Workspace of the Week: Dutch details

This week’s Workspace of the Week is iBSSR’s minimalist Mac office space:

This selection is located in a minimalist house recently built in Parkstad Heerlen, the Netherlands. (It’s in the southern Limburg province of the Netherlands.) The name of the house is “Minimum to the Max,” which I believe also aptly describes the feel of this room. In the desk and workspace area, there are only computers, desks, task lighting, and chairs. Likely, when the space is in use, there are also project materials strewn about the desks. However, at the end of the day, all items are put away and stored on the bookcase. The bookcase is built into the wall and was part of the original design of the home. Without the bookcase, the space would feel empty or impersonal. With the bookcase, the space transforms into an inspiring studio that can provide clarity and creativity. The long window that runs along the wall opposite of the bookshelf is also nice for bringing natural light into the space. Thank you, iBSSR, for sharing your minimalist space with us.

Want to have your own workspace featured in Workspace of the Week? Submit a picture to the Unclutterer flickr pool. Check it out because we have a nice little community brewing there. Also, don’t forget that workspaces aren’t just desks. If you’re a cook, it’s a kitchen; if you’re a carpenter, it’s your workbench.

21 Comments for “Workspace of the Week: Dutch details”

  1. posted by Bastian on

    Sorry but this just looks like an old schoolhouse renovated.
    I wouldn’t feel comfy in it. It’s too dark & cold with too small windows.

  2. posted by Erin Doland on

    @Bastian — It’s not a renovation, it’s new construction. You can see more of the house on Flickr:

  3. posted by Anne on

    All the (Continental) European homes I’ve ever visited have all looked pretty much the same, with white walls, lots of bookshelves and uncarpeted floors. That kind of style is not to my taste at all – it’s just not cosy enough – and nor is this office, but I have to say it is beautifully done. It looks a bit like a library with the identical desks and chairs. And I can’t imagine any other computer but a Mac in that space.

  4. posted by Cat on

    Maybe the low windows are motivation to stay seated and finish your work — you can’t gaze out the window while standing?? I do like the large bookshelf, though.

    @Erin – I don’t think Bastian was confused about whether the house was renovated or new – just saying that it looked like a schoolhouse renovation because of the windows. (And by the way, I sort of agree, especially with the desk set-up that is similar to classroom style!)

  5. posted by lucy1965 on

    I thought the architect’s statement at the beginning of the album summed it up perfectly:

    The only universal measure is whether the space feels comfortable and right to the people who use it.(emphasis mine) Minimalism – or, as the sculptor Donald Judd preferred to put it, the simple expression of complex thought – is only one valid response of an aesthetically diverse society, answering the needs of particular individuals and provoking debate in society at large about how we choose to live and how we expect architecture to support these choices.

    The windows make sense to me, both as frames for a specific view of the surrounding countryside and as a way of minimizing resource use: great big windows can equal “great big opportunity for heat loss”.

  6. posted by Laura, The "Argie" on

    I do like how neat and clean it is.

  7. posted by smk on

    The design is a little stark for my tastes, but I am inspired by the modern lines and clean, functional spaces.

  8. posted by Leslie on

    I love that there are few cables showing (love wireless). It makes for a clean open space where a person could spread out a project.

  9. posted by MaryJo @ reSPACEd: Budget Organizing on

    What’s striking to me is that even though the bookcases are used for organizing supplies, books and related documents, the shelves aren’t overflowing. So often wall-spanning bookcases like this can be a clutter magnet, but in this picture, some of the cubbies have barely anything in them. Impressive.

    Where is the file cabinet? Are we to understand that this office is completely paperless?

  10. posted by WilliamB on

    Not to my taste but it works, by the standards of that style. I find myself wondering … how would it work if the rooms weren’t (apparently) enormous?

  11. posted by Marianne on

    Fun to find a house only a few miles from mine on a website written on the other side of the world. The windows are not as small as you’think by seeing the pictures.

  12. posted by Brandon on

    The black cords of the lighting on the otherwise clean white desks would drive me nuts but it’s still a beautiful space.

    Went through the slideshow on Flickr and absolutely love the home.

  13. posted by Shalin on

    W-o-w! Really, really great minimalist design. …seems kinda cold though – may toss a 2-3 rugs on the floor?


  14. posted by mili on

    Anne, I hear you! And believe me, NOT all uncluttered continental european homes look like that at all! In fact, few do, they just get featured more I think because the current mainstream thinking equates a lack of clutter with a minimalist decorating style.

    Try looking for classic french interiors and for folk art influenced ones – both pretty much demand an uncluttered approach to work, especially when it comes to storage and organizing, but they are much more about warmth and creativity in use of the space and the fabrics. For instance, one feature of the classic french style I’m particularly fond of is the use of color on the walls – it does wonders to pull together a room around a color scheme so that all the things you need to include to live comfortably in that room are organized around a common theme. And beyond that, it can help offset problems like unusually shaped or -sized rooms, low ceilings, lightless rooms, etc.

    Basically those types of interiors are more liable to be realistic in the sense of having had to work within existing constraints like utilizing existing furniture including beloved heirlooms, working within the confines of an existing building, etc.

  15. posted by Anne on

    mili – thank you for your comment. It reminded me of a few French hotels I’ve stayed in – yes, they definitely had more interesting interiors than the white-walls-and-bookshelves combo I’ve seen in people’s homes. Classic French style is lovely.

  16. posted by mili on

    glad to help 🙂 it’s more than just hotels though, which have a different kind of budget – private homes are the same, and not the wealthiest either 🙂

  17. posted by Kalle on

    It’s day, all the lights in room are on and it’s still dark inside?

  18. posted by liv on

    I wonder if the smallish windows might be to save on heating/cooling. The windows next to the desk seem positioned so that you would have an open horizon if you were sitting at the desk. Maximizing window space, maybe?

    I miss artwork and natural material/textures–not necessarily rugs. If the tables and bookcases were made out of natural wood or stone, I’d like the room a lot more, even if I don’t think I could maintain it.

  19. posted by Erica on

    I don’t get the ikea chairs. They’re really uncomfortable.

  20. posted by iBSSR on

    How can I live like that? To me the thinking is the wrong way round. The whole point is that this is how I live, so this is what my house needs to be like. The architecture is the physical expression of a way of being: the form does not follow a particular fashion, it follows a particular life.

  21. posted by Jennifer on

    I *don’t* like how it looks, but I feel like that might be the point. It would be a perfect craft studio for me – nothing distracting from the task at hand, plenty of storage for supplies and works-in-progress. It’s a blank slate of a room, empty of all but potential and the means to achieve it. If this were intended to be an entertaining area or a living space it would fail horribly – but as a workspace, it’s right on target.

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