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Dick Mulders from DMD: 'Luxury with courage!'

Experience 17th century architecture with the present. Designer and founder of DMD Amsterdam Dick Mulders knows how to bring this together in a unique project that he and his team managed to realize on Amsterdam's Prinsengracht. At the same time, DMD brings the 21st century into the building, making it incredibly modern and monumental with the DMD signature. Text: Mical Joseph
Image: DMD Amsterdam

Where did you get the inspiration for the project on the Prinsengracht?

“The house dates from the 17th century and has since had various uses in the past, such as a workshop, a shipping company, a coach house and a restaurant. The previous destinations already provided enough reason for my inspiration. In addition, at DMD we also listen carefully to the customer's wishes, which led to two themes: privacy and hospitality. The front house faces outwards and the back house offers more peace and privacy. However, the patio surrounds the back house, so every room has daylight in this part. In short: the house itself and the wishes of this client have given me a framework for this design.”

The customer naturally has certain wishes within the process. Was there a lot of input or were you free to do so?

“The customer wanted to be very hospitable, like to live on a canal, but also want to guarantee a certain privacy. We have opened up the house, as it were, and turned the front room into a beautiful dining room. It almost gives a restaurant-like vibe. The further you walk to the rear, the more privacy you have. In the back house are the bedrooms, the walk-in closet, the bathroom, the office, the library and the piano room.”

How are the influences from the 17e century incorporated into the project?

“We wanted to make the classical elements as visible as possible. This was done by bringing in the 18th-century marble paneling (from another building), making the 17th-century mudstone on the facade visible again and refurbishing the ceiling beams. So we looked for classic elements and made them part of the design.” 

How do you combine modern and monumental in an interior?

“The kitchen and dining room are a good example of this: the paneling and ceiling beams in combination with the indigo-blue sleek, modern kitchen with clean lines, create a perfect combination between modern meets monumental view. We also opted for a glass tulip vase based on the original porcelain Delft blue vase, a beautiful carpet from Moooi with a 17th-century print and modern art by Damien Hirst and Ronald Westerhuis hangs on the wall.”

Which design items are the real ones eye-catchers?

“We designed a floating staircase made of blue hot-rolled steel, the wall-sized bookcase in the library and the acid-dipped brass wall in the office space. In addition to our own designs eye-catchers, such as the chandelier by designer JSPR and a free-standing enamel basket, certainly not to be missed.”

What should absolutely not be missing from the interior in 2022?

“In the interior, it is important to surround yourself in an environment with high-quality materials, timeless style choices, authentic details and art.” 

What is the typical DMD signature in the house?

“It is important to surround yourself with comfort and luxury. Our designs are personal and tailor made. Luxury with courage!” 

Why did the customer choose you?

“DMD is happy to help the client arrive at the best design for the new house, restaurant or new hotel. Our designers put the customer's passion on paper and based on that we start with the interior. We look for a suitable collection in terms of fabrics, furniture and art. Each project is tailor-made from concept to delivery. DMD does not do what the customer says, but it does listen to the customer. I think that's what sets us apart.”DMD Amsterdam