Vertical Challenge

In the lofty Amsterdam apartment of Texas-born Hunter Hindman and Shelby Carr, mid-century modern mixes freely with contemporary Dutch design in a setting transposed from the 17th century.
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When Hunter Hindman and Shelby Carr first saw their future home on Amsterdam’s Brouwersgracht, it had been functioning as an artist’s studio since the 1970s and was chock-full of canvases, paint, and clutter. "It was shabby and stuffed with junk, and it was just sitting on the market as a result, but we could see straight away that it was a really amazing space," says Hindman, a creative director. "The height of the central area, which is two stories tall, gives it a unique feeling. It was totally different from any other apartment we looked at."

"That big hole in the middle of the ceiling totally did it for us," says Carr, a textiles designer, with a laugh. The middle story of the apartment is effectively a catwalk-like gallery, clinging to the walls and framing the massive wooden beams of the high ceiling to great effect. "Coming from America, the sense of history here wowed us," the Texan adds. "We’re just not used to anything this old." Built in 1630 as a warehouse, a function it kept right up until 1969, the building’s interior has changed little over the centuries. It retains its original handmade brick walls and broad oak beams. "The raw, simple quality of the interior really appealed to us," says Hindman. "And best of all, when we moved up to the top floor—which you could reach only by a ladder then—there was yet another great space, with an incredible beamed ceiling complete with an old pulley system."

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