Growing up in Woodside, CA with Dutch parents, Tineke’s designs reflect the captivating mix of her Californian roots and European heritage. Inspired by designers who broke away from the pack, Tineke is known for creating sophisticated, chic and eclectic interiors. She finds passion in discovering the elements that make each house a home and has a knack for incorporating imaginative details into her designs to create truly memorable spaces. The veteran of four San Francisco Decorator Showcases with countless published interiors and design awards, Tineke’s work has been featured in numerous design publications including Luxe Magazine, California Home & Design, Modern Luxury Interiors, California Homes, SFC&G and Gentry Home.
Photo by Aubrie Pick
What is your background?
Like many before me, my path to interior design was an interesting one! As a child, I would draw and paint whenever I could – I loved art but I was slightly terrified of becoming a starving artist when I grew up, so I ended up studying math and engineering in college. I went to work in investment banking and then technology sales, but found myself longing for more creativity throughout those early years of my career.
When I bought my first home in 1995, I completely immersed myself in the design process, taught myself drafting and became totally hooked with interior architecture and design. My engineering background helped me to understand architectural plans, my finance background helped me stay on budget and my creativity was able to flourish. I had finally found my calling and I founded Artistic Designs for Living shortly thereafter. It has been a wonderful journey!
Your work is very timeless, but has great flare! How do you get that balance just right?
I love the jewelry of design – the extra little pieces that add interest to a space and make the room come together. But a sense of balance is incredibly important in design – whether it’s blending classic furnishings with contemporary art, adding a bit of unexpected glamour to traditional décor or layering textures in a room to create something really soulful – getting that balance right is what good design is all about.
If someone is working within a strict budget where do you encourage them to spend and save?
I’m very pragmatic when it comes to budgeting and we take great care at the beginning of a project to establish a budget and work within it. But once that budget is established, I will tell the client not to worry so much about the individual prices, as long as we can stay within their overall budget. I like to splurge on a few unique, one-of-a-kind pieces that bring a room to life, and then adjust the budget to accommodate for those. Having rare finds and vintage pieces in a room is what makes the end design so special..
Do you have a signature that finds its way into every project?
That’s a hard one, but I do love texture and a good pop of color where you least expect it. I try to design spaces that strike a balance between having enough interest to draw you in to the room, but not so much that it overwhelms. I like things to be in place, but I also love those unexpected design elements that add excitement to a space, something that pulls you in and makes you want to stay forever.
Is there a current trend that you think will endure?
I think the more sophisticated eclectic aesthetic that we’re seeing now will endure the test of time. It’s a very timeless way of blending modern furnishings with heritage pieces and perhaps a few treasures from the homeowner’s travels. When you bring those elements together gracefully, you can help each home tell its own unique story. The Europeans tend to design and live this way, and it’s an aesthetic that I think we’ll see more and more of in the US.
All Room Photos by Christopher Stark
Do you tend to have tried-and-true favorites that find themselves into every job?
It’s different for every project, but I do get excited about new textiles and textures, and will find a place for them in every one of my projects. Whether it’s a textured wall covering, a fabulous fringe detail, or unexpected finish on a custom fixture – you’ll find interesting textures woven through all the projects I work on.
What is your favorite recent project and what made it so special?
My favorite new project is one that we recently completed in The Avenues. The home had been remodeled in the early 2000’s but was lacking in character and needed a lot of love. The client trusted our vision and gave us the creative freedom to achieve that vision for them. We created a timeless design with all the eclectic elements I love – vintage pieces mixed in with modern, wonderful textural elements, and unique pieces layered into every room. The end result was amazing and the client’s reaction was especially moving. They cried tears of joy when they saw the completed project – and so did I!
Do you have a fantasy project?
I would love to design Justin Timberlake’s house in Malibu – I just think he would be so fun to work with! I also think “The Rock” would be a blast and I really do believe it’s all about the people you’re creating for. They can bring such joy to a project and it’s really special when your clients become your friends at the end of a job – that’s incredibly rewarding.
What are your favorite pieces on Previously Owned by a Gay Man and how would you use them in a project?
These mid-century Milo chairs would look beautiful with the black lacquered game table I’m installing at one of my client’s. I might want to funk them up a bit by reupholstering the chairs in a fabulous green fabric…
This Michael Berman desk would be an amazing addition to a guest room I’m doing in a high-rise condominium downtown….
This triangular coffee table from Hickory chair would look incredible with a round leather ottoman to slide underneath it. Perfect for a family room design I’m working on in Tiburon…
These mid-century chairs are perfect for an old school video game room I’m designing now. Pac-Man anyone?
I love the curved design on this sofa and it would be ideal for floating in the middle of a living room I’m designing now – I want the focus to be on both the fireplace and the TV (which are in different corners of the room) and this would work really well.
I would love to use this comfy sofa for a kids space that I’m designing in Stinson Beach. I can see the teenagers hanging out on this all day long…
Enjoy more of Tineke’s stunning designs.