Interior design is about as challenging as it gets for a design studio, and not simply because one gets to collaborate with another designer, a different breed of a professional, one that handles actual space, three-dimensional, expansive and encapsulating. At once demanding simplicity and attention, this project was the ultimate test of our design capabilities and ideas.
Studio 1207 was founded by Petra Wagenmakers, a spatial art professional who recently decided to start her own company. The underlying idea of Petra’s work is “Living with character”: she familiarizes herself with her clients, gets to know their needs and wishes, and then makes their homes truly their own, by putting a personal stamp on the work while bringing their vision to life as well. To Petra, her clients’ stories, personalities, and lifestyle, are the focal point of her work - and to us, it was Petra’s demand for simple style that still manages to catch your eye and stand out.
When we first spoke, it was evident that Petra’s aesthetic veered toward classic trends and the imaginative ways to re-imagining them in a new day and age. Our task was to envision the branding and website for her, all while adhering to her personality and ouvre - not unlike what she does for her clients at work.
The branding and website were done in collaboration with the Helder Merk agency from Amsterdam, The Netherlands. The agency was proactive in their efforts to hold stakeholder interviews in Holland, and provide us with the guidelines for each aspect of our work, along with some specific, sharp details. Our agreement with them was to provide minimalist, unimposing design, so as to allow the multimedia to focus on the photographs of the interior, done by Petra.
The challenging part of this hefty project was the close collaboration we had with another agency, one that deals exclusively in brand strategy, and the necessity to be alert about someone else’s ideas every hour of every day. Or at least we thought it would be challenging. In reality, we enjoyed ourselves tremendously, and the whole process was made seamless by the phenomenal people from Helder Merk. Their sheer dedication and competence was enough for our growing team to learn quite a bit about project management and stakeholder relationships - indeed, it was quite refreshing to have someone else actively participate in the decision-making process.
The final results were hugely satisfying for us. We opted for clean, white background, slight, sporadic grey gradients, and various nuances of light, earth tones, to shatter any monotony. Sharp, angular, often symmetric, divides between images, serve to place instant visual emphasis on Petra’s work and elegantly bring her messages to potential clients to the forefront. We are also thankful for her trust; after all, the hardest thing for a designer to do is to allow another designer to shape their aesthetic for them.
The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.