Renovating a stunning listed house in Amsterdam became a chance to travel back through the centuries
Anyone wishing to appear grander than they are in 2021 might buy a house with a pediment and columns. For the Dutch architect Abraham Salm in 1887, building a house (one of five) on a site by the Amstel river, east of Amsterdam’s city centre, it meant a liberal sprinkling of coats of arms on mantelpieces, iron grates and glass panel doors.
“We unearthed stained-glass windows depicting knights jousting, during the renovation,” laughs Elmar Krop, the fashion photographer who bought the house four years ago. “Perhaps this was to suggest he came from a much older family than he actually had, because the house was intended to look like it was from the 17th century, when actually it was built 200 years later.”