for finding Amsterdam-style decor?
Some places to look include:
- Flea markets and antique shops for vintage finds
- Local nurseries for great houseplants
- Specialty design shops for Dutch and Scandinavian furniture
- Museum shops for unique art prints and objects
- Fabric and wallpaper stores for bold patterns
- Craft fairs and Etsy for handmade accents
- Your own travels and souvenirs
Keeping an eye out for unique pieces is half the fun of Amsterdam-inspired decorating.
How can I achieve an Amsterdam look on a budget?
Some budget-friendly ideas include:
- Buying a few key vintage items while keeping other furnishings simple
- Using removable wallpaper on focal walls or shelves
- Painting existing furniture in uplifting colors
- Displaying your own photography for inexpensive art
- Grouping thrifted/flea market finds for curated vignettes
- Making bold statements with colorful textiles and accent pillows
- Incorporating green with low-maintenance plants like succulents
With creativity and resourcefulness, you can channel Amsterdam style without overspending. The key is boldly embracing color, art, greenery, and personality.
Tips for Decorating Your Home like a True Amsterdammer
Native Amsterdammers have mastered the art of creative, eclectic decorating. Here are some insider tips for making your home look and feel a bit more like the stylish spaces of this Dutch city.
Source Inspiration from Your Surroundings
Amsterdam’s homes reflect the beauty and heritage of the city itself. From houseboats to historic row houses, the local architecture is full of character. Survey your own surroundings for distinctive buildings, landscapes, and cultural elements that you can nod to in your decor. Bringing the beauty outside your windows inside is a great place to start.
Make DIY Artwork from Maps
Maps hold a special place in Amsterdam’s art scene. Try your hand at DIY artwork using pages from an atlas, maps of your hometown, or even transit maps. Frame your creation in modern shapes or vintage wood frames for an eclectic gallery wall.
Display Collections Creatively
Amsterdammers have an artistic eye for showcasing collected objects, from seashells to antique buttons. Choose a special subset of your own collections, then artfully arrange and display them for impact. Curating flea market finds or travel souvenirs can also create a meaningful vignette.
This Dutch concept translates to coziness and conviviality. Create gezelligheid in your home with plush seating, warm textiles, abundant candles, and a welcoming atmosphere. This provides a cozy backdrop for enjoying time with loved ones.
Add Pops of Color
From fiery orange to deep azure, color energizes many Amsterdam interiors. Look for opportunities to inject vibrant hues into your space via throw pillows, wall art, accents, or even furniture. Just a few bold pops will enliven a neutral room.
Make DIY Curtains
Amsterdammers often opt for unfussy linen curtains to let in light. Try your hand at sewing simple linen curtains or use iron-on hem tape for a quick no-sew shortcut. Add hand-dyed fabric stripes or borders using cotton swatches and all-natural dyes.
Incorporate Meaningful Florals
Flowers hold symbolic meaning in Dutch culture, from tulips to roses. Place a small vase on tabletops and windowsills to incorporate florals in your decor. Or display framed botanical prints made from your own flower photography for personalized art.
Add Wheels to Furniture
To reconfigure spaces creatively, Amsterdammers will add wheels or casters to furniture like benches, chairs, and tables. This allows flexible, ever-changing room arrangements perfect for entertaining or accommodating daily shifts in activities.
Prioritize Quality over Quantity
Furnishings and accessories in Amsterdam homes are carefully curated. Limit your decor to special vintage finds, handcrafted items, meaningful gifts, and art that makes your heart sing. Focus on quality over quantity to create a warm, welcoming, and stylist home.
Achieving the Amsterdam Look: Decor Ideas for Every Room
Recreating the eclectic Amsterdam aesthetic from room to room is all about blending vintage charm with creative styling. Here are some decor ideas for key areas of your home.
