These houses currently vary in height, width and style, but originally they were far more uniform. Because of the restricted plot dimensions the houses were deep and narrow, their front façades featuring three windows. Generally they were built up to four or five storeys. The raised doorstep granted access to the main floor, with an office, workshop or shop in the front of the house. Behind was the living room. The kitchen was in the basement and there was typically storage space in the loft.
During the second construction phase, after 1660, there was a deviation from the original standard house. In the property auctions, people now had the opportunity to buy the lot next door for the same price. As a result, many double canal premises can be seen in the area between the Leidsegracht and the Amstel. Here the very richest built their city courts – in accordance with the contemporary fashion, in a classical style with costly natural stone. In particular the famous ‘Golden Bend’ in the Herengracht acquired a much-discussed stylish aura as a result.