After graduating as an industrial designer (Delft University of Technology 1994), Natalie works consecutively at Philips Domestic Appliances and as Head of Product Development at Leolux and Pode, two renowned furniture brands. Here she deepens her expertise in ergonomics and in finding the right balance between form and function.
In 2007 she moves to the Philippines and starts Studio 1five2. She designs furniture, show presentations and fabric collections. Her European designs with an Asian twist and her “pretty practical” motto are well received. In 2013 she returns to the Netherlands and starts collaborating with Passe-Partout.
Natalie’s designs are elegant and simple yet special. Like quality furniture, her designs stand the test of times. Her furniture fits harmoniously in different interiors and always combines refined aesthetics with comfort – a constant priority.
Natalie on her connection with Passe-Partout:
Hustle and bustle, work, traffic, groceries, everybody and everything connected. At home people want to slow down. What’s better than to snuggle up by the fire, watching excellent TV series, or spending long evenings with friends, a good glass of wine, discussing life? Now I’m a bit particular about furniture. De- sign, colours and ergonomics must feel good. I appreciate details like the right angle of a seat and back such that you, for example, don’t keep slipping for- ward. Beauty can come in many ways. For me, real beauty goes hand in hand with the comfort.
Furniture, fine arts, interior decoration, architecture, graphics, I have this design urge. I’m almost obsessed when work- ing on a project, it’s always on my mind. Inspiration I find by walking in nature, traveling, reading and by looking around me all the time! Photobooks with work of artists, interior or photography, designs in a totally different area, like ceramics or buildings, or articles about societal trends can be an idea-starter. My whole desk will be covered with scribbles and sketches. Soon I start in 3D on the com- puter to get a better idea of the real dimensions, the proportions, the view from different sides. With soft furniture it helps to paste a fabric onto the design, though folds, wrinkles and seams are difficult to construct. It doesn’t matter for me, I feel the fluffiness of a cushion in my mind.
What makes a piece of furniture stand out? I want to create a serene and at the same time interesting appearance, a luxury yet minimalistic, a graceful yet cozy object, made from beautiful, sus- tainable materials, an object with a soul.
So does Passe-partout.
Working with Passe-Partout is fun! Dirk Steenbeke is a passionate entrepreneur, inspiring, always looking for improvement. He loves to talk, think out loud about what he likes to achieve with Passe-Partout. I like to listen to his line of thoughts, the atmospheres that he sketches in such a way that new images start to pop up in my head.
I love working with the experts in the factory, starting dialogue in an early stage. Together we push the limits and combine design, ergonomics, craftsmanship and quality to, in the end, realize timeless, comfortable furniture.