bedMATE of the month #16: Joyce & Dax from Studio Nicemakers

Every month we visit a creative and inspiring person. She or he is the 'bedMATE of the month'.

The bedMATE is the most iconic item in our collection. The extra long cushion serves as a headboard, but also as a cuddle buddy, a friend who provides support.

We crawl into bed with the 'bedMATE of the month'. We take a look at their home and their colorful (bed)rooms. In conversation we discover how they experience the SUITE life. What's going on in their heads? Where do they get their inspiration from? And what color do they dream in?

This month, all-round creative Nicole Huisman visited Joyce & Dax, partners in life and business. Together they are owners of interior design studio Nicemakers and parents of their daughter Lexi. Nicole spent a summer morning in their 'magical charging spot'.

Their bungalow is hidden among the trees, surrounded by a large forest and a lush heath garden - the weekend getaway from design duo Joyce & Dax is something special. 'This place is our magical recharge spot. We came here for the first time five years ago, when the house was completely in its old state, an old couple had lived there for 40 years. Everything needed attention and love, but the foundation was great. It is located on the edge of a large forest, where you can walk endlessly without meeting anyone. We wanted a change in our lives; sometimes being able to leave the hard, hectic life in Amsterdam behind us, without having to get on a plane. We decided to buy something in nature, where we can relax and live outside. We are in Amsterdam during the week, and here as much as possible during the (long) weekends. Sometimes we also drive back for an afternoon or evening, that flexibility gives so much freedom. It was never our intention to find something with so much land, but we now maintain a large area of ​​forest together! The interior is quiet, because those beautiful trees demand and deserve all the attention. It's a coming together of items we've collected over the years, this truly feels like our home and more. '

Joyce and Dax first fell in love and then started working together. 'Dax and I have been together for over thirteen years now, and our Nicemakers studio has been around for almost twelve years now. I already worked in the interior design profession, Dax had a great love for it, he was a bigger collector of beautiful things than I was when we met. Dax encouraged me when I wanted to work for myself, but did not yet dare. I wanted to combine more interior design with fashion, photography and design, as I was trained at the Artemis Amsterdam academy.'

The couple now has more than ten years of experience in the world of interior design, with projects all over the world, including private residences, public spaces, high-end hotels and cool bars and restaurants. They are currently working on 22 projects, including a second Hoxton in Amsterdam, in the former Lloyd building in Amsterdam. 'Once I dared to take the step to work freelance, the interior projects grew the fastest, which have actually been close to my heart since I was young. We talked about it a lot at home, and beautiful ideas arose between us. In all our free time we went looking for special finds, art, objects, furniture. We soon noticed that everything accelerated when we worked together. Dax was working in fashion at the time, he always thought he would work in advertising with his marketing background.' Together they decided to go for it, the beginning of Nicemakers.

'Our best friend Leonardo quickly opened several new catering establishments in Amsterdam during (crisis) times, which quickly became the places-to-be. We had decorated all of these, with a lot of searching & collecting, because there was little budget at the time. This way our work quickly became visible and we were talked about a lot in the city. Then came salad bar SLA, which gave us international fame, and then Hoxton Amsterdam came our way - and from then on things took off. Requests out from Paris and Miami… still a bit surreal. Our team now consists of fourteen people and we work on beautiful, unique projects all over the world. The best part is the special people we get to meet, both our wonderful customers and professionals we get to work with.'

'Interior is what we do, who we are. We wake up with it and we go to bed with it. It is a privilege to be able to create a nice home or a nice experience for people, for example in a hotel or restaurant. People are becoming increasingly aware of how much influence the environment you live in has on you. It is not only important that it is beautiful, but also what the energy is like. What it feels like, that genuine love has been put into it. That does something to you.'

'When we start a new project, we first listen and observe very carefully. We do research. To the location, the building, the history, the way of life and movement of our client. Ultimately, we are not the ones who have to live there, so a project is only successful when our customer recognizes himself or herself in what we have created for him or her. Being able to create something for people that exists in their dreams, but which they cannot capture and realize themselves, is what we enjoy most about what we do.'

The bungalow is light and open, feels free, the spaces feel as one, fluidly connected. ' We live everywhere, every place is used. Sometimes we sit with a plate in the kitchen discussing the day or week, sometimes on the cushion on the floor or at the coffee table, staring outside during breakfast. The most funny thing are the two chairs in front of the fireplace, which belonged to my grandmother. They ended up here unexpectedly, and in the winter the two of us spend entire evenings glued to the fire. "Look at us, in this big house on 1.5 m2."

Color plays a major role in the lives and work of Joyce and Dax. Joyce says: 'Our, or at least my head, is organized in color. I can only get an overview of things or spaces when I understand what we are going to do with the colors. In the office, all samples and materials are organized in this way. Only then do you see what you have, it provides peace and overview when the colors are coordinated in a warm and surprising way. Only then can I relax. There are so many beautiful combinations that can be made. One is precisely for that location, the other for a different environment. This has nothing to do with a 'point in time', rather a location, a building, a person. We have just bought a small house in Menorca, the colors feel completely different here than in the forest.'

Joyce and Dax look back on special years, with many highs and lows. 'It is not always visible how hard we work for this, but there have been many moments where we almost stopped. Now we just have our beautiful daughter in our lives who is now almost a year old. It was a tough year for both of us, with the arrival of a small child and everything being turned upside down. Reinvent everything. But we're getting there… I'm proud of that, that we live through everything and never choose the easy way. Both in our own lives and in our work.'

In the context of 'ask the experts': what is the tip for finding the most beautiful (vintage) interior objects? 'Time and perseverance! You have to look carefully, it is (no longer) for the taking. There are now so many options; You can still buy directly from private individuals via Marktplaats, these remain the best prices. But there are many (young) traders who sell beautiful finds, there are fairs, markets, plenty to discover. Just don't think you'll find it all in one place. Dare to take things with you from travelling, send it home in a package, for example. When I think back to all those times that Dax and I carried suitcases or bags that were much too heavy with us... These are ultimately the most beautiful objects, because they also include nice memories.'