Inside Petra Janssen and Edwin Vollebergh’s Inventive Residence


Excerpted with permission from Coming Residence, Fashionable Rustic: Inventive Residing in Dutch Interiors by Barbara de Vries, © Rizzoli New York, 2021.

When graphic designers Petra Janssen and Edwin Vollebergh first noticed the auto restore store in Den Bosch, it had been deserted for thirty years. The roof had collapsed and many of the inside was in ruins, but Petra and Edwin didn’t see it that approach. They solely noticed what it may and can be, what they now name their playground. “It was vital for us to create an area the place household life, creativity, and work would come collectively,” Petra says. “We wished it to be a mirror of our multifaceted lives.”

They recycled many of the present metal beams, restored the mezzanine degree, and changed the skylights with thermal glass. To interrupt up the large area, they requested their good friend Piet Hein Eek, a colleague from the Eindhoven Design Academy (DAE), to create a divider that might separate the studio from the residing areas. It could additionally home their assortment of vases, comedian books, and different quirky ephemera. The outcome was a big blue wall completely produced from recycled doorways and home windows.

The kitchen is outlined by the couple’s assortment of glassware and ceramics

Coming Residence, Fashionable Rustic: Inventive Residing in Dutch Interiors by Barbara de Vries, © Rizzoli New York, 2021.

Petra takes me as much as the mezzanine, and searching down, I expertise a type of artistic vertigo. It’s like I’ve entered a skylit microcosm that incorporates the eclectic tradition of Petra and Edwin, their two sons, two cats, one canine, and Studio Boot (their design agency). “It’s solely an accumulation of parenting, working, and staying playful,” Petra laughs.

Entertaining mates and purchasers is a part of their artistic course of, and residential meets work within the kitchen, over lunch and dinner. Past the kitchen is a big, walled-in backyard, a sanctuary that was once a graveyard for rusting automobiles, however now produces apples, pears, and walnuts, in addition to flowers, pumpkins, leafy greens, and greens, in raised backyard beds. There’s additionally a sunken tub for outside bathing, and a protracted picket desk the place everybody comes collectively in the summertime.

Petra and Edwin’s desks are throughout from one another in one of many two rooms that replicate the glass-paneled workplaces of the previous restore store. The second is for workers and conferences. “Our group enhances us,” Edwin says. He goes on to clarify how he met Petra 30 years in the past on the Royal Academy of Artwork in Den Bosch, and the way working collectively has strengthened their creativity. “I’m all concerning the particulars and Petra has the broader, social overview that defines our imaginative and prescient,” he says.

The lounge, on the mezzanine degree, feels ethereal and minimalist.

Coming Residence, Fashionable Rustic: Inventive Residing in Dutch Interiors by Barbara de Vries, © Rizzoli New York, 2021.

One wall of the studio is lined with Edwin’s posters. His distinctive graphics and vibrant, typically fluorescent, colours are used for selling causes and artwork, music, or theater festivals and even soccer matches. The posters have change into collectable artworks, and Edwin lately found that counterfeit copies have been being offered on-line. “I phoned the man and he had the audacity to say that it was a praise!” he says.

Petra thrives on social engagement. She taught at DAE in its heyday, when Lidewij Edelkoort was its director, and Anthon Beeke was head of the graphic design program. “We turned conventional studying on its head, Petra says. “When my time there ended, I felt the necessity to substitute instructing with one thing equally difficult.” A chance got here in 2011, when Petra and Edwin staged a sustainable design competition close to their hometown of Den Bosch. Once more, they collaborated with Piet Hein Eek, who created picnic tables for a short lived restaurant, utilizing scrap wooden held collectively by industrial straps. Amarant, a close-by workshop for individuals with autism, volunteered to assist Piet Hein with the development of the tables. Based mostly on their collaboration, Petra and Amarant launched HOUT (Dutch for wooden), a group of furnishings produced from recycled lumber.

Strolling down the road, one would possibly suppose the house remains to be an auto physique store.

Coming Residence, Fashionable Rustic: Inventive Residing in Dutch Interiors by Barbara de Vries, © Rizzoli New York, 2021.

The modernism of the staircase is contrasted with an vintage wooden range.

Coming Residence, Fashionable Rustic: Inventive Residing in Dutch Interiors by Barbara de Vries, © Rizzoli New York, 2021.

Impressed by the response to HOUT, Petra and her good friend Simone Kramer began Social Label. With Petra’s background in design and Simone’s expertise in public relations, they deliberate a labor technique for individuals with poor employment prospects. “Everybody deserves an excellent life and if you happen to apply inclusive design and communication on a neighborhood degree, you’re addressing sustainability in rewarding methods,” Petra says.

After our interview on the studio, Petra takes me to the brand new Social Label Design Lab. It’s housed in a former cattle feed plant that was donated to the group by town of Den Bosch. Over the previous eight years, Petra, Edwin, and Simone have transformed the plant right into a design incubator, workspace, and retail platform.

As we stroll by an enormous grain silo that has been made into an workplace, Petra explains how Social Labor connects every designer together with his or her group. “We name them the makers,” she says. These women and men, who’re both bodily or mentally challenged, are empowered not simply by the earnings they obtain however by the sense of delight the work offers them. “Up to now we’ve got produced brooms produced from recycled bicycles, ceramic vases, lighting fixtures, clocks, aprons and different linens, tote baggage, and a group of tableware referred to as KOM (bowl in Dutch) that Edwin created,” she says.

A big skylight brings daylight to all ranges of the home.

Coming Residence, Fashionable Rustic: Inventive Residing in Dutch Interiors by Barbara de Vries, © Rizzoli New York, 2021.

Petra takes me to the opposite facet of the silo, the place a number of trestle tables are stacked with cups, bowls, and plates. They appear like Delft crockery, however on nearer inspection, I notice that the photographs resemble tattoos. “It’s an order for KOM and it’s going to the Cooper Hewitt Museum in New York,” Petra says.

On the inception of KOM, Edwin requested for design enter from his group of makers. It turned out that all of them cherished tattoos, so he created stickers that might simply switch onto china. The makers select their very own tattoo-blue prints for each piece, with iconic photographs like wheelchairs with wings, ice cream cones, and hearts and slogans like “Trots” (Proud), “Ik Ben Wat Ik Maak” (I Am What I Make), and “Life Is a Bitch.”

On our approach out, Petra reveals me an image of the opening day of the Werkwarenhuis (Workwarehouse) that was held in Could 2018. It reveals Her Royal Highness Queen Máxima of the Netherlands sitting, smiling, between Petra and Simone. A bunch of women and men, younger and previous, surrounds the three of them. “Everybody was there, in our melting pot. Our supporters, our manufacturers, our designers, and even our Queen,” she says.



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