An Interview with Karin Meyn Creative Director of Studio PIET BOON

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The high profile Dutch design firm Studio Piet Boon has made waves across the design industry in recent years, becoming one of the worlds top icons for interiors and architecture today. Be it a chair, accessory, hardware or interior the Studio Piet Boon aesthetic is elegant, casual and memorable. The brand has published 5 coffee table books showcasing their style and mantra, created their own furniture collection and built an array of homes, apartments, clubhouses and restaurants. Studio Piet Boon is on its way to the top of the charts as one of the most iconic firms of our time. I had the pleasure of interviewing the Creative Director for Studio Piet Boon – Karin Meyn.

Karin Meyn by Rahi Rezvani

LB: How did you get into the world of design and interiors?

KM: Professionally, when I joined Studio Piet Boon in 1986 as creative director Interior & Styling. But as long as I can remember, my father took my siblings and me to art and antiques fairs and exhibitions. He had a great taste and a passion and eye for exquisite materials and details.

Piet Boon Global Headquarters Entry photo by Richard Powers

Piet Boon Global Headquarters and showroom in Amsterdam,  photo by Richard Powers

LB: How did you meet Piet Boon?

KM: We met at the birthday party of a relative of mine. He had already started his business and we discovered that we had a lot in common in our vision on design.

Piet Boon Global Headquarters Sample Library. Photo by Richard Powers.

Piet Boon Global Headquarters Sample Library. Photo by Richard Powers.

Neutral color palette on an acrylic sample board. Photo by  Richard Powers

Neutral color palette on an acrylic sample board. Photo by Richard Powers

LB: What makes the Studio Piet Boon aesthetic so recognizable? What is the studio mantra?

KM: The studio’s mantra, our mission, is clear since the early days when the studio was founded:

‘We are driven to positively impact the lives and well-being of our clients by passionately crafting everyday spaces and products into rewarding, one of a kind design experiences. We are dedicated to exceed expectations, time and time again. Always striving to excite or inspire – beyond imagination.’

The Boon style is easily recognizable because of the way we shape and design spaces and how we create a personalized experience. It is a carefully considered combination of materials, color, art, objects and accessories.

Piet Boon Global Headquarters Office Space photo by Richard Powers

Piet Boon Global Headquarters Office Space photo by Richard Powers

Piet Boon Global Headquarters Sample Library photo by Richard Powers

Piet Boon Global Headquarters Sample Library photo by Richard Powers

LB: What makes your studio so successful? What are your core studio attitudes/team values that make each project so seamless?


KM: Thank you Laura for the compliment.

There are several underlying reasons why I believe our studio is successful.

Personally I believe that the fact that the starting point of every project has always been to excite and surprise our client’s and the awareness that we are not designing for ourselves creates a specific approach. This places our client’s needs and wishes in our focal point to create a unique and personalized design. We love to fulfill all our client’s needs, expectations and wishes and beyond that. Another reason is the synergy between the teams in our company. From the very start Architecture and Interior & Styling work closely together. For Interior & Styling every project starts –after a clear briefing and debriefing- with the creation of a detailed mood for the entire project. Crucial to realize one and the same harmonious look & feel and flow throughout the entire design.

Luxury is a feeling; our perception of the word is created through bespoke, unique details and made to measure solutions.

Styling is -apart from the synergy between Architecture and Interior & Styling-, another USP. It has to be defined, in order to be understood, as the word styling is used in many different ways. We refer to it as: ‘Styling breathes life in every project.’ It is the final step after the completed interior design, which turns a house or even a hotel into ‘home’, by adding the element of individuality. We strive to understand our clients’ needs and deep dive into their (corporate) personality. Embracing their values and way of living – and working – helps us to not only shape each project’s unique identity but also to truly add value. It enables us to create this sense of belonging that will make our clients feel at home as soon as they walk in.

Incorporating art and objects with an emotional value, or which reflect the corporate identity, creates the warm and personal atmosphere we envision for our clients.

We are very fortunate that our style has an appeal and is embraced by people in many cultures. Our designs seamlessly combine with every other style and atmosphere. We love to embrace not to dictate.

LB: What makes for an ideal client?
   

KM: Every client is an ideal client. This might sound as a political answer but each and every project is unique and represents its own unique challenge. We love to find innovative solutions for every challenge. They allow us to grow…

In any given situation we are determined to make things work and play a meaningful role in the entire project team: which includes all parties involved.

Currently we are working on large residential projects in New York as well as on the redesign of the interior of the Park Hyatt Tokyo.

We are always hugely interested in the local culture, which we study and incorporate in the final design.

So, you hopefully I have been able to explain why we are really happy with our clients!

LB: What project has been the most exciting for you to have worked on in your career?


KM: Each and every project is unique and exciting in its own way. Our studio works worldwide. This allows us to cross borders and get to know cultures we are very interested in and which we value and respect deeply. To be able to travel and to be trusted with projects, which have such an impact on people’s lives, be it private homes or public spaces, is a privilege.

The Jane Restaurant Antwerp photo by Richard Powers

The Jane Restaurant Antwerp photo by Richard Powers

LB: Where do you find inspiration?


