By introducing chic new elements, a Belgian couple takes a gentle approach to transforming a tired house into a vibrant workshop.
Gallerist Veerle Wenes has sage advice for composing interior spaces: "People should choose objects for their home with passion, love, and emotion. You must give your interior some time to grow with your experiences. Let it be a combination of important discoveries from your own life," she says. Her eclectic Antwerp living room reflects this philosophy in action. A charcoal-gray modern sofa from Flexform outfitted with cushions from Chevalier Masson anchors the space. Hanging lamps by Muller van Severen (a Belgian design duo Wenes represents in her gallery, Valerie Traan) illuminate the space from overhead. Jens Fager's Raw candelabra is prominently situated atop a black coffee table. "Collectors like to see the pieces in my own home—it helps convince them of the quality of the work—but it's not a strategy," Wenes says. "I simply surround myself with pieces I like."
Retirement often offers couples more time together, but when René Menten and Mikey Bienkens left the working world, they built a house that emphasized their individual activities. The balconies breaking into the space behind the glass and white aluminum facade of their home in Bilzen, Belgium, give each partner a private space in which to pursue personal passions.