Twenty years ago, interior architects Renaud de Poorter and Femke Holdrinet began collecting furniture. Now, their renovated home in Bellem, Belgium, acts as a neutral backdrop to the eclectic mix of playful pieces. What was formerly a cattle-fodder factory is now a bright, clean-lined, spacious residence featuring crisp white walls and a pale gray concrete floor. The various hues and materials used in the furnishings coalesce to create a distinctly warm and cheerful look. In the living room, a Cuba sofa by Rodolfo Dordoni for Cappellini holds court with two pink Bird chairs by Harry Bertoia for Knoll and antique rugs from Morocco. A Low Pad chair by Jasper Morrison for Cappellini sits near the fireplace, and the brass-and-steel coffee table was designed by Poorter and Holdrinet. Cushions covered in Alexander Girard fabric add soft touches to the room.
Yves Borghs and Katleen van Ammel wanted their new house to offer maximum privacy but also maximum light. The solution proposed by Tom Verschueren, of Mechelen, Belgium-based DMVA Architects, was to create a closed street-side facade with an open backside facing the garden, totally glazed from the ground up to the saddleback roof. On the street side, the only true opening is the door; the seven tall, slim windows are screened by what Verschueren calls “knitted” bricks. “In this part of Belgium, 90 percent of the houses are built with brick,” says Verschueren. “It’s a classic material that we tried to use in House BVA in a totally different way.”