Designer Friday: An Aspire Exclusive Interview With Katrien van der Schueren

Katrien van der Schueren emanates a love for art. Artist, art historian, designer, and writer, her creative studio Voila! only attests further to her passion. Van der Schueren founded Voila! Creative Studio in 2008 to connect a diverse community of makers to clients across the globe. Leading designers specializing in everything from woodworking to painting, she has brought custom-made furnishings, stage sets, accessories and other artistic items to YouTube, Carolina Herrera, and countless other clients. Van der Schueren has joined her own multifaceted love of art with a strong community of artists at Voila! Introducing this week’s Designer Friday, Katrien van der Schueren.

Voila! Creative Studio lent their art direction to the lobby of the Hotel Californian, seen here. The scintillating space was designed by Martyn Lawrence Bullard whom van der Schueren is frequently commissioned by for art direction and custom production of furniture and art pieces.

Voila! Creative Studio lent their art direction to the lobby of the Hotel Californian, seen here. The scintillating space was designed by Martyn Lawrence Bullard whom van der Schueren is frequently commissioned by for art direction and custom production of furniture and art pieces.

Andrew Joseph: What is something you hope to see trending in design in the future?
Katrien van der Schueren: Real sustainability that is truly valued. A drastic growth in understanding where and how things are being made and an appreciation and care for sustainable and socially responsible practices within that. Whether something is made with the latest technology or by artisan hands or a combination of it, luxury should be defined by a thoughtful use of resources and an honest supply chain.

Andrew: What are three words to describe where you live?
Katrien: Relaxed bohemian eclectic.

Andrew: What are your ideal weekend plans?
Katrien: Being in nature with my family. Ideally, I’d be on the ocean and on a boat or in the water or close to the water. I find the ocean endlessly inspiring. Pure magic.

Andrew: What would your dream project or dream client be right now?
Katrien: A small, well-thought-of hotel with very well curated design and art somewhere in a beautiful location.

Creators at Voila! collaborated with Kuskin/May Interior Design Studio on this concrete mural for Costa Palmas Resort.

Creators at Voila! collaborated with Kuskin/May Interior Design Studio on this concrete mural for Costa Palmas Resort.

Andrew: Are you a pet person? Why either way? Dogs or cats?
Katrien: I adore pets. We have one cat and one dog. I’d have many more if practicalities in life would be different. I love it when we dog-sit for a dog of a friend sometimes when she travels so we have two dogs for a bit. I like both animals. I have only ever had one cat and our cat behaves a bit like a dog so I am really not the right person to judge. In general, I guess cats are way more independent, whilst dogs are just unconditional lovers and are easier travel companions.

Andrew: What’s inspiring you in life (in the industry) right now?
Katrien: Global connectivity and the capacity to be inspired and source from artisans, artists and designers all around the globe. For example, for a project in Palm Springs, we are now weaving a huge custom tapestry in a remote village in Mexico. They master traditional skills and have access to natural fibers and natural dyes. Most of the process can be followed by distance without any quality issues. Technology truthfully has helped make the world our oyster.

Andrew: Favorite tea to decompress, and in what mug?
Katrien: Green tea with toasted rice in a cup that says in flemish slang ”Ik moet just niks”: which means I just don’t need to do anything at all.

Black and White framed photos and vivid bedding and pillows neutralize light in this beige room.

Black and white framed photos and vivid bedding and pillows neutralize light in this beige room.

Andrew: What is the best carb-loaded meal you’ve made thus far?
Katrien: My son, 13, got obsessed with cooking over the pandemic, so I have a personal chef and don’t cook any longer 😉 He started making his own sourdough breads which are absolutely the best I ever tasted.

Andrew: What are some creative ways that you have kept yourself busy during quarantine?
Katrien: Literally two days before quarantine started, we bought a piano. It was a brown wooden one but I painted it pink! We worked quite a bit on the house. All the things we never got to, kind of finally got done. We painted walls, built a gate, and so on.

Andrew: What’s one thing you hate admitting that you love about quarantine?
Katrien: Being home with the kids and my husband and not having a calendar that is full of events that I committed to attend but don’t really want to go to! Pre-quarantine, you sometimes would have 3 events to attend in one evening. That sounds SO last decade right now. I don’t think I will ever get stressed about that again.


About The Designer | Katrien Van Der Schueren is the founder and creative visionary behind Voila! Creative Studio, a visual laboratory where she envisions, creates and fabricates a full range of bespoke fine art, objects, furnishings, lighting, event and stage sets and accessories. Additionally, Voila! also operates a full custom framing service producing custom high end frames to clients throughout the United States and beyond. Her most recent clients include the Four Seasons Resort Los Cabos at Costa Palmas, Carolina Herrera, The Wing private social club, ALO yoga, YouTube, Instagram and the Hotel Jerome in Aspen. A virtual enigma within its category, Voila offers a full-circle process inclusive of conceptualization, design, fabrication and installation. The studio – led by the fearless, multi-talented, and exceptionally hands-on Katrien – provides unsurpassed in-house capabilities through its team of makers who lend their expertise in a wide range of media including wood, metal, glass, concrete, paint and specialty finishes, upholstery, and fine art framing. The last bio we worked on is below.


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