INSIGHTS_ Lies Mertens

INSIGHTS_ Lies Mertens by Hannelore Veelaert via au pays des merveilles

A few months ago, when I was escaping the renovations in my studio until I could move into my new apartment, my friend Lies Mertens welcomed me with open arms into her two bedroom flat in a quiet neighborhood in Antwerp.  The apartment, part of a 1930s art deco building that used to house a cinema, has undergone quite a renovation process before it turned into the cosy home and atelier that it is now.  With every visit to Lies’ home it became more and more clear that her home was the perfect candidate for an INSIGHTS interview, and this sleepover was the perfect time to do so.  However, sometimes life gets in the way of these interviews to get finished.  That’s why I’m sharing this shoot only now, after Lies has already redecorated her apartment about a dozen times, but more on that later.

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reset the table + giveway

reset the table

There are few things I love more than delicious food and good company, so when Iittala asked me to host a dinner for my friends to highlight their Reset the table campaign, I didn’t have to think twice.  I invited Lies, Eline and Paulien, stocked up on flowers and wine, set the table with the dotted blue plates and light blue bowsl from Iittala’s Teema collection, complemented with items from their Kastehelmi collection. Pro tip from someone who’s clumsy and living on a budget: mixing and matching is the solution when you can’t afford to buy a whole set of tableware at once or when you happen to drop a plate once in a while, plus it gives your table setting an original twist!   Iittala understood and made sure that all of their tableware goes together, allowing you to create a set that matches your taste perfectly.  Good news by the way, you can win a set of Iittala tableware for two on my instagram right now!  (Or just buy them here.)

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COLLECTION_ inspired by Liene and William’s home

In my previous blogpost, Liene and William told all about their ongoing renovation process and their “brutal chic” style.  Brutal chic, you say?  Think items that merge esthetics and function perfectly, classic design pieces, industrial elements and an occasional dash of kitsch.   Next, combine all of these in beautiful still lifes for the finishing touch to an interior that tells a story.  If you want to bring a little bit of their style to your own home, I’ve got just what you need in this week’s collection…

  1. Acapulco chair by Fair furniture, get it here.
  2. Cork family A stool by Jasper Morrison for Vitra, available here.
  3. HK Living pillowcase, for sale here.
  4. Morpho Didius One by Animaux Spéciaux, order it here with a 5% discount by using the code AUPAYSDESMERVEILLES.
  5. Tradition kettle by Le Creuset, find it here.
  6. Glass bell with cork base, get it here.
  7. Plant stand by Ferm Living, buy it here.
  8. Tiger dishcloth, available here.
  9. Vintage industrial lamp, order it here

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INSIGHTS_ Liene & William

While Liene shares mostly fashion, make-up and hair inspiration on her Instagram account, it’s her interior that truly grabbed my attention.  That’s why almost a year ago, I contacted her and her husband William for an interior shoot.  As it turned out, their home renovation was still in full force, Liene just knew which corners to frame!  We kept in touch and eventually they welcomed me into their home for a chat about their ongoing renovation process and William’s interior and furniture design business Wøti.

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FRAGMENTS_ Acusa Seca

In my previous blogpost I raved about the cave dwelling we stayed at in Gran Canaria, so today I wanted to share more photos of that experience.  In this post I’m taking you on a tour of Acusa Seca, a small village of cave dwellings dating back to the 6th century with a breathtaking view over Roque Nublo (the appropriately named cloud rock).  During our hike through the surrounding valley we encountered even more breathtaking views, hence the picture overload.  Have a look at the photos below and wander through Acusa Seca with me!

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EXPLORED_ a cave house in Acusa Seca

Explored_ acusa seca cave house in gran canaria

When I was planning last summer’s holiday, I came across an intriguing airbnb by accident.  A house carved into the rocks, with an incredible view right at its front door.  Thinking it was probably somewhere really far away and exotic where I wouldn’t end up in the near future, I saved it for “someday”.  A few weeks later, when I wanted to show that impressive Acusa Seca cave house to a friend, I noticed it was located on Gran Canaria.  The island where my sister was planning to spend 5 months for her Erasmus.

