Peter de Koning
“I love creating objects to create a beautiful interior.”
How did you become a designer?
Peter de Koning: “I started working as an interior designer at Jan des Bouvrie. That was my first encounter with the profession. After working there for five years I started to work as an independent agent for Donghia, Jim Thompson, Leleivre and Pierre Frey. In the beginning I only focused on agencies, but over time I became more and more interested in interior home architecture.
I now have my own showroom at ETC Design Center Europe, including my own label: Peter de Koning Collections. I am also an agent for a number of leading brands such as Welter Wandunikate and Heathfield Lighting. Moreover, interior designers can contact me for tailor-made cabinets and furniture.”
Could you describe the collection?
“The collection is slightly inspired by the mid-century style. The idea was to create a vintage collection with a modern look. These days it’s difficult to find high-quality vintage products and those that are available are often very expensive. We also produce a lot of custom-made objects. Details can be adjusted to the wishes of customers. We can supply all of our furniture with fabrics on display at the ETC Design Center Europe.”
Where do you get your inspiration from?
“From magazines, fairs and the Internet. I visit Maison & Objet in Paris twice a year and I usually also go to the Salone di Mobile in Milan. I also visit a lot of museums and galleries. I don’t follow trends too closely, because I prefer to focus on what I think is beautiful. Of course, you could say my vintage touch is a modern trend, but this wasn’t a conscious decision. I have always loved the Hollywood style from the sixties; elegant, colourful, daring and fresh!”
What aspect of your work do you enjoy the most?
“I love coming up with and producing unique objects so that others can create a beautiful interior. I gladly help designers, interior architects and stylists with my professional knowledge. For example, what’s the best way to upholster furniture? What is the best fabric to use? How can certain elements be combined to create a beautiful whole? Materials are highly important, just as structures, shapes and details. The devil is in the detail.
I love to teach my customers everything I know about furniture upholstery. Just selling a product isn’t that much fun. Instead, you should teach your customers about products and actually make them want to buy them. That’s what makes the difference!”
What are the advantages of being an exhibitor at ETC Design Center Europe?
“Many professional retailers visit this place. As a result, you don’t have to wait in a showroom for days. There’s also an atmosphere in which people are able to make decisions more easily when it comes to interior design. If you visit this place with a private individual, you discover everything. It’s that easy. Collaboration with other exhibitors is also important. Partnerships are what allows ETC Design Center Europe to continue to grow.”
Has the profession changed a lot in recent years?
“These days there’s fewer opportunities to display your products, as a result of which the Expo has become increasingly important. It’s also easier to create new trends here compared to in stores. Trends are more easily visible here. In addition, the personal relationship between designers and suppliers has become more important than ever.”
What does the future of the interior design profession look like?
“I believe consultancy will become increasingly important. Although we are seeing an increase in online activity, experiences such as those at ETC Design Center Europe – with a direct perception of atmosphere – will remain important. These are impossible to imitate online. The main difference between reality and a photograph is that a photograph always shows an environment, but misses any sense of touch.”
How do you collaborate with stylists en consumers?
“You must first determine what type of project you’re dealing with – what is the intended environment of the fabrics and furniture? That the most fundamental part. When you’ve determined this, you can continue with the next part. Certain types of architecture can be assertive. However, if you have a fairly neutral environment, you can use virtually anything. Or if you’re dealing with an older house, there’ll be different requirements and style elements to take into consideration. Our advice to stylists and interior architects focuses on all of these aspects of interior design.”