Robert Kolenik represents the new generation of Dutch designers who are respected and admired around the world. This is due to the high quality of their work, their businesslike approach and their unique design style. What’s more, Kolenik combines all this with a huge amount of passion, a critical eye and an inspiring personality. His design studio is based in Amsterdam in the Netherlands. CovetED will tell you everything about contemporary home design, stay tuned.
Only the very best is on show at Kortrijk. All designers have to go through a strict selection process before they are allowed to exhibit at the fair. Kolenik dared to run the gauntlet of the design committee and dreamt up a design that encompassed an entire living concept. This proved to be a totally new experience for the jury. Impressed with the young interior designer’s ambition, they allocated him an eye-catching position in one of the six halls.
‘Just as it would with a private client, each design starts with carefully thought through interior design advice. You come up with a plan where you really get under the client’s skin. You do your best to understand his wishes, his needs and the situation.’ To optimally showcase his signature design style, Kolenik chose a fully-fledged villa concept of some 180 m2. It featured a living room, kitchen, bedroom and gym facilities. As well as a bathroom with a full wellness area and domotics to add to the overall comfort. ‘At five metres high, the ceiling was mansion-height, and doors were three-metres-fifty instead of the standard two-metres-sixty. I love voluminous interiors.’
Modern design furniture
In the Kortrijk house, Kolenik also showcased his modern design furniture. His Proud sofa collection is made of natural materials and ecologically manufactured, which makes it highly sustainable. The interior designer also loves to incorporate a design fireplace at the start of a living room design process. ‘A fireplace adds both warmth and atmosphere.’ The chimney is finished in leather from the Alphenberg label. Why does Kolenik opt for leather? ‘A luxury interior is always in danger of becoming kitsch. This leather counters this by lending it an industrial look. It is rawer, also in terms of its finish. It comes from Scandinavia, where it is used as saddle leather. As it is so cold there, the leather is thicker, so this is certainly not a cheap option. But it’s so strong that you can also use it for floors, walls and ceilings. Leather creates a fascinating effect, and becomes even more beautiful over time.’
But the Kortrijk interior also featured a range of other natural materials. These included the bar top fashioned from grey rock crystal in the kitchen and table support made from the trunk of a lychee tree. In the spa design, all eyes were on the unusual shower, whose base was made from petrified wood that was millions of years old. ‘And because the shower connects to the bedroom, the glass walls around it ensure privacy. It can be made opaque at the push of a button.’
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