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Shoplifting: Klaus

Leaving Klaus by Nienkämper, with a pocketful of ideas

By Tory Healy
Photography by Lorne Bridgman

Ever notice how stuff looks great in a store and not-so-great at home? We have. Which is why we’re taking a closer look at how the pros put things together. This issue’s eureka moment: the three-tier effect seen at Klaus by Nienkämper.

Klaus Jr. has run his family’s showroom for seven years, and every month he has a new stunning display up. The ambitious schedule Klaus shrugs off as a way to ward off “sheer boredom.” But let’s face it, he’s got vision. Here he’s created intimacy and continuity between three spaces, using black to anchor and orange to highlight. “It’s not about the colour du jour,” Klaus advises. “Use classic colours and accent with fun hues.”

First, he stripped the space. “Remove, remove, remove,” he recommends. “Put core pieces back in and fluff around them.” Wanting to experiment with texture but limited by floor space, Maharam fabrics are on the walls. “Upholstering walls is nothing new,” he says, “but don’t go stapling your walls. Maharam has fabric made for papering.” In the showroom’s entrance he hung a computer-generated stripe by Hella Jongerius. In the second room, on a wall with less surface area, he went wilder with paisley. This he sandwiched with a pinstripe in the third room.

A grid of Tom Dixon Fluoro fixtures at the entrance is the focal point (“you can ruin a good set-up if you don’t illuminate things properly”), but the overall look comes full circle with the LED-integrated cast resin ring by Quebec’s Pascale Girardin in the back.

This display is now down but go check out Klaus’ latest installation, with notebook in hand.

Originally published in our Fall 2009 issue.

Categories: Profiles

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