Amsterdam design atelier Studio DeSimoneWayland specializes in museum-quality ceramics and wallpapers inspired by the legacy of Delft artistry and the coastal landscapes of old Europe. Every design tells a story that is at once historical and contemporary.
The atelier comprises American Bruce Wayland and Italian Marcello De Simone. Wayland held an interest in design throughout his studies in art history and during his career as a chef and relocated from New York City to Amsterdam in 2007 to pursue his passion. In 2009, he met De Simone who at the time was working as a menswear designer. Sharing affinities for fine art and art history, the two joined forces in 2010 to establish Little Owl Design. Their first project was Altered Perspectives (2012), a series of transferware plates combined with fine art oil on canvas paintings. This approach remains a paragon of the collective’s historically-tinged juxtapositions of texture, materials, and imagery.
Other standout projects include the duo’s first wallpaper collection Dutch Sky (2014), which features their own Holland-sourced photographs layered with details of clouds taken from antique Dutch etchings; and the From a Different Cloth (2015) ceramics collection, a collaboration with ceramist Pauline Wiertz, presented at Ventura Lambrate 2015, in which the disparate mediums of fabric and ceramics are married in plates ingeniously cast with textiles.
To date, their work adorns a number of stylish estates, showrooms, and hotels, including Hamburg’s newly opened Tortue Hotel (2018), whose 126 rooms feature customized versions of their Morning Glory and Night Sky wallpapers. Among other notable macro-scale projects are wallpaper and art pieces for Tokyo-based Weekend MaxMara’s various boutiques (2013-2015); redwood-inspired wall art for Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa in Anaheim, CA (2017); and a custom, white-porcelain spinoff of From a Different Cloth for showcase in Plain English UK’s Manhattan showroom (2018).