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.