LULU Home & Interior

Always open to new inspiration we popped in at Lulu Home & Interior, with its 850 square meters of furniture exhibition close to Place Chatelain in Brussels, it’s a great place to hang out on a rainy (or snowy) afternoon. The shop offers a well selected mix of contemporary furniture and decoration objects. The style could be described as a mix of 50s inspired, industrial and Scandinavian. After having strolled around for a while we finished off with a coffee at their café. If you are planning to go furniture shopping in Brussels this is definitely a place to check out.

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‘Tstad expo

’Tstad held a 2 day pop-up exhibition at the Verbeke Foundation in Kemzeke not far from Antwerp. We thought it was a great possibility to get some inspiration and find out what’s new for 2016! The exhibition was a pleasure to visit, not least for the cool environment of the Verbeke Foundation showroom, decorated with fascinating art pieces.

Many exhibitors had drawn inspiration from nature and ecology. One of the highlights were the atelier of Tradewinds – charming little retro style wagons for the hotel industry or private gardens – and  Breit & Rietveld, a Dutch wholesaler of great decoration products from the Far East, like beautiful handmade tables, pots and stone objects.

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Breit & Rietveld
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Breit & Rietveld

 

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After an inspirational visit, Heidi was ready for lunch!! ;)

 

A charming French Guest House raising from Ashes…. Part 2

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Designing the interior of the ancient building was a difficult, yet interesting project. We paid great attention to both, colours and furniture to preserve the building’s history and styl.

Because of the light situation, painting the ceiling posed a real challenge as the colours kept changing dramatically from one spot to the other. Our goal was to achieve a friendly, light and warm tone, which we finally found by mixing several tones on site (Farrow & Ball –  Tallow, New White and All White)….

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Farrow & Ball colour samples
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The bedroom during the renovation

We were very pleased with the final result, not least with the crystal, pear shaped chandeliers from Labyrinthe Interiors France which we placed over the seating area. This enhanced the space dramatically.

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After

Most of the furniture, including the vanity unit, come from our Belgian supplier Lee & Lewis. They provide nice quality furniture of waxed or distressed wood, upholstered with linen in many different shades.

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Seating area after
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View over the room from the window after.

Urban Cottage Industries, UK supplied us with wonderful retro style lights for the bathroom, with ceiling spots and wall down lighters. They were extremely helpful as deliveries to the very countryside of France can turn out to be quite difficult from time to time….Thanks to Iain and Nick for their moral and professional support! ;)

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Bathroom after

The vanity unit in combination with the Porcelanosa tiles has been a real success!

So, what is still left to do? Just lean back and watch the lawn grow green again after a hot, hot summer…..DSC_3951www.lee-lewis.be

www.labyrinthe-interiors.com

www.urbancottageindustries.com

www.porcelanosa.com

A charming French Guest House raising from Ashes…. Part 1

DSC_3929We are back again after a hot summer – work wise & weather wise – but it was worth the effort. As mentioned before we dealt with various obstacles from injured artisans to boiling hot weather conditions but at the end everyone was delighted with the outcome. The little building is coming into its “prime time” after approx. 300 years of having served as a storage building for a small farm house.

Let’s review what happened:

We started off with a bland little outbuilding which had been renovated half-heartedly about 16 years ago – unfortunately, not respecting the style of the region or the use of appropriate materials. There was electricity but no plumbing or heating.

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Before (street left hand side)

The owner decided to turn it into a guest house. We started the design by creating first a small annex serving as today’s bathroom. The entry was moved to the street side, a little roof over the entry was added as well as a terrace and a lovely little front yard. To make the design more interesting as well as practical, old wooden beams were embedded in the ground as additional separation to the driveway and parking. It was decided that no stone walls should be built but plastered walls constructed in and finished in  the ancient style.

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After (street side, facing South)
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After (street side, facing South)
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Olive trees, various bushes and turf was planted as well as an automatic watering system was installed.

Now let’s have a look at the garden side. The plain, little stone building was used for music/piano playing  by the ex-owner. It has a lovely view over the valley, but was not versatile or inviting as a space. Overall, it had a funny “Swiss look”, not blending in with the style of the region.

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Before

A spacious terrace has been added and the lower part doubles as storage. A summer kitchen, and a covered BBQ terrace has been installed on the garden-level.

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After
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After

As already mentioned the wood covering of the gable had been taken off and replaced by stone, and an “Epi” made of Terra Cotta was put on the roof.

