About Davy Swanenberg
Davy was born in 1978 in the village of Berlicum, a stone’s throw from the provincial capital city of Hertogenbosch, in The Netherlands. Davy and his brother Twan were raised in the family of carpenter Jan Swanenberg. Davy’s father was ambitious and wanted to start his own company. And so, whilst employed as a carpenter, he started making bespoke fine furniture in his home workshop.
In 1985 he took the plunge to complete self-employment, together with his wife Mieke, who took care of the business administration side. Furniture, and later complete interiors, formed the largest share of the work in the early days, but manufacturing kitchens slowly grew more and more in importance, until it was decided to specialise in kitchens only. ‘Culimaat’ was born, and the company, their joy and life, grew. It became an organisation of 14 employees, and brothers Davy and Twan grew up with the company.
Spending every day around the company, Davy and Twan literally grew up in the world of kitchens, also joining their parents to visit trade shows. Davy’s artistic talents were evident from a young age and confident that he did not need any further schooling in the arts, he chose to study marketing and economics to expand his capabilities. It was inevitable that Davy and Twan would work in their parents’ company. Parents Jan and Mieke were overjoyed to see that their dream would live on with their sons.
In 2008, after almost a quarter of a century of very hard work, they decided to hand over the reins to their sons and enjoy their well-deserved rest. This joy unfortunately didn’t last very long, as Mieke fell ill two years after leaving the company and passed away in 2011, at only 58 years of age. Gladly she’s been able to enjoy the successes of her sons, which made her very proud.
More cause for pride was the way Davy and Twan handled the economic crisis that held the world in its grip. The brothers noted that the middle segment of the kitchen market was getting cut out and decided to focus more and more on exclusive and sometimes even extreme designs. That turned out to be a golden decision: architects and kitchen sellers appreciated the daring designs and concepts, so much so that they were all keen to work together with Culimaat. That was their cue to upgrade the showroom and redecorate it exclusively with extremely luxurious and remarkable kitchen concepts.
These days, besides management and marketing tasks, Davy and Twan spend their days designing and developing remarkable kitchen concepts. These concepts have now found their way all over the world. You could say they realised the “Dutch Dream”: from supplier of standard kitchens to developer, designer and manufacturer of extremely luxurious, exquisite kitchen concepts that are being installed and appreciated around the world.
1st Place Contemporary Award Winner
Regional Award Winner
Q&A with Davy Swanenberg
Where do you find design inspiration?
I find my inspiration in the world around me. In daily life, in nature, architecture, everyday objects: everything can be a source of inspiration, except other kitchens… Which is why every one of my kitchens is an original. I prefer an open mind, to think outside the box and to set a trial rather than follow the trodden path.
How do you approach the design process?
My starting point is the shape of the building and the surface plan of the space. I look closely at the way the light falls in and how the view is from inside to outside and vice versa. Then I take into account the style and taste of the client, and look at the preferences for the appliances. All this information then comes together in a design that not only complies with the demands of the client, but is also surprising and original, which is important to me personally.
What makes your aesthetic stand out amongst other designers?
For starters the shape; furthermore the placement of the kitchen in the available space (which is not per definition the same as originally planned), the choice of materials, and definitely the not so usual application of existing, smart techniques.
What is the greatest value you provide to your clients?
Surprise is the keyword. We don’t make concessions towards our ideas about usage, ergonomics, routing and shape. We mold the style and wishes of our clients in a unique design, and have a unique way of realising our work.