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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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~