A Dutchman In Monaco Who Doesn’t Believe In ‘Less Is More’
The man on the cover of the new winter edition of HelloMonaco magazine is a famous architect & designer with a remarkable sensitivity and at the same time Monaco resident, Marieux Van den Broek. Read his interview to HelloMonaco where he shares his inspirations, his philosophy and talks about his projects.
Marieux van den Broek, born and raised in the Netherlands, exceeded the boundaries of his creative mind targeting the field of design and architecture aiming to overturn its traditional features. Marrying the highest quality with extraordinary innovation in enjoyable harmony is his mission. Interior-Treasures Monaco perfectly embodies his philosophy that still radiates from every detail of his unique style … focused primarily on residential, corporate, and the luxury yacht market.
Many years of personal know-how forges new sets of inspiring environments, from the simplest to the fanciest, fruit of a finely tuned team-group supervised by the well-known designer. The goal is to achieve the best results in terms of craftsmanship and customized comfort for the wellbeing of his clients — whom he always wants to know very well.
Originally headquartered in the Netherlands, his international reputation pushed him to create an office in Monaco where he has settled and integrated over a lengthy period of 14 years. Later, having already established a successful office in Monaco, Marieux created one more in Qatar. Marieux sees yet further potential to grow in Monaco. Because of an introduction to the Board of SBM by Mr. Frédéric Darnet (CEO of the Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel and Resort), Marieux was able to leave his design signature for all to experience within the lobby of the Monte-Carlo Bay and the iconic Blue Gin at Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel. He also left his design fingerprints on the Boutique Pretty You and on the Boutique YOUR’S, not to mention some amazing apartments in Monaco as well as other gems in the vicinity of the French Riviera.
HelloMonaco had the honour to collect some meaningful commentary from Marieux van den Broek in an exclusive interview.
HelloMonaco: Marieux, what kind of studies did you do before devoting your life to architecture & design projects? What originally made you want to study this field?
Marieux van den Broek: Well, I believe that many people want to be a doctor or a lawyer and they keep this dream for part of their life. Then, after five or eight years of studies, and after they have started practicing medicine or legal affairs, they discover reality and say to themselves: “it is not actually what I expected it would be”. I personally consider myself lucky since I could really practice and experience my design skills to the full extent from the outset. I am definitely a man who understands proportions, colour schemes, harmony and design itself starting from the drawing stage. I began to work for some families and initial clients who spread the word to other acquaintances and I built my professional network before I even realized how important it was. Then, I understood that I had to learn more and, of course, I did my studies being aware that it would be my job and my passion. If you want to get your driving license, you need to study to receive your permit. And most people think that they can drive well right after that. But forget it! You cannot drive your car just because you are officially allowed to. You have to practice a lot. Even in my case the most interesting part came after my studies. And this is what made the difference. Now I can look back on more than 40 years of experience in this market.
HM: What particular aspects of your background and upbringing have shaped your design principles and philosophies?
Marieux: Well, it took a while to discover myself. But if you look very carefully at all the designs I believe there is a red line. It comes directly from Art Déco and Art Nouveau which are my sources of inspiration that I really love. I can talk about my preferred styles for hours and this is just the starting point of everything we create. You can guess it from the final design outcome. For sure, I can also design ranging from classic to post-modern or contemporary up to baroque, according to clients’ tastes and wishes.
HM: Who has been the major influence on your work to date?
Marieux: All great masters of the past had been inspired by their predecessors. But sometime inspiration comes from something you do not expect. I could say I ‘steal’ something from the past, as everyone does, but you need inspiration from everything that surrounds you. This is crucial to allow you to develop something new to reach the next level. So, there is not a particular key person but rather what is happening around the world is the source.
HM: Your rich and exquisite Design style is the fruit of long experience whose outstanding expertise embraces different fields. Did you visit foreign countries to experiment and practice more techniques and to look for new materials?
