Klaartje de Hartog lives with Stijn and her cat Mooz in an old shop (from the 1920’s) in Amsterdam (De Pijp) with a lovely garden strip in front of the house.
When you look out your window you see…
When the plants are in bloom: flowers and unfortunately a new housing development with ugly front doors. I don’t understand how they can pick such awful colours. Almost all the houses across the road are still unoccupied.
What do you like to do most when you are at home?
Read, read and read: books, but also lifestyle magazines. In summer, I also like to work in my little garden so I can also enjoy the outdoors a bit.
Do you take your work home with you?
A bit less since I have an iPhone. It enables me to only check my email briefly, without having to get behind my computer.
Do you use your designs in your own house?
My boyfriend Stijn creates custom-made furniture and many of his pieces are present in our house. He makes most of the furniture decisions as he is really into the details. I determine more of the accessories in our house. We have a lot of storage room. He creates very practical solutions. My designs are also in our house though. Both Stijn and I have a Keecie bag.
What would you take with from your house if you were only allowed to take one thing?
I’m attached to many things. If I were only allowed one thing, then it would be the light-blue cupboard from my kitchen, which was my first buy. I bought it for 300 guilders at a flea market once. That was a lot of money for me at the time. Light-blue is also really my favourite colour. That cupboard is here to stay.
Was there ever a moment while growing up where you thought: yes, I’m going to be a designer?
I grew up in Lelystad, in the Netherlands. And I knew early on that when I was all grown up, I wanted to live in Amsterdam. It really appealed to me to own a store. As a kid, I was really into drawing and arts & crafts. When participating in colouring contests, my father taught me to make dots instead of colouring everything in. A kind of ‘pointilism’ with markers ;-). It’s a very good tip to pass on to your children. They’re guaranteed to win, ha, ha. After that, I went to the fine arts academy in Utrecht (3D design).
Keecie always consists of 1 colour of leather, a print on the inside, and recognizable shapes. I enjoy working with leather as you design something that you will keep for a long time, which makes it special. Leather also ages nicely. I usually start with a sketch. I carry my sketchbook with me wherever I go. I never start on the computer. Sometimes, I also buy old purses at a flea market to see how they used to create these in the past.
What would you like to change in your home?
Paint the floor. It is really necessary. And I would also like to have a garden or veranda added to this house.
Where do you want to live 10 years from now? What does your dream house look like?
I would like to live in the city still but in a house that is not attached to that of the neighbours. I wouldn’t like to bike for 20 minutes to get to a nice store or to have coffee somewhere.
Who is your example/hero/favourite designer?
Architect Jean Prouve because of the classic recognizable shapes he uses. I find it very inspiring to see what all he has created. His designs have become real icons.
Name a negative trait of yours that is causing you the most problems
Lack of focus: I get distracted easily.
What inspires you? Do you perhaps have a favourite blog or website that you like to visit?
I go to flea markets to look at old bags and purses. And I also visit blogs, i.e. Present and Correct, to look but sometimes also to buy. The blog is well taken care of and clean looking. I also regularly visit Ohjoy and Bloesem. And an important favorite from Stijn is Nerf,
Photographer Marjon Hoogervorst has made many more beautiful images for this series if you would like to use some for a publication please drop her an email.