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This Stylish Amsterdam Pad Used to be an Auto Body Shop

Once again proving that even the most unlikely structures—cargo ships, butcher shops, and even water towers—possess a Cinderella-like potential to be transformed, this stylish Amsterdam loft was unbelievably once nothing more than a lowly auto repair shop. Indeed, interior designer James van der Velden of the firm Bricks Amsterdam bought the 1,453-square-foot, two-bedroom garage back in 2012, and, sensing its potential as one of the world's chicest man caves, has since revamped it into a highly personalized living space, with just a few references to its rugged past life.

Guests access van der Velden's home through an attached garage and enter into an open kitchen and living room space—all centered around a light-providing glass atrium. The decor in both rooms speaks to the designer's taste for antiques and rather bold, masculine furniture choices, though none of it is meant to feel—in the designer's own words—"like a museum where you are afraid to touch things." With this in mind, Parisian flea market finds and pieces from van der Velden's extensive art collection are paired with more DIY accents, like scaffolding pipe-built shelving units and apple crate side tables. Other quirky (and designer-approved) touches include some unexpected subway tiling in the kitchen and pale blue distressed walls that pop up throughout the entire home—a clear holdover from the space's early days.

In the master bedroom, a large piece of leather hangs from a steel rod in the place of a traditional backboard, and repurposed movie theater seats and built-in bookcases line the walls. Finally, serving as the most literal nod to the home's past life is the designer's much-loved (if seldom used) motorcycle, mounted up towards the ceiling. Houzz has more photos of the transformed abode, right this way.

· Domesticating a Rugged Amsterdam Garage [Houzz]