Marieux: Without travelling and visiting different Countries with their cultures, I could not reach the level I achieved. Qatar, for example, is for me a ‘hub’ for the complete Middle East. Plus, for instance, Dubai is also truly international. It is more a strategic choice than an inspiration for my design. I had a showroom in Hollywood, I had one in Singapore, and in other locations because people are seeking to experience my design locally. This used to be my ‘problem’. In the past I could fly from Singapore to Amsterdam airport, discuss the project with my team and fly to New York the same day, crossing several time zones. Then I said: “I won’t do it anymore” and I decided to keep my head office in Monaco and have branches in Qatar and in the Netherlands.
HM: Surely you have already appreciated Monaco’s potential in terms of financial opportunities and platforms to enhance any luxury product but also its humanity and philanthropy through its Foundations and events linked to them. What is a philanthropist for you?
Marieux: In my opinion, a philanthropist is someone who cares about people and the environment you belong to. I think that is just what I do. I care about my staff, I care about the few hundred people who are working under my umbrella, I care about the clients I make happy because of what I do. I love my job, I love to design, to create; this is my prime passion. I cannot live without it. Obviously, when you want high quality, it costs money. According to the Calvinistic tradition, in my Country we say: “Less is more”. I have never understood that quote because it does not make me happy at all as a designer and human being. On the contrary, I like going to the limit.
HM: What makes Monaco different from other places?
Marieux: The Principality is absolutely a distinctive location compared to any other place because of at least two aspects. First of all, it is very safe for most people living there, which is extremely important. Secondly, the special fairy-tail touch that Monaco gives is real if you are open to embrace it. It has a power to give you pure quality and a reason to smile to yourself. It is of course not accessible to everyone, but it is still attractive for many good talented people from the outside. If more of them had the chance to access it Monaco would grow even more. This is actually my big wish.
HM: What “new” would you bring to Monaco?
Marieux: Well, I have an encyclopedia of ideas. If you are a quality person and you have already invested a lot of money for an apartment or a house, then you are looking to decorate the spaces in a quality manner. As a matter of fact, there are virtually no places to go to find what you want. I am not criticizing the local market but there are just a few genuine interior architects such as ourselves, as opposed to simple decorators. We take care of everything and we deliver a complete bespoke project on the basis of the agreed budget. My wonderful team takes full care of the complete design, technical design, licences, manufacturing, installation, procurement, and project management.
HM: Do you think that Interior-Treasures Monaco style may change the lives of inhabitants for the better to make them feel happier?
Marieux: To be an interior architect & designer can be ‘easy’ if you decide to use the same design-approach everywhere again and again. But this is not the way. If my clients wake up in the morning and say “Wow!” while admiring the interior design which is the faithful reflection of themselves, that is what makes the difference. Of course, you can make people happy but you have to interpret what they like. As a designer, I have a duty to design and realize interiors in accordance with my clients dream and expectations. So, I have to be most sensitive to the tastes of these people. I want to learn about their journey in life through an in-depth interview. The more you are familiar with them, the better you can perform professionally and meet all their needs and wishes. This is actually my strength I have been doing it since the beginning of my career. Each client has its own ‘melody’ and I play with design like a music composer putting my orchestra together in order to write my client’s song. It is amazing to be part of that and now I wish to show my face as a person instead, not just my company, and to show who and what I am, for the first time in my life. And I decided to do it with you, Hello Monaco.
HM: What do you consider the most significant project you have ever done?
Marieux: It will always be the next one. I am currently doing a project I am extremely attached to. A six-thousand-square-meter palace with a huge space inside where we, my team and I, designed and produced every single piece of it from the door handles to the stairway, from the accoutrements to the chandeliers. It is simply gorgeous and all created in a mix of contemporary and Moroccan style.
At the same time we are working on a rather small project, just a living-room, kitchen and entrance hall, but the clients are so personally involved that that gives me even an extra push to create their dream.
HM: Do you have a special “motto”, a special catchphrase which represents you?
Marieux: In anyone’s life it turns around service, quality and to do what you promise. And if you can keep that up you can make yourself and others very happy.