The Sexiness of Eric Kuster

The Sexiness of Eric Kuster

Location
-, Netherlands
Category
Housing
Hans Fonk

The Sexiness of Eric Kuster

OBJEKTⒸInternational as Publishers

His interiors are sexy, comfortable and opulent. He describes his style as Metropolitan Luxury - the essence being to create ambience, from classical to highly modern. His own fabric and furniture collections are the cornerstone of the lifestyle he propagates. In a fully refurbished fifties-style villa in an upscale residential area of the Netherlands he revealed the outcome to OBJEKT©International. His name: Eric Kuster.


The villa is located in ‘Het Gooi’ - what you might term a Dutch stockbroker belt. In the early years of the 20th century, the woods and heath-land acted as a magnet for people looking for homes in a country setting. Such locations are relatively scarce in the Netherlands and so house prices rose rapidly. The architectural style is predominantly conventional, the preference being for thatched villas in country style and converted farmhouses. The villa Eric Kuster purchased in 2006 forms an exception: it is a pareddown structure in fifties style.


Eric Kuster: “You see lots of thatched roofs in Het Gooi. All very nice, but not my style. This house was the first modern one to be built here and it has a rather American look. The renovation took eighteen months. We kept many of the attractive details like the wood-carving on the door, the staircases and the ceramic sculptures which had been introduced by the first occupants.” The villa is spare and efficient in design, arranged in an L shape. It serves as a show-house and a showcase for the designer’s views on the interior. With the furniture and fabrics he designs himself, he displays his interpretation of what sexiness and comfort constitute. The colours are mainly dark, with the exception of the white sitting room - shades of grey, black, purple and brown. You are confronted with a rapid succession of materials and textures, giving every room its own identity. Rugged tree stumps stand on tables in high-gloss finish, and on the dark wooden floors there are strongly textured rugs. The house comprises a large sitting room and a smaller dining room beside it, with, at right angles, the white sitting room and, further along, the roomy kitchen. A spiral staircase in the entrance hall takes you downstairs to the offices and upstairs to the master bedroom and the large open bathroom. A further halfstorey up, there is another bedroom and the gym decorated in gold and containing Technogym equipment.


“The combination of materials and textures gives my interiors their sexy and opulent ambience. In the early days I used the word ‘glamorous’, but these days it’s used by everyone for everything. Metropolitan Luxury - the name of my book - is a good description. My clients are often sexy and fashionable themselves. If they aren’t, I tend to find it hard to work for them. Invariably they’re people who started off with nothing and now have the wherewithal for that particular lifestyle. I listen to them and understand what they want. I look at the property’s location and the family set-up, and then make a proposal. When I started work as an interior designer at the end of the last century, I knew a lot about furnishing fabrics and a little about furniture. From the start, I gathered people around me with knowledge about the things I didn’t have. Today we have a whole team of architects, stylists, garden architects and furniture and bathroom producers. It means we can tackle any assignment: from a renovation to a major turn-key project.” Meanwhile, he exercises his skills throughout the world: from Amsterdam to New York, from Dubai to Phuket, and from Ibiza to London.


When he set up his own business, he already had an impressive record in the world of interiors. He helped develop the textile brand Chivasso, where he was the creative and commercial director for ten years. So he knows what he’s talking about when he explains what are, for him, the important elements in an interior. “Firstly, interiors must be pleasant to live in - so not have a white carpet in the living room, and always a fireplace, and books on the tables. Comfort is priority number one for me. Not only should a sofa look good, but it must also be comfortable. Those are essentials. Also, an interior must be tailor-made for the client.” The Kuster villa in Crailo has a dark interior. In fact, it also serves as a show house, but it’s one you could move into straight away. “The house is located in a dark setting with a lot of trees. I decided to keep the interior dark too. I often do that - making dark darker, and light lighter. If I have to furnish a house on Ibiza, in light surroundings, it will probably have a light interior.” In fact, early this year he and his partner opened a mono-brand store on Ibiza, selling - as the designation suggests - interior items bearing his name. It is to be the first of a series of Eric Kuster stores, which will be found all over the globe.


Izabel Spike

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