- Gallery wall with mix of artwork, prints, maps, and photos
- Patterned or colored window treatments in breezy natural fabrics
- Low-profile furniture with slim legs and arms for breezy feel
- Natural fiber rug like jute layered over hardwoods
- Round coffee table that allows flexible seating arrangements
- Cozy seating like slipcovered sofa and vintage armchair
- Handmade ceramics, wood carvings, or glasswork for accents
- Farmhouse-style wood dining table with mismatched chairs
- Statement light fixture suspended over table
- Bold wallpaper or colorful paint on feature wall
- China cabinet for displaying collectibles and heirlooms
- Vintage rug in bright jewel tone as pop of color
- Artisan pottery for tableware and serving dishes
- Fresh flowers as a simple centerpiece
- Mix of painted and stained wood cabinetry
- Marble, quartz, or concrete countertops
- Subway tile backsplash in bold color like navy blue
- Open shelving for cookbooks and collected ceramic pieces
- Window box herb garden on sill
- Exposed brick wall or interesting backsplash tile
- Vintage-style hardware like bin pulls or latches
- Wooden chopping blocks and butcher block islands
- Iron bed frame with breezy linen bedding
- Nightstands made from antique end tables or dressers
- Woven textiles like blankets or rag rugs as wall art
- Gauzy linen curtains in neutral stripes
- Glass lamp filled with seashells or beach glass
- Mirrors to amplify light
- Meaningful travel momentos displayed on floating shelves
- Vintage washstand sink on iron legs
- Subway tile in bold shade on walls or floors
- Patterned shower curtain inspired by Dutch delftware
- Wallpaper inside cabinets for bright pop of color
- Towel ladder rather than built-in rod
- Round mirror above sink
- Fresh flowers in repurposed ceramic or tin containers
Shop This Look: Top Dutch and Amsterdam-Style Finds
Recreating the Amsterdam aesthetic at home is easier than ever thanks to some fabulous companies offering Dutch and Scandinavian inspired designs. Here are some favorites to help you nail the eclectic look.
This Danish firm offers sleek, minimalist furnishings inspired by Scandinavian style. Their chairs, sofas, tables, and storage pieces pair nicely with vintage items for an eclectic Amsterdam vibe. Many pieces come in a range of fabric and color options too.
Serena and Lily
California-cool Serena and Lily do breezy casual interiors with panache. Their linen bedding, cotton rugs, woven baskets, and lighting fit right in with Amsterdam decor. Lots of their products have a timeworn, artisanal feel.
This boho-chic retailer sells home furnishings and decor brimming with color, texture, and global appeal. From embroidered pillows to painted ceramics, their offerings align beautifully with Amsterdam style. Their in-house art and accessories make creative statement pieces.
Design Within Reach
For iconic mid-century furniture silhouettes reimagined in new materials and colors, check out Design Within Reach. Their selection includes works by renowned designers like Saarinen, Eames, Nelson, and Noguchi that can infuse a space with retro modern flair.
Article makes it easy to get cool, contemporary furniture direct to your door. Their streamlined, customizable sofas, beds, and storage pieces provide the perfect backdrop for adding in flea market finds and antiques.
This online maker’s marketplace is brimming with unique handcrafted goods that help recreate Amsterdam style. Search for art, ceramics, furnishings, textiles, and decor by independent artists and creatives from around the globe.
For a regular delivery of fresh blooms right to your door, Bloomist is a wonderful option. Choose classic or seasonal arrangements designed to brighten any space with natural beauty and nods to Dutch floral tradition.
The Amsterdam look is defined by creativity, color, and works infused with personal history and handmade appeal. With treasures from these and other sources, you can easily give your home a dose of Dutch design. Mix and match vintage finds with modern pieces, bold patterns and pops of color, and artistic accessories for a space that feels collected, curated, and well-loved.
Decorating on a Dime: Achieving Amsterdam Style on a Budget
The eclectic Amsterdam aesthetic can be achieved on a budget with some savvy shopping and creative DIY spirit. Here are some tips for decorating with Amsterdam panache without breaking the bank.
Shop Discount and Consignment First
Focus your vintage hunt on thrift stores, consignment shops, flea markets, estate sales, and online marketplaces like Craigslist and Facebook. These venues offer steep discounts on the secondhand furnishings that are the backbone of Amsterdam style. Be patient and selective to uncover great quality at low prices.
Seek out Salvage Materials
Reuse old wooden boards, bricks, windows, and more salvaged building materials to create Amsterdam-worthy furniture or wall accents. Check architectural salvage warehouses, demolition companies, and habitat resale stores. Upcycling salvage adds character for a fraction of the cost of buying new.
Embrace DIY Projects
DIY projects allow you to create one-of-a-kind Amsterdam-style pieces. Refinish or paint old furniture from the thrift store in uplifting hues. Sew simple linen curtains and pillow covers. Create wall art from vintage maps or book pages. Display collections of thrifted frames, vases, or bottles.
Use Removable Wallpaper
To make a splash without painting, use removable wallpaper as an affordable alternative. Cover a single focal wall or shel