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about us


Living and livable outdoor spaces, that’s what designs by Studio TOOP are all about. Our gardens are full of plant life and wildlife, but also – and most importantly – they are full of your life.

 

Carrie Preston

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At an age when most people absorb pop culture, Carrie Preston was obsessed with plants. At 14 she took a job at a nursery. For six years she worked full-time during summers and 20 hours a week during the school year – deadheading and sorting plants; telling customers that if they wanted daisies on the beach, Montauks were the way to go. She helped design the display beds and learned to propagate. By 16, she was placing the orders for and helping manage the perennial section.

Plants became her native language. The lush dune grasses and raw industrial grit of New Jersey – her native landscape, with its no-nonsense grunginess and natural exuberance – still informs her work today.

She studied Horticulture and Sustainable Agriculture at Delaware Valley College in Pennsylvania, followed by a series of internships ranging from tapping maple syrup in Vermont to growing passionfruit in Queensland, Australia and finally an internship in the Netherlands. It was meant to be temporary, but she’s still here 18 years later.

Establishing her career in the Netherlands taught her to appreciate the power of 10 centimeters and the makeability of landscape. It placed her right at the heart of some of the most exciting developments in landscape design. The world-leading nursery industry gave her an unparalleled opportunity to experiment with a wide variety of plants and planting design. She is among the first generation to be brought up with the Dutch Wave.

Carrie is regularly invited to speak about garden design internationally. Her work is featured frequently in leading magazines and blogs, both in the Netherlands and abroad. She brings to her work the confident clarity born of more than 25 years of experience in working with this medium. Highly perceptive to structure, integrity and specificity, she has built up a strong reputation as an astute designer who leaves her ego at the door, focusing instead on pragmatic elegance, the joy of comfort, the beauty and honesty of the natural world.

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Tess Krus

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Descending from generations of cobblers, Tess Krüs has a palpable love of technique, detail and materials. While she had a highly international childhood, a visual approach to the world around her remained a fixture in her life. One of Tess’ first memories is using Q tips to blur pencil drawings in Nigeria.

She studied graphic design at the Media & Design Academy in Genk, Belgium before embarking on a career in retail design spanning almost 30 years, both in the UK and the Netherlands. In this setting, she developed modular systems and found pleasure in adapting concepts to fit the constraints of budget and context, finding the beauty in economy, making grand ideas feasible.

Tess joined Studio TOOP in 2008. She is a master in creating visualisations and technical drawings in a wide range of styles. Her patient, inventive precision is indispensable in bringing the designs to practical life, while her joy in craftsmanship and texture beautifully fits with TOOP’s aesthetic.

She is a silkscreen artist and also enjoys bookbinding and leatherwork. You can find some of her work on smeltkrus.com.