Emiel Hetsen, Co-Founder, HK Living
We've fallen completely in love with HK Living here at OTI Towers, especially with their colourful industrial lighting and rattan hanging chairs. So to formally launch our newest designer range we interviewed Emiel Hetsen of HK Living to find out more of what makes them tick.
We understand that you used to run an Antiques Business? What made you want to launch your own 'modern classic' design brand?
Because I used to do a lot of projects with antiques and I always "missed" certain items that I needed in larger quantities such as same/similar chairs, lights or tables etc. I also found that there was a real gap in available interior accessories in the market. I could never find what I was looking for, so we decided to get it made ourselves.
Adding a splash of colour to the kitchen a Factoria Lamp in Mint Green
How did you and Sander (HK Living's Co-Owner) meet and what inspires the two of you when it comes to your brand?
Sander and I have known each other since birth. In fact, our families have known each other for generations. His grandparents were friends of my grandparents, our parents are friends, we are still good friends, and now Sander's daughter is friends with my daughter…the connection between us is strong and probably one of the most important ingredients for the success of HKliving. Inspiration for the brand is to fulfil a need for basic, good quality designs available for a reasonable price!
For people in the UK who may not already be aware of HK Living - could you describe your design ethos in five words? Basic, Simple, Authentic, New, Fresh
If you could have personally designed one item in history what would it have been and why? A bicycle of course! Where would we, Dutch guys, be without one!
There is always an element of fun in your collections, whether it be oversized lamps or a dash of bright colour. What personally makes you laugh?
People should not take interiors too seriously. I really believe you can never make huge mistakes if you decorate your home with this in mind. If you still feel insecure about your personal styling qualities, get all the big pieces in a basic style so you can make mistakes with small accessories and paint! Nobody is perfect so why would anyone's interior be! If I see an interior made with this in mind it really makes my day!
Do you have any secret talents? No secret talents here, my only talent went global when we started HKliving
What is your favourite product from the 2015 collection? Our new ceramic line, like the handmade character of all the items.
How would you describe your own personal interior design style? Basic, simple, Authentic, new, fresh
The Elsa Ball Hanging Chair
What is a normal working day like for you and your team?
We work in a small and close team. As we run on the motor of the success of HK, no day is the same. Sometimes days we end up doing a photo-shoot in a house we have never heard of or thought of ever before. I think as a creative team it's necessary to be open minded and not to be too controlled, I think the fun element in our collection
is a result of this attitude
Can you give us a sneaky peak into what concepts you and your team are currently working on? What can we expect to see in 2016?
More natural elements and colours… think green, brown and a splash of yellow. Authenticity will increase in 2016 collection, this in combination with some Japanese influences will lead to new exiting items, can't wait to show it!
Are there any more brands in alternative fields that you'd love to work with? Gstar RAW, in Dutch we say they are a "stoer"* company…love them! Also great are, la tulipe (wine by Ilja Gort) I love to see when a person was born for a job! *'Stoer' means cool, nice, a bit daring, but in a nice way and with no fuss, just down to earth.
Da Vinci's Flying Machine - perfect entertainment for the Kids!
And finally you're hosting a dinner party, and you can invite anyone to it, living, imaginary or dead. Who would you bring, why and what would be on your menu? This
would be a good big BBQ with family and friends, no crazy requests here…well maybe invite Da Vinci so he can bring his flying machine for a flight around the garden with the kids.
To see more of HK Living's range click here