Washington Life Magazine

Washington Life Magazine

PROFILE : CHRISTOPHER REITER

Born to Austrian parents, Christopher Reiter graduated from San Diego State University with a degree in finance. His real education, however, came from the vast amount of time he and his friends spent pouring through hundreds of vintage items at San Diego's immense selection of swap meets, which are massive flea markets. Little did he know his weekend hobby would become his passion. In the mid-90's, Reiter quit his fund manager position in San Francisco and moved to Jakarta, Indonesia, where he eventually opened a home design boutique selling teak wood furniture.

Four years later, Reiter moved to Washington and opened Muleh, selling furniture, men's and women's clothing and artwork at locations in Bethesda and on 14th Street, N.W. Muleh's style is a mix of warm Asian design and western fashion, interpreted through clean lines and warm organic textures. These textures are integral to the materials, which include recycled teak, abaca rope and rattan.

Muleh is Javanese and means to “come home.” What made you decide to make D.C. your home?
D.C. had a very international demographic, but a conservative image. I wanted to do something different in a city that wasn't used to it.

What do you miss most about Jakarta?
I miss the tropics, and the gentile nature of Indonesians. They are a kind and generous people. I also miss the controlled chaos that exists there. There is always so much going on, but somehow it works.

What is the difference between contemporary and modern interior design?
Modern design has longevity— it is timeless. Contemporary speaks in more trendy terms.

What is the piece of furniture in your home that you most value?
My bed. It is one of the first pieces I bought in Indonesia. It is a hand carved canopy bed made of recycled teak. I feel like a raj king in it.

Where do you shop for your clothing lines?
Primarily in Europe— Denmark, London, Italy, Turkey. It fits with the image I want to project. Most importantly, I look at style first, label second.

How would you describe your ultimate vacation?
There are three different types of vacations that I take. Cultural, such as touring temples in Laos; relaxation, like heading to the beaches of Bali; and somewhere in between the two, such as a trip to London.

What is something that people generally don't know about you?
I did some amateur auto racing with Porsche and Alpha Romeo race prep cars. Where would you like to travel to that you've never been? China, specifically Shanghai. I love the way East meets West there, especially in the architecture.

What's your favorite romantic restaurant?
My kitchen.

How would you describe your personal wardrobe style?
Perfectly messy, and my lifestyle is controlled chaos.

[PROFILE] : CHRISTOPHER REITER Christopher was photographed sitting in the Croissant Easy Chair from Muleh, $1,750, www.muleh.com.

Styling by Patricia Martinez
Photo by Douglas Sonders



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