Mirjam Gelink is a woman who instinctively recognises her ideal setting when she sees it. At first viewing, she might have rejected the 1930s Amsterdam apartment – originally one house, but now divided into two – that today she calls home. For a start, with just two bedrooms, it was arguably too small for one woman and her two sons. What Mirjam was quick to spot, however, was that by taking down walls and doors within the apartment to open out the space (something she did between the bathroom and loo and the living room and hall), she could imbue the place with an airy, open-plan feel. She’s gone on to further exploit what space there is by creating zones as well as rooms. While there are individual, private areas – the bedrooms, a shower room (‘I don’t like baths with showers, so I took out the existing bath to create just one vast shower room,‘ she explains) and a kitchen – in the larger living space she’s created an unofficial dining zone, a restful zone with books, a lamp and an old Russian artwork, plus a study zone, where a sturdy white desk is flanked on either side by bookshelves.