Having visited Amsterdam, the Hague and Rotterdam in the last few years (Utrecht is next on my hit list, thanks to an excellent recommendation by my Dutch colleague who assures me that it is a smaller, more beautiful and less touristy version of Amsterdam), my knowledge of Dutch designers is on the increase. And, as many of the greats offer some excellent mid-century modern pieces, I thought I would share some of them with you here.
First up, we have Tomado, a Dutch brand, probably most famous for its iconic shelves, usually in bright colours (but also available in black and white for a more understated look), that became a must-have item for many homes in the 1950s. Now owned by Swiss kitchenwares company, Metaltex, the Tomado shelves are having something of a revival. I really like the ones below (NB. these are not original Tomado shelves – though the originals are available on Amazon and Ebay) that I came across on www.notonthehighstreet.com for only £95.
Next up, check out the ‘revolt’ chair by Dutch designer Friso Kramer (below). He created the chair in 1953 and it has since become a timeless design classic in both offices and homes. The chair has recently been re-introduced (from 2004) and is available for sale once again in black, white and grey from the firm Ahrend, where Kramer had previously worked as a designer and Art Director. I really like the simplicity of this chair and the way the light reflects off the shiny plastic body. This would add a touch of style to any interior – it’s that versatile.
Another favourite of mine is the wire lounge chair designed by Cees Braakman and A.Dekker for classic Dutch brand, Pastoe. Designed in 1958, this gorgeous chair was produced in two designs – one with, and one without, armrests. And whilst there is an upholstered seat cushion, there was (and still is) a choice to have an additional upholstered cushion on the back too meaning that the chair can look very different depending on what you fancy.
Still available today, I can’t quite decide which version is my personal fave. There is something delightfully industrial about the pure wire version, and the shape of the chairs both with and without the armrests could also work in a number of different rooms. I rather fancy this (in any of its incarnations) as an office chair or a stand-alone piece in a hallway or living room – perhaps with a statement cushion to give it an extra edge. Fantastic!
My last Dutch brand for today is slightly more modern, but for me, is just too cool to not mention – it’s Moooi. This Dutch firm was founded in 2001 by Marcel Wanders and Casper Vitters and has recently opened a new flagship store in New York (in May this year) to complement its Amsterdam home and its London shop. Mooi is the Dutch word for ‘beautiful’ – the additional O is for ‘extra value in terms of beauty and uniqueness‘ – and boy, do these guys know how to create some beautiful interiors!
Now, I will warn you that this is not a cheap brand – some of their prices come with a hefty price tag, including the item that I’ve chosen to feature today: the L’Afrique Carpet which is priced from 2444 euros.
I chose to focus on this simply fantastic rug as it would make an amazing statement in a minimalist room. It was designed by Studio Job for Moooi (Nynke Tynagel and Job Smeets) and uses traditional African iconography to create a bright and bold design which will be sure to turn heads.
There are of course a load more excellent Dutch designers, both past and present, but I hope that I’ve given you a flavour of what’s on offer. I’ll be sure to bring you more in the future as my own knowledge improves. Is there any particular designer or brand that I should make point of getting to know? Get in touch if so, I’d love to hear from you!
Happy travels and shopping,