About Cornelia van den houdt
Excerpt of interview with Cornelia van den Houdt, Founder of Roop Rang, CID.
Q: So what does Roop Rang mean?
A: It means all the colors and shapes out there. Which is too many to count. It is an Indian term. I learned about it when studying yoga and meditation. It spoke to me.
Q: How did you get into design?
A: I am from Holland, born and raised. Design is big in this small country, always has been. Throughout the ages many famous artist have come from this small nation. It is a very progressive society, always ready to try out and invent new things. The country is so small and space very valuable. Historical buildings are preserved and decorated inside in the latest designs, very functional and up to date. So the new and old come together seamlessly and beautifully. Home and community are key, as much time is spent indoors because of the grey, cold, wet weather. I was raised in this environment where the interior was very important so that one can feel happy, warm, bright & light. In other words, design is second nature, innate, refined through almost 20 years of experience and my education at Parson School of Design in New York.
Q: How do you define your style?
A: Well that’s exactly it, Roop Rang! My goal is to create balance and cohesion by selecting from all the different shapes and colors out there to manifest an environment that speaks to the personal style of the person who lives in, or uses the space. The final result always has a peaceful and serene feeling with an edge to it.
Q: How do you work with your clients, what’s your process?
A: It begins with the client. I like to begin the relationship with talking and meeting first. Trying to find out their vision, lifestyle and expectations. I walk into the space, hang out for a while, get a feel for the environment, the light, sound, temperature, sensing it. Once we agree to work together I come up with a plan, we use this as a springboard, from here we decide.
The level of participation and involvement of the client is up to them. My process is completely transparent and focused on the client. I share all design secrets, sources, cost etc. I invite the client in, you can say that at completion they can be designers themselves. Some clients don’t have time or the interest and leave most decisions up to me, that is great too. As said the level of involvement is totally up to the client.
Q: How do you know what to select?
A: First I look at the space, what needs to be done to make it feel right. It is a feeling like Feng Shui or Vaastu (the ancient Indian art of Feng Shui), intuitive. There are things like light, sound, proportion, taste and functionality to consider. Every client has their own style and requirements. Space, budget and time will set some of the parameters. Within those parameters, the client and my team, find the best unique and beautiful solutions.
Q:Why did you choose this profession, what do you love about it?
A: It feels as if it came to me, a logical step in my life, it choose me and I am happy it did. I love planning the layout of the space, envisioning new or changed elements in 3D. I am a sucker for building cabinetry and built-ins, making it part of the structure. I love it when you know it is right, the magic of creation. When you feel the “magic bit” is coming in, you never now when that is, it might be when drawing or getting inspiration from a photo or object.
Another perk is the travel, I have done projects in Jackson Hole, Venice Beach, New York, Westchester County, San Francisco, Hillsborough, CA, Miami and Palm Beach.