Atelier NL

Wellness and sustainability within design is a concept we have a real passion for here at House of Grey. With society becoming more switched on to how our every day behaviours are affecting our earths resources we believe it is really important to address this issue in our work as well. We are constantly on the look out for new ways to improve this element in our projects.

It is always lovely stumbling across like minded designers. Which is why we had to share Dutch duo, Atelier NL with you.

Based in the Netherlands, Atelier NL explore the richness of local materials, developing products from natural resources obtained directly from the earth. Nadine Sterk and Lonny Van Ryswyck’s research based, product development aims to educate and highlight growing concerns over how quickly we are consuming the earth’s resources. Extracting samples in environmentally friendly methods, Atelier NL uses their dedication to exploring the abilities of raw materials to produce valuable everyday objects; ‘Creating stronger ties between the earth’s materials and living communities’.

We at House of Grey celebrate the use of raw, sustainable materials and are strongly behind any research that will improve the condition of our depleted planet. Atelier NL have many earth based projects, here are just a couple that have really inspired us.

Colours of Van Gogh Village:

Atelier NL were asked to produce a palette of 270 Earth Paints for the southern Dutch town of Nuenen, where the famous painter Van Gough lived, and created. Colours were created using soils, dug by hand, from the surrounding countryside of the small village. The project was comissioned in conjunction with the towns celebration of the Artist; A Vincent Affair, in 2015.

Painters such a Van Gogh have often found inspiration from the rich colours boasted by the Dutch terrain, but few have used it as there medium. Natural paints created from the likes of clay or chalk, are not only environmentally friendly to create, but are hugely less intrusive on our health. Painting without chemicals allows the room and its occupants to breathe clean air, improving the general wellness of a space. This is something we believe should be a key element when designing a space.



Polderceramics is a collection of tableware created from soil collected from farms in the Dutch region of Noordoostpolder . The idea behind the project is to be able to eat local produce plated up on the earth in which it grew; rebinding the food to its origins and connecting the consumer primitively to what is on their plate. Atelier NL gathered soil samples from several Farm locations, and worked the earth into a functional clay. The pieces themselves adorn a modern approach to a classic dutch design. Offering a solid nod to nature, the cracks and textures within the clay that gives a real ‘of the earth’ feel to the collection.

Atelier NL hosted several culinary events during Dutch Design Week which showcased the collection and other Earth to Table projects they have worked on.

All images courtesy of Atelier NL

We have always felt it is so important to know our origins: whether it be the food we eat, the plates we lay it on or the design we have in our home. To know that the possessions you own have been ethically and sustainably sourced is something to be cherished. Remembering our ancestral roots and celebrating the earth and what it has given us in a respectful manner is something we hold dearly. We only hope that the likes of Atelier NL and their commitment to educating and improving our use of natural materials is an idea that spreads widely across not only the design industry but extends to global attitudes toward this subject.

At House of Grey we are focused around the ideology that aesthetic and experience go hand in hand. We create a centring environment within both our design and practice. Providing a grounding experience when working with us or occupying a space we have created.


Written by Nina Lilli Holden