Kind of New

Kind of New

By Sally McGrane / Photos by Céline Clanet
For Brussels-based furniture designer Christiane Högner, inspiration comes less from glossy design mags than the castoffs she finds on the streets of Belgium.

"Shall I order?" asks Christiane Högner, sitting under a string of naked lightbulbs in the exquisitely simple L’Epicerie bistro. It’s a charming spot in Brussels’s Ixelles district, just down the street from the studio she shares with her partner, Belgian design researcher Thomas Lommée. "Actually," says the German designer with a wink, "there’s no choice anyway. There’s only one dish every day. It’s always different, it’s always good, and the owner does everything herself. I think it’s a great concept."

It’s no surprise that this one-woman restaurant’s high-quality, take-it-or-leave-it approach appeals to Högner, a hands-on furniture designer who hates waste and thrives on what she finds. To spend an afternoon in the apartment she and Lommée share with their brand-new baby daughter, Emilia Luz—-a rented flat resplendent with repurposed flea-market treasures, appliances rescued from the trash heap, and Högner’s own creations-—is to rethink everything you’ve ever bought to decorate your home with, not to mention what you’ve thrown out.

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