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Jan des Bouvrie

Jan des Bouvrie has often been cred­ited with having painted the Netherlands white.’

Born into a family of furni­ture retail­ers, Jan went to the Rietveld Academy for Fine Arts & Design in Amster­dam. He subse­quently estab­lished a name for himself with his 1969 design of the Kubus’ (Cube) sofa for furni­ture brand Gelder­land, still in production today.

When a client ordered one uphol­stered in white, it was like a light went on in Jan’s mind. He strongly advo­cated for white, clean lines and open spaces at a time when the average Dutch inte­rior was rather stuffy and traditional.

Jan des Bouvrie quickly became a house­hold name because he turned his hand to every­thing, from furni­ture to indus­trial design, from osten­si­bly mundane objects to large-scale archi­tec­tural projects. Many of his creations — and Jan himself — won numer­ous pres­ti­gious awards, and right­fully so. In 1993, he and his wife, Monique, set up Het Arse­naal,’ a leading inte­rior and lifestyle store, which also housed Jan’s studio.

The two Jans — Te Lintelo and Des Bouvrie — went back longer than both cared to remem­ber and collab­o­rated until Des Bouvrie’s death, aged 78.


Designs by Jan des Bouvrie (2)