bedMATE of the month #17: Gerbrand van Nijendaal

Every month we visit a creative and inspiring person. She or he is the 'bedMATE of the month'.

The bedMATE is the most iconic item in our collection. The extra long cushion serves as a headboard, but also as a cuddle buddy, a friend who provides support.

We crawl into bed with the 'bedMATE of the month'. We take a look at their home and their colorful (bed)rooms. In conversation we discover how they experience the SUITE life. What's going on in their heads? Where do they get their inspiration from? And what color do they dream in?

This month, all-round creative Nicole Huisman visited Gerband Nijendaal - as owner of interior/design/gift shop Groen+Akker, owner of interior label Buro Berger and founder of showUP, Gerbrand breathes interior design. A conversation about his colorful businesses, using a quiet canvas as a base and his love for getting up early.

We sit at Gerbrand's kitchen table and I look around his home where there are many pops of color. 'I have a fairly white, calm interior at home, where I use colorful accessories to make the house personal. We do that with the store, as does Groen + Akker. The store has a selection of accessories from brands such as HAY, Muuto and Normann Copenhagen that give your home that extra something, make your home and life just that little bit more beautiful. We have furnished our house in a modern style with furniture that I also stock in the store, which I think also suits this year sixty house.'

It all started for Gerbrand with art school. 'After art school, I moved to Amsterdam and at some point started taking an art management course. As a side job I worked in the stores of &klevering, a home accessories brand in Amsterdam. There they sold old cupboards, baths and chairs, but also brands such as Iittala, Arabia, Vipp and many more. That's how I came into contact with design and found it super interesting. After my studies, I started working full-time at &klevering through some wanderings. I was responsible for purchasing for the stores, but also helped sell their own label at fairs and gave advice about their own collection. After working for &klevering for about fifteen years, I started my own store with a partner, Groen+Akker. Groen+Akker is a store with many Scandinavian design labels, very colorful. While I made more choices in target groups at &klevering, the choice in terms of purchasing is now quite personal. They are actually objects that I could all have at home. I try to convey the enthusiasm I have for certain products to our customers.'

Two years ago, Gerbrand started the design label Buro Berger with another partner. The reason was a nativity scene. 'With Groen + Akker we worked together with Nynke Tynagel, a Dutch designer. She had designed a nativity scene that we thought was so fantastic that we asked her if we could produce it - the start of our label. A nativity scene is not the most commercial product to release, but we were so charmed by it that we thought more people should see it. We would like to release products that are different, that give your home character. And that you take with you all your life, because they are so beautiful. Products made in Europe where possible. For example, we have made a series of glass candlesticks with Lex Pott and a series of wooden candlesticks with Bertjan Pot. We are currently working on a series of new products, such as stools, vases, mirrors, carafes and bowls. All with different, international designers.'

For Gerbrand, design lasts his entire life. 'One of my first design purchases was the purchase of 5 Vitra Eames chairs. I am still very happy with that. It is a classic that never gets old and I hope that one day I can pass it on to my children.'

The house where Gerbrand and his family live is a 1960s drive-in house. 'Not necessarily the most beautiful house from the outside, but a lot of space inside, because it is laid out quite simply, a nice box of blocks. When we first saw the house, I immediately fell in love, because it is a very bright house. Every room has a lot of daylight. The house once belonged to a dentist who had his practice on the ground floor and lived upstairs. We removed many walls during the renovation, made the whole house even simpler and allowed in even more daylight.'

The house has an exciting and surprising layout. 'We recently renovated the ground floor, where, in addition to an extra bathroom, we also created an office with a kitchen. This office is now my favorite room, surrounded by my favorite books, objects and a view of the garden. A nice place to work, but also to gain inspiration and relax. We have decorated it quite quietly. I've been working with products all day, so it's nice if home doesn't provide too many stimuli in terms of products. The base is white and black and we give the house character through colorful art, objects and flowers.'

On Gebrand's bed there is a cheerful mix of a Cobalt Blue duvet , a Jade Green fitted sheet , Brique Red pillows and a Dusty Rose bedMATE . 'In the past I often had everything crispy white, but nowadays I try to alternate it with color. The nice thing is that you can immediately create a completely different atmosphere in your bedroom with color. For me, color has everything to do with positivity and zest for life. At the moment I have a lot of green and blue in my house, which I find a nice and soothing combination. In general I like quite strong, full colours. I understand if people find it exciting, especially when purchasing larger items. But it is also just a matter of trying. Buy that bright yellow vase. If it doesn't look good, exchange it for a different color. Or try a color on the wall. The worst that can happen is that you have to paint the wall white again.'

'What makes my house a home? Of course the people who live there, my boyfriend and my children. That's something you want to come home for. I love being the first to wake up on the weekend. While everyone is still in bed, read the newspaper with a cup of coffee, before the rest gets underway. In addition, I really like a tidy house. Clutter in the house gives me too much anxiety, and home should be a place where you find peace.'