Best of est 2019 | Top 10 International Designers

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    Good design knows no bounds in the globalised society we live in. In the spirit of our Best of est series, we’re championing our top 10 international architects and interior designers in 2019.

    As we anticipate a new year of design, we’re giving thanks to a wave of talent and cutting-edge projects in 2019. This year the diversity of design – accessible from nearly every pocket of the world – has led us to feature some of our most coveted projects. Reinventing the architectural vernacular or simply engaging with their confident and consistent approach to design, we’re saluting ten designers based in Ukraine, Spain, Sweden, Belgium, the Netherlands, the UK, America and Greece.

    For their contribution to the international design community, award-winning work or how they’ve collaborated with est, we’re shining a spotlight on; Emil Dervish, Louise Liljencrantz, Pieter Vanrenterghem, David Thulstrup, Hollie Bowden, Piet Boon, Niels Maier, Iker Ochotorena, Giancarlo Valle, and Maria Papafigou, Marie Kojzar and Johan Annerhed. Established or up-and-coming, these top 10 international designers are who we’re proud to call attention to in 2019, knowing the future of design is in their good hands. 

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    Emil Devish

    Emil Dervish

    The beauty of minimalism that defines Ukraine-based architect Emil Dervish’s work isn’t just in reducing, it’s in the choice of design elements that reflect simplicity. Basic forms, geometric shapes and a clear sense of structure and order – these characteristics speak louder than a limited amount of furnishings. Emil has taken his signature style to several pared-back projects this year; his own studio, Reitarska Apartment, Birdsnest Apartment, and the Hoffman Apartment. We’ve got our eyes on Emil for more of the world’s leading examples of minimalist spaces in 2020.

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    Louise Liljencrantz

    Louise Liljencrantz

    Swedish designer Louise Liljencrantz has an eye for elegance in textures, colours and objects, building an impressive resume with her quietly luxurious spaces. While we’ve long admired Louise’s work and previously enjoyed a look inside her own home, we’re excited to see one of her latest works in 2019, the Strandvägen project. A testament to the designer’s refined Nordic style, Strandvägen demonstrates her handle on brooding, rich-toned interiors. Looking to 2020, we know Louise has some extraordinary projects up her sleeve.

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    Photography by Erik Lefvander

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    Pieter Vanrenterghem

    Pieter Vanrenterghem

    We’re grateful to have become acquainted with Belgian interior architect Pieter Vanrenterghem in 2019. Capturing our attention with his beautifully-resolved aesthetic, Pieter has a handle on what Belgium does best; subtly layered, warm and pared-back interiors. The designer prides himself on earthy tones and high-quality materials, designing homes not for a ‘nice portfolio’, ‘but to make people happy’. Earlier this year we revealed Pieter’s Project VV – one of our best homes in 2019 – followed by his latest project, a Flemish Farmhouse featured inside est magazine issue #35. You heard it from us; earmark this designer in 2020.

    BOE 2019 | Top 10 International Designers | David Thulstrup

    David Thulstrup

    David Thulstrup

    This year we visited David Thulstrup in his Copenhagen studio, located in what we’d deemed the epicentre of the design world. Founded 10 years ago, David’s studio has a distinctly Danish design intuition, typified through their thoughtful Noma Restaurant re-do and Peter’s House project, both receiving global praise. Most recently, David’s design of the Vipp CEO Kasper Egelund’s family home was featured in est magazine issue #35. In 2019 their name was on several projects; Gasoline Grill, Vipp Chimney House, Virum House, Collage Aarhus Woman, and a Reform Kitchen; a sign there is now slowing down on excellent design in 2020. 

