LET THERE BE LIGHT! MARTIJN FROM BLOM & BLOM

Martijn co-founded Blom & Blom with his brother.

They both “share a passion for forgotten items from forgotten places” which is why Blom & Blom’s remit is discovering, restoring and redesigning abandoned lighting and furniture. We spoke to Martijn to find out more.

Who are you and what do you do?
I’m Martijn Blom and I’m one of the co-founders of Blom & Blom. I set it up with my brother four years ago. We started collecting and restoring old industrial lights and we really loved the fact that they all have a story behind them.

We collect most of our lights from East Germany and then we restore them in our workshop in the Netherlands. With every lamp that we give new light to, we provide what we call a passport which is a small booklet that describes the story, where it was hung, how we found it etc. So when someone buys a lamp from us, they know they aren’t just buying any old lamp, there’s a whole story attached.

What’s your process?
First we find a location, we try and track down the owners to see what deal we can make with them – either money or publicity of some sort or maybe just trade. For us it’s really hard to find the right people as these places are abandoned – but this is actually how we find the interesting stories. We’ve come across some amazing, talented and weird people. It’s almost like an adventure, like going on a hunt and seeing what you come back with.

How did Blom & Blom start?
We often joke that Blom & Blom is a product of a hobby that got out of control. My brother was living in Berlin. He had set up a digital agency with some friends, which meant he worked 9-5 and sat behind a desk when he’s always been more of an outdoors guy – plus he’s a photographer. So in his spare time, he would go out to abandoned factories around Berlin and take photos. The environment really inspired him and he noticed how many really cool things you can find lying around deemed as junk. He realised in a different context you could create something really cool – and that’s what he did. He took a lamp, restored it for himself and got good feedback.

How does it run?
We have a set collection that constantly evolves which is mostly on our website. When we started we decided only to work online because we knew this was a very niche concept and we wanted to think of the world as our market. 



Now, however, some of it is also available in-store where we hold mostly unrestored items. We do also get walk-ins where clients will want something bespoke or a bulk order – we always sit down with them and explore possibilities. 

What’s next?
Next we’re slowly moving towards creating lamps from materials that are generally considered discarded or deemed unusable. We love the challenge of doing something with it and we’re not talking used drinks cans but things that are not commonly seen as building material. This way we aren’t bounded by what we find and we can also get more creative with our collections. We’ve found so much inspiration in lights over the last three years that we’ve got plenty of ideas for other lighting that we could create.

For us this is really the beginning, we started with these original lights and now we are experimenting and trying new things. We really have the urge to create more things, for the next few years we really have to focus on that. We will also be working on custom designs for architects – as long as we get the same satisfaction.

Here are some of Martijn’s favourite spots in Amsterdam — click on each place for more information
 

Generator Amsterdam Awaits