Interview | Peter Schönhofen Founder of KARE Design
If you’ve spent any time reading this blog, then you know that not only do we love KARE Design but that Rapport Furniture is the only showroom in the country where you can find their products.
That’s why we were so excited when Peter Schönhofen, one of KARE’s founders, was able to visit us in our Los Angeles showroom and sit down with Rapport’s owner, Peter Skaaning, for an interview hosted by Los Angeles Interior Designer Victoria Reitz.
Victoria Reitz: Why did you decide to make Rapport Furniture the exclusive home for KARE in the United States?
Peter Skaaning: We travel to international furniture shows all over the world, from Milan to Shanghai to Copenhagen, and a couple of years back we went to the Cologne show, which is one of the biggest in the world, and we saw some blue lights and heard loud music and we said, “Wow, we better check this out.”
And as soon as we walked in, we were really sold on KARE’s whole concept. They were happy people, smiley people. There were crazy colors. There was good music and there was a good vibe in the showroom. And we said, my brother and I, “we got to have this, we got to have this.” So that's how it all started, really. And trust me, we have seen a lot of furniture over the last 30 years. So this was a breath of fresh air and exactly what we needed.
Victoria Reitz: What do you think is the difference between KARE and other designers?
Peter Schönhofen: Customers come to us because they say it's different from what they see in other furniture stores. They get a new inspiration from it, a new feeling. And even if they cannot buy a new dining table every day or a new sofa, they can change the decor. They can put our art on their walls or put something exciting on a table.
Victoria Reitz: We love your accessories and artwork.
Peter Schönhofen: You know, the world is boring and average, and therefore we say, let's do it a little bit outstanding, but affordable.
Peter Skaaning: The artwork was something that we gravitated to immediately at the shows and we could see that this was unbelievable value for the money because most people can’t afford to put a Monet or Picasso on the wall. But with KARE, they can have something gorgeous hanging on the wall for $299 or $399. Everybody can enjoy that and that can change the room.
Victoria Reitz: Considering the quality of the furniture and art, the prices are really fantastic. How are you able to keep everything at such a reasonable price point?
Peter Schönhofen: We say, okay, we don't need to make a profit on a single chair or on a single sofa. We have a community of 125 stores and they demand quantities and these quantities allow a lot of savings in production and in transport. Even with transport being a little chaotic these days, it gives us the advantage of giving these price points directly to the customer. Sometimes people say it's unbelievable how low the prices are for the quality, and we are proud of it because that’s been one of the secrets of our brand from the very beginning.
Victoria Reitz: Do you have a favorite line from KARE?
Peter Skaaning: Yes. I consider myself a little bit of a rock star. Classic Rock and all that good stuff, that's my type of deal. I like the mirrors, the polished stainless steel, the glass. I love it. But we have grown to like a lot of it. I like gold now. We have a lot of gold, warmer colors. We like Osaka, so it's endless.
Victoria Reitz: And all of the wood you use in your products is sustainable, correct?
Peter Schönhofen: Yes, it is. We are always for sustainability. That means we are not the one who says buy and change, buy and change. We believe in making quality furniture that you will keep for a long time and when you’re done with it, you can resell it to someone else.
Victoria Reitz: What’s something exciting we can look forward to from KARE in the coming year?
Peter Schönhofen: Augmented reality. You will be able to use your iPhone and you can look at a sofa or chair from our website and you can put it in your room before you buy it or bring it home to see whether it fits and if the dimensions are good and if you actually like it. You can try out different sofas or different paintings on your wall and see how they will look in your house, all through your phone.
Peter Skaaning: That will be a huge help for the interior designer community and the architects that we work with. We have done a handful of projects, bigger projects with a lot of KARE items and it's so much easier to see the products in the space before it's actually purchased. Same with the commercial projects we're doing. KARE is doing hotels and restaurants and that type of thing. We have done a handful of restaurants, sushi bars. You can see the perfect scale and the perfect fit and know that everything will come together perfectly. And you’re not afraid of the quality because the quality has always been there. We stand behind the product and so do they for sure.
KARE Design can be found at Rapport Furniture in our showrooms in Los Angeles and Rancho Mirage.
To learn more about KARE Design please visit https://www.kare-design.com/us/en/
To learn more about Victoria Reitz and her Interior Design services please visit https://victoriareitz.com/