KM: Inspiration can be found everywhere. Just by looking around you and are aware of what you see, hear and touch is a source of inspiration. Normal day street life is filled with creativity. It is an interesting mix of individuals expressing themselves.

Travelling, immersing ourselves in other cultures, to look at their art and taste their food. The colors of landscapes in different seasons, museums, galleries, books and fashion.

Piet Boon® hardware by Formani consists of two contemporary lines of exclusive door hardware. The exquisite details and finishes make Piet Boon® hardware by Formani suitable for any interior. Series One by Piet Boon® is available in stainless steel, satin black and satin white. Series Two is available in matte stainless steel and matte black- or natural oak combined with stainless steel.

Piet Boon® hardware by Formani consists of two contemporary lines of exclusive door hardware. The exquisite details and finishes make Piet Boon® hardware by Formani suitable for any interior. Series One by Piet Boon® is available in stainless steel, satin black and satin white. Series Two is available in matte stainless steel and matte black- or natural oak combined with stainless steel.

LB: Do your life experiences, travels, and/or social connections have an impact on your interiors?

KM: I would say they are vital!

My father was an inventor who built a business from scratch to a world market leader with over 1000 employees. He was a creative thinker with a passion for beauty and quality. As long as I can remember he took us to art and antiques exhibitions and the atelier fashion designers. My siblings and I inherited our passion for beautiful materials and beautiful details.

By now I am connected to Boon for almost three decades. My experience designing private, residential, corporate and hospitality projects is growing. Which allows me to grow too.

I am definitely a different designer than let’s say 10 years ago.

Life’s experiences and travelling the world is also vital to understand our client’s lifestyle and their needs.

Formani Bathroom collaboration with Piet Boon

Formani Bathroom collaboration with Piet Boon

Formani Bathroom accessories collaboration with Piet Boon

Formani Bathroom accessories collaboration with Piet Boon

LB: Where do you love to travel to?


KM: Again, meeting other cultures is always a privilege and hugely rewarding.

Recently I traveled to Tokyo for the redesign of interior of the Park Hyatt Tokyo. Wherever we work, we always incorporate pieces of local art and culture. Visiting craftsmen in Tokyo was amazing.

More recently we traveled to Kuala Lumpur for a luxury residential project. That was fascinating too; a different meeting with Asia.

Piet Boon® Collection was present during the Salone del Mobile in Milan this year. The theme “GROW” showed how the multi disciplinary design studio has –internationally- progressed over the past few years.

Piet Boon® Collection was present during the Salone del Mobile in Milan this year. The theme “GROW” showed how the multi disciplinary design studio has –internationally- progressed over the past few years.

LB: What is your favorite international design show?

KM: The Salone del Mobile in April in Milan.

It is a beehive buzzing with creativity. You simply have to immerse yourself for at least a week.

In the Netherlands I am connected to an art academy and sometimes a design juror. I really love to meet young people and really enjoy their new and fresh ideas. We invite talented young designers regularly as trainees in our studio.

They are refreshing and inspiring.

Piet Boon Tableware by Serax

Piet Boon Tableware by Serax. Base by Piet Boon is a result of combining design with functionality and consists of a complete range of high quality bone white porcelain tableware. The range has high thermal stability and is free of lead and cadmium. Base by Piet Boon and Serax provides a blank canvas for any dish you can imagine.

 

LB: My favorite show is also iSaloni in Milan, such a wealth of new ideas and a great meeting point for design minds. What are you excited about right now in the world of design?


KM: Designers apparently are drawing inspiration from the past. Translating art and museum collections into new and inspiring designs.

Park Avenue South, NYC, Luxury Penthouse Kitchen by Piet Boon. Located in the heart of the vibrant NoMad district, Huys at 404 Park Avenue South is a neo-classical property dating from 1917, set amongst fin-de-siècle office buildings and warehouses, and neighboring stately mansions from New York's Gilded Age. Piet Boon® was invited by award-winning Dutch property developers Kroonenberg Groep to create the total concept for the conversion from commercial offices to 58 luxurious and elegantly detailed condominiums, with ground-floor retail space. Our goal was consistent – an infusion of comfortable luxury throughout. And our design philosophy and aesthetics are imprinted on every inch of the property – from the stunning façade modifications to the architecture and interior and one-of-a-kind product design. With passion and expertise – and drawing from a rich Dutch heritage – we created the epitome of refined sophistication and luxury in New York City.

Park Avenue South, NYC, Luxury Penthouse Kitchen by Piet Boon. Located in the heart of the vibrant NoMad district, Huys at 404 Park Avenue South is a neo-classical property dating from 1917, set amongst fin-de-siècle office buildings and warehouses, and neighboring stately mansions from New York’s Gilded Age. Piet Boon was invited by award-winning Dutch property developers Kroonenberg Groep to create the total concept for the conversion from commercial offices to 58 luxurious and elegantly detailed condominiums, with ground-floor retail space. “Our goal was consistent – an infusion of comfortable luxury throughout. And our design philosophy and aesthetics are imprinted on every inch of the property – from the stunning façade modifications to the architecture and interior and one-of-a-kind product design. With passion and expertise – and drawing from a rich Dutch heritage – we created the epitome of refined sophistication and luxury in New York City.”

