Klaus Nienkamper II has lived in a converted coach house in Toronto's Annex neighbourhood with his partner, Marisa Simunovic, since 2009. After the birth of the couple's twin sons 21 months ago, the space grew more crowded. Toddler paraphernalia (times two) aside, the home is decorated primarily with pieces from the family's modern-furniture business, which was founded in 1968 by Nienkamper's father, after whom he was named. Today, the son is president of the company's retail division, formerly called Klaus by Nienkamper but now known simply as Klaus. Since revamping the store in 2000, Nienkamper fils has built his reputation by forging relationships with top international designers, among them Moooi's Marcel Wanders, whose new collection will have its North American debut at the store on May 3. Pieces from the line have been incorporated into Nienkamper's bedroom, his favourite in the home. "It's the one room that hasn't been completely taken over by the twins," he says. "The bedroom is our place to unplug and relax."
"The artwork is all by [self-taught Toronto painter] Thrush Holmes, whom I met a few years ago. I have been lucky enough to have him relocate one of his studios into the loft at Klaus. These pieces are from his Chroma series. I was visiting him in the studio when he was painting these and I bought them on the spot. This room gets a lot of natural light, which really makes the colours pop."
"The Zig-Zag chair is an icon, designed in 1934 by Dutch master Geritt Rietveld. I bought it at Italinteriors, a friend's store. Although it was designed nearly 80 years ago, it stills feels very current."
The blanket chest
"The blanket chest is a gift from my friends at Moooi. It is designed by Studio Job. It was the first [of this model] to arrive in North America and is hand-painted. I love its bizarre patterns, which look like tattoo designs: crosses, dice and skulls."
The bedroom set
"The bed and side tables are from the German manufacturer e15. The company started out by using reclaimed European swamp oak. It's one of the collections we have been carrying the longest at the store. The solid wood is unfinished and has a rusticyet– refined look."
"These are a mixture of miniature chairs from Vitra and some antiques that I have picked up here and there. I love flea markets. One of my favourite miniatures is a limestone stool by Castor Design [it looks like it was chewed by a beaver]. I also love the mini anvils used by jewellery makers. I got those at Queen West Antique Centre."
"This is from the Danish manufacturer Hay. The colours go nicely with Thrush's paintings. Hay is a forward-thinking company that is making a big push to revitalize Danish design."
"This is a wool carpet made in Sardinia for Moroso. Traditional motifs are exaggerated in scale to produce these unique patterns. The animals in the carpet fit with the folk-art motif that runs throughout the house."