INSIGHTS_ Sofie Vertongen

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Lately, everyone in our little country of Belgium has been falling for the epiphyte, and there’s only one person to blame. A few months ago, Sofie Vertongen started Phyt. a webshop for air plants, and it has been taking Belgium by storm.   After having seen a few pictures of Sofie’s beautiful apartment on instagram, I asked her if she wanted to share some thoughts on her home and let me photograph it. As it turns out, her interior was even more impressive in real life than what I had seen on instagram so far. No surprise, if you know that Sofie studied to be an interior designer.

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After having lived in Ghent, New York, Barcelona, Brussels and Berlin, Sofie ended up in Antwerp. “It was the only big city in Belgium where I hadn’t lived yet and I feel like it’s the Belgian city that resembles Berlin the most. Other cities here don’t have the same amount of startups, coffee bars, cool brands, initiatives or events as Antwerp. At the same time it’s almost like a village: even though my boyfriend and I barely knew anyone here, we’ve already made so many new friends. I don’t think that would happen in Brussels, for example.” Changing countries that often also meant that Sofie never really settled anywhere, until now. Her apartments abroad were often furnished and there was no use in spending a lot of money on furniture, knowing she’d have to leave it behind again somewhere in the near future. And yet, Sofie was already carefully planning the interior of her future apartment on pinterest.

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She’s currently living in a wonderful corner apartment with her boyfriend Yannick and cat Josie. “I immediately saw potential when I walked into this apartment. Unlike most apartments, this place has windows on 2 sides, so there’s always lots of light flowing in. Combined with the beautiful wooden floor, we didn’t have to think long before we decided to rent this place. ”  

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Even though Sofie and Yannick furnished it in only three weeks, their interior looks amazing down to the smallest detail. It is filled with a mix of Scandinavian design and vintage, with a lot of personal touches and of course Phyt plants. “I wouldn’t be able to live in a clean design interior, no matter how beautiful it is. I need personal items and furniture with a story.”  The same thing goes for her boyfriend: while Sofie naturally took charge of the decoration of their new place, Yannick made sure that some of his family heirlooms got their place in the interior.

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There’s no lack of items with a story here: the leather pouf is a souvenir from a vacation to Morocco, the school chairs are painted by Sofie and Yannick themselves, the yellow Hay chair is a souvenir from her time working at Fab, the carpet and small cupboard in the living room come from Yannick’s grandmother and the green armchair was bought at the Mauerpark flee market in Berlin during their last week living there. “Surrounding myself with items that I have a personal connection with, is what makes me feel at home the most.”

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One of her favorite items is the cupboard in the dining area. “We had been looking for something similar for a very long time. Luckily the cupboard fit into the building’s tiny elevator, which is probably the most important condition for something to end up in our interior!”

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The cupboard in front of the window is the part of her interior that she’s the most proud of.  Coincidentally, the wood of the cupboard matches perfectly with the wooden flooring, combined with the plants and the beautiful light it’s picture perfect. No wonder that this is the most instagrammed corner of her home!  (Proof: 1 2 3)

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As Sofie is working from home, she spends most of her time in the apartment. “Before, I was working full time and I only got to see our apartment at night, when it was dark, or in between outings on the weekend. Now that I’m working from home, I get to actually enjoy my home!”

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She loves spending her time in the bright living room, but the kitchen is a favorite in the morning as the sunlight floods in right around breakfast time.

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Even though Sofie and Yannick have been living here for only 6 months, Sofie still wants to change up their apartment every week. “I’d like to change the dining table and chairs, but Yannick won’t let me! It’s a shame that I only have one apartment to decorate…” In the future she’d like to live in an old mansion, with high ceilings and wooden flooring, just like this place, but bigger and with a garden or a terrace. “I’m already looking forward to tearing walls down!”   If she could really choose, her future home would be the Eames House in LA, one of the Case Study Houses, but she’d have to sell many, many more Phyt plants before that dream could become a reality … If you want to know more about Sofie’s work for Phyt, head to No Glitter No Glory!

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Phyt - website - facebook - instagram
Sofie Vertongen - instagram

5 Comments

  1. Ilse November 15, 2015

    Just lovely! Beautiful floors and carpet especially!

    Reply
    • Hannelore Veelaert December 6, 2015

      That’s true, she got luck with such a beautiful apartment in the first place, but the items she choose just bring it to a whole other level…

      Reply
  2. Ineke / hush-e November 15, 2015

    I’m officially jealous. Sofie really has the most beautiful apartment everrrr

    Reply
    • Hannelore Veelaert December 6, 2015

      I think that might be correct! I wouldn’t mind living there myself…

      Reply
  3. Tinne December 31, 2015

    Hoo Ik heb dit compleet gemist door het sleeechte Asian internet (waardoor mijn blog-leeslijst eindeloos aan het opstapelen is). Maar WAUW wat een pracht! De combinatie van al het hout + veel groen + veel wit is echt de droom! Misschien toch maar eens settelen in 2016 en interieurdromen achterna gaan ;-) Happy New Year xx

    Reply

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