Zijlstra started out as a family business specialised in furniture upholstery. Through the years, the company has grown into a leader within the world of luxury residential and superyacht interiors. Although the name Zijlstra is no longer existent among its current employees, Zijlstra Interiors still feels like a close-knit family business.
In 1979, Zijlstra moved his business in Castricum a few blocks further down the road to the Overtoom, where the furniture upholstery and curtain workshop were housed.
1980 was the year in which Zijlstra received its first assignment from Feadship to upholster the outdoor cushions on the 48 meter long superyacht Daria. Different colours of cushions were made for each day of the week.
In addition to working on private residences and hotel assignments, Zijlstra Collection became increasingly involved in the upholstery for luxury yachts. As yacht construction quickly developed, this offered new opportunities. In 1989, Jos Aarts joined the company and worked closely with Theo for many years. Jos focused on the designs for yachts, which ultimately led to large and complex superyacht projects.
During this year, Zijlstra was also commissioned to fabricate the curtains and upholstery for Feadship’s White Rabbit. From this moment on, Zijlstra – in addition to Feadship – became an official supplier for other Dutch superyacht yards such as Heesen Yachts, Jongert, Hakvoort and Amels.
In 1995, Theo decided to move the entire company to the Uitgeesterweg, where the furniture upholstery, the curtain studio and the showroom were brought under one roof. The new location also offered new possibilities for further expansion. The application of different types of floor covering and the production of custom beds were added to the existing services. This way, a total interior package could be offered to clients. This is what still characterises Zijlstra Interiors today.
With the 40-year anniversary of Dutch theme park De Efteling in 1992, the Efteling Hotel was opened. Entire families could now spend the night in one of 20 themed suites based on well-known fairy tales such as Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella and Snow White. Zijlstra contributed to the project with the design and creation of these special hotel rooms.
It was in 1996 when Zijlstra was able to carry out its first major hotel project for the leading NH Hotels Caransa, Schiller and Doelen in Amsterdam. These were projects in which the total package was installed; flooring, curtains, furniture and beds in each room.
In 2002, Zijlstra was given the opportunity to work on the interior for the 62-meter yacht Lady Lola from superyacht builder Oceanco in Alblasserdam. This was an all-encompassing project that included wall and ceiling coverings, furniture, soft and hard floors.
An order from Royal Huisman comes in, which heralds the first ever sailing yacht assignment for Zijlstra. The company provided the upholstering of the outside cushions and ceiling panels of the impressive 90-meter long sailing yacht Athena.
In 2002, Jos Aarts had already become the co-owner of Zijlstra Collection. In 2012, he took over all shares of the Zijlstra family. By this time, the team has expanded to 23 employees.
It’s 2014 when Feadship Savannah is completed. An iconic yacht from a long list of Feadships that Zijlstra was privileged to work on.
The Zijlstra team now consists of 55 enthusiastic employees who work on the most diverse and challenging projects together. Zijlstra Interiors has become an established name in the world of luxury residential and superyacht interiors, within the Netherlands and far beyond.