Since Piet Boon founded his eponymous design studio more than 30 years ago, the Dutch designer and master craftsman has created his own iconic furniture and interiors while also partnering with fellow Dutch brands like Formani to create a hardware collection and TULP Firemakers to create cozy fireplaces. Boon’s latest partnership with LEPERE , one of his biggest forays into the American design scene, will be unveiled next Thursday, September 18, at the showroom's opening during the New York Design Center 's "What's New What's Next," co-hosted by Interior Design . The event will also celebrate the second annual edition of the CODAawards, featured in the August issue of Interior Design magazine .
Here, Boon tells us where he goes for inspiration, how modern Dutch design marries functionality and style, and which U.S. cities he’d like to work in next.
If you ask me about a dream partnership, Nike is the first brand that springs to mind. I am an avid sportsman.
Interior Design: Your collaborations with other major brands have helped introduce your work to a wider audience. Do you have new collaborations in the works that you can tell us about—or any dream partnerships on your mind?
Piet Boon: Well, we have a great and very fruitful collaboration with Jaguar Land Rover in The Netherlands. Over the past years, we’ve developed several successful special editions of existing designs. If you ask me about a dream partnership, Nike is the first brand that springs to mind. I am an avid sportsman.
ID: You’re also known for masterful wallpaper and flooring concepts, among other perhaps more obvious interior designs. Why are details like flooring and wallpaper so often overlooked by designers?
PB: From the very beginning of our company, we’ve always been interested in taking the total concept into account. That is the only way to create a balanced and harmonious design.
ID: What inspires you to try working in a new medium or to tackle a completely new type of project or partnership?
PB: In the challenge is always the element of learning. We are curious and inquisitive by nature and always strive to do things better. So working in a new medium or partnership allows us to learn from the process and from others. We are very thorough when it comes to research. So are the partners we have and [continue to] work with. It is inherent to our passion for quality.
ID: You’ve gotten quite a bit of attention for your kitchen designs and restaurant collaborations in recent years, including The Jane restaurant in Antwerp. What about cooking, food, and eating fuels your work?
PB: Basically, I am interested in and inspired by the world around us. Design is all about feeding the senses and when it comes to experiences, food is perhaps the most sensory. My friend Sergio Herman, a three-star Michelin chef, is a true artist. He creates and designs the most mind-blowing experiences. Ask a person about his favorite dish when he was small and see how his face lights up. It has a deeply emotional connotation to it.
ID: Does that mean you look to other artistic disciplines, like the culinary arts, to help spark your creativity?
PB: Definitely. Inspiration, being inspired is an ongoing, often unconscious process. We store all the impressions and they all shape our creative mind. That is why I believe that the older we get, our work gains more depth. We can see what we do in a wider context.
ID: Since expanding into the U.S. market, what’s most surprised you?
PB: We focus on the wishes and needs of our clients and are very capable in translating those in our designs. To see how the design-savvy American audience responds to the quality of our work is pure joy.
ID: What other cities would you love to work in next?
PB: San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago—all major cities in the U.S. Apparently, what we do surprises the American audience. I love the diversity of cultures of these cities within one country.
ID: Is there a place in Holland to which you can always return to feel inspired?
PB: The Dutch beach. I am an avid kitesurfer, and whenever there is a good, strong wind, you can find me there!
ID: Where do you see the Dutch design scene headed in the next few years?
PB: Dutch design is down-to-earth and has a passion for quality. In the beginning, it was very much about exploring concepts. Those concepts were, at times, more important than functionality. I believe it will head towards emotion-driven designs, answering the needs of people. In this constantly changing world, the importance of a warm and safe place only grows. Dutch designers have functionality deeply embedded in their DNA. But functionality needs to be balanced with aesthetics and the identity of the client to create a real satisfactory experience. That is what we, at Boon, have always strived for from the beginning.
ID: More importantly, where do you see your work headed in the next few years? What else can we eagerly anticipate from the house of Piet Boon?
PB: Currently, we are invited in a number of high-end hospitality projects, resorts and hotels, but also more and more, residential projects like the one we are doing right now in the U.S. It is an exciting journey that takes us to unexpected corners of the world.