Nienkämper’s 50th

Many of the brightest stars in the Toronto A&D firmament glittered at Nienkämper’s golden jubilee party,
held across the street from Nienkämper’s King Street East showroom, on the 17th-floor party room of the
Globe and Mail Centre. On the lineup for Klaus’s book signing, Stella McTernan, of her eponymous interior
design firm, reminisced about her days as a junior designer at Rice Brydone while specifying furniture for Petrocan
headquarters in Calgary (now the Suncor Centre), completed in 1984. “The client asked why so much
furniture was being ordered from just one firm, a Toronto company called Nienkämper,” McTernan recalled.
She replied, “Because they make the best furniture”—and they still do.

Photo credit: David Lasker

Klaus Nienkämper Jr., president of the Klaus by Nienkämper retail store on King Street East, with his six-year-old twins, Otto and Oliver.
Toronto-born design superstar Karim Rashid, wearing his trademark whites, and Klaus Nienkämper raise a toast after giving brief speeches.
Kevin Karst, creator of Nienkämper’s Karst side-table series and designer and builder of custom cabinetry and furniture; and his wife, Gal Vanstone, associate professor and coordinator, Culture and Expression, York University; flank furniture design development consultant Tom David of Ekte-Stil (“True Style” in Norwegian), who managed Nienkämper’s seating division from 2005 to 2015; and David’s wife, Julie, payroll admin at retail installations manufacturer Somerville.
Pirkko Shalden, president of her eponymous HR consultancy and widow of Dean Shalden, the former long-time Canadian Interiors editor and side-table designer for Nienkämper; and Tracy Bowie, the recently retired former czarina of IIDEX, now a consultant to Interior Designers of Canada.
From interior design firm Bullock+Wood Design: Donna Wood, president; Paula Santos, director, marketing and admin; Angela Kisielewski, project designer; Jacquie Claassen, design director; and Zinnia Bookwala, project designer.
Angie Fletcher, acrylic artist, and her industrial designer husband, Lee. He and mechanical engineer Terry Woodside are partners at industrial design firm Fig40, designers of the Best of Canada Award-winning Perplex Bench (which Nienkämper now carries).
Beatrix Nienkämper, wife of Klaus, who was proprietor of the family leather accessories boutique on Davenport Road back in the day, flanked by their daughters Rebecca and Ottilie, who handle the family firm’s media relations and marketing, respectively.
Canadian Interiors editor Peter Sobchak with Klaus at the book-signing table, where each Nienkämper-branded goodie bag held a copy, hot off the press, of Nienkämper: 50 Years of Excellence from Design to Delivery.