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Utility Follows : Wouter Kaan

Wouter Kaan

Occupation : Graphic Designer
Location : Rotterdam, Netherlands

Everyone has their own journey with design and we often come across people at different stages of theirs. When we started following Wouter Kaan on Instagram back in 2015 we did so because we loved his style. His wardrobe was (and still is) made up of timeless essentials with a focus on design & quality rather than following trends. Wouter, a graphic designer by trade, had a clear eye for design and we were excited to see where his design journey would take him.

Having just moved into a new home, the Rotterdam native's appreciation of well made, timeless items has extended from his wardrobe to his home, seeing him make a string of incredibly considered investments - a move that shows a clear evolution / step forward in his own personal design journey.

In this edition of our Utility Follows series we chat to Wouter about his new home, the pieces he's added so far and just why buying an original design is so important to him.

Read the full interview below.

Photo Credit : Wouter Kaan

Photo Credit : Wouter Kaan

Original design and craftsmanship is not something that can be compromised.
- Wouter Kaan

You recently moved into a new home (it’s looking great by the way) and have already purchased some amazing interior pieces. Why did you choose to buy authentic originals like the Vitra Eames LCW instead of maybe a cheaper item or replica?

I've wanted to move for a long time. To have a space where I can place a lounge chair and have it not look cramped has been a dream for a while. I got very lucky and found a spacious apartment in one of, in my opinion, the nicest neighbourhoods of Rotterdam.

I thought a lot about the pieces I wanted to place in my home, did a lot of research and I completely fell in love with the classics; designers like Eames and Aalto etc who I really admire. People who know me well, know that I’m really about essentials - the perfect white sneakers, the perfect black trousers etc. I really like to see my home as a blank canvas and the quality essentials are the main point of the interior. And I'd rather buy a bit less and invest in the best... I’m not so fond of the mindset of buying replica’s etc. Original design and craftsmanship is not something that can be compromised.

Photo Credit : Wouter Kaan

Photo Credit : Wouter Kaan

Everything in your home is beautiful but do you have a favourite item? What interior items (if any) are currently on your wishlist?

Right now I think my favourite piece is the Vitra Eames LCW, wanted that piece for a long time and I’m really glad I could get it, it was the first thing I bought when I had a ‘go' on the house.

I’m still not done with dressing the house (will I ever be? ?) but right now I’m looking for a nice TV stand/sideboard to replace the Ikea KALLAX - it's seemed impossible, but I've found out that Tylko makes perfect ones, so I think that is the next thing on the wish list.

Ah yes, I know Oliver Hooson swears by Tylko. We look forward to seeing what you add to the place.

Photo Credit : Wouter Kaan

Photo Credit : Wouter Kaan

In terms of aesthetics, how would you describe your home interior style compared to your taste in clothing? They both seem to focus on simple yet well designed pieces.

As I mentioned earlier I really like essentials, just things that you don’t have to think about and that always work. So I think it is rather simple and clean. Tones like wood/earth, black and white is what you see in both my interior and wardrobe. It just always works and it can stand the time.

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?

Photo Credit : Wouter Kaan

Photo Credit : Wouter Kaan

For my main job I’m a Graphic Designer so I’m always busy with design and sucking up inspiration. I do get a lot of inspiration from fellow designers and content creators and from people I know personally. Just to mention some friends that I get to know via Instagram and I get inspiration from are: @olvh, @fredrikrisvik @tibods @davydooms some more for fashion and some more for interior design. But they’re all more than worth giving a follow.

It's funny you say that - we recently caught up with Davy. We're big fans of all four of those guys too!

Photo Credit : Wouter Kaan

Photo Credit : Wouter Kaan

Lastly, if we’re taking a trip to Rotterdam, is there anywhere to eat/ drink/ see you’d recommend we check out?

That’s a good question. I’m happy to say that fine spots are popping up a lot lately in Rotterdam. For some coffee, places like @harvestcoffeebrewers, @manmetbrilkoffie (which are my neighbours ;)) are worth checking out. And for some beers, the Witte de With area has a ton of places with fine beers, wines and food. There’s a big chance that you’ll find me there with some friends ;)

Thanks for the tips. We'd love to visit the city. Perhaps we'll see you around Witte de With for a beer - it'd be nice to see what other pieces you've added to your home at that stage.

If you'd like to follow Wouter's design journey you can do so over on his Instagram account here. We can't wait to see what he adds to his flat next.

Time for more? Utility Follows Davy DoomsUtility Follows Allan Torp Utility Follows Abi Dare

Photography Credit: Wouter Kaan

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