A Restless Real Estate Developer Builds His Ideal Live-Work Space
When Frank Nederhof, a property developer and former real estate agent, discovered a fixer-upper for sale near Amsterdam’s Vondelpark, his professional instincts told him it was an opportunity too good to pass up. "As a refurbishment project, it couldn’t have been better," he says. The house, which dates from the 1880s, hadn’t been renovated since the 1970s, and its last owner, an elderly woman, had lived there for three decades.
The edifice featured high ceilings and a footprint three feet wider than most late-19th-century houses. Nederhof decided to gut the outmoded structure and divide the property into a few apartments to sell and rent, plus a live-work space for himself.
"The area’s fantastic and close to the heart of things," he says. "Plus, my ground-floor apartment has a large private garden—something that’s pretty rare to find in central Amsterdam."
He reconfigured the floor plan of the 1,350-square-foot space and added glass doors to separate his office from his living area. "As a real estate agent, I’m always aware that eventually homes will have to sell," he says. "So I was careful to ensure that the office has access to both the hallway and the bathroom, meaning it’s a very versatile space. I use it for work, but it could be used as another bedroom."
Nederhof added a steel beam to the main room, which encompasses a living area, dining space, and kitchen. The beam’s distressed finish adds textural contrast to the room and supports an 11-foot-tall, 60-foot-long rear extension that projects into the garden.