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COLLECTION_ inspired by Jeroen Lemaitre’s home

collection_ inspired by jeroen lemaitre of animaux spéciaux

As you’ve probably seen in my latest insights blogpost about the interior of the man behind Animaux Spéciaux,  Jeroen Lemaitre has impeccable taste and an eye for the unusual.  It’s hard not to get inspired by the artist and entrepreneur’s intriguing interior.  Lucky for us, he doesn’t make it difficult to give our own interior that Animaux Spéciaux touch.  I’ve collected my favorite items from his webshop, that will certainly lift your interior to a higher level.  And there’s more good news: with the code AUPAYSDESMERVEILLES you’ll get a 5% discount in the Animaux Spéciaux webshop!  Happy shopping…

  1. Vintage inspired whales poster, for sale here.
  2. One of a kind duck wing lamp, designed by Jeroen, available here.
  3. Tobacco and patchouli scented candle in a vintage inspired apothecary jar, get it here.
  4. Kokodema, buy it here.
  5. Framed butterfly, order it here.
  6. The book Wonders are collectible, where Jeroen tells all about taxidermy.  Find it here.
  7. Anitque glass bell filled with exotic beatles.  For sale here.
  8. Industrial lamp, click it home here.
  9. Framed walking leaf bug, available here.

 

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INSIGHTS_ Jeroen Lemaitre

portrait of Jeroen by Eline Ros

Up until a few years ago, taxidermy was considered rather tacky and cruel.  If anyone is responsible for turning that image around, it would be Jeroen Lemaitre of Animaux Spéciaux.  He single-handedly updated taxidermy’s image by limiting himself to animals that died a natural death, combined with his impeccable taste and artistry.  Jeroen describes himself as a treasure hunter, someone who tracks down interesting collectables or makes them himself by hand, from colorful insects preserved under cloches or in frames, to taxidermy, intriguing accessories, exotic plants and even artworks.  These are all for sale in his beautiful shop Animaux Spéciaux in Leuven (which I blogged about earlier here) and his webshop.  Well… not all of them are for sale, as some of his most intriguing pieces ended up in his own home, which he was kind enough to show me.

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FRAGMENTS_ jardins fontserè i mestre

Before we started our 50 km roadtrip, Eline and I first had to drive our car from the airport of Barcelona to our hotel in Girona.  To make sure we had the best possible experience during our first drive with the prius plug-in hybrid, the toyota team programmed a scenic route into the GPS.  We drove along some of Barcelona’s most impressive views, but there was one in particular where we could not resist to make a quick stop.  When we spotted the lushious vegetation and interesting architecture of the Jardins Fontserè i Mestre, we just had to pull over!  Unfortunately the greenhouses were closed, so we didn’t get the full experience, but I did manage to snap a few photos that convey the atmosphere quite well.  Definitely a place that should be listed in my city guide for Barcelona!

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COLLECTION_ inspired by Nathalie Teugels’ home

It seemed you loved Nathalie Teugels beautiful apartment as much as I did, so I’ve compiled a little collection to help you implement Nathalie’s style in your own home.  Marble elements, something to store your magazines and anything related to plants are essential to Nathalie’s interior, but the best way to incorporate her aesthetic into your interior, is of course investing in your very own piece of Teugels Meubels.  So don’t forget to keep an eye on Serax, where you’ll soon be able to buy Nathalie’s coffee table meets magazine rack.  (featured on the blog before here)

  1. Yellow plaid by Vjesbjerg, get it here.
  2. Marble pillow case by Madiva Creative, order it here.
  3. The Design Letters collection with typography by Arne Jacobsen, available here.
  4. Marble cheeseboard by Boska, for sale here.
  5. Metallic paper bag by WarmGreyCompany, buy it here.
  6. Fish vase by Serax, find it here.
  7. Magazine rack by Madame Stoltz, discover it here.
  8. Cactus candle by Hema, get it here.
  9. Letter board by Jay Retro, available here.

 

 

 

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