Back to Nature with By Mölle
Like us, By Mölle was born out of a desire to make a positive impact on the earth. The Netherlands-based homewares brand (and Armadillo & Co stockist) is synonymous with natural, artisan-crafted textiles that encourage slow living. From bed linens and cushions to tableware and curtains, everything is made in their studio in the Dutch countryside. We spoke to founders Marianne Maat and Lucienne Dunnewijk about the benefits of sustainable materials and how guests can reconnect to nature with a stay at one of their ecological guest houses.
How would you describe the aesthetic of By Mölle?
Our label is known for sustainable and high-quality home textiles, with a pure and simple style. Our fabrics are high quality and made of natural materials, whether linen, wool or recycled denim. We test them extensively to see if they retain their quality and remain aesthetically pleasing. Our aim is to make products that last a long time.
We recently introduced our first linen rug, the Palermo. What do you love about linen as a fibre?
Linen begins life as the flax plant, a pretty true-blue flowering plant, which is harvested in August, 100 days after sowing in April. During that time the flax plant goes through a magical growing cycle with its peak when the whole field gets coloured in sky blue blossoms for one day only.
From farming and harvesting to weaving and finishing, linen fabric is one of the most environmentally friendly fibres. Flax doesn’t need any irrigation or pesticides and is a true carbon well. Linen is also non-allergenic and naturally antibacterial – plus, it remains cool in summer and warm in winter.
Is hand-craftsmanship important to you?
Our collection celebrates traditional techniques by historic makers. All our linens are designed and handmade in the Netherlands, and sustainably grown, woven and sewn in Europe.
What are some of your favourite products from By Mölle that you have in your own home?
Our linen bedding and linen cushions in beautiful natural shades, and the soft throws and blankets made of fine mohair, cosy wool and recycled denim, are all super comfortable and 100% natural – just perfect if you want to create a pure, relaxed ambiance in your bedroom and value a good, healthy night’s sleep.
We strongly believe in buying fewer but better things. Why do you think consumers should invest in quality, timeless pieces?
We all need to move away from the throwaway culture that we live in, buy less but better, and care for the planet for future generations.
To you, what makes a house a home?
A house becomes a home when you feel comfortable and at ease. Natural materials of good quality make a huge difference. Our inspiration comes from Biophilia, which means “love of life” or “living systems”. It’s an innovative way of designing the places where we live, work, and learn with natural resources to improve your health and happiness.
Tell us about your two guest houses, ‘t Witte Huis or the Lemelerberg Lodge.
To experience By Mölle’s slow living collections, you can stay in our ecological hideaways, ‘t Witte Huis and the Lemelerberg Lodge, both situated in one of the most beautiful natural spots in the Netherlands, hidden between the trees with nature all around. We renovated both houses completely and created an interior filled with pure, natural materials because we can tell you how amazing linen sleeps, but it is even better to experience it yourself.
What makes them environmentally friendly?
The Lemelerberg Lodge is completely off grid. We insulated the wooden chalet with flax, installed solar panels for electricity and a rainwater filtering system for water. Our guests appreciate the pure and simple style that we embrace in our lodges. Less is more with comfy seats, a good eco bed and wood burner to keep you warm. There is no television, computer or wifi. It is these simple things that make you slow down and that our guests want to take back home – long nights under soft linens, slow coffees and books in the cabinet.
How do you want guests to feel when they stay at those properties?
It’s our dream for our guests enjoy the beauty of nature, sleep under fine linens and explore hidden tracks where they can spot birds, squirrels and deer. It is our ambition to make the world a bit nicer with sustainable, fine textiles and artisan crafted quality goods that are 100% natural and incredibly comfortable, all made with respect for the earth.
We’d love to know what excites you about the future of interiors and design.
We are happy to see that people are becoming more conscious about what they buy, and are looking for honest, eco-friendly products. Therefore craftsmanship, quality and sustainability are becoming more and more important, with a focus on timeless designs rather than trends that change every season.
Where do you go for inspiration – whether it’s in the Netherlands, internationally or online?
The first step in the design process is our constant search for natural materials and sustainable production methods. For example, we first investigate whether a weaving mill can weave recycled yarns. If you already have a product in mind, chances are that you have to make concessions with regards to sustainability. Because the material must come from afar or the colour isn’t right. We do not want that, so the actual design comes later.
Finally, we can’t help but ask – what’s your favourite Armadillo rug to have underfoot?
This is a difficult one, as we love all Armadillo & Co rugs a lot. If we had to pick one, right now the Desert rug is a favourite that we also have on display in our studio – the mix of jute and wool gives the rug a beautiful sheen and softness.