It was a mystery Haus, almost, at this year’s IMM Cologne. Hidden from the rest of the fair by curtains in a camouflage pattern, Studio Truly Truly created an abode where boundaries between the common spaces were blurred. Instead of creating a dedicated seating area, Kate and Joel Booy spread many throughout the installation’s four designated spaces: Serene, Reclusive, Active and Reclining. ‘It’s not its functions that characterize a room, but rather its atmosphere,’ Joel explained.

Here are some observations from our visit to their vision for Das Haus.

This year’s Das Haus is inspired by the way Kate and Joel live in their house in Rotterdam – their apartment in the attic barely occupies one fourth of the total space. People are surprised to see the way they live: as the couple are both graphic designers, visitors expect a cleaner and simple design. But they enjoy comfort and flexibility, so no room has a fixed function – instead, every space is quite flexible in its use.

Some people argue that the kitchen will disappear, as people in the city will eat outside and don’t have time or are in the mood to cook – but Truly Truly disagrees with that. For Joel, the kitchen is the most important space in the house, as he loves to cook for friends. The Australian duo wanted to create a kitchen that isn’t only a kitchen, but also a place where you can sit, relax and have some wine.

It’s not immediately evident, but Das Haus is designed with the eye of graphic designers. The specific heights of the separate components are very important to them – for example, the kitchen tops are on the same height level, and by playing with these lines they become a graphic play element.

Textiles and tactility are very important to them. The Booys combined different materials and objects to urge visitors to get excited and touch the product. ‘Some people questioned the steel kitchen top, as it’s not the typical warm and inviting material, but for us it’s all about the combination,’ stated Joel.

Speaking of touching the product, the standout in the installation is a new green pouf, so low that it invites visitors to interact with it in a different way.

Joel is not allowed to work from home. ‘I’d love to, but it’s important for Kate that as we work and live together, home should be a place where we can switch off,’ he explained. So maybe he wickedly got his ideal home here: in Das Haus, due to the spatial flexibility, you can even work in the kitchen.