WE CAUGHT UP WITH JULIE BRANDT, CREATIVE DIRECTOR AND FOUNDER OF BRANDT COLLECTIVE, TO LEARN MORE ABOUT HER CREATIVE PROCESS, INSPIRATION AND DESIGN PHILOSOPHY.
THE AUDO: PLEASE TELL US THE STORY OF HOW BRANDT COLLECTIVE STARTED?
JB: BRANDT Collective started as a natural extension to my decades of experience and lifelong passion for interior design and décor, which runs deep in my DNA.
I started my career being the creative visionary and co-founder of Rue Verte, one of Europe’s first eclectic design houses fusing high-end fashion, lifestyle and interior design. Established in 1994, Rue Verte became a showcase for my signature approach to design and style, curating a cool mix of diverse elements and influences. My team and I began designing the interiors and furniture for numerous residential and corporate clients.
Working as a consultant from concept to completion, I developed my approach to interior design, based on the belief that the interior of a home should tell a story and reflect the personality of the people who live there.
After 24 years with Rue Verte, I decided to focus on my interior & design studio, where my team and I have been offering consultancy on interior design, architecture, and renovation projects, as well as featuring furniture, lighting, decorative items, textiles, natural stones, floors and unique, bespoke furniture and objects from around the world.
In my interior design process, I often found it difficult to source specific items I needed for my projects, so I decided to create them myself. The items included bespoke handlebars, furniture, and other objects, and after being encouraged by many clients, I finally decided to design my own collection.
The collection started with hardware, handlebars, hooks, and door handles, but it has now been extended into furniture, lighting, and objects, all under the name BRANDT Collective.
TA: WHERE DO YOU DRAW INSPIRATION?
JB: I am deeply fascinated and inspired by natural and noble materials and their innate beauty. Each material in the collection is chosen for its intrinsic character, color, surface and texture, as well as how it ages over time, with patina and poise.
I have a passion for subtle details, I believe they are the foundation of a great design and interior. In my inspiration process, I love drawing on an eclectic mix of influences, eras, and materials to curate a cohesive look that’s understated, elegant, and enduring.
The hardware collection came to life when I had a hard time finding the right hardware for my interior projects. I believe in creating unique interior designs inspired by individual clients, so I started designing my own hardware with endless possibilities to customize, allowing each client to express their individual style.
Often people recognize a design as an actual product. For me design is the process where you play with your creativity and ideas. Exporing possibilities and expanding your perspective of materials, functionality and aesthetics, which overall leads to the final outcome, mayit be a product or an interior project.
TA: COULD YOU PLEASE DESCRIBE THE CONCEPT BEHIND THE COLLECTION?
JB: Our collection is all about the little details that can transform a room from ordinary to exceptional.
The right hardware can change the entire look of your kitchen or wardrobe, a scent can change the way you experience a space. The tactility of an object with subtle details in elegant materials evokes your senses in multiple ways and enhances the overall feeling of an interior.
In the collection we play with contrasts to create balance and harmony, juxtaposing the natural with the man-made. It is a fusion of influences merging contrasts to create cohesion and balancing the raw and the refined using natural, noble materials. In our design process, we wanted to create a contemporary take on classics – in a look that’s understated, elegant, and inviting.
I love giving customers the possibility of adding their personal touch to my designs, by choosing between different materials and surfaces. For us, a space should reflect the personal expression of the people who inhabit it. It’s all about creating a bespoke look you can call your own.
TA: ARE THERE ANY PARTICULAR PIECES IN THE COLLECTION THAT YOU ARE MOST EXCITED ABOUT?
JB: I am very proud of our oil burners and essential oils/ambient scents. It’s something I’ve been working on for years, all of it starting with my sons not being able to fall asleep when they were young. After trying everything, I finally turned to aromatherapy, using essential oils… and it worked. That opened my eyes to the magnificent scents and also the positive effect they can have on your senses, mood, and experience of a room.
Our AURA Oil Burner is not only an aesthetic object but it also creates an atmosphere with our scented, ambient aromatherapy oils. Creating an ambiance involves much more than the visual composition of shapes, textures, colors, and lighting. It’s about creating a mood with the most powerful sense of all - the sense of smell, able to evoke emotions, memories, associations, and a positive atmosphere.
With our MEMENTO aromatherapy oil blends, we’ve added an extra dimension to how one experiences space. We’ve spent months mixing scents and carefully selecting oils. We believe that we have successfully developed four exquisite scents with uplifting, soothing, energizing and balancing effects for different moods.
TA: WHICH PART OF YOUR JOB DO YOU FIND THE MOST CHALLENGING?
JB: I get a lot of ideas all the time, and I see possibilities in many things, my colleagues call me the “popcorn brain”. Ideas keep coming to me, at all possible times, everywhere. It’s a challenge, trying to limit myself, finding out which ideas to focus on. At the same time, I have realized my creativity and constant flow of ideas are some of my biggest assets. I am first and foremost a creative and visionary person, and I love seeing my ideas come alive. I live to create and develop new interiors and designs. It is important to me that each design or project I make has a personal touch, that they stand out from each other and are never the same.
Our carefully curated selection of BRANDT Collective offerings can be found in-store and it is available in the webshop