On the 8th of June 1929, Trees was born as the first daughter of Ernst Kaars Sijpesteijn, the son and grandson of the founders of de Nederlandsche Linoleumfabriek - the Dutch Linoleum factory. Trees studied English literature at the University of Amsterdam for two years. After her marriage to the renowned Dutch architect Jan Verster she dedicated herself to her family. For 40 years Trees lived in Ouderkerk aan de Amstel in a beautiful villa, designed by her husband, situated along the river Amstel. Currently Trees is living in Haarlem.
Digna Verster, born in 1997 in Amsterdam, is the granddaughter of Trees Verster. She studied Law at Utrecht University as well as at the Queen Mary University of London. After earning her bachelor’s degree in 2019, Digna moved to Milan to follow a business course in Sustainable Fashion. In Geneva she worked for the United Nations on a project to ensure traceability and transparency in supply chains in the fashion industry. She is currently preparing for the next steps in her career.
In 1898 Pieter Hendrik Kaars Sijpesteijn signed an agreement with Frederick Walton, the Scottish inventor of Linoleum, to obtain the rights for the production of Linoleum in the Netherlands. In 1899 Pieter Hendrik founded ‘de Nederlandsche Linoleumfabriek’, NLF, in Krommenie together with his two sons Willem and Pieter Hendrik junior. In 1927 Ernst and his cousin Jan became directors of the NLF. In the early 20th century the ‘NLF’ changed their name into Linoleum Krommenie and later on, in 1968, it changed again and got their now well- known name Forbo.
In the Summer of 2019 Digna Verster introduced us to her grandmother, daughter of Ernst Kaars Sijpesteijn. This meeting was the beginning of an inspiring series of conversations in which Trees shared with us her childhood memories of her father Ernst, her grandfather Pieter Hendrik and of her visits to the old linoleum factory in Krommenie. We showed Trees and Digna a historic collection book dating back to 1935 and our most recent Marmoleum collection book which was launched in 2019 and asked them about their opinion.
Trees Verster and Digna Verster
Gal Keshet | directing, filming and editing
Simone de Vries | consultancy
Gena Haensel | translation
Frank Hoogveld | drone footage
The following photographers and designers are credited for the photos used in this film:
Matthias Groppe, Rene Mesman, Studio Daphna Laurens, Phil Procter, Ronald Smits, Studio Maarten Kolk & Guus Kusters, Herman de Winter/Studio de Winter, Chikako Harada, Bodil Bergqvist, White Arkitekter AB, Floor Knaapen, Monique van der Reijden, @trendcompass.nl @eigenhuiseninterieur, Hemmo Honkkonen, Kristoffer Heikkinen, and Thomas Eurlings.