On a recent visit to Amsterdam, My wife and I sought out what the beautiful city has to offer vintage and industrial design lovers. We found two gems across the street from each other in the Amsterdam-Noord area that I can recommend strongly – Neef Louis Design & Van Dijik en Ko. They are a bit outside of the city centre, but the area is worth the travel. Taking the ferry from central station to either NDSM or Buiksloterweg, it is a nice bike ride through a more industrial and gritty side of Amsterdam most tourists will never see.
Van Dijk en Ko is one of those stores which you might not want to enter due to its cluttered appearance, but hidden behind that facade is a bombastic collection of treasures. This place is perfect if you love vintage, but don’t have the patience to search for hours on end in thrift stores. It is full of Hungarian cupboards, benches, tables, barrels, stools and chests of drawers, buckets, Romanian buffets, earthenware, crates and shutters, troughs, jars, crates, chairs, crockery, work benches and dressing furniture, carts and counter tops, Danish Design, Belgian office furniture, Dutch books and a large amount of unexpected objects such as a horse on wheels, a life-size Pieta and a large assortment of linen, glassware and lampshades! They also have garden furniture and old doors.
Across the street is Neef Louis Design. A huge warehouse full of vintage, designer and industrial furniture, this is a treasure trove of antique luggage, mid-century bookcases, retro radios, neon signs and much, much more. They have all sorts of objects from the last century, recovered from various industries, laboratories, shops; from grocery scales to industrial-style lockers and operation room lamps, not to mention vintage telephones and lamps.
Neef Louis Design (NLD) has been in business since 1999 and is the life’s work of Louis Vlaarkamp. He started in a garage at the Haarlemmerplein, afterwards in a loft in the Houthavens (Amsterdam West), before moving the warehouse in Amsterdam North. The shop is a collection of unique, used goods: vintage, design or industrials, a journey through time, a return to your youth, or a touch of the future. An assortment of industrial lamps or tables combined with design classics or mid-century design. Imported from Poland, Czech, Ukraine or Denmark etc. An adventure, an inspiration for stylists, set decorators, art directors or private persons. You name it, and there is a pretty good chance you’ll find it here.