Monday Cups - ceramics by Studio Lilesadi

Q&A with… Studio LileSadi

Today I want to introduce you to the work of Rotterdam-based creative duo Studio LileSadi. The studio was set up in 2012 by German textile designer Dinah Smutny and her sister Sarah with the aim of creating high-quality but affordable objects for people who appreciate good, well-crafted design.

I first discovered their work in the beautifully soft, styled images of Dutch blogger and stylist Holly at Avenue Lifestyle, several of which you see here in this post. Then when I set up my blog shop with Showroom and saw that the Studio’s products were available online here in the UK, I knew I had to feature them.

You might have seen their designs in my sidebar or if you’ve browsed my shop. From patterned textiles and marbled wallpapers to simple ceramics and minimal mirrors, their work sets out to brighten up people’s daily lives by bringing a hint of minimalism and poetry into homes. Their pieces are characterised by graphic details and soft neutral colours.

Here I chat to the duo about what inspires them and discuss their new collection of minimalist ceramic cups for the Dutch interior brand Puik Art, created in collaboration with Siebring & Zoetmulder.

Sarah and Dinah from Studio LileSadi
Sarah and Dinah from Studio LileSadi. Photography: Kelly Alexandre

How did you meet and form Studio LileSadi?

We founded our design studio in Rotterdam. We are originally from Germany and we chose Rotterdam as the base for our new home. It is a very inspiring city with many design initiatives and a rough charm.

Creating original textiles, fresh wallpapers and other interior products we aim to brighten up people’s lives by bringing minimalism and poetry into their homes.

The name Lilesadi stands for our names, Dinah Lisa and Sarah Lena. We like the Scandinavian sound of it with a hint of Japanese. We like a lot the design from there and we believe that the name represents very well our signature. 

Studio LileSadi - minimalist design Studio LileSadi

Can you tell us a little about your philosophy? 

Our mission is to create high quality designs which are affordable for people who like well crafted design pieces.

Lilesadi’s philosophy is to bring simplicity and poesy into people’s homes. Our studio stands for delicate and minimalist textile and product design with graphic details and a soft colour palette. For us craftmanship behind our designs is very important. We work closely with artisans and designers in the Netherlands, and collaborated with the reknowned Dutch Textilelab in Tilburg on a wool blanket (Blanket 01).

Mohair Blanket by Studio Lilesadi Mohair Blanket by Studio Lilesadi

Where do you get your inspiration from?

We find inspiration in architecture, particularly in Rotterdam with its contrasts between graphic lines and rough textures, and yet you can stumble upon poetic little escapes with an industrial charm. Minimalist vintage finds are another source of inspiration for us.

We also admire the work of Hella Jongerius, Lex Pott, Sabine Marcelis and Scholten and Baijings.

What’s a typical working day like for you both?

We come in and first we have a coffee from our old-school coffeemaker and discuss the planning for the day, together with our intern. Then we start working on orders that need to be packed and shipped, material that needs to be ordered and fabric that needs to be printed. Sarah is mainly responsible for the communication with the press and retailers and organising new projects. In the last month we were very busy designing our new lookbook and we are very happy with the result.

Our new workspace in the center of Rotterdam is very light and in spring and summer we love to lunch or have meetings on the roof terrace.  

Can you tell us about your new Monday Cup ceramics, what the inspiration was and how they are made? 

In collaboration with Studio Siebring & Zoetmulder we designed a collection of minimalistic ceramic cups for the Dutch interior brand Puik Art.

For the shape of the ceramic cups, we played with architectural proportions inspired by the rules of the ‘golden ratio’ and the geometric elements used by the Memphis group. During the crafting of the cups the pigments are blended through liquid porcelain and poured into the mould, which creates a soft tactile effect.

Monday Cups - ceramics by Studio Lilesadi

As two studios with different disciplines we combined our aesthetics to create a delicate universe with a minimalistic touch. The graphic patterns and soft colours of LileSadi match well with the raw and light aspect of the proportions and materialisation of Siebring Zoetmulder. A major driving force for us is our love for architecture, and creating products with hidden details.

Functionality combined with a sensorial experience is essential for us.

What other products of your own are your favourite? 

One of our favourite products is our mohair ‘Blanket 01’ which we developed at the Dutch Textilelab, mentioned before. The project was an exciting possibility to explore the weaving technique under the guidance of dedicated experts in the field. The result is a high-quality woven art piece that will stand out in any interior. Very warm and soft, it’s perfect for cuddling under on cold days.

Cushion collection Line and Gleam Line and Gleam cushions by Studio Lilesadi Line and Gleam Cushion_Marble

The ‘Line and Gleam’ cushion series is another product we really love. The four cushions with graphic lines and hand painted gradient details are inspired by architectural structures and light reflections.

And of course our new mirror ‘Lines’. It is a very minimalist piece which brings a graphic detail to any interior. It has an elegant oak base, so you can hang it on the wall or place it on a shelf. It is very flexible. We like functionality in our designs.   

Mirror Lines by Studio LileSadiMirror Lines blue_close upMirror Lines by Studio LileSadi

What does the future hold for Studio Lilesadi?

We are currently shifting our focus from pattern to material and structures. We thrive to deepen our knowledge in textile techniques and strenghten our authority as a textile design studio.

We are working on a new textile collection which will come out at end of 2017 and plan to start more collaborations with interesting designers and brands.  

Thank you Sarah and Dinah!

Line and Gleam Cushion_StrokesCushions Line and Gleam_Mohair Blanket 01

See the full lookbook here, and you can shop the collection right here…

All images courtesy Studio LileSadi

  1. Thank you Cate for the lovely feature about our studio. And thank you all for your kind words. We are happy you like our work !

    Sarah and Dinah from Lilesadi

  2. Pingback: Studio LileSadi – Interview about the studio

  3. Ooh, I haven’t come across Studio LileSadi before so really enjoyed this introduction, thank you! Such beautifully crafted items and gorgeous styling.

  4. I love the work of Lilesadi. I’ve featured them on my own blog a number of times. It was lovely to get a little insight into how they work and what inspires them. Brilliant post!

  5. Geraldine

    Nice post Cate. I know this brand from my previous interaction with them. Have a lovely day x

  6. What gorgeous images! I love the products in this minimal setting – really allows them to shine!

  7. Oh my Cate. What a beautifully written and inspiring interview. That’s confirmed it, Sarah and Dinah are living the dream in Rotterdam and I love their creations. Very original and affordable it seems. Two things that are rare to find.

    Thank you for sharing this 🙂

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