Exclusive Interview with Robin Toetenel From Ethnic Chic Home Couture
Be inspired by the work of this Top Interior Designer!
Ethnic Chic Home Couture is an international design studio with bespoke interior projects and an online platform. A place to explore luxury craftsmanship, find inspiration on the latest design insights and shop the finest interior brands.
Home and Decoration had the opportunity to interview Robin Toetenel, one of the founders of this design studio, and we will share everything with you today! Enjoy!
Home and Decoration: How did you get involved in the interior design Industry?
Robin Toetenel: It all started when I was little. When I was 4 years old I always wanted to go to churches because I loved the interiors. I was especially fascinated by the intricate details in the architect’s and designer’s work.
Home and Decoration: How would you describe your work style? Do you have any kind of signatures that help to identify your projects?
Robin Toetenel: We like to stay flexible as different projects and different clients require different things. But one thing that unites them all would be the attention to small detail. Every millimeter is thought of and designed.
Home and Decoration: Being in love with our work is always the key to achieving better results. Are you in love with this job? What do you love most about being an interior designer?
Robin Toetenel: I am absolutely in love with my job. It is what fuels me every day. And the thing I love the most is probably when our clients are happy in their homes years after completion. Everyone can be in awe the moment they come through the door for the first time. But lasting happiness with a home is something special.
Home and Decoration: What is your philosophy on design and life?
Robin Toetenel: Our homes need to be comforting. They are the cradle of a good life.
Home and Decoration: Keeping up to date on all the trends is essential for anyone who wants to conquer this market. In what ways do you keep current with new trends?
Robin Toetenel: For us, trends are never a priority as we always yearn for designs that can stand the test of time. We try to incorporate trends but always in timeless ways which will be beautiful for decades to come.
Home and Decoration: Which major international events do you attend/follow to get the latest novelties?
Robin Toetenel: Salone del Mobile, Maison & Objet Deco and Kips Bay.
Home and Decoration: How would you describe your personal decorating style?
Robin Toetenel: I love antiques combined with more contemporary materials. This juxtaposition gives interiors a powerful yet harmonious dynamic.
Home and Decoration: All artists need some inspiration to work, and interior designers are artists too. So, what or who really inspires you?
Robin Toetenel: Traveling is what inspires me the most. Exploring different cultures and their traditions and then mixing them together is what brings the most unexpected and unique ideas. However, books about historical design styles or archival fabrics can inspire me, too.
Home and Decoration: Inspiration is something that pushes everyone to create unique things. What makes you see the world in a different way?
Robin Toetenel: When I walk into a room I instantly look at the details of the design which always gives me something to think about.
Home and Decoration: If you had to pick one project around the world that you wish it was made by you, which one would it be?
Robin Toetenel: All the projects at Kips Bay are always fantastic. I would love to participate in Kips Bay.
Home and Decoration: How important is a perfect chemistry between you and your clients to achieve the best results?
Robin Toetenel: It’s all about personal contact. We need to understand our clients fully and listen emphatically to produce good designs. Usually, after the 1st meeting with my clients, I can already have a pretty good idea of how they live and what they need. I meet with them a lot and listen openly.
Home and Decoration: Choosing the best pieces to compose a project can be the secret to getting the best overall result. Although it seems easy, this is a delicate task and needs full attention on time to execute. Do you have some tips for those who do not know well how to start a challenge like this?
Robin Toetenel: There are too many straight lines in so many interiors. My advice is, try using curves and soft shapes. If there are difficult rooms with narrow areas or a strange ceiling we always start playing with different shapes which help a room flow well.
Home and Decoration: Do you think working with teams in interior design is better or worse than working alone? Why?
Robin Toetenel: It is impossible to do it on your own. Everything we do is a result of tens, sometimes hundreds of skilled people that collaborate together. It is actually my favorite part when there are many people at the project site running around. I thrive on this organized chaos.
Home and Decoration: Is there anything exciting that you are working on at the moment that you can tell us about?
Robin Toetenel: We are currently working on our own house brand called Calipseo where we are developing silk rugs and hand-painted wallpaper. We focus very closely on craftsmanship and customization. We are very excited about this going live very soon.
Home and Decoration: What has been your greatest accomplishment as a designer? What goals do you have for the future?
Robin Toetenel: Happy clients who love their home even many years after they have moved in.
Home and Decoration: Do you have a favorite project or a favorite story about one of your projects?
Robin Toetenel: I can’t choose! They are all different. But I love the moment in process of any project when the built-ins are going on. When many people are running around and everything is coming together.
What do you think about this inspirational interview with Robin Toetenel From Ethnic Chic Home Couture?