Occupation : Graphic Designer
Location : Antwerp, Belgium
Falling in love with multiple interior spaces per week is just part of the job here at Utility. After all, our customers ,and those who share our love of design classics, often tend to have homes that we come to envy. This is particularly true of Davy Dooms. We've been following Davy's Instagram account for a few years - falling in love with his home again and again, with every post he shares. The bright, minimal space features an array of beautiful design objects from brands such as Vitra, Louis Poulsen, Knoll and Gubi and it's located in Antwerp - it ticks all the boxes.
When we heard that Davy was selling his apartment we (after day dreaming about moving to Belgium) knew that if he was leaving this great space he must have something equally as exciting on the horizon. We decided that now was the perfect time to catch up with the man behind one of our favourite Instagram interiors.
In this edition of our Utility Follows series we chat to Davy about his route into graphic design, his inspirations and his upcoming home renovation project.
Read the full interview below.
You work in graphic design and branding, right? What was behind your decision to pursue a career in design?
"Indeed, I've been working as a graphic designer now for 15 years - that just made me feel a little bit older (but hopefully more experienced). I still remember from my childhood, playing with my old Nintendo console in the 80's and redrawing all the different game levels Mario Bros was jumping through. I think those were the first moments I was influenced by graphics. Can you imagine internet didn't exist back then?
When I was 15 I left a highschool education in Math/economics behind to attend art school. I never stopped drawing so the choice sounded normal, but that wasn't really the done thing. I never had a certain dream of becoming a graphic designer. - it just all happened naturally. In 1997 I visited the Vitra design museum - it was a trip that really kickstarted my chair & interior obsession (haha).
Later I graduated graphic design/typography in college in 2004. It was time for the real life!"
So you clearly have an eye for design. When picking out interior pieces for your home, what are the key considerations?
"When picking out furniture pieces for my home, I see it like making a design layout in my day job. Starting with a blank canvas, choosing and placing a chair in my space, is like choosing the right typography for a layout. It just has to match and feel right. That's why I want to change to a different home now, I want a new challenge, a new layout to create."
Note : The wonderful photos in this piece are from the Antwerp based apartment that Davy currently has listed for sale. You can view the property listing here.
Your apartment is filled with some of our favourite design classic. If you had to choose, which would you say is your favourite piece?
"That would certainly be the Eames Leg Splint. Those were the first experiments of Charles Eames of bending wood to provide help to the injured soldiers during the second world war in 1942. These first tests resulted in new and different bending techniques, which resulted in the moulded plywood objects and chairs we still see in his designs today. The Lounge chair or elephants are good examples of this."
Whether it be in your working life or for your interior choices - Are there any particular people, places or things that you turn to for inspiration?
"I tend to get more inspired by architects or furniture designers than by graphic designers. To me design is just a way of living and everything that is made with love and persistence influences me and my work. To name a few: Alvar Aalto, Ricardo Bofill, Richard Neutra and Dieter Rams.
You're currently planning on moving house. Are there any new furniture or lighting pieces on your wish list for your new home?
"Indeed, in few months I will move to a new place that I can start to make my own. But it will be a huge transformation, as it will be a total renovation.
I don't know what I will do with my Instragram in the meantime, haha. Maybe travel more. But to answer your question. I have my moodboard ready for my new space, and it will be quite different to the interior you are used to seeing on my Instagram.
New interior pieces, materials are of course in my head, but I will not reveal them yet. Keep on eye on @davy_dooms on Instagram to see the whole process over the months, maybe years.
Instagram is a great place for inspiration for myself, but on the other hand it can kill products too. So I tend to not scroll on it that often anymore to find new stuff. For instance, the oh-so-gorgeous Wishbone chair by Hans Wegner, stunning craftsmanship from the 50's. But to me on its way the become the new 'Eames chair', over-used and killed by social exposure. [Let’s hope not!]If you do buy one, please buy an original. Appreciate design classics and not a fake one. Sorry I was venting my concerns I have about Instagram these days."
We're very pleased to share Davy's thoughts on design classics and avoiding replicas.
Finally, a trip to Antwerp has been on our bucket list for quite some time. For those of us who've never been, what's worth visiting? Have you got any favourite stores, coffee shops or sights you'd recommend?
“In Antwerp, everything changes all the time. Which is nice, also for the Antwerp people. New places, stores, and restaurants are popping up on regular basis. It’s great that especially now that Spring has arrived, you are able to discover new places during a city stroll.
A nice new place, not really in the heart of the centre, is Pakt. A hotspot for entrepreneurs, small design agencies, restaurants etc. This place is bringing Brooklyn to Antwerp. Perfect for a summer cocktail or a Friday after work.
A well known hangout is of course the St Vincents concept store. This store has everything Antwerp was waiting for for a long time. Great vibe, nice clothes, off the beaten track interior items and good coffee. And of course some exhibitions from time to time.”
The Apartment Origin
This historic Art Nouveau apartment in a stately mansion originally dates from 1912. Designed by Jos Goeyvaerts, also architect of the Antwerp Fashion Palace, among others. Located within walking distance of Antwerp Central Station and Park Spoor Noord. 10 minutes walk from the Antwerp shopping streets and the historic center. Public underground parking at 150m. A perfect mix between Art Nouveau and Modernism with respect for and preservation of all authentic elements and 3m70 meter high ceilings.
For more details about the apartment and to arrange a viewing / offer, please visit Davy's website here.
Photography Credit: Davy Dooms