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“Epi”

The terrace offers a beautiful view of the pool and the valley. It is made of stone and covered with exotic wood which will turn grey shortly – when not treated permanently. It’s up to the client’s taste but many prefer the grey colour as it goes nicely with the stone.

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The handrails were made by the local smith of rusty steal and sealed. It’s a great rustic look and perfect for its purpose.

The lower terrace (presently covered by a tent) will be replaced by a wooden structure with ancient roof tiles shortly.

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Lower terrace

We will be back with more picutres of the stunning interiors!

OBSTACLES TO OVERCOME IN PARADISE – a conversion of an ancient storrage into a lovely guest house

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It may not be surprising to many people who renovate or build but obstacles always appear when you expect them the least – and that’s when also interior designers reach their limit of influence. The painter suffered from an hernia, a week later the joiner from a lumbago, and last not least the plumber had a loss in his family….I guess that’s what you simply call life.

Things like this (unfortunately) happen but we tried to reschedule works so not to lose too much time.

The garden side of the house used to be fairly plain and had more the look of a Swiss cottage than a farm outbuilding in the South-West of France as already mentioned earlier…

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We decided with the client to add a spacious terrace of stone with a rustic ‘rusty” look balustrade. Stone stairs are planned which lead down on the ancient cistern and make a 1/2 turn to lead further to the garden level, which will look more interesting and playful than strait stairs. The wooden covering of the gable was taken off and replaced by stone, more in keeping with the style of the region.

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Fortunately, by now everybody in our team has more or less recovered and works continue at pace. We have decided to go for Lamp Room Grey from Farrow & Ball for the window and door frames, as well as for the shutters. It is a congenial and soft colour which beautifully marries with the warm tone of the stone but it is neutral enough to give us more freedom for further colourful additions of accessories…

The tiler, who is so far in good health has finished the tiling of the bathroom. In this room the tiles we have chosen are Antic Blue from Porcelanosa. These tiles are an interesting match with the rustic style of the property, a bridge between old and modern, and will certainly always be classic.

 

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The bathroom door has been made by the local joiner in the typical farmhouse style.

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That’s it for now from the beautiful Lot Region of the South-West of France.

We will keep you posted – shortly!

Sonja

 

SOUTHERN FRENCH DELIGHT An unusual conversion of an ancient storage into a lovely guest house

This ancient little storage for agricultural machines was badly renovated about 15 years ago. Neither the style of the region was respected nor were suitable materials chosen.

The new owner and Brussels Interior Designers have put all their efforts into this small but very detailed project to create a stunning, little guest house. Follow the extensive works executed by skilful professionals of the Lot region in the Southwest of France.crayssac works

The entry has been changed and is now facing South and the small village street. An extension for a bathroom was added with handcrafted corner stones. Its walls will be plastered the ancient cottage style way which means an uneven surface is desired. The plaster itself will contain natural pigments. One of the main issues was also to remove the wooden panelling of the pediment which made the house look like a Swiss cottage.

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The roof has been adopted to match the region’s style.

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The new entry has been made of stone. An old beam found in one of the side buildings has been re-used as a connecting element between the existing part and the new annex.

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Voila! The first step has been finished. Follow with us the terrific changes of the building’s garden view as well as – most important – the carefully chosen and most exciting interior design. ;)

 

Work in progress

This is one of our ongoing projects, it is an 50’s apartment with garden in Etterbeek. As you can see the renovation is in full swing in the living room, the bathroom and the hallway and our team has a busy time ahead. We will return with more pictures when the project is completed.   renovation4 renovation1

Maison de maître in Brussels

One of our latest projects was a lovely, traditional house in Brussels. The owners wanted a mix of American & Scandinavian design in their interior style. With several children, the demand for convenient storage solutions was important to make the maintenance as easy as possible. We created a a congenial but yet practical home environment, while at the same time honouring the historic architecture of the building.

This is how the sample boards and 3D-drawings, as we always create for our clients, looked like. The boards are a very important tool for us to visualize the final result for our clients.Kitchen Plan smallSome of the elements had to be kept as before, such as part of the kitchen. Dining Room Plan smallIn the dining room we chose stunning paisley patterned wallpaper above the white wooden panels. The pastel green colour matched the wall colours of the kitchen well and created a harmonious whole.Dining Room Sample Board smallThe blend of pastel and natural colours matched well together with the elegant white furniture for a very sophisticated final result!