Discovering Design Furniture: An exclusive Interview with Innsides
Hey folks, it’s me again. Your favorite French bulldog and CE-Woof from Otto von Berlin, Otto. Today, I have an interview prepared with you with one of my favorite humans on this planet – Anne-Marie den Hertog, founder of the interior design platform Innsides and one of the best belly scratchers I know.
Anne-Marie’s career started out a little bit different then most of the interior design entrepreneurs: She graduated in communications and marketing, and worked to gain experience with creative agencies, in her case, in Amsterdam. While at these agencies, she came to realize that her passion lays somewhere else. A field that she always was passionate about, but needed a little pat on the back from a bearded giant and other friends, to make her strive for her dream to come true.
“Where can I try this?” – a question we ask ourselves many times when it comes to finding great furniture. This is where Anne-Marie and Innsides step in to solve the problem. Her vision to connect consumers with leading interior designers and boutiques is on its way to change the market, and make it more accessible for us to design our houses the way we want to.
Keep on reading to learn how clients and interior designers can profit from Innsides, and about the positive changes the Internet has brought to the architectural industry.
You better enjoy the interview and pay attention! I might quiz you on this…
Could you tell us a bit about Innsides?
“On Innsides you can find interior designers and furniture shops in your area. We started as a directory for interior designers, but now we also feature high-end interior design boutiques. Here you can see which design furniture is available in your neighborhood so you try and touch your favorite sofa or chair. Not only can people buy design objects, but also get professional consultations from interior designers – pretty much the complete package. We just went live with design furniture in Berlin, so it’s now possible to check design sofas in Berlin in a blink of an eye. In this way you will safe yourself a long, exhausting shopping spree.”
How can clients and interior designer profit from Innsides?
“If you are looking for a new sofa it can be a pain to visit different showrooms every weekend before you find the right one. You can buy some furniture online, but most of it is custom made and of course you want to try and touch some different models before purchasing. We make it easier to already show the design furniture and what is exactly available in the showroom at that moment. Innsides is a visual platform, so visitors can find the interior design fitting their own style and identity easily. It’s a reciprocal system: interior designers and showrooms get more exposure and attract more clients, while they find what they were looking for quite easily.”
How do you see the future of the interior design profession? In which areas can you see major opportunities for up and coming interior designer?
“I can see it head towards two directions. There is the first scenario, where the client has already a vision, not particularly a specific one, and gives the interior designer he or she works with the full freedom to let out their creativity. So, you can say it’s a ‘one-stop-shop’ alternative they chose. The other scheme is that a client wants only one specific object for his space. You guys from Otto von Berlin know what system I’m talking about. It’s very much a ‘Personal Furniture Shopper’. An interior designer can usually pick up well, what the clients taste is. It would take somebody months to find that desired object, whereas you would already know where to get it.”
Tell us about your background and earliest experiences with interior design. What was your starting point to found Innsides?
“Interior design was always my passion. I would change and rearrange my interior every couple of months. Moving from Amsterdam to Berlin made me rethink my career. I used to work for creative agencies, but always wanted to do more with interior design. I remember a conversation I had with your owner. He was talking about how hard it is for interior designer to gain online visibility. So I thought I’d change that for him. We have a saying in Dutch: ‘Hij kopte h’m zo in’ – He nodded in the idea for me.”
You just mentioned your move from Amsterdam to Berlin, but you have spent most of your life in the Dutch capitol. What do you love about it, and how has it influenced your work? Where do you see resemblances or differences to here?
“I love both city vibes. Although I think Berlin has a bit lower pace. Sometimes I get the feeling I’m living in a metropolis with a village mentality, ha-ha. Don’t get me wrong I really love it. Berlin is much more heterogeneous, however I do miss the Dutch spontaneity sometimes.”
When you are not in your office, what are you most likely to be found doing?”
“I just love, love, love drinking coffee, eating superb food or sipping wine in a nice environment. It’s also a great way to discover new hotspots in town and get inspirations in interior design from different spaces. I can only recommend my favorite places at the moment: Roamers in Neukölln, Katz Orange in Mitte and Neni and Super Concept Space inside Bikini Berlin.”
Where do you see the benefits of having your office in a co-working space like ‘The Factory’? Is it influencing your creativity?
“I meet so many new people almost each day, working at ‘The Factory’. Many different industries and big players are located in there, like Soundcloud, Pinterest and Twitter. So it’s a unique working atmosphere you have in there, especially with that amazing interior design. All with different nationalities and personal backgrounds. Some are great sounding boards or inspire me.”
How do you see people’s perception on interior design? Has it changed? Did it become more ‘hip” to invest more time and money in creating your personal space?
“Hmm, I have to say that being ‘hip’ isn’t the most important thing, in my opinion. It is rather the general longing for the most suitable reflection of your personality and character within a space. The clients I spoke with still love to mix some of their favorite old pieces with some new furnishings and accessories, to make it really personal. Again, it is very much like the way you pursuit your ‘Personal Furniture Shopping’. Another thing you can notice, generally speaking, that it has become more fashionable to mix different interior design styles together. I like that eclectic approach on interior design.”
Otto von Berlin is also featured on Innsides with on Innsides with our loft apartment in Berlin-Kreuzberg. What did you like about this project and what made you approach us?
“Actually, Gregor was the first interior designer I featured on Innsides, ha-ha. You probably don’t remember so much of it anymore, as you very still such a cute little puppy, just learning how to chase your tail.”
Me? Little? Never! I don’t know what you are talking about…
“Yeah sure, mister. But let’s get back to the topic. That loft apartment in those amazing red ‘Lokdepot’ apartments just next to the Monnumentenbrücke between Kreuzberg and Schöneberg, is already stunning enough from the exterior. Gregor did work brilliantly with those gorgeous concrete walls and ceiling. The choice of color scheme in that space mixing orange with green and concrete – I really like it. Concrete is a tricky material to work with, as it can be really cold and rough. However, with these colors it gave the loft a warm, very ‘gezellig’ character. Oh, and before I forget to mention: I’m in love with that lounge chair by Le Corbusier That’s all.”
Thank you very much for the interview and for making me feel embarrassed in front of all my fans, Anne-Marie!
Yours Otto, von Berlin.