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“Stefan is really good at the big picture. I’m good at the details,” says Carole Baijings of her design partnership with Stefan Scholten, which grew out of the Dutch couple’s relationship. Though she is self-educated and Stefan studied at the Design Academy Eindhoven, “as our lives came together, working together was a natural progression, ” Carole says.

Now, more than 10 years later, Scholten & Baijings’ light-filled studio overlooks Amsterdam’s harbor and their work, with its unusual color choices and layered gradations of tone, is instantly recognizable. Collaborating with a who’s who of illustrious contemporary brands worldwide, from Hay in Denmark to Karimoku New Standard in Japan, their product range includes textiles, glass and furniture. “We work more like artists,” Carole says. “We start with materials and colors and then try to create a shape or a design. It’s a different approach than starting with a word or a concept or an idea.”