Interview mit Maarten Vrolijk
Where do you get your inspiration?
Being a designer I observe my environment with open eyes. That means my inspiration is actually life itself.
I love all the "beautiful, aesthetic things" around me: art, fashion and interiors, but also eating well and consciously, and the unadulterated beauty of nature. It is essentially a mixture of all the things that enhance my life.
It is this way of life that interests me and at the same time inspires me to design products that make life that little bit nicer.
Why would Maarten Vrolijk be interested in wallpaper design?
Wallpaper is an incredible product. It makes it easy to really boost the look of an interior with relatively little expense.
A new wallpaper design can be the inspiration to completely restyle a room. The challenge is creating the overall atmosphere. Wallpaper serves as an excellent basis for that.
The most beautiful interiors are balanced and make a statement about the people who live there. That's why we use the Raffi slogan "Combine & Create" as our way to communicate. That is the real essence of an interesting interior: contemporary and full of atmosphere, but above all personal.
How does wallpaper fit in with the rest of Raffi's world of fashion and design?
Wallpaper is an important part of our collections. Our new book "Raffi my home" brings together various wallpaper designs, producing a specific picture of colour and composition.
Sophisticated, vivid textures, geometric contours and drawings of blossoms come together to form a unique portrait of Raffi's world of design.
This portrait can be found in all our home collections: curtains, cushions, carpets and various home accessories. In this way all our products work together and create interesting "Combine & Create" possibilities.
What kind of trends do you currently see in the home furnishings area?
The world is changing rapidly.
We are coming to the end of a global crisis and are looking for new values. This has certainly caused a lot of discomfort, but it has also brought us back to a more conscious way of selection and production. To a large extent, we are no longer producing the same things but, by making them more diverse, we give our products more individuality and identity. These are exactly the most important core values for the future.
That way we create more interior collections with a distinct and individual signature.
The greatest winner of this trend is the consumer. But one also needs to "nail one's colours to the mast", because more than ever one has to make one's own personal creative choice.
What has influenced your wallpaper designs?
Stimulating consumers' creativity and supporting their ability for making their own individual choices is our concern. Therefore, we want to provide a complete and comprehensive collection that offers consumers real choices and options to combine and so give them opportunities to create various elegant ensembles.
Individuality and identity are the most important core values for Raffi's wallpaper design. We are permanently looking for that special and unmistakeable Raffi collection, which is perfect for our brand and that stands out in the market.
What is your personal relationship with wallpaper?
Wallpaper is an incredible product with a long and interesting cultural tradition.
In the past, walls would be painted by hand or hung with the finest damask cloth. In the Art Nouveau era, the designer William Morris made history with his exquisite wallpaper designs.
Many of my wallpaper designs have been added to permanent exhibitions in a number of museums.
Being able to contribute to this cultural tradition in this way is very special for me.
What does the private life of Maarten Vrolijk look like?
Full of contrast is the first thing that comes into my mind.
I live next to a canal in the historic centre of Amsterdam, and also in a lovely nature reserve close to the sea in the Netherlands. It is the kind of place where you can still find total silence and deer come to graze in the garden. I love the contrast between historic city and unspoiled nature. It keeps me alert and provides me with the inspiration for a variety of designs.
Contrast also plays an important role in my own interiors. I love to play with contrasts.
I think combining a modern Raffi wallpaper with a classic or vintage piece of furniture creates an exciting ensemble. The unexpected adds personality and character to the interior.
Which wallpaper range is your personal favourite?
That is quite a mean question. It is like asking parents which of their children they love most. But seriously, I have a special connection to the designs that I have drawn or painted by hand. My "Rose" design for instance, has become a classic over time and a new version of it features now in every new collection. It is great to see how just a small change can create a completely different ambience.
My new wallpaper "Lily" and the monumental power it radiates is particularly close to my heart. "Bamboo" and "Vision" are also powerful wallpapers with beautiful contrasts and a matt/gloss finish.
I like the "Dune" wallpaper because it is so subtle and tactile. It almost seems to be made of silk.
You see yourself how mean and nearly impossible to answer this question is...