Best of Year

Kiki & Joost Founders Detail How They Reclaimed a 19th-Century Dutch Farmhouse

The living area of the couple’s residence, a renovated 19th-century barn 20 minutes away. Photography by Valentina Sommariva/Living Inside; production: Alice Ida Salerni.

For most of the 20th century, Eindhoven was home to electronics giant Philips, which made the Dutch city a center of innovative technology and design. And so it remains today—two decades after the multinational shuttered its factories, leaving unemployment and empty real estate in its wake—thanks not only to smart public/private entrepreneurial partnerships that have repurposed vacant buildings but also to the presence of Design Academy Eindhoven, one of the world’s most respected schools.

Two DAE graduates, Kiki van Eijk and Joost van Bleiswijk, exemplify the city’s rich design culture. Partners in business and life, they work individually or jointly as Kiki & Joost, their brand of furniture, textiles, lighting, and other products. The couple’s studio/workshop/showroom sprawls over 9,600 square feet in a former Philips laboratory, an appropriate setting for the kind of research and experimentation their design involves. “The building is filled with creative people and companies,” van Eijk reports, “everything from DJs to fabricators.” Kiki & Joost even does some of its production on site.

Dutch product designers Kiki van Eijk and Joost van Bleiswijk in their Eindhoven studio. Photography by Valentina Sommariva/Living Inside; production: Alice Ida Salerni.

The couple’s home—amid fields 20 minutes away—is also reclaimed: a dilapidated but landmarked 19th-century brick-and-timber barn, much of which had to be reconstructed. “Basically, we built a new house inside an old shell,” van Bleiswijk explains. “Most of the interior—walls, doors, even the steel staircase—was done by us in our workshop.”

Open and flowing, the 4,520-square-foot, two-story residence centers around a double-height living area with an enormous window wall overlooking the artfully unkempt back garden—van Eijk’s domain—and the countryside beyond. The light and airy interiors are furnished with a who’s-who of contemporary Dutch design. “It’s a combination of our own prototypes and pieces we’ve swapped with other designers, some vintage and industrial items, and things we’ve found while traveling—really personal stuff,” van Bleiswijk says. “But it’s a family home, not a showroom. With two young boys, above all it has to be a comfortable house.”

The residence occupies a landmarked 19th-century barn, whose dilapidated interior had to be completely rebuilt. Photography by Valentina Sommariva/Living Inside; production: Alice Ida Salerni.
The carved wood sculpture, Chinese Still Life, is by Emile van der Kruk. Photography by Valentina Sommariva/Living Inside; production: Alice Ida Salerni.
Van Eijk designed Hydrangea—a biomorphic-shape hand-knotted wool-and-viscose rug—for Nodus. Photography by Valentina Sommariva/Living Inside; production: Alice Ida Salerni.
A vintage storage unit is repurposed as a vanity in the master bathroom. Photography by Valentina Sommariva/Living Inside; production: Alice Ida Salerni.
The stainless steel NSNG candelabrum by van Bleiswijk is part of his No Screw No Glue series, pieces constructed without fixatives of any kind. Photography by Valentina Sommariva/Living Inside; production: Alice Ida Salerni.
A portrait of van Eijk by photographer Sabine Pigalle presides over the dining area’s Heavy Metal table and Spartan chairs, both by van Bleiswijk. Photography by Valentina Sommariva/Living Inside; production: Alice Ida Salerni.
The master bedroom has many pieces by van Eijk, including her wool-and-viscose Townhouse rug for Nodus on the floor, Knick Knack ceramic pots on the dresser, Soft Table Shade ceramic lamps on the nightstands, and Memories of a Panorama textile hanging on the wall. Photography by Valentina Sommariva/Living Inside; production: Alice Ida Salerni.
The Construction series of floor lamps that van Bleiswijk designed for Moooi evoke vintage erector sets. Photography by Valentina Sommariva/Living Inside; production: Alice Ida Salerni.
Housed in a former Philips laboratory, Kiki & Joost’s studio and workshop features an amusing enfilade of smashed doors by van Bleiswijk. Photography by Valentina Sommariva/Living Inside; production: Alice Ida Salerni.
Van Eijk’s ceramic Soft Pot Green is also available in black, bronze, and white. Photography by Valentina Sommariva/Living Inside; production: Alice Ida Salerni.
A pair of statuettes the couple found when visiting the Philippines. Photography by Valentina Sommariva/Living Inside; production: Alice Ida Salerni.
A window wall opens onto the back garden, which is intentionally kept in a state of elegant dishabille. Photography by Valentina Sommariva/Living Inside; production: Alice Ida Salerni.

> See more from the Fall 2019 issue of Wifijerez Homes

Best of Kitchen & Bath
Share
Tweet
Email
Pin