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July 3, 2019
Text: Marc Heldens
Piet Boon Reveals His Multitasking Nature at His Farmhouse Northeast of Amsterdam
Stereotypically Dutch weather accompanies the drive through the peat area northeast of Amsterdam en route to designer Piet Boon’s home. An imposingly cloudy sky looms overhead and a strong wind blows over vast meadows and ditches, where sheep shelter under pollard willows. Down a narrow polder road, sited alongside a nature reserve, is Boon’s modern interpretation of a farmhouse, its lime-stuccoed exterior punctured with steel-frame windows and capped by a standing-seam zinc roof. “In contrast to my other design work, this house is quite minimalist, with a classical shape,” the Studio Piet Boon founder says by way of introduction. “The symmetrical volumes read as strong and timeless.”
Strong and timeless certainly characterize Boon’s work in myriad genres, from kitchen systems and furnishings to global real-estate developments and luxury cars. Many such creations are visible in the house he shares with his wife, Charlotte. Boon bucked the open-plan trend with a compartmentalized layout that invites exploration and discovery. Each room has its own atmosphere, although the overall decor is subdued and a bit masculine, with furniture and art by fellow Dutch trailblazers including Maarten Baas, Studio Job, and Frederik Molenschot. “Those pieces stand for special conversations we’ve had, as well as for freedom of thought,” Boon explains.
“This house brings me peace. It fits like a coat.”
Landscaping is by another friend, garden designer Piet Oudolf. The more formal front lawn is a geometric composition of boxwood and hornbeam, whereas the rangier rear seems to have become one with the adjacent nature reserve. “This garden has nourished my work,” Boon allows. “It’s very layered, always revealing a new dimension, not giving away everything at once.” He could be talking about himself.