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Loft on stilts | Milkbottle

Loft on stilts

Maher

The KNSM Island in Amsterdam is vibrating with creativity. In particular the building that was once the canteen of the Royal Dutch Steam Company and now accommodates eight artist’s lofts. Behind the crimson front door you find the studio apartment of Jennifer and Liam Maher.

The supply route to KNSM Island goes by non-conventional interior design stores such as Dominio and Pol’s Potten. Stores where Jennifer and Liam shopped extensively in the designing of their loft beyond the square that you enter by a steep staircase, like one going up to a tree house, leads you to the largish entrance with the crimson front door. When Liam got to hear that his employer Oilily from Vermont in the USA would be sending him to their Dutch head office, on the advice of friends he and Jennifer explored the artistic KNSM Island as a possible place to live. They immediately fell in love with the place and especially with that one historical building on stilts that makes such a huge impression on the island: the former canteen of the Royal Dutch Steam Company. Until then Jennifer and Liam had lived contentedly in Vermont in a wooden church they had restored themselves, but to be able to live here, they wouldn’t need a second to think about taking the step. Two years later their signature was on the contract whereby the renovation of their part of the canteen taken up by the artists could begin followed by the part of the canteen purchased by the municipality. Jennifer, a producer of fashion events: we were proud to be part of the creative engine. We are intoxicated by the vibe that’s here and were inspired by the fantastic things the others had done with their studio apartments. `The previous occupant built a bedroom floor from raw steel supports in the five meter high loft, such that Liam and Jennifer wake up daily to the breath-taking view over the banks of the Ij. The two of them were less pleased about the coarse wall that split the three hundred square meter space. What a celebration that was when it was finally demolished and the light from the alley side to the North and the light from the river IJ side to the South met each other. Friends do not understand that I can still work with such a view! That same view was perfectly placed for the open kitchen. ‘The low ceiling was given an intimate counterbalance by our extra emphasis in painting it in the same grey as the walls, giving the effect of a cocoon.’ ‘The Ikea butcher’s block was supplied with a customised top and equipment.’ ‘Creative patchworking’, says Jennifer, ‘Liam is particularly good at it. You can see it over and over here wherever you look: stuff and materials recycled to something unexpected in an unconventional way. Such as the bookshelves made of piled up wooden benches, or the old canteen worktop where files are now hanging.’

Liam and Jennifer call this art work that they made themselves ‘Wallage', as a variation on `collage': a short family history in the form of a collection number plates, starting with Jennifer's Grandfather's which was first nailed to the wall of his garage in 1934, then passed on through her parents to Jennifer herself. There are also number plates from the time that Jennifer's family lived in Japan. ‘They hang over the front door: it gives me a feeling of home as soon as I step in.’ The dining table is designed by Mauricio Peregalli for Zeus (Domino); the chairs are from Loods 5.
Liam and Jennifer call this art work that they made themselves ‘Wallage', as a variation on `collage': a short family history in the form of a collection number plates, starting with Jennifer's Grandfather's which was first nailed to the wall of his garage in 1934, then passed on through her parents to Jennifer herself. There are also number plates from the time that Jennifer's family lived in Japan. ‘They hang over the front door: it gives me a feeling of home as soon as I step in.’ The dining table is designed by Mauricio Peregalli for Zeus (Domino); the chairs are from Loods 5.
No ordinary bookshelf, but on top of a dining table made from piled up wooden benches (Loods 5). The chairs and the raw wooden table are from Loods 5. On both sides of the homemade bookshelf are `wallages', small sources of inspiration from vintage family doll cupboard dolls and teddy bears to a comme des garçon-edition of the illustrated magazine Visionaire and ancient velvet dolls The masks from Jennifer’s collection were one night labelled with the emotions (`smug', angry',`stubborn') by Liam when Jennifer was away travelling and he missed her terribly. The treadmill was a Christmas gift from Jennifer.
left No ordinary bookshelf, but on top of a dining table made from piled up wooden benches (Loods 5). The chairs and the raw wooden table are from Loods 5. On both sides of the homemade bookshelf are `wallages', small sources of inspiration from vintage family doll cupboard dolls and teddy bears to a comme des garçon-edition of the illustrated magazine Visionaire and ancient velvet dolls
right The masks from Jennifer’s collection were one night labelled with the emotions (`smug', angry',`stubborn') by Liam when Jennifer was away travelling and he missed her terribly. The treadmill was a Christmas gift from Jennifer.
The horse's skull was bought in the Noordermarkt in Amsterdam. A great view and brings lots of light in the house
left The horse's skull was bought in the Noordermarkt in Amsterdam.
right A great view and brings lots of light in the house

Images Jansje Klazinga via Taverne Agency

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