– follow Nicemakers –www.nicemakers.com
What do you do and how did you get here?
We are Dax and Joyce, both 31 years old. We’ve been a couple for seven and a half years, and working together for five years under the name Nicemakers. We both love to travel, are always looking for nice places, hotels and restaurants and searching for art and objects. We started Nicemakers a bit more than five years ago (after we fell in love). One of our first projects was the salad bar concept called SLA. It became a big success and got picked up by many design blogs and got nominated for several International Design awards. Not long after that we got invited to pitch for The Hoxton Amsterdam, and won it. Since the opening of The Hoxton people really know how to find us, even in other countries. But our goal is to do really cool projects in New York.
Tell us about your name—are you both really nice?
It’s just a very positive name and it explains what we do, making things nice :-)
What are you currently working on?
We are currently working on a hotel in Central Paris and another one in the heart of Berlin. But we are not just focusing on hotels, we also like to work on high end residential and retail projects.
What are the benefits and/or downsides to working with someone you’re in love with?
The benefits are that we travel a lot together, we always stay in nice hotels together and everywhere we go we observe with two pairs of eyes. We do new business meetings together and both try to feel if the client and project fits our philosophy. This is very important to us! The downside can be that work never stops and you could speak 24/7 together about it—but we try not to although we really love our job!
Do you have a design philosophy?
We try not to put a 'Nicemakers stamp' on every project. We try to approach each project different by doing a lot of research on the client, the property and its surrounding. We don’t like to use furniture twice in different projects so therefore each project is personal and unique. The client or final user/guest is always the focus, they have to fit well in our interiors. But in the end we always try to create interiors that we would like to live in ourselves. We have to be in love with every project we do. If not, we don’t accept the project. The variety of projects gives us a lot of energy and the clients we are working for are amazing, some of them even became really close friends.
Is there anything particularly Dutch about your design aesthetic?
I think what we do is never over the top and always consciously chosen, we like luxe and comfort but not just for the show of it. That’s something I think is typically Dutch.
The Hoxton has so many wonderful design details, how do you go about starting a complex project like this?
We were invited to stay two nights at the Hoxton Shoreditch to get the Hoxton experience. The brief was to create the Amsterdam version of the Hoxton. So the briefing was very open without any limitations. Hoxton chose to work with a local designer so we presented our own personal vision on Amsterdam and used that a as first step in the design process. We took our inspiration from the heritage of the Golden Age canals combined with our own Amsterdam life. Our intention was to create rooms that feel like you’re staying in your own canal house apartment. Personal and warm.
What makes a great hotel?
Great location, comfortable beds, a bath-tub or rain shower, cozy lighting in the rooms, excellent breakfast, friendly staff with knowledge of the area.
What’s the most memorable journey you’ve ever been on?
Brazil last year: NYE on the beach in Rio and horseback riding in the mountains.
Favorite hotel and why?
Some Soho House locations are amazing and the rooms are super comfortable, the suites in Berlin are great! But we also just came back from The Standard High Line in NYC. We have been there several times since the opening but after all these years it’s still one of our favorite hotels.
Where will you be in your next day off?
Our next holiday will be in Sri Lanka for Christmas. We have never been there before but will stay in seven different hotels over 14 days. Can’t wait!