Designer Spotlight - Piet Hein Eek
With so many differing trends and designs in the interiors market place, I thought it might be a good idea to write a blog every so often spotlighting a specific Designer.
This week, I’d like to spotlight Dutch designer, Piet Hein Eek. Eek was born in Holland in 1967 and graduated from the Academy for Industrial Design in Eindhovan in 1990. Whilst studying there, he started to gain attention for his exam project ‘Scrap Wood Cupboards’. As a result, he sold the cupboards and utilised the funds to start his own design studio in 1992.
Eek first developed an interest in scrap, weathered materials having restored an old cupboard for his sister. He thought the old, worn wood looked so much more appealing than the new - in what was his view, the prevalent craving for flawlessness. Eek said ‘I wanted to show that products that aren’t perfect still can appeal to our sense of aesthetic and functionality’.
Eek has developed his business with this focus in mind and often works on discarded salvage or reclaimed pieces on the premise of creating something rather unique and personal for the end user, rather than mass production. Eek once wrote ‘if you want to function successfully and design beautiful objects, you need to make sure that your environment is a stimulating one and that you feel like a fish in water’.
Eek’s enduring fascination for creating simple products out of waste material that is in abundance, is his trademark and one that particularly resonates with me.
Eek more publically came to prominence in 2011 when he won the ICFF New York Editors Awards with his line of Scrapwood Wallpaper. This wallpaper again celebrates the aesthetic of imperfection with its distressed planks of wood that can fool the eye in to thinking its real wood, not wallpaper.
Eek has since expanded his range by creating modern, simplistic furniture, including a range of moulded ceramic lamps. Although Eek's work focuses on the salavaged, be warned, as you might expect it doesn't come at a salavaged price tag.
There is some good news though if you are interested in replicating his style on a budget. Eek is currently creating a collection of limited edition furniture for Ikea which is set to launch in 2017. There is also a lot of Eek imitation Scrapwood wallpaper available on the highstreet, which although not the same, can offer a similar effect for a fraction of the price.
I like Eek’s Scrapwood wallpaper, as it reminds me of living by the coast. Days at the beach, weathered battered sea defences, English piers, beach huts and salvaged vintage furniture. It really is the perfect wallpaper for creating the feeling of a rugged, rustic beach house.
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