April 12, 2017

Pieter and Joeri Hardwearing share a gorgeously minimal creative space in Antwerp. As a multimedia designer and interior designer, creating a clean and inspiring space in which to work is important for their productivity. We speak with them about championing a timeless approach to living, consuming and creating.

UO: Can you tell us a little about yourselves? How you met and how you came to form Hardwearing.be?

We met back in 2013 during our college studies. Not only did we have a personal match but also a matching vision. We started to expand our portfolio with Hardwearing. As a multimedia designer and interior designer, a proper portfolio is extremely crucial in our fields. So we wanted to show that we’re capable of so much more than making websites and designing interiors. With our passion for photography and fashion there was a direct link to set up a blog.

UO: Can you each talk us through your working routines?

Pieter: My working routine starts with making a to-do list of what I have to do. I like to have some structure before I get started otherwise I get lost. When I finish my to-do list, I plug in my earphones which keeps me concentrated. The louder the music is, the more work I have to do.

Joeri: For me, it can take a while until I’m really concentrated, but once I’m focused it’s really hard to disturb me. I can sit behind my computer for hours and just work and cross things off my to-do list without getting distracted. Pieter always tries to distract me and gets annoyed when I ignore him.

Shop: Adelphi Metal Planter and Compartment Holder

UO: When do you feel most creative?

We get really inspired and motivated if we read articles of other (young) creatives about their story and what they’re doing. It can really boost us and give us a positive energy. We also like to watch documentaries of creative people; we get inspired by their way of working and how they take things in their own hands.

UO: How did you come to adopt a minimalistic aesthetic and way of living?

We often get this question. People often think that we just do this kind of style because it’s hyped on Instagram, but it’s really something that we thought about. It’s not only about the white, but also showing people that we invest in timeless products that lasts for a long time. We are against the disposable culture and believe it has a bad impact on our planet. So we want to show people that there are other possibilities. We also don’t like to call it a ‘minimalistic aesthetic’ since a lot of people like to claim they’re minimal. We rather prefer the word timeless.

Shop: Rory 3 Tiered Magazine Holder and Rail Clothes Rack

Shop: Penfield Navy Adelanto Long Sleeve Shirt and Nike Blazer Black Tumbled Leather Trainers

UO: What items would we find you wearing all year round?

Lately we both actually stopped wearing jeans and are wearing trousers all day. It’s really nice to wear them, since it fits so comfortable and you’ve lots of options in materials and structures. I guess this combined with a plain, white T-Shirt and a pair of classic sneakers is our all-year outfit.

UO: Do you share a similar style? What are your main points of difference?

We do share a similar style, but of course we’re not always on the same level. In terms of fashion: Joeri always, but like always, wears black. Pieter on the other hand is a big fan of navy and dresses a little bit more comfy, while Joeri sometimes wears something uncomfortable (for example: if I buy boots, I mostly buy them a few sizes too small, because I don’t like it if my feet look too big).

UO: What is your favourite thing about your home? Favourite corner, favourite feature?

If we’re not working in our studio, we spend most of the time in our bedroom. It’s our small, quiet area where we can relax being surrounded by a lot of greenery. The favorite features in our house are probably all the vintage items. Throughout the years we have collected a lot of vintage chairs, side tables, lamps, … Pieter has an excellent eye for these items and likes to refurbish them sometimes! UO: Talk us through your ideal morning.

We’re both very different in our morning routine. Pieter likes to sleep in a little longer, while Joeri likes to wake up slowly with a cup of coffee. So we actually both like to take our time to get ready. Once done with that, we sit together to discuss the day. It mostly starts with doing our mail, since we’re both not a fan of doing this. After that, there’s plenty of time for the fun stuff: shooting and editing pictures, creating concepts…

UO: Does your minimalistic aesthetic reflect the values you hold in your day-to-day approach to life?

Yes it definitely does. Hardwearing shows much more then our minimalistic aesthetic, but also our lifestyle. We promote our way of life in which we prefer qualitative products with a timeless design. So having this in mind: the stuff we buy should be an investment. To give an example: we rather buy 1 one timeless shirt which will last for a long time then 5 shirts that have prints and you won’t wear the next season.

Shop: Nike Air Max 95 Grey Trainers

UO: Do you find a busy schedule can sometimes obstruct your minimalistic values? Or is it more about maintaining that element of zen?

Yes, if we have a busy day, there’s not much space left to move. You can find clothes, camera accessories, … everywhere. As minimal as our feed is, it can also be really chaotic in our head. Fun fact: when we’re coming back from a (city)trip it can take up to a week to unpack and in the meantime our luggage is spread around the whole house.

UO: What are your favourite cafés or restaurants to go visit in your local area?

This is a difficult decision when living in Antwerp, since there are so many possibilities. If we have to choose we would go for these:

Coffeebar: Kaffeenini, the best bagels, coffee and brownies.

Lunch: Balls and Glory, handcrafted meatballs!

Dinner: Otomat, heavenly pizzas!

See more from Hardwearing on Instagram.