Interview with Belgian designer Marina Bautier
Belgian brand Bautier offers essential products for the home. Founded in 2013 by designer Marina Bautier, it aims to create functional, durable, and well-made pieces, designed to be used and loved for a lifetime.
We talked with Marina about her design attitude, the ceramic collection and the city of Brussels.
Acanthus: Marina, how would you describe your design philosophy?
Marina Bautier: Serene, qualitative and simple is the best way to describe the brand. Bautier is not about making standout objects. Its designs are pure and modest, reduced to its bare essentials. Through a collection of well-crafted items, the company has established an enduring and seasonless style with the flexibility to refine over time.
Acanthus: You founded Bautier in 2013. What is your background?
Marina Bautier: Born in Brussels, I studied furniture and product design in the UK. Following my studies, I returned to Belgium and established my design practice in 2004. Since then I’ve been working for international companies such as Swedese, Case, Idée, Stattmann Neue Moebel and Ligne Roset. After ten years of working in the furniture my ambition to set up my own brand alongside my design practice grew stronger. What started with a unique assortment of solid wooden furniture has now developed into a full home collection, including small must-have accessories and classic homeware, under the lable ‘Bautier’. Personally sourced and curated by Bautier, the range is complemented with qualitative objects from other local brands.
Acanthus: When did you start to produce your ceramic collection?
Marina Bautier: The ceramic range was launched in December 2017, as part of Bautier Accessoires. All our stoneware items are hand thrown by Belgian ceramist Marie Brisart, with an exclusive white glaze developed for Bautier. The dinner plate was added to the collection in April 2018 and the range will continue to expand to complete a full set of tableware.
At Bautier, the starting point for creating new products is quality, relying on efficient assembly techniques and intelligent use of materials. Since sustainability is also a part of the brand’s philosophy, it has been naturally incorporated into all processes: from carefully choosing local suppliers, manufacturers, and materials, to informing customers about the care of products to prolong their lifespan.
Acanthus: Every last Friday of the month, you switch from designer to chef, as twenty guests are invited to enjoy lunch at a long, communal table. That instantly sounded like a great thing to us! How did you come up with it?
Marina Bautier: I have a long time passion for cooking. When I opened the store in 2013, the large space seemed ideal to organise some dining event. Not being located in a commercial area, the monthly lunch is a perfect occasion to discover the store, and gather in a friendly setting.
Acanthus: Bautier Studio is based in Brussels. Which café, which restaurant would you recommend? And what are your favorite places in the city which you shouldn’t miss out when visiting?
Marina Bautier: Brussels has a flourishing food scene, with many small friendly restaurants opening lately. To name a few, Certo opened recently, nice authentic but modern Italian restaurant; Cafe Al dente, a classic for many years; Marché Noir is great for healthy organic take away food, Bar du Matin or the Architect (canteen of the school of architecture) is great for lunch in an airy open space (with a good (small) selection of architecture books at the Architect) and finally Franz is a small neighbourhood café, serving good breakfast, lunch and drinks.
The streets around place Brugmann are worth strolling around, with a few antique shops such as ‘Influences’ and ‘Scene de Ménage’, Candide bookshop.
And a recent discovery is the home ware shop Quelcirque, rue de l’Enseignement 89 at 1000 Brussels.
Acanthus: Marina, thank you for these insights!