For Christmas presents in 2018, we bought our family tickets for a concert of Michael Bublé, the Canadian crooner. We’re all big fans of Bublé, and Saskia and I have already seen him perform three times, including one in London 10 years ago, a very special experience. Due to his son’s illness, the singer has not given any shows over the last five years. Last November, it was finally time again and it was a beautiful long evening with a wonderful interaction with the public as well as the singing. He added a personal note to the concert by talking to us about his family and relations without it being cheesy. Besides being a pure entertainer, it seems he’s also a real family man. He became known by singing covers fromThe Great American Songbook, in fact I regard him as the new Frank Sinatra. The genre fits him the best and his forefathers also stem from Italy, just like his great example. In 2005, he brought for the first time a self-written number that was instantly a big hit: ‘Home’. I think it’s one of his most beautiful songs, and it tells about the feeling of ‘Home’, which is not always so easy to describe. When do you feel at home? Obviously it’s often about your house, but even more about the people you love; your family and the environment you find yourself in, together with those you love. Bublé sings, “May be surrounded by, a million people I, still feel alone ... Just wanna go home. Oh, I miss you, you know”.

Home is a feeling that very much fits our brand: “Home is where you can be you” is our motto and reward. This can of course be home, but also somewhere on holiday or in an atmospheric restaurant. However, it’s always people that make that ‘Home feeling’ complete at that moment. You can even feel it at work. I always get that feeling at our typical St. Nicholas (Sinterklaas)
party at Rivièra Maison that’s on a Saturday morning in the last week of November, and where all the staff and their little ones are invited to visit St. Nick at the RM restaurant above our offices. About 40 kids were there this time with their parents, and I love that. And the traditional Christmas breakfast that we hold every year for our office and logistics staff also gives me such a warm feeling of togetherness. Everyone dresses up, nearly everyone is there, we have live music and everyone has a wonderful time. A downside is that the shop staff can never be there because these are the busiest days of the year, but we are all complete again at the New Year’s Drinks party. These are the special moments we share and that makes our company stand out.

Speaking of home, I’m writing this at my sister’s home in the US, at Scottsdale, Arizona. My sister Jacqueline fell in love 45 years ago with an American she met during a few days’ holiday in London. They married just two years later and she moved to the US, to the sorrow of our parents, because suddenly their daughter disappeared to the other side of the world. By the way, she’s very happy there and has taken the American Nationality. She no longer speaks Dutch, but we are in close contact. We try to see each other at least once a year. Sometimes she comes to the Netherlands, or we go visit her and her husband Jim, but we always FaceTime a few times a month. “Blood is thicker than water”, says my brother-in-law all the time, meaning family relationships are the strong and unbreakable.

Home is... It’s self-evident that you should always feel at home in your house, and a warm interior is naturally a contributing factor. Whether your interior is industrial, country-style or contemporary, I feel that it must always be warm and contribute to the home feeling. Rivièra Maison is unique and became famous for its country-style interiors and accessories, much copied here and abroad. But in the meantime, RM stands for many more styles, such as the industrial rugged line with metal and wood (‘the new rustic, as Miljuschka calls it), the rather more contemporary line, and now the chic Gold Label, with which we attract the more luxury-focussed customers. Most Rivièra Maison products have just that little bit extra that makes them special and distinctive. It seems as though it’s been like that for years, but it is quite recent in the RM operation.

We don’t look for it in extreme or new forms, but like to give an existing model a new twist or simply that extra ‘RM touch’. I remain closely involved with all designs which means travelling here and there in the world three months per year. Not getting any easier, but still great to do. Naturally I don’t do this all by myself, as the purchasers always accompany me and the designers often come too. I really enjoy making that one special item with that little bit extra, and one such article of the new season is the Dylan Chest of Drawers in which each drawer or storage compartment can be rotated on its axis: a favourite! The chest has alternating drawers and open compartments and is made by hand using recycled wood.

Developing such a piece is also a fantastic task: nothing finer than working out the best way to make it with the cabinetmaker. For me, there’s nothing better than handmade! Another of my favourites is the Bushwick Coffee table set of 3, featured on the cover of this magazine. It’s a long, narrow salon table with two extra small tables that fit over it to take your glass or laptop, ... or just for show. And you can also use these little side tables as end table left and right of the sofa, or as coffee table right in front of the sofa: nice and handy for your coffee cup The wooden table tops of this series are again handmade from recycled oak with stainless steel legs. The result is luxury with a rustic touch. For me, this truly represents the new RM. And if I may mention one more, it is the Continental Sofa – solid and classic at the same time and once again renewed with its double seat cushions – available in various fabrics or as a module sofa. But of course we have many more special articles made for 2020, with more than 1,500 new products to be launched in the new year, all made with passion.

I wish you all a happy New Year and much enjoyment with your loved ones and your home.

Henk Teunissen

Founder Rivièra Maison