Bernd Gruber Kitzbühel is one of the most exclusive interior design companies in Austria and deals with the entire spectrum of interior design. Philipp Hoflehner has been Creative Director since 2010 and, together with Bernd Gruber, is responsible for the creative area and the design language. He tells LA LOUPE what inspires him and how he gets grounded in Kitzbühel...
After professional stations such as Zurich and New York: Can Kitzbühel satisfy your desire for internationality?
It is above all the people and the encounters that make a life in Kitzbühel so special! Thanks to our projects, I travel a lot. Then it is precisely the cosy village character that brings the quality of life and lets you relax.
What values does the Bernd Gruber brand stand for? And what do you stand for as Creative Director of the company?
We are committed to beauty. Holistic, inside and out. Unique, valuable quality. You can feel it every day with us. It's impressive when you come into our new production and see how consistently everyone in the team lives these shared values.
The company focuses on professionalism & uncompromising quality in team, materials and service. Your demanding customers will certainly appreciate this ...
That is already a very important point. We are of the opinion that a good idea is only as strong as its implementation. If we manage our projects holistically, it is ultimately this quality control that makes the difference.
How do you start a project? In the office or in site? And what must the customer contribute?
We have to get to know every location. The creative process starts on site, then has to mature and is put on paper in the office. We always see our work as an interplay between the culture and style of our clients, our own thinking and, of course, the place where something new is to be created.
Many pieces of furniture and room furnishings are produced by the company and its production in Stuhlfelden / Salzburg. According to which criteria are products purchased?
According to quality. Around us, a remarkable guild of craftsmen has formed, with whom we work in constant exchange. Whether art forges, glass processors, master upholsterers - they all understand and facilitate our quality philosophy.
What about regionality? Are many domestic raw materials processed?
We like to use local woods, such as oak, for local projects. The sustainable and conscious use of the resources that nature provides us with is, however, a principle for us that starts with planning and continues through the entire process of design.
Living trends change almost as fast as fashion tends. How can you decide and find a sustainable line?
By not dealing with it, but staying curious. We visit all the important trade fairs and have a close relationship with the clocks of the scene. But the important, decisive things always come to you by themselves. You stumble across them online or talk to friends and discover new directions as if by chance.
When is the best time to set up a new home? How often should you make a change of scenery?
Everyone has to decide that for themselves. I am a friend of the more classic style, not too much design, but rather relaxed and authentic. I also don't like it when everything is always done anew, as is the case with many hotels. A lot of soul is lost there. If you decide to make a change, then it should be made carefully but consistently.
A lot of inspiration can be found at international furniture and trend fairs. Do you have any other creative sources?
Inspiration is everywhere, all you need is time! I enjoy the nature around Kitzbühel, but also cities and museums. Mainly it's about a different culture that makes you think. When you ask yourself "is that really the case?" and "why?" you start a process that ends in a new insight. You have to walk the fine line between courage and self-reflection.
What fits best to the architectural style around Kitzbühel and what can be realized at home, as a small memory of the holiday, so to speak?
Everybody can rely on himself. Just try it, there are no rules or dogmas. More courage! If you feel good and recognize yourself, then it fits.
Bernd Gruber's own room fragrance is available. Why this scent of all things, what are its secrets? Let us participate in the game with the senses?
We wanted to grasp the space as a whole, the scent is grounded, and the special feeling comes when you come home. It's the woody notes of eaglewood and white sandalwood that we've given a relaxed elegance too. Absolutely try it.
Read the article here.
»We always see our work as an interplay between the culture and style of our clients, our own thinking and, of course, the place where something new is to be created.«