Woodsteel

“’Handmade Dutch Design’ may not sound very Dutch but we are very proud of our 100% Dutch product.”

How did you start?

Eric Duppen: “Well, this is my favourite thing to do and there was a need among stylists and architects for customisation. We previously offered different products, which were supplied more on a contract-basis. I started in 2008, which was not really the perfect time (due to the economic crisis), but it was a matter of not giving up and having a lot of patience.”

Where do you get your inspiration from?

“Usually from my own designs and, in terms of atmosphere and style, magazines, which we try to fall in line with. However, ultimately most people create their own custom designs with specific colours and characteristics.”

What makes the company unique?

“First of all, the finesse of our finishing and the personality of the products. We always add that extra special touch. The frame of the table consists of steel cylinders and is durably finished. Our tailor-made approach also makes our pieces unique because we can provide the customer with exactly what he/she wants in terms of thickness and colour of the frame.”

What materials do you use?

“We preferably work with old wood, simply because it has the best appearance. But on the other hand, what is ‘new’ wood? Oak wood comes from trees that, on average, are a hundred years old. It’s appearance is also highly dependent on the wood treatment. Will we give it a more sleek or rustic character?”

What is the design process like?

“You start by drawing many sketches and ideas. Usually those can easily fill up two or three binders. You then have to slow down. After all, you can’t make everything. You focus on the core functions, even though this doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t create a beautiful design. You then continue the work, which will inevitably lead to other models.”

Why did you decide to exhibit at ETC Design Center Europe?

“The way in which the fair has developed over the years completely suits our business approach. It’s like a nice club of entrepreneurs and organisers.”

What advice would you give customers if they want to create a table?

“They usually already have some idea when they visit us with their client. We either try to build on that idea or we present them with other possibilities. If they want advice, you listen to their wishes, so that they can make the right decision for the long term. Advice is very important, but you should also show them how a certain object fits in their interior. In the end, the customer can completely decide what their object looks like. But we will always help them with deciding the dimensions so that the object fits their interior. These are recommendations based on our years of experience, however the customer will always have final say.”