“Grandmaster of the white interior” Jan des Bouvrie dies aged 78

Gallery: Untouched time warp hotel rooms from the past (Love Exploring)



Jan des Bouvrie wearing a suit and tie


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Dutch celebrity designer Jan des Bouvrie, known for creating the iconic Cube sofa and introducing white, minimalist interiors to the Netherlands, has passed away at the age of 78 after a multi-year battle with colon cancer.

He died on Sunday, 4 October, in his hometown of Naarden, surrounded by his children and his wife and collaborator Monique des Bouvrie.

The designer, who celebrated 50 years of working in the industry last year, created furniture, interior and architectural designs as well as hosting Dutch interiors show TV Woonmagazine until 2003.

Des Bouvrie was a well-known media personality and society figure in Holland and designed a number of residences in the Gooi area, known for housing the wealthy and famous.

At the same time, he prided himself in designing both “for rich and poor”, through collaborations with Dutch mass-market brands such as hardware store Gamma, Sigma paints and electronics company Philips.

“Surely the largest interior icon in the Netherlands”

Design industry figures have taken to social media to share tributes to Jan des Bouvrie, alongside famous fans such as football player Patrick Kluivert and celebrity stylist and makeup artist Leco van Zadelhoff.

Studio Job founder Job Smeets, shared a hand-drawn note on Instagram reading “RIP [rest in peace] Jan” (below.)

“This remarkable man has a mastery of the softer side of modernism that seems as natural as a bird whistling and a chameleon changing colour,” Smeets wrote in a foreword to the 2012 book Jan des Bouvrie: art & design.

Furniture company Bakers Zitten & Wonen mourned the death of “surely the largest interior icon in the Netherlands” while Paul Rem, art historian and curator of Paleis Het Loo museum, heralded him as “the grandmaster of the white interior”.

Dutch design studio Piet Boon posted an image of Des Bouvrie and said: “That is an incredible thing that when the Dutch think of the colour white, they think of you.”

“I have always sought the light”

Jan des Bouvrie was born in the city of Naarden, just east of Amsterdam, in 1942.

His family ran a furniture business and he decided to attend the Gerrit Rietveld Academie for art and design in Amsterdam to follow in their footsteps.

After a brief stint working for his parents’ company, he ventured into designing furniture himself.

His most well-known design is the Kubusbank or Cube sofa (below), which was created for Gelderland in 1969 and is still in production today.

The minimalist, yet expressive design jumpstarted his career and is included in the permanent collection of Amsterdam’s Stedelijk Museum and in the Centraal Museum in Utrecht.

Throughout his career, the designer was drawn to the colour white, using it liberally in furniture and interior designs as well as frequently wearing the colour head to toe.

“I was born in a little room above a shop with no windows. I have always sought the light,” he once said.

His first

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French interior designer Christian Liaigre dies aged 77

Christian Liaigre, who fashioned homes for the likes of Karl Lagerfeld and Calvin Klein, has passed away at the age of 77.

The French creative and founder of design studio Liaigre, died on Wednesday 2 September. As an interior designer, he was revered for his restrained aesthetic approach.

Employing clean lines and natural materials throughout each of his projects, Liaigre’s style was seen as particularly unusual when he emerged in the 1980s.

“Christian Liaigre preferred to let his designs speak for themselves,” said Liaigre’s studio in a statement.

“He created furniture and objects that reflected his dedication to beauty, a search for balance, an accuracy for proportions and perfection in the detail,” added the studio.

“His luxurious no-frill designs impressed a demanding international clientele on a quest for authenticity.”

Liaigre had few public-facing projects

Born in 1943 in the French coastal city of La Rochelle, Liaigre started developing his knowledge of the design sphere when he enrolled in art school Beaux-Arts de Paris at age 17, before going on to study at L’ecole des Arts Décoratifs.

Liaigre established his eponymous studio in 1985 and opened the doors to his first showroom on Rue de Varenne in Paris’ seventh arrondissement.

Five luxury villas around the world by French interiors studio Liaigre

Initially, the late designer only made furnishings but soon went on to develop entire interiors for residences, holiday homes, offices, as well as the cabins of jets and yachts.

His rare public projects – such as the 1990 overhaul of Paris’ Hotel Montalembert, and 1997 revamp of New York’s Mercer Hotel – meant that Liaigre was known on both sides of the Atlantic, yet he largely preferred to work with a roster of private clients.

“Surrounded by the best craftsmen, he imagined and delivered spaces that expressed simplicity, sincerity, a modern and timeless style, alongside a natural attention to wellbeing,” said his studio.

Liaigre eventually stepped down from his studio in 2016, handing over the position of creative director to long-term collaborator Frauke Meyer.

“His taste and style was unmatched”

When studio Liaigre announced their founder’s death over Instagram, tributes poured in from notable industry figures. Designer Ronan Bouroullec recalled meeting Liaigre at L’ecole des Arts Décoratifs and him showing interest in one of Bouroullec’s early furniture models.

“He was so gentle, so simple and nice with me. Someone formidable,” Bouroullec wrote in a comment.

Hotelier Ian Schrager also commented, “there is only Christian [Liaigre] and no one else”.

“The world is less without him. To me, he was the best and most talented designer in the world.” Schrager continued. “His taste and style was unmatched and his refined simplicity and elegance stood above everybody else.”

Belgian architect Vincent Van Duysen additionally took to Instagram to celebrate the life of Liaigre, revealing he had been a fan of the late designer’s work since the end of the 1980s: “Since then, he’s been a great source of inspiration to me, not only as a creative mind but also as an overall

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