Present at The Salone del Mobile
Milano / September 5 - 10, 2021
Olivier Vrij (b. 2 October 1997)
If you hear the name Olivier Vrij, (Vrij translates as Free) you just know there has to be a creative, accessible, and budding personality behind the name. And indeed… right first time!
Olivier has a penchant for 1950s and 60s designer chairs, the so-called retro style, which he blends with the robust, trendy, clear lines of the current design aesthetic. It was in the spirit of such an exclusive combination that Olivier created this functional and innovative 3-in-1 furniture item. And it paid off: he has earned a well-deserved place as one of the six finalists in the Master of Materials contest, a well-known Baars & Bloemhoff award.
With an eye for detail, clean lines, and a nod to the past, Olivier designed a coffee table that establishes an impressive presence even in the smallest of spaces.
Baars & Bloemhoff
Master of Materials
The 'Vrij' style
Olivier describes the design process as 'basically seeing a real need to create something entirely new'.
The idea for his 3-in-1 furniture item - consisting of a coffee table with lounge chairs and storage space - arose from the cramped living conditions of both his own room and a friend's room in a typical narrow Amsterdam student house. The pressing question was: how do you fill a room with the required elements and still retain your freedom; elements that don't monopolise the space? For Olivier, the starting point for his design was the optimal use of the available space, whilst still providing the room with the essential furniture.
It didn't take Olivier long to give shape to the idea for two cool retro chairs, made from irresistible walnut. The coffee table, in Stabilo Lightwood, was then formed around the chairs. The storage space in the design is the third element of this surprising piece of furniture.
Olivier chose a sleek white spray paint finish for the coffee table, offsetting the contrasting walnut colour in spectacular fashion; a choice which, while freshly current, recalls the glory of the past.
After his successful first designs, Olivier really got an appetite for designing. He is now firing on all cylinders with a wealth of new ideas and designs taking shape, both literally and figuratively.
The designer has created a TV cabinet and cupboard, where the combined styles of past and present have once again resulted in his signature lines. For Olivier, these ideas totally fit in with his view of the future, continuing with practical, multifunctional furniture in his own inimitable design style.
However, to create something entirely different is also a challenge for Olivier. Whether focusing on retro furniture or crisp clean modern lines to determine the forms, the passion he puts into all his work is apparent at all times.
His creative vision, his drive to produce completely original work, and his keen feel for multi-functionality mark him out as a modern designer; a designer who truly believes in his products!
Olivier is currently studying furniture design at HMC Amsterdam, the vocational college for woodworking, furniture, and interior design.
In addition to creating 'Free' designs, he will also be able to respond directly to specific market demands after his studies.
Would you like to know more about Olivier? Before long, you can meet Olivier in person at the Salon del Mobile in Milan from September 5 - 10, 2021.