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Utility Follows : Men's Lifestyle Blogger Tsun Yuen

Utility Follows : Men's Lifestyle Blogger Tsun Yuen

An interview with menswear, lifestyle and travel blogger @tsunyuen

You could follow an Instagram account to inspire a beautifully curated wardrobe, one for elegantly minimal interiors, a third for stunning travel photos and another for food/drink recommendations - or you could just follow @tsunyuen and get it all in one account.

Tsun Yuen, the man behind the Instagram handle was born in Malaysia and has called Canada, Hong Kong and now London his home. He’s a well-travelled gent with a wardrobe full of quality garments and a beautifully curated home that features some of our favourite design classic furniture pieces – but where did it all start?

Our Head of Digital Retail Shaun caught up with Tsun to ask just that – as well as chat about his personal style preferences, favourite brands and take a look at his latest furniture additions, the &Tradition In Between SK12 Dining Table and 265 wall lamp from Flos

Q. Over 12,000 Instagram followers at last count - that’s impressive! Where did it all start for you?

It’s been quite a journey, one that started with sharing a few of my interests on the platform during my downtime from work – namely style and travel.

It was a great outlet for me to explore and reflect a creative side of me that I found lacking from an analytical career in finance. I didn’t know much about photography or blogging at the time because of my background but it was a challenge that led me to finding a community of inspiring and like-minded individuals to share and learn from.

Since then, I’ve been able to hone my photography to better showcase my personal aesthetic and collaborate with brands that have a shared ethos.

I’ve also started a blog at TSUNYUEN.com to incorporate an element of creative writing to supplement the content I share. In all, it has been an incredibly rewarding process that I continue to learn, grow and inspire from.

Q.Your blog ‘about’ section states that your personal style and aesthetic is guided by “mindful minimalism”. How would you define that?

Minimalism comes in many forms but for me it has always been a quality over quantity approach rather than the absence of something. I’m a strong believer of investing in more and buying less and being mindful of the things that I bring into my life.

By applying this approach consistently in what I wear and surround myself with, I’ve been able to simplify and focus my time and effort on the things that actually matter to me.

Q. Everybody has their own style journey and we pick up inspiration as we go. Have there been any places, publications or people that have had a real influence on your style?

Absolutely and I’ve been very lucky to meet a few of the people I draw inspiration from.

I’m a big fan of Rosa Park’s writing and her curation of Cereal Magazine, Danish-based photographer Ruben Hughes, and more recently, the UK launch of Design Anthology for design-oriented travel and interiors. A few more I would highly recommend checking out are @renee_kemps, @jaana_n, @design_hotels, @fredrikrisvik and @mressentialist.

Q. We spoke to Wouter Kaan a few months back and he mentioned that his interior and personal style are quite similar in that they both focus on well-made essentials. Would you say the same is true for you? You definitely seem to focus on quality and craftsmanship in the items you purchase.

Very much so. I had the opportunity to meet Wouter in London late last summer and we share very similar values in what we look for in our essentials.

Quality and craftsmanship are certainly key components, but so are beautiful and timeless designs that hold their value. These factors play an important part in my decision making and I’ve always said, ‘buy more with less’. It’s a philosophy that has allowed me to live a relatively minimal mindset in an age of rampant consumerism.

I’ve thrown away less and less each year and instead, have been able to sell on or reuse an item more often because I spent more time and thought into making an informed purchase. It really does get me thinking about what is truly an essential and what is not.

Q. You’re starting to amass quite a collection of beautiful furniture & lighting designs. What has been your favourite purchase in the last 12 months and what’s currently on your interior wishlist?

I have to say it would be my Flos 265 lamp currently hanging over my dining room thanks to Utility Design.

I recently came across this gorgeous piece during my dreamy stay at the Palazzo Daniele in Puglia. My partner and I had quite a few fond meals underneath its soft glow and I simply fell in love with its versatility and timeless design. It’s a big statement piece that makes use of my high ceilings at home and in a way, serves as a very practical souvenir.

I’m sure that we will have many more enjoyable close gatherings with it for the years to come. On the wishlist are a set of oak CH24 dining chairs by Carl Hansen and a plinth marble coffee table by MENU that I’ve had my eye on since my visit to Copenhagen last year.

Q. You currently have Instagram story highlights for Puglia, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Hong Kong, Milan, Bodrum, Porto, Antwerp, Tokyo and Iceland. Which destination left the biggest impression on you and what’s the next travel highlight going to be?

Tokyo by far left the biggest impression. The beauty of Japanese design, diversity of world-class food and its distinct subcultures within the city combined into an experience I remember all so vividly.

I consider myself to be fairly familiar with Asian culture, having lived in both Hong Kong and Malaysia, but Japan felt refreshingly different. The art of Japanese minimalism was something that I really resonated with, most so during our stay at Hoshinoya, Tokyo. A ryokan in the heart of the city, it was a week of design and cultural bliss where tasteful modernism blended seamlessly with authentic Japanese hospitality – I can’t recommend this place enough.

As for the next travel highlight, I’m not really sure in light of recent events. Something is in the air so instead, I’ll be reading a few travel books and publications for inspiration while things settle down.

Okay, quick-fire round:

Q. Favourite coffee shop in London?

Q. Best meal you’ve had this year?
Oh, this is a tough one, I’m going to say it’s a tie-breaker between Ikoyi, and Davies and Brook.

Q. Favourite city break destination?
Tokyo, Japan.

Q. Last TV series you binge-watched?
Fleabag and it’s absolutely comedy gold.

Q. Dream interior purchase?
Carl Hansen CH25 lounge chair finished in soaped oak.

If you'd like to follow Tsun's design journey you can do so over on his Instagram account and blog.

Time for more? Utility Follows Davy Dooms |  | Utility Follows Charlotte Sintrat Utility Follows Amy Menton | Utility Follows Wouter Kaan

Photography Credit: Tsun Yuen

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