Sunday, April 13, 2008

Belgian Style & our economy?

House Beautiful has declared, "Belgian is the new Swedish." What I'm wondering is, Can our economy drive our design longings? Does the interest in this serene look, that when executed flawlessly borders on a spiritual aesthetic, have anything to do with the state of our economy? Does uncertainty interest us in design that it pared down and true, simple and grounded? I know it has caught my attention.'s just so beautiful to look at!Some hallmarks of Belgian style - linen, worn wood, iron, stone, reclaimed building materials, and neutrals creating a mood that is serene, simple and earthy in a sophisticated way.
First two images - House Beautiful, designer Kay Douglass

Previous two images, Axel Vervoordt - Kanaal, a complex of restored 19c. warehouses

Previous two images Axel Vervoordt - Gravenwexel Castle, near Antwerp
Not as earthy in texture but note the use of linen, the metal coffee table and the deep, moody toned wall color.
Hotel Verhaegen, Ghent, photography by Jan Rosseel
Hotel Verhaegen, Ghent, photography by Sarah van Hove
Hoter Verhaegan Ghent, photography by Sara van Hove
Lucca & Co. club chair
Lucca & Co. The Lucca sofa
Lucca Lucca & Co Spoleto sofa
House Beautiful, designer Kay Douglass
Hotel Amigo, Brussells - I really love the simple treatment on this bed.
House Beautiful, Kay Douglass
House Beautiful, designer Kay Douglass - Isn't it great that there's nothing on this bureau except for the vase? I wonder if it stays that way all the time?
Timeless Interiors by Axel Vervoordt, published by Flammarion

Also check out Ferret & Hounds' review of Wim Pauwel's book, Building with Reclaimed Materials. There are some more beautiful images of this style.


pve design said...

Married to a family of Belgian roots, the aesthetic is one of practicality, function and simplistic design.
Why try to fix something when it is not broken, on the other hand, the economy could use a good fix.
Wonderful observation on your part.

C+SK said...

That's a great point - but perhaps that's exactly what we need now!

My husband works for a Belgian architect and he also has that very clean-lined, calm aesthetic. In fact, it was because of him I discovered Wim Pauwels' books, that I posted about a week ago (

My Notting Hill said...

PVE and Claudia - love hearing about these Belgian connections. Claudia - I put up a link to the book. There are some great images - thanks!

Kwana said...

Sorry I've been away for a few days. Wow!! I love the new look. The logo is great and your colors are fab. Nice job to you and PVE. Great PICs today too.

Michelle said...

Really really beautiful images.........and not a Tom in sight.....PERFECT !

katiedid said...

Oh I do so love this look, and I pour over the Axel book quite a bit. You have some other really lovely photos too!

cotedetexas said...

Belgian IS the new Swedish for sure. Be sure to check out the line of books from Belgian - they are gorgeousa;

you may need to save up money, but they are well worth it!

Unknown said...

lovely post!
I loooove some of the pictures!!!!!


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