When you walk into a room, your first instinct might not be to look down. But, Martien Valentijn, CEO of Moooi Carpets, knows the power of bringing unique and colorful designs to the floor.
Founded in 2001, Moooi offers innovative and provocative lighting, furniture and accessories. The Dutch brand’s most recent addition is Moooi Carpets which brings spaces to life with unique, eye-popping, breathtaking rugs.
360 sat down with Moooi Carpets CEO Martien Valentijn to find out where the company began, how it’s evolved and how he believes Moooi Carpets will help transform the workspace.
360: How did Moooi get started?
Martien Valentijn: Moooi was founded by Marcel Wanders and Casper Vissers. Moooi might sound a little bit strange, but it’s the Dutch word for beautiful, only written with an extra “o.” The extra “o” means we produce extra beautiful products.
360: In 2015, Moooi added carpets. What was behind the decision to add carpets to the business?
MV: Moooi started as a lighting company, and a few years later furniture was introduced. In 2015, we produced an area rug for our Moooi Showroom and clients came in and asked, “Can I buy this carpet?”
At the same time, we were working on a new printing machine. Once I showed Marcel the capabilities of the new printing technique, he immediately said, “Now we have to start Moooi Carpets.”
360: Your carpets make a big statement in any space. What makes them different from others on the market?
MV: They’re quite different. We created a revolutionary new printing technique that lets us deliver accurate tones with an unlimited mix of colors. In the past, it was only possible to print with 12 colors maximum. Now, we’re able to print photorealistic designs on our canvas, which creates a whole new field for designers to be creative.
There are also more technical improvements on the printing technique, especially for the contract markets. When we install carpets in offices, we now print on pre-back material. This means that the backing is already underneath when we print the carpet, which was not the case before. Therefore, we can install designs that match perfectly.
360: You’ve also made advancements in eco-friendly printing. What have you been able to achieve?
MV: Our production process is a lot more environmentally friendly. We reduced the water consumption to a tenth of what it was. Now, we only use three liters of water instead of 30 for the production of one square meter of carpet.
360: Technology has opened up opportunities for more color, boldness and patterns in your carpets. How does that fit into the workplace?
MV: Offices are changing a lot. People started working from home because they had the option. But now they want to see each other, back in the office. They want to meet, but they want to do it in a place where they can feel at home.
360: How do carpets add personality to spaces?
MV: There is no limitation anymore when it comes to carpet. Anything is possible. We can create anything designers want to have and express in the area they are designing. So there are many, many possibilities.
360: When people think about adding energy or color to a space, they might think about art, paint or even lighting. What do you see as the benefit to using the floor as a place for expression?
MV: In the past, flooring was often the last thing to do. There was always that moment of, “Oh yeah, we do need something on the floor.” Now, we start with a whole different attitude. Flooring is not on the last page anymore. It’s much more of a starting point.
Steelcase announced a relationship with Moooi and Moooi Carpets in June 2019. A collection of carpets and lighting are available now throughout North America. Furniture and accessories will be available in early 2020. This relationship adds to a growing Steelcase portfolio that gives customers easy access to more choices with delivery by the largest and most reliable dealer network in the industry.
Find out more information on Steelcase and Moooi.