Dutch Design 101

Often described as minimalistic, functional, innovative, and simplistic, Dutch design aims to combine aesthetics with every day, practical use. Known for its natural and unique design, Dutch modern home décor brings a sense of openness and flow to even the smallest of spaces.

The Rise of Dutch Design

In 1918, the De Stijl group turned heads with their design principals, and the world began to take notice. The Netherlands, known mostly for their graphic design, soon became increasingly popular for their product design. The term “Dutch Design” began to circulate with the emerging works of a particular group of designers including Baas, Bey, Hutten, Jongerius, Somers, van Eeghen, and Wanders. By 1980, design collectives, such as Moooi and Droog, were gaining international exposure and paving the way for Dutch fashion designers and architects to be encompassed in the Dutch Design term. With the Milan Furniture fair in 1993, Droog’s minimalist pieces drew undeniable attention and set the new tone for unique design and modern home décor.

Education and Support

Known for their superior design education system, schools such as The Design Academy Eindhoven and Gerrit Rietveld Academie were known to mold brilliant, well-recognized designers. Dutch modern home décor was taking the world by storm with their unique designs and attention to functionality. In 1988, the Fund for Visual Arts, Design, and Architecture (Fonds BKVB) were founded. While providing aspiring designers with financial support for the school, the government continued to support their goals by helping students begin their careers as independent entrepreneurs upon graduating.  

The Designer

Designers are vital players throughout the product development process. Dutch design encompasses the belief in the importance of including the designers from the beginning stages of creating a product. Mass production, enormous companies, and technology-driven practices are certainly not the heart of Dutch design. They embrace technology as an aide when needed, not as a replacement of the designer and the design and production process. Many designers, such as Bas van Abel, promote ethically produced products and set an example of ending slave labor by creating ethical electronics. They celebrate the unconventional while willing to create through experimentation with a little dab of humor. Branding Specialist and co-founder of BORDA, Raquel Sztejnberg, wrote “Dutch design is an attitude, a mindset. Design in the Netherlands is a part of life and not just a luxurious instrument used by a few companies.”

At Uniek Living, we share the core values and practices of Dutch design. Our passion is to provide modern home décor and furnishings that are sustainable, well-crafted, high quality, and affordable. We enjoy working with emerging and established Dutch designers, makers, and brands who share the vision of bringing a balance of aesthetics and functionality to the home.

 Searching for a piece that doubles as a stool or side table? Take a look at the Vouw, offered in two color choices. Looking for a conversation starter? The Kilo Calorie coffee table has a design story that will amaze your house guests! Whatever your needs may be, you’re sure to fall in love at Uniek Living. Find something uniek for your home today!


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