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Amsterdam, Stay, Stay, 2014-08-18

The past year I have learned that there are a lot of people who dare to take a risk to create something they have always wanted. After talking to Steven & Stefan, I knew they are part of this inspiring group of people. It takes a lot of guts to take a leap of faith and I absolutely admire them for following their heart. That’s why I wanted to share more about this wonderful duo than just how breathtaking their B&B is. Stout&co is the perfect get-away for creative people who love beautiful design and good stories.

Let’s start with a bit of history and also one the first questions we had in mind. Why the name Stout&Co? It originates from the former function of the building. This was part of  ‘De Gekroonde Valk’  brewery, where they produced stout beer. Sorry to disappoint our readers who speak Dutch, it has nothing to do with the Dutch word “stout”(naughty/bad). But Steven & Stefan did love the irony of it.

Stoutco_JulieDonckers_WhyNotMonday-34 The first time I heard of Stout&Co was via Eline Ros. She was assigned by Dift to take photos of the B&B for its online communication. When she showed me some previews, I fell in love. The interior is very timeless yet modern, which is a challenge if you ask me. Stefan did a great job at creating an interior which is so balanced that I felt relaxed  in no time. He explained to us that the process of designing starts with some of the key materials that were once key elements in the previous space. For Stout&Co it was the steel of the windows that inspired him the most. You’ll see that this material is a constance in his design. For example the bench in the room, designed by his studio, is a steel base with a genius system. This makes it easy to renew the fabric without having to change everything.

The branding was made by Dift, a design studio in Ghent. Bert & Yves, its founders, worked closely together with Stefan & Steven from the beginning. Stefan pointed out the importance of this. Their teamwork made it possible for the design studio to follow the design process of the B&B and it also allowed them to work with the insights Stefan used in his interior. They’ve translated the choice of material in Stout&co’s branding. What I love the most is the way they’ve put the owner’s personality in the different types of media. One of my favorites are the small cards with tips, which you can find on the living room wall and take with you. This small detail reflects Steven & Stefan’s hosting skills perfectly. The cards even have a bit of the B&B’s studios in them. They have the same soft colors as some of the walls do. Each studio has its own color scheme, such as each category has its own color.

Having a gorgeously designed room with a divine bed is one thing, but being welcomed as if we have been friends for ages, is another. This type of hospitality is probably one of their most surprising qualities, we already were so blinded by the photos on their website that we didn’t expect such a warm welcome as well. Steven & Stefan were both eager to talk with us and told us more about the story of Stout&Co. To top it all off, they also gave us tips about Amsterdam. They even printed out a map, and showed us all the places to be according to our wishes. Steven meticulously drew both drew a tailor-made route on our map for a pleasant bike ride. I always love it when people are so proud of their work, as if it was their own child. Stefan gave us a tour of the property and both our minds were blown.

“I love living close to my work. – Steven Delva”

The B&B is located in the same building of  Stefan & Steven’s studios and their duplex that is still under construction. Stefan is an interior designer and owner of Puur Plus, an interior design studio with a lot of clients in retail and hospitality. Steven is a landscape architect and owner of Delva, a studio specialized in landscape architecture. He has worked on a lot of very interesting projects such as ‘de Keuvel’. It was inspiring to see how much they both love their jobs, and it reminded us to always work on projects that should give us the energy to push further our limits/push ourselves further.

stoutoffice-1 When Stefan & Steven found this building, they fell in love with its history and possibilities. It was a struggle to get their hands on this former brewery but they had to have it. At first they were thinking about creating other offices on the first floor but in the end they took the risk of creating this B&B. Although they didn’t have the ambition to start one, it felt like the right decision at the time. Not only did they find a unique space in Amsterdam, they also had to reinvent themselves. Of course they can’t run the B&B without a host. That’s why they have a small team that takes care of breakfast and welcomes the guest. So far it has been a great success and I am sure it will stay this way.

Besides having an inspiring story to tell themselves, Stefan & Steven also want to tell the story of other creative people. That’s why the rooms have items made by a lot of young and talented artists. Most of them they found via Dift, these creatives were part of De Invasie. In addition to that they also sell great magazines & publications you don’t find in your average bookstore. To top it off, they work together with Aesop. Not only can you use their wonderful products in the bathroom at the B&B, you can also buy them and at take them home with you. Really a good set of collaborations if you ask us.

Stoutco_JulieDonckers_WhyNotMonday-20 Both the owners love craftsmanship, which is not only visible in the interior design and their small shop, but also in their breakfast menu. We were lucky and could enjoy our breakfast on their beautiful terrace, which is more a green oasis than a terrace if you ask me. Steven & Stefan kept it simple with an eye for detail. Freshly baked bread by Le Perron, served with an assortiment of delicious cheeses and delicatessen. If you are a sweet tooth, don’t worry. They also put two tasty jams on the table and some crunchy granola with yoghurt and fresh fruit. To make it even better, they buy everything at local vendors at ‘Landmarkt’, straight from a farm on your plate. What’s not to love?

What more can I say? Not only did I get a great night’s rest, I also had an inspiring trip. Make sure to stay there at least once because Steven and Stefan have a lots of stories to tell.

Love,

Julie

Stout&co 
Hoogte Kadijk 71,
Amsterdam,
Netherlands