Take 5 with Dutch Design Icons Ontwerpduo

Take 5 with Dutch Design Icons Ontwerpduo

Ontwerpduo are icons of contemporary Dutch design. Their impeccably made creations are anti-ordinary and just a little bit quirky. The husband and wife team share a passion for timeless design and a reinterpretation of classics. Their products are the kind of things that you treasure for life. We absolutely adore them and are so proud to have them in our store. 

The fantastic world of Ontwerpduo emerged in 2008 from a collaboration between Tineke Beunders and Nathan Wierink. Tineke is a self-proclaimed dreamer. She likes to imagine things just a little bit differently, largely ignoring any practical or technical restrictions. Often these things are in forms that seem impossible – until her husband Nathan becomes involved. He disappears into his workshop and when he emerges again, Tineke’s ideas turn out to be feasible after all. 

Ontwerpduo is now known globally for its forward-leaning Dutch design. What started as a duo is now a design studio with a close-knit team of devisers and doers. We adore Ontwerpduo because they share our love for local production. Much of their work is manufactured in their studio, and the rest is produced locally: mostly in the Netherlands, never outside Europe. 

ontwerpduo tallow candle

Ontwerpduo Tallow candle, one of their most famous pieces. Available in Australia exclusively at Gingerfinch.

We wanted to find out more about the two talented creatives behind Ontwerpduo, so we took 5 with Tineke.

How do you like to spend your downtime?

I am an introvert when it comes to people I do not know (yet). I like to wait and see what happens, what roles other people have and give themselves. I am an extrovert when among people I know - friends, business relations, family. I like to take the lead. I'm also quite extroverted in our studio; the strategy of working, the designs. 

My guilty pleasures... During work, I sometimes sneak out of the studio for 20 minutes and go home (it is really close by) to enjoy complete silence and a cup of tea. Nobody is there, no kids with noise, no machines running, no workshop, no phone ringing, nobody who is asking me questions. 

We work quite mindfully at Ontwerpduo, so I rarely feel like I need to 'unwind'. We love to go for an early morning run or an afternoon walk in the forest with the kids. After an evening with friends and drinks and loud music, we sleep a little longer and enjoy the fresh air outside.

I think enjoying nature is the key when it comes to unwinding. We do sport a lot; mountain biking, running, dancing. And visiting friends and family is a very good way of spending downtime as well.

After all, the people around you are the most important in life.

Ontwerpduo Biscuit Jar

Dutch Biscuit Jar by Ontwerpduo

What’s the favourite part of your home and why?

We are just renovating our new home (www.peelcentrale.info) and I cannot wait to find out what the new favorite place will be! 

At our home now, my favourite place is probably my bed. Every evening that I step into it I think, oh, this is the most wonderful and most relaxing position I have been in today! I lay back and meditate, before going to sleep.


The former Power Station that Ontwerpduo are currently renovating into their home, office and workshop. I can't wait to see it finished!

What are 3 things you do to leave the earth in a better state than when you arrived?

  • I think I won't leave the world in a better state than when I arrived. In general, people are no good to the world, when it comes to nature. But I hope that I make products that people love, that they care for their whole life, and that will be passed on to their children (the Dutch Biscuit Jar for example). We recycle, buy fresh fruit and vegetables without packaging, do not buy new things over and over again (we love to buy things online 2nd hand). We teach our children that being friendly is the key to everything.

  • We go on bicycle holidays in the Summer, but on the other hand, we go by plane from the Netherlands to Copenhagen for a one day meeting. We do use plastics in a couple of our designs, and we eat fruit that comes from overseas - we've got kids. We do our best but we can't always take the best decision for the world. Because to do that, I would need to go live outside in the forest, build our own house from trees and grow vegetables.

    Split Wall Mirror Ontwerpduo

    Split Wall Mirror by Ontwerpduo

    Knowing what you know now, what advice would you give your 18-year-old self?

    I wouldn't give myself any advice. First of all I wouldn't listen anyway.... second, everything leads to another thing, positive or negative. Wrong turns that I have made taught me stuff. And good turns were often hard.

    What is your superpower?

    I am an enjoyer. Positive. I enjoy life in general, but also my different roles (mother, friend, sister, businesswoman, sportswoman etc.). I can enjoy work as much as being with the kids. I can enjoy the coffee with a good book at the airport while the plane is 6 hours delayed. I can enjoy the rain on the roof of the tent during holiday. This is why we can do it all at once: having a business, 2 young kids, a big house to renovate, take time to sport, see family, and, starting a second business!

    Thank you for taking 5 with us, Tineke!

    Tallow Candle

    Tallow Candle by Ontwerpduo