Annemarie van Riet

5 Questions with interior designer & art director Annemarie van Riet

For the past 23 years as an interior designer, I have been working with clients on interior design and marketing projects. I have worked with both small and large companies on very diverse projects. From designing commercial and residential interiors to branding a webshop and launching a new line of furniture, my background is in interior design, project management, product launch and marketing strategy.

When did you first get involved with design?

I originally studied marketing, but I have always been fascinated by beautiful things, harmonious proportions, natural materials. When I was 30, I decided to go back to school to study interior architecture. The projects I like most now – or where I feel I can add the most value – are those at the juncture of both design and marketing. I feel I approach design projects from a very different angle to most designers. For instance, when designing a shop, I ask a lot of questions about how it will be used. What sort of image the brand wants to create for its customers. I challenge clients when their marketing strategy is not clear. The shop should obviously look good but just as importantly it should work from a functional perspective and build the brand.

Is there any work you’re particularly proud of? And why?

A few years back, I started a webshop, Joy of Little Things. I sourced the products, mainly from Japan, designed the website and webshop. Luckily I had a friend who took the pictures, but everything else from stock management to business planning, packaging design and press relations I did myself. I learned an enormous amount about starting up a small business, not least of all the value of a good business plan! Now I love coaching people who have an idea to help them from product development to launch.

In your view, what were your biggest challenges?

Positioning myself is sometimes a challenge as it can be unclear to clients how a designer can also know about marketing, or how a marketer can be good at interior design. It takes a special type of client who can appreciate that.

What inspires you as an interior designer?

It can be anything I see during my daily wanderings or on trips. Last week I was in Bordeaux for a potential client. They took me to see fishing huts along the river. The colour of the washed out green paint will be perfect for their showroom.

Discover the work of Annemarie van Riet


Published by

Timothy Helmer

Designer, curator of Let's Talk Design and founder of Creative Network.