LB: What is the most important color lesson you have learned?


KM: The most important lesson to create a harmonious design and unity, is to make a really solid and well thought through mood prior to the actual design.

In the moods we make, our selection of materials, color and style elements are intrinsically connected and blended.

Color wise: everything is possible as long as the base is restful.

Blue Styling by Karin Meyn

Blue Styling by Karin Meyn

LB: What part of your work do you love the most and why?


KM: The most enjoyable part is to translate the personality or brand identity of our clients. They have selected us and their trust is a great privilege. I could not work without my dedicated team. Whatever is created is always a team effort. We share the same passion to make our clients happy with a personal, timeless and functional design.

LB: What advice do you have for young designers or architects reading this interview?

KM: Be open to the world around you and stay close to your values. That is the vital condition to create a consistent and authentic signature. Travel, never stop learning from others and build your experiences.

Piet Boon South Coast Villa Portugal

Piet Boon South Coast Villa Portugal

LB: Have you ever visited Dubai? What were your thoughts on the city and its design style?

KM: I visited Dubai and was truly overwhelmed by the immense power and energy of the city. It is vitalizing and immensely inspiring. The appreciation for quality and the use of materials is fabulous and unique.

In hindsight Dubai is a fata morgana.

LB: Thank you Karin for your wonderful insight into your studio, work and inspiration. I am delighted to have you and your work on my blog! 

Stay Inspired by Piet Boon studio via there great book collection and website.

~Laura of Arabia~

Jaime Hayon for Bosa ceramics

Legendary Jaime Hayon

I’m in love! Jaime Hayon’s creations for Bosa ceramics are fun, quirky, luxurious and the ultimate accessories. Jaime has been crafting exciting pieces for the ceramics studio for nearly 10 years and I am recently hooked on the entire range. With todays trend still being towards fun and whimsical pieces I believe owning any Jaime Hayon item would bring a smile to the most mundane of days or excitement to a beige interior.

1. Hopebird: a tabletop-sized sculpture that symbolizes the importance of “an optimistic approach to what lies ahead”. Designed for Italian ceramics manufacturer Bosa, the Hope Bird stands tall and proud in a watchful position, working to convey a message about “standing tall” and being positive. As the Hope Bird looks toward the horizon, the 72cm-high sculpture invites viewers to reflect on why it is important to have a “glass half full” attitude.

Jaime Hayon - Hopebird for Bosa Ceramics

Jamie Hayon for Bosa - Hopebird

Jamie Hayon for Bosa - Hopebird closeup

2. T-Table: New ceramic side tables in two distinctive shapes, using contrasting metallic laquer finishes. The mushroom shaped ‘T-Table’ comes in gold, copper or white.

T Tables by Jaime Hayon for Bosa Ceramics

Jaime Hayon for Bosa - T table stools

Jaime Hayon for Bosa - T table stools

Jaime Hayon for Bosa - stools

 

3. Pellicano: Soft and feminine shapes inspired on the pelican’s elegance create this container object. The contours of this exotic bird subtly become an easy to grip ceramic receptacle that can be used to serve water, juice, coffee or milk. Humor, imagination and the best ceramic craft tradition come together to bring to life this optimistic companion.

Pellicano jug by Jaime Hayon for Bosa ceramics

 

Pellicano by Jaime Hayon

Stay Inspired!

~Laura of Arabia~

Brodware Sanitary

Brodware City Stik bath/handshower diverter set

Brodware City Stik bath/handshower diverter set

Brodware has manufactured tapware and bathroom accessories in Australia for over 45 years. The quality is backed by a 20 year international warranty. They offer many different product styles, each with their matching range of accessories, and all available in over 25 different finishes, something I had thought only the American sanitary companies were offering.

On trend, Broadware's bright copper finish.

On trend, Broadware’s bright copper finish.

Brodware Halo collection sanitary fittings

Brodware Halo collection sanitary fittings

Brodware Nero finish wall mounted single lever sink mixer

Brodware Nero finish wall mounted single lever sink mixer

All Brodware’s products are Watermark approved and WELS certified. Brodware has supplied many luxury resorts, hotels and apartments across the Asia Pacific region over many years with great quality products. Some of the hotel projects they have supplied recently include Pier One Hotel Sydney Harbour, Emirates Wolgan Valley 6 Star Resort  & Spa, InterContinental Hotel Sydney Double Bay, ITC Vilasa Resort & Spa Chennai India and InterContinental Hotel Sydney.

Brodware Yokato sink mixer

Brodware Yokato sink mixer

Brodware Memphis Kitchen Mixer

Brodware Memphis Kitchen Mixer

Brodware City Que Basin Mixer, chrome finish

Brodware City Que Basin Mixer, chrome finish

Brodware exports direct to overseas hotels, developers and builders.

Check out the Brodware website for more info.

Stay Inspired!

~Laura of Arabia~