INSIGHTS_ Reinaart Vandersloten

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Reinaart Vandersloten and I met during our architecture studies, but we only started talking when we were both at Interieur Kortrijk. At the time, I was an intern with Baroness O., while he was there to present his Space+ design, a multifunctional wall object that I was really impressed with. His beautiful design already implied that Reinaart had good taste, but I was still surprised when I first entered his apartment, which was filled with beautiful vintage design and interesting details. “Everthing you see has a story or a meaning.” Reinaart said, “It doesn’t exactly come together easily, as I’ll never just go to Ikea to buy a few lamps, but it’s a work in progress.” It might be a work in progress, but I just had to ask him to share his home in the Insights series.

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After his architecture studies in Leuven, Reinaart ventured into furniture design with a study at VOMO in Mechelen. Instead of moving to Mechelen, he decided to move to Antwerp. Mechelen and Antwerp are only separated by a 20 minute train ride and Reinaart already knew the city quite well, so Antwerp felt like the right choice. “Like Brussels, this city is a metropolis and a lot of things are happening here. I believe the future for design and architecture takes place in Antwerp.”

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Reinaart found this apartment online and said “yes” before even seeing it in real life. After living in a studio during his student years and sharing an apartment with his now ex-girlfriend at the Troonplaats in Antwerp, Reinaart had been looking for his own apartment for quite a while. His demands were a more central location and thick walls, to avoid neighbors complaining about loud music. The long search process had left him slightly desperate, so he instantly said yes when he came across photos of this apartment. “Afterwards, I found some photos of another apartment in the same building, that looked quite horrible. I wondered if I had just been fooled by good photography and some photoshop, but luckily the apartment turned out to look exactly as it did in the pictures.”

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This concrete building from the sixties has a lot of nice elements, like huge windows, pretty tiles and a balcony, and in addition it is quite affordable as well. He’s been living here since January and really enjoys having the place to himself. Being able to come home whenever he wants, decorate the place exactly as he likes and no one complaining when he makes a mess are what he appreciates the most now that he is living on his own.

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However, when I asked him what makes him feel at home in a building, he said “When I was living together with my family or my ex-girlfriend, they were the ones that made it feel like a home. Now that I am living alone, it’s a different story and it has taken a little more time.” Without flatmates or pets to share the space with, filling it up with plants to add some life, is an absolute necessity for Reinaart. Not only because of their beauty, but also because he enjoys taking care of them.

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Another thing that makes him feel at home, is surrounding himself with objects, furniture and art that have a story or a memory. Especially when those items are arranged into a certain composition, which becomes a memorable image of its own. One example is the cupboard where his record player is placed, flanked by the speakers and topped by work of his favorite artist, Louis Reith.

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He sees his interior as part of his furniture studies: researching the designers, getting to know their work and seeing the designs up close every day helps him evolve as a designer himself. Most pieces were found on Dutch second hand websites, which means he made a lot of memorable road trips to the Netherlands to pick them up.

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Of course he also made a few things himself, like the desk against the wall. The table top consists out of several doors and functioned as the dj table during his Existenz week. After the project week, he gave it an even finish and now it functions as an interesting table in his living room.

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And then there’s of course Space+, a visual and acoustic room divider, writing desk, pinboard and decorative shelf made out of brass and felt. Inspired by Japanese origami techniques, Reinaart designed it for his former studio, which he saw as a blank canvas for his furniture experiments. There, Space+ functioned as a divider between the living room and bed, while here, in a different context, it has a different function. As there are already two desks present in his living room, there’s no need for another one, but Reinaart uses Space+ to create a more confined music corner. The design functions as a laptop stand, and allows him to work on future music projects, where he combines guitar and electronics.

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This apartment is less of an experiment than his previous studio, but there are still some things that he would like to change. Affordable and beautiful lamps seem to be hard to find and thus Reinaart is thinking about making one himself, inspired by the art of Miró. He would also like to add layer of felt or cork to a wall, to turn it into a giant pinboard. The interior of his apartment is an ongoing process, that’s for sure and he finds the ability to experiment and move items around in his home essential. “I really enjoy having a flexible interior.  While I can use one table as a desk or dining table and the other one as a stand for decoration, I can also push them together to create one giant dinner table when I have visitors, or I can move both to the side when I want to work on my bike in the middle of the living room.”

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It’s a dream of Reinaart to build his own home in a few years. “It would be strange to be an architect and not to feel the desire to take that risk, right?” Like the interior of his apartment, his own home would serve as a study in his discipline and doesn’t have to fit into the stereotype of a Belgian home. He wouldn’t mind to share one huge building with several friends, where everyone has their own home and their own atelier. This could be in an old warehouse, but a project like “We kopen samen de Oudaan” (a group of citizens that want to buy the old police tower in Antwerp) would be a great possibility as well. One thing is certain, if Reinaart ever moves to a different place, it will certainly be worth sharing here again!

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Reinaart Vandersloten - website - facebook - instagram

3 Comments

  1. Patricia October 13, 2015

    I wanted to comment this on sunday, but my wifi had some troubles :) Great sunday reading, I can never get enough of peeking into other people’s homes

    Reply
  2. Ilse October 14, 2015

    Great photos! This particular place is a little too masculine for me but I do love the post your and other peoples living spaces!

    Reply
    • Hannelore Veelaert October 15, 2015

      Thank you, that’s lovely to hear!

      Reply

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