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IN CONVERSATION WITH DIRK-JAN KINET


Dirk – Jan Kinet


If I ask myself who is the master of decoration and decorative arts, the first name that comes to mind is Dirk – Jan Kinet.  He is not only self taught, but has an education in German Philology and Drama, is a sun seeker, and has been an adopted Mexican for the last 20 years.

Dirk – Jan Kinet governs and tackles memorability in each of his designs with a personality and a verve that has been recognized internationally. Using his unique visual strength, he directs and commands an artful mix of textures, colours, wall papers, and antiques.

Dirk’s exceptional talent and amazing creativity is more than evident when it comes to his expert eye and what he offers in his new showroom at La Aurora in San Miguel De Allende, México. One of the most sophisticated design malls in México, La Aurora is a definite visit if you ever find yourself in my home country.  And, if you are ever looking for an fantastically and perfectly decorated  place in Mexico city, you can stay at Dirk – Jan Kinet’s Airbnb

I can’t wait to get Dirk’s input on design; please read on to get into the conversation…



Interiors by Dirk – Jan Kinet


Iván Meade – What was your first experience with design?

Dirk – Jan Kinet – Playing all my childhood with lego and wondering why I didn’t get the furniture to decorate my lego houses.



Iván Meade – How and why did you get into the design Industry?

Dirk – Jan Kinet – I´ve been into decorating since I was 6, but didn´t give it a name. I fully came out of the closet when I arrived in Mexico in 1995, and I had to put a profession on my official government papers.



Interiors by Dirk – Jan Kinet


Iván Meade – What is your philosophy on design and life?

Dirk – Jan Kinet –Think out of the box, and stay humble and live without a grain of pretension, even if you work with million dollar fabrics.



Interiors by Dirk – Jan Kinet


Iván Meade – What part of your job would people find most surprising?

Dirk – Jan Kinet – The fact that we double up most of the time as social workers, therapists and dame de compagnie.



Interiors by Dirk – Jan Kinet


Iván Meade – What do you do when you are feeling uninspired?

Dirk – Jan Kinet – Without money, get inspired by interior designers  who are cooler and brighter than me ( but then I get depressed and have to buy expensive Prozac). With money,  go travelling.



Interiors by Dirk – Jan Kinet


Iván Meade – What is the essential element of any room to have that great mix and unique Kinet Style?

Dirk – Jan Kinet – Juxtaposing antiques with vintage, Ikea, flea-market etc… and a sauce of some classic engravings next to a horrible painting by an outsider artist… tied together with monochromatic fabrics and some striped ones, and then as the main actor, some wonderful wallpaper. And all this has to be imagined with ¨music´! None of my projects should live further on without music.



Interiors by Dirk – Jan Kinet


Iván Meade – What is the best advice you have ever received?

Dirk – Jan Kinet –Don´t ¨drink¨up your budget ( told by a fellow interior designer with a weakness for Chardonay).



Interiors by Dirk – Jan Kinet


Iván Meade – What advice would you give to your younger-self? 

Dirk – Jan Kinet – Stay humble, but dress and decorate with a unique style, speak your languages, and always be a gentleman.



Interiors by Dirk – Jan Kinet


Iván Meade – Many of our readers are design students – What would be the best advice you can give to somebody who is starting a career in design?

Dirk – Jan Kinet – Take some financial or business classes, most of us don´t have a clue about asking for money.



Interiors by Dirk – Jan Kinet


Iván Meade – You currently are living in the downtown area of México City – What has your experience been like, and why México?

Dirk – Jan Kinet – I’ve been living in the downtown area for over 20 years.  In a strange way I think I have become part of the fauna and flora of the historic center… It is a difficult place to live, but a feast for the eyes.

The main reason I live in México is because of the sun!



Interiors by Dirk – Jan Kinet


Iván Meade – A couple of your projects that have been recognized are the houses of Susana Ordovas in México City, and the other one in Madrid – What was the difference between working in México and working in Spain?

Dirk – Jan Kinet – As it was for the same client, there was barely any difference, but it was my first time to go shopping at the flea-market (rastro) in Madrid. That was a really wonderful experience…. also, the Madrid project I did in less than 2 weeks, so it was a challenge to find all the furnishings in such a short period of time, and for my client to give her agreement all the time, even if most of the time she didn’t understand what i had in mind…. ( those shutters in green…. over my dead body! That wallpaper, no way maguey, etc).



Susana Ordovas and Dirk – Jan Kinet


Iván Meade – What makes your approach to interior design so unique and loved by many fans worldwide?

Dirk – Jan Kinet – My lack of pretension to start with, and my special magic to make co-habitant of all elements.



Interiors by Dirk – Jan Kinet


Iván Meade – What is the last place you saw that made you think, I wish I’d done that?

Dirk – Jan Kinet – The restaurant  Sketch in London


Iván Meade – What are you working on right now that you are most excited about?

Dirk – Jan Kinet – Finding a new house in San Miguel de Allende and starting to decorate it, and of course my new showroom in the same city!



Interiors by Dirk – Jan Kinet


Iván Meade – Lastly, you have already created a stunning body of work with many mediums and styles. What would you like your legacy to be?

Dirk – Jan Kinet – As I am a kind of Peter Pan, I rather prefer not to think in terms of legacy….. what I would like to mention though, is that I would be the most happy decorator on earth if from now on I would only have clients that give me carte blanche, because they want to live in a Dirk-Jan Kinet creation.



Interiors by Dirk – Jan Kinet


I invite you to follow Dirk – Jan Kinet in his Instagram and Facebook pages to learn more about his extraordinary talent!