    VIPP Chimney House by Studio David Thulstrup

    Photography by Hampus Berndtson

    VIPP Chimney House by Studio David Thulstrup

    Photography by Irina Boersma

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    Photography by Hampus Berndtson

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    Hollie Bowden

    Hollie Bowden

    London-based designer Hollie Bowden has earned a global reputation for layering interiors with an eclectic mix of old and new. This reputation, procured through extensive travel, has taken her from her London studio to the Balearic Islands off Eastern Spain. It’s here that we’ve admired both her Es Cubells and San Carlos projects, where she has articulated down-to-earth comfort and unexpected grandeur. Bringing natural materials, antique objects and the work of artisans to the fore, we have an inkling there will be more opportunities to explore an island escape through Hollie’s work in the new year. 

    Es Cubells by Hollie Bowden

    Photography by Mike Whelan

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    Photography by Genevieve Lutkin Studio

    Es Cubells by Hollie Bowden

    Photography by Mike Whelan

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    Piet Boon

    Piet Boon

    Dutch designer Piet Boon’s contribution to the global design landscape traverses product design, architecture and interiors. Every project that leaves the internationally-renowned designer’s desk epitomises luxury through a commitment to using natural materials, while pursuing functionality and durability. With a career that spans three decades and a number of coffee table books, Piet Boon has many projects to his name, as well as high-calibre collaborations with brands including Moooi, Bang & Olufsen and Miele. Following the goal to shift boundaries and set new standards, we know Piet Boon will only continue to be a global design pioneer in 2020.

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    Niels Maier

    Niels Maier

    Another Dutch interior design studio that we’ve been fortunate to feature throughout 2019 is Studio Niels, established by interior architect Niels Maier. The designer has set a benchmark for restoring historic dutch homes with their monastic Monochrome House, featured in est magazine issue #33. Niels prides himself on honouring craftsmanship, a thread that runs deep in all of his aptly-named projects on est; the geometric, forest-inspired Oblique House, the highly-contemporary Bright White House and the warm and muted Neutral House. In 2020, we’re hoping for the privilege to look inside Niels’ own home.

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    Iker Ochotorena

     Iker Ochotorena

    Architect Iker Ochotorena, founder and director of Madrid-based studio OOAA Arquitectura, impressed in 2019 with a suite of exceptional modern homes. The architect describes his studio’s projects as where life takes shape naturally; a sentiment that creates Spanish homes the Instagram design community cannot get enough of. Be they Wabi-sabi inspired or a calming reprieve from their vibrant neighbourhood, each shares the designer’s appreciation for simple, timeless architecture, natural materials and iconic pieces. We’re expecting Iker Ochotorena’s passion for stripped-back interiors to lead OOAA Arquitectura to more minimalist fame internationally in the new year.

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    Giancarlo Valle

    Giancarlo Valle

    Award-winning architect Giancarlo Valle graced the pages of est magazine issue #33 this year with their Rhode Island project, featuring classical American architecture and a stellar line-up of designers and artists throughout. Giancarlo’s distinct style echoes his worldly approach to design – a fluid interaction between the past and present, and a confluence of cultures. The architect has also dipped his toe into furniture design, with a collection for Les Ateliers Courbet. Officially joining the Architectural Digest’s top AD 100 list in 2018, Giancarlo’s multi-disciplinary New York-based practice is a welcome design authority in 2020.

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    Photography by Stephen Kent Johnson

    Bedroom | Watch Hill Home by Studio Giancarlo Valle

    Photography by Stephen Kent Johnson

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    Maria Papafigou, Marie Kojzar and Johan Annerhed

    Maria Papafigou, Marie Kojzar and Johan Annerhed

    The three faces behind Stockholm-based architecture studio OOAK Architects (One Of A Kind) are Papafigou and Marie Kojzar and Johan Annerhed. They rose to international fame with their Greek summer house, the Patio House, a finalist in the World Architecture Festival 2018. The Patio House was our issue #33 cover star; a cantilevering brutalist structure on Karpathos, with direct views of the windsurfers on the beach of Afiarti. We know the scale and expert planning involved in this home has set a standard for more innovative projects from this emerging studio in the near future. 

    Patio House by OOAK Architects

    Photography by Yiorgos Kordaskis

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    Photography by Yiorgos Kordaskis

    Patio House by OOAK Architects

    Photography by Yiorgos Kordaskis

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