Louise Kruf & Iris Boshoven

Lente Label


Louise Kruf & Iris Boshoven

Move over, Amsterdam. The Dutch city of Eindhoven is the new place to be when it comes to creativity. With its outstanding Design Academy Eindhoven and Dutch Design Week, the city attracts thousands of creatives. The former Philips industrial park Strijp-S is where they come together. It is no coincidence that this is where we find Louise Kruf and Iris Boshoven, designers and co-founders of Lente Label. With their love for raw materials and a fresh approach, they are lifting Dutch design to a whole new level. We spoke with Louise about Lente Label and its ambitions. ‘We are a no-nonsense type of brand.’

‘Iris and I met at the Art Academy St. Joost in Breda. We both studied Interior and Product Design. After our graduation, we decided to start working together. In January 2015, Lente Label was born. The name is a reference to our style. We are a fresh, young brand that loves to use a lot of colour. ‘Lente’ means ‘spring’, and it refers to the bright and positive colours we use in our designs.’

‘Our first design was the so-called Tube Clock. It is a small clock made from metal. During my time at the Art Academy, I was interested in working with metal. When Iris and I started working together, we decided to take this interest one step further. We used tubular profiles; long, rectangle-shaped metal that is originally meant for construction. We had an extensive discussion about it. What can we do with this? How does the material develop over time? The first step was just looking at it. Then we played with ideas. One of us suggested to cut the metal into a brick-shaped piece and next thing we knew, the Tube Clock was born. It is our bestselling item.’

‘What we create can be defined as minimalistic, but we do like to work with strong materials such as metal and wood’

‘We are a no-nonsense type of brand. Iris and I always try to come up with fresh ideas for designs and we like to choose the road less travelled. What is original, what is innovative? Our Tube Mirror is a perfect example of our perspective on design. Dressing table mirrors have been around forever, but we gave them a modern twist. While most table mirrors are round and placed in a regular setting, the Tube Mirror can be tilted. You can personally choose your angle, which makes every design unique.’

‘In our designs we are conscious of every material we use, while we try to limit decorative elements. What we create can be defined as minimalistic, but we do like to work with strong materials such as metal and wood. That is what defines Lente Label – the material comes first, the design second.’

‘Next to creating objects, Iris and I are also working together as interior designers. We create interiors for businesses such as Microlab in Eindhoven. This is a creative co-working space in Strijp-S and we are its in-house designers. Here, we recently created a natural gathering space. We decided to place an enormous tree trunk in the middle of the room and hang swings from the ceiling. These are surrounded by plants and wooden objects. Apart from that, we kept the decoration to a minimum. The space feels like an indoor garden and people love working here.’

‘I believe Iris and I will be working together for a long time. I am not sure what the future will bring, but I would love to take our work as interior designers to the next level. We have spent a lot of time creating objects. We still do and still love it, but I cannot see us continuing this way in ten years’ time. If we could outsource part of the process, that would be perfect. But we are perfectionists, so outsourcing is hard for us. Take the Tube Clock, for example; we have created so many of these items already and now we have finally decided to hand over the largest part of the production process to someone else. But we still place the timepieces ourselves and we check the items every time. Our design just has to be perfect.’

Most inspiring…

What feeds your daily dose of inspiration?

‘Inspiration comes to us in any form. It might sound cheesy, but we use a lot of Pinterest. Seeing designs of others is often a great way to come up with new ideas ourselves. We also spend a lot of time in the workshop. We take a material, sit down with it and brainstorm. We look at the pattern, hold it up to a wall, turn it around. We ask ourselves: “What happens when we hold it like this? Can we add colour? Can we shape it in a different way?” This creative process comes natural to us. That is why we are so good at working together, all the time.’

… Artist: ‘That is a difficult question. We do not have one particular artist or designer that inspires us the most. But if I would have to speak for myself, I would say Vincent van Gogh is my favourite artist. And design-wise I woud say Maarten Baas. He is a Dutch designer who studied at the Design Academy in Eindhoven. He creates furniture and I just love the work he makes.’

… Series: ‘My personal favourite tv-show has nothing to do with my work. But work-wise, I love to watch Grand Designs on Netflix. It is a series about architecture and interior design. Host Kevin McCloud visits and follows people who are building their own home in the United Kingdom. It is awe-inspiring.’

… Bar: ‘At Strijp-S, you can find a café-meets-restaurant called Het Ketelhuis. This is a great place to visit and meet new, creative people. Strijp-S on its own is like that too. That is why Iris and I love working here. We did our internship here back in the days, and it is truly the best place for us to be. Whenever Iris and I get stuck while working, or when our creative process blocks, other people always get us back on track. We can just be more creative here.’

… MixDrink: ‘My favourite mix drink? [chuckles] I have to be honest, but I do not really like mixed drinks. I cannot speak for Iris, but just like Lente Label, I am a no-nonsense type of person. I prefer a glass of wine or a beer; simple and still it always tastes good. Craft beer is my favourite. A Leffe Blond is perfect.’


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