Esmee Rudolf from sits on the Hampton pouffe in midnight grey in her monochrome apartment on the outskirts of Amsterdam.

At home in monochrome: Esmee’s minimal sanctuary

Things aren’t always black and white. But in the Dutch Zaandam on the outskirts of Amsterdam we discover a space where these two hues create a space that’s full of personality. For Esmee Rudolf, blogger at the website, going monochrome was the only way to put her personal stamp on the apartment she shares with boyfriend Oscar and carefully coordinated cats, Mellow and Kenzo.

Dark side of the Force

In the 100 square metres on the edge of Amsterdam we mostly see Esmee’s creative influence. “Oscar has a say in all of this too, of course, as long as he sticks to the colour palette. The stormtrooper is his, but I gave in: I just watched all eight episodes of Star Wars”, she says.


“I’m a DIYer - I’m especially proud of the marble wallpaper I put up and the floor we sanded and painted. It’s what gives a space more character.” Esmee told us.

Work it

“I’m a true marble addict, which explains why I’m so fond of the Iris accessories from MADE. I use them for jewellery as well as stationery, because I actually spend more time working at my dressing table than doing my makeup.”

Grey zone

“I’d been looking for a nice pouffe for a while when I found this velvet one. I think it fits nicely in that corner.” Esmee’s cat Mellow - who we suspect doesn’t match the monochrome interior by accident - certainly seems to approve.

In her DNA

“When I was eight years old, I already knew I’d be a photographer. It’s when I got my first camera. Which shouldn’t be a surprise with a photographer mum and grandfather”, she says. In the corner we see a little ode to her grandpa: “That little chair was his. But I added a personal touch by covering it in marble.”

Free from colour

“My fascination with black and white started during my photography studies. I started developing my own sense of fashion style around the same time and little by little all colour disappeared from my wardrobe. It’s a feeling: colour annoys me so I’ll rarely fall for a bright item”, Esmee explains. “I love a peaceful environment and this palette just works perfectly.”

Inspiration and ambition

“I’m a huge fan of Helmut Newton but especially look up to Robin de Puy. Her work motivates me to focus on documentary photography again”, says the ambitious Esmee. “My blog has taken up most of my spare time the last couple of years, but now there’s room for more. When I want something, I go all the way.”

How does it feel?

“I don’t completely steer away from colour. Sometimes a colour can express a feeling about a place more clearly, like when I was in Marrakech. Then I will happily leave my black and white photography”, Esmee admits. “I also feel this cork wall works harmoniously in my office space. It’s more about creating an organised, peaceful space than anything else and I believe I succeeded at that.”

Article written by: Wided Bouchrika
Photography by: Eelco Wortman

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