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The Interview: Rick Vintage of NLXL

Posted by Jane Richards on

NLXL was founded in the Netherlands in November 2010 by Rick and Esther Vintage. Since it's inception, NLXL have released six wallpaper collections with five unique collaborators. These include Piet Boon, Merci, Arthur Slenk, Studio Job & Piet Hein Eek. The Dutch duo won their second ICFF Editors Award in New York this year for Best Wallcovering with their ‘Archives by Studio Job’ collection. We caught up with Rick for a quick chat about How NlXL was formed, his favourite wallpaper and what the future holds.

How did NLXL begin?

A joke from my wife Esther. She wanted scrapwood planks in our beach house. So we simply bought some scrapwood. Since my wife knew it would take a lot of time to convince me to put the scrapwood up she proposed me to scan the planks and turn it into a wallpaper. I have a background in graphic and interior design so this was not too difficult. When the scans came in we were shocked by the detail in the images. Then the first prints came in, and a couple of days later we installed an actual roll of scrapwood wallpaper in our living room. Right there and then I knew it: this was going to be a huge success. We contacted Piet Hein Eek, he loved it too, and 1 year later we were selling in 40 countries. Esther runs the company, I develop new collections and ideas with our designers.

Where does your passion for wallpaper design come from?

Wallpaper is a great way to change a space in an instant without too much effort. If you put a very ugly sofa in front of a beautiful wall the sofa will look 10 times better. If you have a beautiful sofa with a terrible wall, forget it.

Is there any one wallpaper collection that you wish you had been involved with? The original Beverly Hills Banana Leaf wallpaper. Love it. Calico and their Marbled Wallpaper. Fantastic. I have been talking to Paul Smith about a PS Wallpaper collection for two years, but it’s not going to happen since he chose to work with Maharam in the USA. I met with Michael Maharam at their studio in New York last May and saw the new PS wallpaper designs. And of course it was fantastic.

Archives Wallpaper by Studio Job

How do you choose which designers you would like to collaborate with?

There has to be a chemistry. Both esthetically and personally. We work very, very closely together with our designers. If there is no chemistry the result will never become something great.

The designers you work with already have a strong portfolio of work, are there any upcoming Dutch designers we should look out for?

Yes - a lot of them actually. If I name one I will forget the other, but there is an incredible number of new and fresh designers out there.

What is next step for NLXL, do you have any plans to work in other areas of design?

We are introducing some new exciting stuff in the coming months. Our main focus will be wallpaper, but coming up is a very small and sweet “print orientated” furniture collection by Piet Hein Eek for NLXL. Besides this we have developed a really nice NLXL editions notebook, and with Studio Job we have made a couple of very nice items. This will all be available around October 2014. Also new collections by Merci, Paola Navone, Merci Art director Daniel Rozensztroch, Dutch designer Erik Gutter, Thomas Eurlings - you could say we are rather busy ;-)


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