Happiness with style - Süddeutsche Zeitung

The living magazine of The “Süddeutschen Zeitung”

Leather, wood and a whole lot of clarity: The house of fashion entrepreneur Markus Meindl
Leather is a wonderful material! Everyone should sit naked on a leather sofa once. After that there’s no questions anymore!” – Markus Meindl
Fashion entrepreneur Markus Meindl had the idea of launching his own furniture collection while building his house. The corpus delicti that started it all is still in the living room today: the sofa. More precisely, the Triple Lounge Chair – three-seater, deerskin, soft, comfortable, pure nature, to sink into. “I was looking for a sofa for this room and didn’t find anything suitable,” the 51-year-old recalls. “That’s when I decided: I’ll design my own sofa!” That was ten years ago now. Because that’s exactly how old the family home in the Rupertiwinkel region of Upper Bavaria on the Austrian border is. Markus Meindl lives here with his wife Daniela and their three children.
The two-story low-rise building radiates modernity thanks to exposed concrete and glass, but also breathes tradition through wood and leather. As with his fashion, Markus Meindl’s house is all about combining quality and old values with new ideas and originality. Wife Daniela adds with a laugh: “Fortunately, we have pretty much the same taste. It’s never happened that one of us has had to veto a design or a piece of furniture.”
For over 20 years, Markus Meindl has been running Meindl Bekleidung GmbH together with his father Hannes. That it is exclusively about traditional costumes is a prejudice. Because the collections include much more than the well-known lederhosen. Markus Meindl designs fashion for the “mountain city dweller”. He invented the term himself. Because most city dwellers these days have moved from the countryside, they know life in both worlds. The countryside today is neither stale, nor is the city rootless. Accordingly, this timeless look is aimed at all those who combine confidently. Pants, vests, jackets. Dresses. Earthy, down-to-earth, yet future-oriented. Practical, innovative, close to home and at the same time cosmopolitan. “I always say: the pants don’t yodel, and the sofa doesn’t yodel either,” manifests the host. And it is true: Nothing yodels at all in the approximately 600 square meters of living space. Nothing seems old-fashioned or stuffy. The house, which was tailor-made for the family according to Markus Meindl’s plans, convinces with warmth and coziness, but also with its clear aesthetics. Almost all rooms pay subtle homage to the natural material leather. Ob als Wandpaneel, als Verkleidung von Säulen und Treppenabgängen, immer wieder unterstreicht es lautlos das schmückende Kiefernholz der Deckenelemente, die robusten Eichendielen, die klaren Panoramafenster. Entstanden ist das Haus auf einem alten Brauereigelände. Die Ruinen moderten hier jahrelang vor sich hin.
But Markus Meindl recognized the potential immediately and built his dream house here. Today it still stands on the old vaulted cellars of the brewery. The furnishings underscore the building’s fabric. Old farm cabinets and chests alternate with modern, simple metal lamps and console tables. Sofas and armchairs are from the company’s own collection. This now includes several lines of seating furniture, blankets or rugs made of lambskin and, of course, leather. This comes, among other things, from the Czech Republic and is processed by craftsmen in Hungary high quality. In addition to the standard sizes, customers can also have the sofas custom-made. Since Markus Meindl also likes to break new ground when it comes to interiors, he has now entered into a cooperation with the furniture store Kare. The chain will be launching a Meindl line starting in December. In his own house, eclectic pieces come together to form a harmonious whole. Daniela Meindl likes to go to antique markets, where she always discovers original one-of-a-kind pieces, has old chests of drawers refurbished or armchairs reupholstered: “Again and again I think, everything is full now. But then there’s always room for a special piece of jewelry,” she says. She’s right. The house doesn’t look cluttered at any point. The colors in the house are muted, with a check pattern adding an accent here and there.
On the top floor are the bedrooms of the family, together with the bathrooms. The living rooms are located on the first floor. To the living room opens the kitchen, where wood also plays the main role. Since the family likes to receive guests, in addition to the normal family dining table, there is a long wooden table with 22 seats. This is actually on the terrace. But then not quite – this used to be a terrace located between the main house and the guest house. But a year and a half ago, the Meindls decided to merge the two houses. So the terrace became a meter-long connecting salon with sitting areas, warm wooden floors and a glass façade overlooking the magnificent garden. This salon now acts as a centerpiece and is proof that a house is never finished, that on the contrary it lives – also and above all from change.