Dutch interior designer Maurice Mentjens, has been creating quality interiors for retail, hospitality, museums, and offices, more than a decade. Three time winner of the prestigious Dutch Design Award, Mentjens’ small group of designers excel in delivering superb results combining creativity, wit, and functionality. My two favourite examples of this, from their extensive portfolio of stunning projects, are Kymyka Shoes & Bags which was nominated for a Dutch Design Award in 2009 and Kiki2, outlet shop of Kiki Niesten.
Specialising in high end designer brands such as Jimmy Choo, Dolce en Gabbana, Yves Saint Laurent, Stella McCartney, and Christian Louboutin, the boutique’s owner desired an understated, contemporary, and sophisticated look. The ingenious notion of elevating the shoes, as if putting them on a pedestal, has been cleverly executed by using heavy duty magnets to secure the shoes atop the steel tubes. This not only meets a practical benefit to view the shoes at eye level, but creates an air of artistry that shoes of such calibre are well deserving. At a distance the rows of tubes positioned at random heights create interest with a linear landscape, while giving focus points to the individual shoes. The tailor-made wooden console containing storage cupboards, display cases, and seating, encapsulates the whole interior, ensuring that an irregular space such as this has a sense of unity.
Never before have I seen an outlet clothing store as beautiful as Kiki 2. Dressed top to tow in grey oak, Mentjens’ took the cue from owner Kiki Niesten and designed a warehouse inspired shop interior with masses of storage and a touch of humour. The wit comes in the form of white clothes littering the floor which have been cast in transparent epoxy resin to resemble “a state of shopping delirium”, as if clothes have been strewn around when pulled off the shelves in a frenzy. Pure genius. Just when you think it can’t possibly get any better, one discovers the literally hidden design gems like the door to the stairwell which is hidden behind a secret door. Yet another clever design feature is the wall of glass backed shelving which acts as a barrier between the counter and any nasty drafts from the front door. Something retail assistants will be most grateful for in the dead of winter.
To view more innovative projects, including furniture design, visit Maurice Mentjens.
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